Learn it! Posts

Runway Inspired Looks From NY Fashion Week

By: The Balance Design Team

Designers in this season’s New York Fashion Week pulled out all the stops with their collections, presenting daring looks that have inspired us to rethink the status quo. If you’re looking to break away from the same old home designs, keep reading — we got you.

Artisan Graphics

The miner uniform inspired pieces in Gabriella Hearst’s ready to wear collection have so much life and story behind them that they are anything but drab. Many of these are hand-stitched in her home country of Uruguay, and focus on form and pattern. We are reminded of one of our constant sources of inspiration: interior designer Justina Blakeney. Both women celebrate strength through bold, graphic patterns, and have a global influence in their work that translates to unique and meaningful pieces.

Modern Swan

The Modern Swan, as Blue Carreon coined this season’s trend, is polished and grown up without being boring. We connected with Brandon Maxwell’s ready to wear collection, designed during a time where he “creatively, clear-headedly blossomed.” Smart lines, radiant hues, tailored but feminine with a touch of retro. We love this concept in the home as well, with uncomplicated silhouettes, plush fabrics, and saturated colors. So so fashionable.

Pretty Masculine

Several designers went for a feminine take on masculine style this fashion week, giving menswear a sexy, womanly edge. In interior design, we see this in the move away from mid century modern lines and towards more romantic and curvy shapes. The hourglass figure of this petite bench, for example, softens the masculinity of the wood grain and tweed upholstery.

Neutral Textures

An absence of color doesn’t have to mean a lack of interest. Neutral, monochromatic color palettes bring focus to materials and textures whether you’re layering a massive scarf over a sweater or a throw blanket over a duvet. Mixing stonewashed linen with sumptuous velvet and topping it off with unfinished natural wood creates a sensory experience that just begs to be caressed.

Wild Animal

Sometimes animal print can be a little much, but we are LOVING the use of animal motifs! Incorporating the animal, versus just its print, brings the drama with a level of whimsy we don’t often see in high fashion and modern design. Paired with bold color, this is a look that brings personality out of any piece.

Historical influence. Focus on the senses. Challenging gender. Celebration of nature. All this and more was on parade during fashion week, and we are here with an enthusiastic “YES!” Bringing dramatic fashion statements into your home isn’t as intimidating as it might seem. Find your favorite style and make it your own!

The Sacred Space.

By: The Balance Design Team

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

For many of us, the beginning of a new year is a time of betterment — a time to look inward and focus on self care. We believe no self improvement is complete without considering your home as an integral part of yourself. Here’s a few methods to creating a peaceful yet empowering environment for your soul.

  • Collect and curate. This is what keeps a home from feeling “too put together” and sterile. Gifts from friends, antique treasures, and family heirlooms that hold a special place in your heart are what gives your home personality. Worry less about what pieces go together perfectly and focus more on what makes you feel creative, cozy, and content.
  • Showcase what you love. Arranging a meaningful art wall can not only ground you visually, but also bring you joy throughout the day with each glimpse. Combine a child’s work of art with photographs from travels and special mementos picked up along the way. Integrate all this with a piece from a local artist you love and the result is a wall that is authentically one of a kind.
  • Pare down/clean up. On the flip side of collecting, don’t be afraid to let go of things either — donate that rug or lamp that doesn’t bring you joy, even if you haven’t found the best substitution yet. Or maybe your version of minimizing clutter is simply making sure all your treasured belongings have a dedicated space. Whatever your tidying up philosophy is, when each room is clean and functional you can enjoy every corner of your home and make it special.
  • Breathe it in. Clean indoor air is essential for creating a more energized and healthy space to enjoy, but air quality in most homes is two to five times more contaminated than outside. Limiting chemical exposure, removing mold, diffusing essential oils, and adding plants are all surefire ways to cleaner and better breathing.
  • Slow it down. Taking time to calm your mind is an important part of self care and good mental health. Create a space in your home dedicated to meditation, yoga, or just good ol’ distraction-free relaxation. A quiet corner with a few comfy pillows and a plush blanket might be all you need to settle in for a few moments of quiet each day. Small practices like this build over time, and the results can be extraordinary.

It’s easy to commit to these practices at the start of a new year, but we often get overwhelmed by too many lofty goals in a couple of months. Consider these methods small, attainable ways to make each day a little more peaceful, a little more sacred.

Charcuterie Boards: Edible Masterpieces

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak and Danielle Clockel

The holidays are upon us! Now is the time to be with friends and family, and for many of us that means hosting holiday parties. So what’s a surefire way to impress your guests? Food, of course! We were so inspired by Lady and Larder’s artful charcuterie creations that we tried our hand at our own.

Choose your base.
Rustic wooden cutting boards, stone slabs, vintage plates, trays turned upside down for added elevation — any kind of larger surface is fair game to lay out your spread. Feel free to layer surfaces and add in small bowls for dips and sauces. The sky’s the limit!

Select your meats.
We made sure to include a varied selection of aged/cured meats: prosciutto (always a crowd pleaser), soppressata, salami, pepperoni, and a softer meat like a pate are classic components to a charcuterie board. (We chose a vegetarian mushroom and artichoke pate — no one gets left out of this taste fest!) At least two meats are recommended, but you could have as many as you want. Extra points if you can create your meats to look like ribbons or rosettes!

Compliment with cheese.
You just can’t have a charcuterie board without cheese, am I right? Include hard, creamy, and crumbly cheese to represent all the textures, and cut them into small triangles or morsels for the ease of serving. Hard cheeses are those like cheddar, parmesan, manchego, gouda. Creamy cheeses like brie and camembert are perfect for spreading on crackers. A crumbly goat cheese, blue cheese, or gorgonzola rounds out both the flavor and texture palette.

Chop up the crudités and adorn with fruit.
Chopped veggies add color and crispness to a spread, and provide a light and refreshing palette cleanser between the richer meats and cheeses. Persian cucumber spears, rainbow carrots, cherry or grape tomatoes, and watermelon radishes are all delicious solo or as vessels for tasty hummus. Adding fresh or dried fruit also opens up a world of possibilities! Tried and true favorites like grape clusters, blackberries, and raspberries are sure to please. Or broaden your guests’ horizons with the surprising flavors of pomegranate seeds, figs, persimmon, or dragon fruit. Whatever your heart desires!

Make room for side bites and finish off with foraged accents.
You can really elevate your charcuterie board by including an assortment of olives, cornichons, hummus, nuts, grain mustard, and honey (just to name a few!). But what to eat these with? French or Italian bread, crackers, bread sticks, pita — it’s good to have an assortment (and maybe some tasty gluten free options as well). So now you’ve got your beautiful assortment of meats, cheeses, veggies, fruits, and other nibbles. How do you finish it off? We suggest petite local flowers and/or fresh cut herbs, but the possibilities are practically endless. Get creative!

Have fun arranging all of these incredible components! Think of the board like a canvas, and the delectable treats are your paint. Consider color groupings as you place your fruits and veggies — imagine a swath of deep purples and vibrant oranges sweeping across a canvas, framing the textural earth tones of crisp crackers. And when in doubt, sprinkle some tiny blossoms across the board!

Cookin’ Color: Bright and Bold Kitchens

By: Danielle Clockel

Kitchens are a big ticket item when it comes to your home’s resale value, and happen to be one of our favorite rooms to design. While a neutral white/grey kitchen is a timeless classic, we’re inspired by those who mix it up with unexpected color.

Photo courtesy of French Fancy.

This sunshine yellow is about as bold as it gets! The calm grey walls provide a necessary balance to the brightness of the cabinets and allows them to really shine.

Photo courtesy of That Nordic Feeling.

Maybe a kitchen full of bold paint is a little intimidating for you. Try choosing one piece to be your pop of color, like this lipstick-red Smeg refrigerator.

Photo courtesy of Domino.

Want color and pattern? How about an unexpected take on a backsplash: bold wallpaper! In this look, the classic marble countertop and simple hardware keep the vibrant floral wall grounded without squashing its wild side.

Photo courtesy of Farrow and Ball.

Even with a small surface area, you can still make a big statement. Paint your upper walls a solid color, or get funky with positive and negative space.

Thinking outside the box when it comes to your kitchen can be a little daunting. Renovations are a big investment and contribute greatly to the value of your home, but you don’t have to completely sacrifice style! Sometimes a little bit of paint or a single wallpapered wall is all you need to breathe life into your space.

Cherished Treasures + Custom Creations = Happy Place!

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

Our clients’ vision is the most important factor in our designs. While we want to fill their home with beautiful furnishings, we find the best way to keep the space true to their personality is by combining new pieces with their own cherished items. Books, art, keepsakes from travels, and family heirlooms are always considered as part of the final design. This client has an incredible collection of vintage kilim rugs, handwoven textiles, and even a plague doctor’s mask. With these curated pieces as a starting point, we selected a vintage over-dyed rug under a saddle leather lounge and created custom graphic window panels to pull the look together. We love to inspire our clients with art and furnishings, but we love it even more when they inspire us!