Curate My Life Posts

The Plants of Balance Design

By: Danielle Clockel

Nothing breathes life into a space quite like plants. They’re colorful, lively, and many of them improve the quality of air in your home. At our studio, we have really embraced this concept! Let us introduce you to some of the plants we share our workspace with, and see if any of them might be a good fit for your home.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Ah, orchids. So beautiful, so inspirational. Phalaenopsis is a pretty simple plant to keep happy. Make sure it gets good light, but not direct sun, as it will burn. Set this orchid on a windowsill with a view of trees or one that is covered by a sheer curtain; it loves soft, filtered light. Most importantly, stick to a routine. Most orchids do well with a shot or so of warm water once a week. And don’t be alarmed when its blooms fall, it’s simply done with that bloom cycle! Stick to the watering schedule and keep an eye on the leaves. If they’re healthy looking, your orchid should bloom again when it’s ready. Your patience will be greatly rewarded!

Sansevieria Cylindrica

Sansevieria is a succulent, which means it isn’t very high maintenance. It loves sunlight, but even if you don’t have a full sun window it should do pretty well. Just try to keep it out of a dark shady corner, that will make it sad. Its watering schedule is every other week at most, so you don’t have to panic if you realize you haven’t given it a drink in a little bit.

Pilea Involucrata

Aka the friendship plant. Aww! This is a great plant for beginners because it’s resilient and low maintenance. Water about once a week, or when the soil looks dry, and it’ll be a happy camper. It likes a bit of light but not direct sun, so it can go almost anywhere in your home that isn’t totally shady and dark (ours have been happy on desks, in bathrooms, and in the middle of the room). Also, you can take a cutting and submerge the stem in water for a while and you’ll see it begin to root. Once you see roots, you can plant this new friend in soil and watch it grow.

Bromelia

The Bromelia is a newcomer to our studio, but it’s definitely a favorite with its tall, lively red flower. Ours is in the storefront window, which gets a good bit of light but not full, direct sun (which would be too intense). It lets you know when it needs water, as the water collects in a cup at the base of the plant. When you see that it’s empty, fill it up a bit! Enjoy all this beauty while you can, the Bro is a love ’em and leave ’em type of plant, only flowering once. Luckily you’ll get a good four to six months of prime flower time from one of these, and once the bloom starts to die, the plant will begin producing “pups” or clones of itself. So you can pluck one of the babies and grow it into a new flowering Bromelia! The gift that keeps on giving.

More than just being beautiful, plants have their own personalities and quirks that help personalize a space. While not every plant is ideal for every room (or every person), there’s certainly one out there that’s a perfect match for you. Do a little research and a bit of hunting at local nurseries and you’re sure to find your soul plant!

Modern Quilt Roundup

By: Danielle Clockel

When the weather heats up, the covers come off. Who wants a heavy down comforter smothering them in the thick of summer? That’s when lightweight summer quilts have their time to shine! Here’s a roundup of five modern quilts that we’d love to drape across some fresh linens.

Photo courtesy of Good Bones.

Patchwork is less overwhelming and more intriguing when it’s monochromatic, and the mix of textures and patterns piques visual interest.

Photo courtesy of Hopewell.

From the color palette to the large geometric sections, this quilt is like a cool Scandinavian breeze with just enough contrast provided by the giant dark triangle.

Photo courtesy of Louise Gray Studio.

When you have a quilt as gorgeous as this one, why wouldn’t you display it as art?  This dramatic graphic quilt is a statement-maker in any room.

Photo courtesy of the Modern Quilt Guild.

This is just pure happiness. The bright, fun colors arranged in a sophisticated graphic composition makes this quilt perfect for any age of snuggler.

Photo courtesy of B Perrino Handmade.

Light, bright, and Mondrian-esque. What’s not to love?

Quilts have a rich history of function as well as aesthetics, so we say do both! With beautiful options like these, they’re a striking display anywhere in your home when not in use.

Top 5 Quintessential Courtyards.

By: The Balance Design Team

As the weather gets warmer, people tend to talk about “porch season” or “deck weather” in terms of spending more time in their outdoor spaces. But let’s not forget courtyards! From grand, lush British gardens to architecturally focused Turkish temples, the style range is immense. Take a walk with us through some of the courtyards of our dreams…

Having a courtyard sounds like such a lavish luxury only attainable if you have a huge expanse of space in your home or yard. Not true! This Paris hotel does what Parisians do best: fit impeccable style into a small space.

But speaking of lavish luxury, the courtyard of the Riad Johara in Marrakech is doing it so right. This is everything we love about Moroccan style: cobalt blues, beautifully patterned tiles, and architectural shapes that are unmistakable (and astounding).

On the flip side of that coin, a simplified approach can be just as beautiful. This minimalist courtyard evokes a calm, quiet feeling and puts the focus on the experience of being outside. We can almost hear the quiet birds chirping and the soft breeze blowing.

We love a good fire pit, especially in such a lovely little courtyard. Balancing out the gravel ground with lush blooming hydrangeas and climbing vines creates a welcoming and intimate atmosphere.

We weren’t going to let this post go by without featuring a courtyard with a pool! Plus, look at those carved wooden doors, tropical palms, and crisp white facade. This is paradise.

In the most basic definition of the word, a courtyard is simply an unroofed area completely or mostly enclosed by the walls of a building. But to us, it’s so much more! A blurring of the line between indoor and outdoor space, a meditative sanctuary to commune with nature, or a gathering place for friends and family.

Cafe Table Roundup!

By: Danielle Clockel

Wouldn’t we all love a nice big kitchen table to spread out and enjoy our meals at? Well sure! But let’s face it, square footage is precious, and not everyone has the space (or the need) for a full dining table. That’s where cafe tables come in — stylish little guys that provide an intimate and space-saving spot to eat in peace. Here are some of our favorites!

Photo courtesy of Pier1.

The classic French cafe table. Petite, timeless, versatile. Sip your morning coffee and nibble on a croissant at this tiny table and you’ll swear you were at a Paris pastry shop (Eiffel Tower not included).

Photo courtesy of Bernhardt.

This chairside table from Bernhardt would fit perfectly in a small breakfast nook for an elegant, slightly feminine touch.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Enoksson.

Not all cafe tables are dainty and soft. This terrazzo table is sturdy, modern, and 1,000% cool as heck.

Photo courtesy of World Market.

From warm summer to brisk autumn, if you have even the tiniest of patio or balcony space, consider nestling an outdoor cafe table in it for those mornings when the weather is just right (whatever that happens to be for you).

Whether you choose a cafe table for aesthetic reasons or spatial constraints, you have plenty of options to choose from in terms of style. From the classic French look to a modern steel and concrete assemblage, there’s a tiny table for every home!

A Dark and Classy Upgrade: The Cane Chair

By: Danielle Clockel

Photography courtesy of Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

We have a special fondness for giving new life to vintage and salvaged furniture. When we saw this rattan chair at a local shop, it was cushion-less and unpainted, but in beautiful condition. We loved the wingback silhouette and abundance of parallel lines, and knew with a little work it would be a perfect fit for our current Modern Gothic collection. We chose Studio Green by Farrow and Ball (an inky, almost-black green that changes slightly depending on the light) to add a little elegance and mystery, and created a custom seat cushion with lacy detail. In the end, the Cane Chair went from a bohemian staple to a sophisticated accent that would be at home amongst a variety of styles. Are you in love yet? We have two of these beauties available for purchase at the Balance Design studio! Come by and see them in person.