Learn it! Posts

The High End Ikea Life

By: The Balance Design Team

We love to mix things up in pretty much every way — patterns, styles, colors, and even price range. There’s room for every level of budget in our designs, and we’re here to show you how to mix your finally-got-that-raise purchase with your I’m-not-spending-more-than-$100-on-that staples. We thought it would be fun to show you how our designers pair a cool Ikea piece with some medium and high end items and create a complete designer look.

Shelby’s pick:

You have to admire the classic clean look of IKEA’s Hilver table — perfect for a desk. Pairing this piece with a mustard desk chair from Chairish and matching art print by Eva Magill Oliver creates a mid century vibe for an office space in a small ranch home. I love the teal/rose/white color combination on the wall in the above photo (courtesy of The Old Piggery) and a simple woven teal rug to balance out the pops of yellow. And how about that stunning silhouette on the CB2 brass desk lamp? A hanging Hoya plant finishes off the space and gives it the playful touch it deserves!

 

Melody’s pick:

Don’t let the style of one piece dictate the aesthetic of the whole room — mix things up to get a real global feel! I saw this modern woven pendant light from IKEA and instantly thought to pair it with a comfy shaggy rug. Of course you also need equally comfortable seating, and the rich rust cushion of this Anthropologie carved daybed brings out the pop of color in the CB2 rug. Deep teals and bright blues are perfect accents to such a warm tone, and the combination of a bold pouf from Etsy and intensely saturated grasscloth are just the thing this room needs. The cherry on top of this easy-going, worldly look is a fringed hanging planter from World Market. Get cozy!

 

Danielle’s pick:

What’s in a name? Sometimes nothing! Let the quality of materials speak for themselves rather than the brand name of the item. Here I’ve paired stunning sterling silver flatware from Tiffany & Co. and engraved Saks Fifth Avenue stoneware canape plate with a classic 100% linen tea towel from (ready for this?) IKEA. I love the combination of these vintage bentwood chairs with caned seats and an affordable-yet-durable French garden inspired rug. A brutalist end table made of charred, 100-year-old reclaimed wood from collapsed barns in Transylvania and inkblot-style wallpaper from Schumacher add the right amount of grit and edge to ground this delicate room. Plus, the table provides the perfect perch for a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Delightful!

The moral of this story is: look for the hidden gems. Whether it’s a simple desk, a funky pendant, or a classic textile, you never know when a super special piece might jump out at you from the least expected places, even at Ikea.

5 Ways to Use Neon in Your Home

By: Danielle Clockel

Neon — brighter than bright, boldest of all hues. How can you harness such a powerful color spectrum in your space? Behold:

Photo courtesy of Lonny.

As dreamy, soft mood lighting. Go for pinks and cyans shrouded by gauzy panels.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

As a way to completely transform vintage furniture. A simple-yet-impactful paint job will do, but bonus points if you can use actual lighting!

Photo courtesy of wallpaper.com.

As standout grout. This frames your gorgeous tile choice and creates a vibrant modern grid pattern.

Photo courtesy of Curated Interior.

As a surprise interior accent color. Paint your built-in shelving, your closets, the inside of your cabinets — whatever, go crazy!

Photo courtesy of SF Girl.

As a way to make the smallest, simplest elements suddenly very cool. Boring knobs? Better now.

Whether you incorporate just a little or whole lot, neon colors add life and cheer to a space. And who couldn’t use a little of that each day, right?

5 Magnificent Modern Rugs

By: Danielle Clockel

In design, the word “modern” refers to a wide range of attributes. And for rugs, these qualities tend to be pretty bold, distinctly separating themselves from other styles. So what makes a rug modern?

Photo courtesy of Loloi Rugs.

Monochrome grid. Paired with similarly angular pieces or contrasting curved furnishings, this is a minimalist combination that’s always on the cutting edge of style.

Photo courtesy of 1st Dibs.

Bright, saturated color. Coincidentally, such hues are often found in vintage rugs — isn’t it interesting when something old still feels super modern?

Photo courtesy of Kyle Bunting.

Textural optical illusion. Combining different materials (or alternating shades of the same iridescent material) and arranging them in just the right way can play the most delightful trick on the eyes. Look closer…

Photo courtesy of The Rug Company.

Geometric shapes. The bigger and more askew, the better for a totally abstract, totally modern look.

Photo courtesy of Elsebeth Studio.

Irregular shape. Don’t be a square (or rectangle) — an unconventionally shaped rug is a surefire way to bring your space into the future, where there’s plenty of different shapes to adorn your floors.

While we love our oushaks and flatweaves, a truly unique modern rug is always inspirational. Sometimes you gotta ditch the well-traveled path and go your own way — and if that way includes funky, fearless rugs, we say all the better!

Design Books: Our Current Faves

By: The Balance Design Team

In another installment of “design books you need to get your hands on,” we present to you four of our current favorites.

Your Home Style by Donna Garlough

Photo Courtesy of Pinterest

A fresh approach on how to design without any formal training, Your Home Your Style teaches you to throw old design rules out the window and adopt some new truths. This is design paired with self reflection, something we consider a crucial element in designing for our clients and ourselves. Your Home Your Style is a great reference for professional interior designers and everyday homeowners who need help honing their wants and needs for their space.

 

The Designer’s Dictionary of Color by Sean Adams

Photo courtesy of Amazon.

Part textbook showcasing basically every color ever, part anthropological investigation of hues, The Designer’s Dictionary of Color has your back during a project or for your art and design nerd reading pleasure. Learn about the use of a particular tone throughout history, or just flip through to get some ideas for your next paint scheme — no pressure, just endless color options!

 

The Kinfolk Home: Interiors for Slow Living by Nathan Williams

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

The philosophy of “slow living” is the simplification of daily life and reclaiming leisure time — wow, sign us up! Gorgeous photography on luxe matte pages pair with advice on how to achieve this slow living ideal. This is a legacy book to keep in your library and continue to pick up when you crave a slice of the good life.

 

Farrow and Ball: Recipes For Decorating by Joa Studholme

Photo Courtesy of Google Books

If you love to be surrounded by color, this book’s for you. Learn how to choose colors for every space in your home and still achieve a feeling of cohesion throughout. With serene photography and beautifully curated palettes, this book is an aesthetically pleasing read filled with case studies of real people utilizing Farrow and Ball’s incredible paint colors.

As if you needed an excuse to prowl your local bookstore (or lurk around online), we’re sure these books will top your wish list. Get a book, get cozy, and get inspired!

Inspired by Nature: 5 Ways to Use Nature as Your Ultimate Design Inspiration

By: The Balance Design Team

Getting inspiration from nature and incorporating it into our designs goes beyond using natural wood and fibers. We look at it more holistically, observing patterns, shapes, and color combinations to bring the spirit of these elements into the whole space.

Photos courtesy of Pinterest and Roost.

Beauty, grace, power. Tigers are inspirational not only as their own strikingly colorful beings, but also as part of their natural habitat. These leather chairs in a subtle orange are like little tigers swimming through a pond of the blue-accented kilim rug. Wild!

Photos courtesy of Petros Koublis and Instagram.

There are few things more serene than the calm after an ocean storm. The light peeking through the darkness, the sense of refreshment — what an ideal state for a bedroom! The light-strung ceiling beam of this lofted bedroom becomes the apex of the space against a dark accent wall, like the sun coming through the clouds. The shades of gray and blue are soft waves. This is the perfect spot to release, relax, and emerge refreshed.

A simple color palette of whites, grays, and neutrals is classic and versatile, yet layering a pop of vivid color every now and then is a great way to keep your space fresh and exciting. Inspired by the unexpected beauty of a flowering cactus in the middle of an otherwise dry and barren desert, running multiple patterned and vividly colored vintage rugs up a traditional wood staircase completely brings this entry to life.

Photos courtesy of Flickr and Pinterest.

When garnering inspiration from the natural world, the tendency can be to look around — but don’t forget about up. Looking into the night sky at the vastness of the universe has captivated humanity for millennia, and incorporating the cosmos into your home can evoke a feeling of mystique and wonder. The movement and contrast of stars and comets against deep, black space is echoed in this marbled stone sink and backsplash. Surrounded by deep blue-grey walls, it’s like your very own glimpse into a galaxy.

Photos courtesy of Hiveminer and Desire to Inspire.

Nature is a great guide when determining your color ratios in interior design. Take, for example, this red-billed ox pecker grooming an impala. The warm neutrals of the impala’s coat are like the wood tones in this beautiful minimal kitchen. This warmth is balanced by the dark stone countertop and matte metal pendant lights, and the sparks of color provided by the fruit and dishes mimic the bright beak of the peppy little bird.

Whether it’s celebrating your favorite animal or taking a lesson in color palette perfection, the natural world is our number one source for unlimited inspiration. From the heart of the desert to distant stars and planets, our world (and beyond) is our ultimate teacher.