Learn it! Posts

Highpoint Market Fall 2019

By Melody Richardson

The team at Balance Design is always looking for new sources of inspiration. This past week we took a trip up to High Point N.C. to see what is up and coming in the interior design world. We were able to find new vendors and visit our tried and true favorites.

Photo Courtesy of IMC High Point Market

While we were there, four trends really stuck out to us-

Light Wood Tones

We loved this sculptural side table from Rowe Furniture. The light tone of the wood along with the waterfall edge gave a fresh look to an otherwise simple design.

Rich Textural Materials

We were in awe of this gorgeous rattan chair and woven pendant from Selamat layered with their amazing art deco inspired wallpaper. Rattan is being used in a multitude of ways, it’s not just for outdoor use anymore!

Sustainable Materials

We were extremely excited to see a greater focus the use of sustainable materials. Vendors such as Greenington only use sustainably sourced materials like bamboo for all of their products. We can’t wait to incorporate these pieces into our designs!

Round Rugs

We loved this fresh take on a bedroom rug. The round shape brings a layer of visual interest to the design and is perfect for layering asymmetrically under a bed. There are so many ways to use this piece!

As designers we want to be able to source beautiful and sustainable pieces for our clients and High Point market gave us new ideas to do just that. With a plethora of inspiration fresh in our minds we are so excited to begin to use these gorgeous pieces in our own designs!


The Joy of Designing in a (Very) Small, Shared Space.

By: Danielle Clockel

Ah, New York: big city, small apartments. I moved to Brooklyn in July with my significant other, which meant combining two apartments’ worth of belongings into one little 450 square foot studio. By now we’ve all read the tips and tricks to overcoming small space challenges, but not enough is said about the fun of making it all work. Here’s what I enjoyed most about making our tiny apartment our authentic home.

Gaining big love for little plants. Tragically, I had to rehome several of my larger plants to friends before I made the move to Brooklyn, knowing I wouldn’t have the space for them. However, tending to my menagerie of petite plants (most hardy succulents) and seeing them thrive in their new environment has given me new appreciation for their special details — red edged leaves, propagation progress, and even some tiny new babies popping up from the mother plant. Additional benefit: they help hide some of the cords from my better half’s MANY electronic devices.

Creating a diverse color palette to invigorate the space. Blues, teals, reds, and purples speckle our tiny studio. Against crisp white walls, this bold scheme brings the apartment to life. He thought there was no way to mix floral print with a concert poster — he was wrong.

Creating vignettes to turn clutter into meaningful displays. One shelving unit for all my books and cameras meant each level needed to look good, and not like I had to cram it all in there. So I played around with stacking, grouping, and placement to turn each shelf into its own little display. Have a few of my treasures still somehow ended up on my partner’s own bookshelf? Maybe, maybe not.

I’ve lived in studio apartments for over half of my adult life, but our fifth floor charmer is definitely the smallest. It took even a seasoned pro such as myself a little time to figure out just how to bring two separate households of belongings together in a space the size of some people’s kitchens. But through it all, these were the parts of the process that brought me the most joy, and I believe they can inspire any size dwelling.

2019 Fall Design Trends

By Stephanie Andrews

We are so excited to be featured for the second time on New Home Source‘s post on design trends. As a  featured designer, Balance Design was asked to predict their favorite fall trends.

Here’s what we had to say:

International Inspiration

The Balance Design Team based out of Atlanta recommends getting inspired by ideas from around the globe.

Photo Courtesy of Elle Decor

Parisian Salon style is one a trend to look out for. Try combining a vintage rug with art nouveau rounded furnishings in jewel tones and black and white accents. Oh! Don’t forget the silk curtains – they are back!


Photo Courtesy of Freshome

Another trend is the simplicity of Japanese style. With Marie Kondo’s TV show helping us understand how to let extra items go unless they spark joy, we are attracted to her adorable persona as well as her message. Is it a trend if it is just sensible good advice? In an age of wanting to not feel anxious or overwhelmed, we think she is speaking directly to our industry, and perhaps humanity.”

Photo Courtesy of Anthropologie

Finally, we are very excited about cooler temps in sunny, hot Atlanta! The third trend we are watching this fall is using the spicy turmeric color. We are loving bright colors, and finding lots of ways to use them – upholstery, bedding, window treatments, and, of course, pillows. Whether these colors are in velvet, linens, leathers or sheers, they are mesmerizing.

To see the full article, head on over to New Home Source‘s blog to see what the other designers are predicting for this fall!


Elements of a Modern Paris Salon

By: Stephanie Andrews

I have been a Francophile since elementary school. After four years of French in high school, field trips to Montreal, and then a minor in French in college, I was hooked. My husband and I travelled to Paris just after we got married, and it was truly magical. We loved the color of the buildings, the history, the architecture, the churches, the food, and the culture. The style is captivating, and although it has been written about extensively (perhaps too much) French women and their homes have an effortless chic that I find mesmerizing.

Photo courtesy of Sharon Santoni.

We recently met a client who is also a fan of this effortless style, and wants that iconic look for her living room. Her father is an antiques dealer in Paris, so a French salon style living room seems only natural. I started by doing a little research into the history of the salon. A product of The Enlightenment in the early 18th century, it was a key institution in which women played a central role. Salons provided a place for people to congregate for intellectual discourse.

Did you catch that? The main purpose of the room is for intellectual conversation! Not phones, work, or TV. Love the idea? Let’s look at the quintessential elements needed to create this space. (Disclaimer: even if you find the elements, it may still take some additional “je ne sais quoi” to really pull it off, in a French way.)

The ideal room has high ceilings and architectural moulding at the ceiling and an interesting fireplace. (Obviously, many of us do not have these details in our living rooms, but work with me on the vision and then adapt it for your home.) Our client’s living room fit the bill perfectly — large room, beautiful fireplace, and a baby grand piano!

Photo courtesy of Elle Decor.

Since the purpose of a salon is the ability to have conversations, consider the floor plans and scale of furnishings. The seating needs to be easy to access and also comfortable, with a place for drinks as well as good ambient lighting.

Once you have a floor plan that works, it’s time to choose a rug. For a French salon style, choose a rich, jewel toned, hand knotted wool or silk rug with patina (read: old). This may take some time to find. Your rug options probably will need to be brought in, laid out and looked at in different lights and hopefully call to you saying, “I’m it!” I recommend browsing eBay, Chairish, Next Door, or local sources that will let you send the rug back if it is not quite right. Be patient, this is probably the most important decision in your new room. Don’t worry if the rug is somewhat worn or a bit frayed — that just adds to the character!

For a comfy curvy sofa, I chose this one from American Leather in a terra cotta velvet to complement the rug. I added some rattan chairs from CB2 because look: they look like they’re smiling! I could see reupholstering these in a fun pattern (maybe black and cream zebra print?). A heavy chunk of drink table, a vintage glass round coffee table, and some fabulous ambient lighting sets just the right mood. A gilded mirror can sit above the sofa or the mantle, depending on the floor plan.

A salon isn’t really a salon without an art wall, and this one is a curated collection of women we admire. It features women poets, artists, actresses, and a yoga carving. This wall can continuously be added to, and interesting frames can enhance the collected feel of the room.

Photos courtesy of Art.com, Society6, and Amazon.

The final secret to a Paris style salon is this: never really call the room finished. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the ever-changing canvas of your room!

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.