Learn it! Posts

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.

2019 Interior Design Trends

By: The Balance Design Team

Looking ahead for the year, we’re excited to challenge our design sensibilities by getting out of our comfort zone. Here are some of the new directions we’re headed in — we encourage you to try them as well!

Well-Adorned Walls

Photo courtesy of Divine Savages.

Did this photo stop you in your tracks like it did for us? This is a look we can really dive into this year! Bold, colorful wallpaper layered with fun and unique art makes a space sophisticated but approachable. Try this in a dining room, bedroom, library — really pretty much anywhere!

Curved Seating

Photo courtesy of My Domaine.

In 2019 we’re looking for a little softness in design, and curved seating is like a visual hug. Nothing says “hey, hi, come sit down, relax, it’s all good” like a sofa that can gently cradle you. The best part about pieces like this? They fit in so many styles! You can go for an ornate, tete-a-tete style loveseat or a clean-lined, modern statement sofa. Either way, the sumptuous curves are soooo inviting!

Maximalist Entertaining

Photo courtesy of Girlfriend Is Better.

We’re leaning into the maximalist movement, especially in tablescapes. Bringing meaningful pieces onto your dining table is more than just utilitarian — it’s an expression of family, personality, and community. Maybe you’ll mix your grandmother’s Wedgewood china with vintage shop dessert plates, topped off with assorted fabric memos for napkins. Incorporate local foliage from your garden or farmer’s market, mix in candles wabi-sabi style, and you’re ready for a beautifully cooked meal (paella anyone?). We see this movement as a celebration of the home as a gathering place for friends and loved ones, and a way to create a beautiful night with beautiful memories.

Modern Pastels

Photo courtesy of Style Me Pretty.

Pastels seem to flit in and out of fashion, but this color palette of mint, blush, and mustard yellow is modern and refreshing. These hues are often utilized as support for darker and bolder colors, and we’re happy to give them their time to shine! Adorning a sleek, modern space with these softies will instantly transform the feel from harsh to happy. Awww!

Modern Art Deco

Photo courtesy of Dwelling Decor.

We’re talking extravagant architectural elements, mixed metals, and luxe materials. Inspiration from the 20’s has waltzed back into the design world with a modern attitude! This fresh mix creates an aura of opulence without stuffiness by allowing quirks and individuality to shine through. Giving us the freedom to be as over the top and “extra” as we want to be, modern art deco is a bold way to ring in 2019 — and years to come!

Statement Tile Layouts

Photo courtesy of Instagram.

We love a striking statement tile, but sometimes it can be scary to go all out with color. Not to worry! This doesn’t mean you’re relegated to same old, same old looks for your kitchen or bathroom. A fun way to get creative with tile is playing with the layout. Chevron or herringbone patterns are always a cool go-to, but we’re really loving multiple directions, varying sizes, and bold grout.

Deep Dark Cabinetry

Photo courtesy of Devol Kitchens.

As shades of green, navy, and warm wood stake their claim as the new “neutrals,” we see more and more people venturing out from the classic all grey or white kitchen and bath color palette. This migration towards adding a bit more depth and personality is seen on walls, built-ins, and cabinetry (and sometimes all three). We love  how this deep forest green brings continuity from the walls to the cabinets, creating the perfect backdrop for showcasing art, lighting, and collected treasures.

It’s easy to get caught up in the “new year, new me” storm that happens every January, but we think it’s important to turn some of that attention towards your environment — your home, your community, even just a single room. The space you inhabit has a profound effect on your well-being, and if you nourish it and care for it, it will return the favor indefinitely.

5 Looks We Loved at High Point Market

By: Stephanie Andrews

As designers, we are constantly looking for inspiration.  We want to be able to present new ideas with a fresh and provocative point of view.  This week we made a quick jaunt to Highpoint, North Carolina for the fall market.  We wanted to share a bit of what we loved during our visit.

Vibrant Patterns

We were drawn in by the vibrant use of patten and color that Julian Chichester used in their furniture and wall coverings.  They stayed true to their point of view and yet incorporated new silhouettes in a sculptural way!

Framed Flags

Bobo Intriguing Objects displayed white framed, huge nautical flags that contrasted beautifully against a rich dark background – a graphic way to add bright modern colors!

Outdoor Statues

Giant outdoor statues for the garden were another theme that we noticed at market.  We were so moved by the serenity of this statue sleeping in nature.

Natural Dining Chairs

By far our favorite dining chair at High Point.  The woven rope paired with smooth walnut wood displayed beauty in contrasting textures.  This chair was surprisingly comfortable and added a natural touch that could work for many different personalities.

Curved Sofas

The curved sofa was a delightful example of a fresh silhouette featured at High Point, and we fell in love! Organic curves really inspired us to rethink the usual floor plan and consider floating these beauties in the middle of a room. Either on its own or paired together, a great conversation piece for any gathering space!

We hope to make this Highpoint Market visit an annual tradition. Each year’s market introduces us to interesting shapes, bold patterns and innovative designers.  As always, we promise to share with you what’s new and inspiring in the world of interior design.  Happy Fall!

Design Inspiration: Paris Fashion Week

By: The Balance Design Team

The runways of Paris are an inspiration to many in terms of fashion, but to us they’re so much more. The stunning looks at the recent Paris Fashion Week have motivated us to step up our interior design styles in so many ways! Let’s dive in.

Casual Sophistication

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Nate Berkus.

Rich texture, bright colors, global vibe, slouchy yet sophisticated style — don’t you just love it when things look effortless? Get your home in the same spirit by incorporating bold upholstery, natural materials like wood or leather, and comfy-casual-classic pieces like a cozy throw. So easygoing and unpretentious, yet speaks volumes.

Darkly Sheer Embroidery

Photos courtesy of Vogue, The Jungalow, and Pinterest.

We love sheers, and we love embroidery, but something about too much of either one can feel like overkill. Pair them together, however, and you have an ultra sophisticated yet eclectic look for your outfit or your home. Sheer tiered panels alongside funky embroidered pillows are the household equivalent of gauzy ruffled skirts with a structured, embroidered jacket. We’re especially loving this concept in a dark ground with vivid accents — it adds that bit of edge to an otherwise soft look.

Basics Reinvented

Photos courtesy of Elle and Coroflot.

A chair is a chair, a shirt is a shirt…how many different ways can you alter the fundamentals? Fashion week always gets us inspired to rethink the basics, like solid clothing or the humble chair.  The tone on tone compliments, rich texture, soft fabric made crisp with pleats, and reimagined silhouette of this Valentino look makes it a work of art. Similarly, the gorgeous wood tone, visual movement, and unprecedented silhouette of this chair elevates a common item to a sculptural level.

Mixed Metallics

Photos courtesy of Vogue and Our Fifth House.

Keeping different metallic finishes separated is officially a thing of the past. This look from Miu Miu expertly mixes a gorgeous, sparkling white gown (with contrasting black sheers) with gold AND silver pieces — not to mention denim shoes (gasp!). Similarly, the possibilities are limitless when accessorizing your home. Check out these mixed gold/glossy black frames decorating a plain white wall. When it comes to taking standalone elements and arranging them into a stunning ensemble, sometimes it’s best to mix it all up.

Warm Industrial

Photos courtesy of Vogue and N. Beckstedt Studios.

In Jonathan Anderson’s ready-to-wear collection, we see rich leathers used as both surface and adornment, creating a look that is stunning yet practical. This warm, modernist style carries over into contemporary interiors through modern industrial architecture infused with warmth. A sense of ease is created by integrating organic materials and vintage pieces, resulting in a timeless yet approachable living space.

Glitter Goals

Photos courtesy of Vogue and KC Homes & Style.

Glitter is making a comeback! And no, we don’t mean the awful Mariah Carey movie circa 2001. Gone are the slinky, barely-there mini dresses — make way for long-lined elegance and glamour. The same goes for interior design; what was once almost solely associated with childhood arts and crafts has blossomed into the refined older sister. Sparkle accents done right can bring glamour and sophistication to spaces big and small.

As you can see, you don’t always have to commit to a complete overhaul to change things up. Sometimes getting creative and playing with your accessories and accent pieces can alter the mood and style of a room (or an outfit!).