Learn it! Posts

How To Mix Patterns Like a Pro!

By: The Balance Design Team

Our upcoming spring/summer collection is chock full of color and pattern, which is a fun way to mix and match some real statement makers. But where do you start when you want multiple patterns in one space? The possibilities are practically endless, but here are a few of our favorite combos.

Stripe and fret fabrics courtesy of Schumacher. Rug courtesy of Loloi.

Play with scale. Pair a large, bold pattern (like this super funky Manuel Canovas leaf print) with a couple of smaller, tighter patterns. Ground it all with thick, white-based stripes and you’ve got a mix that’s just wild enough.

Fabrics courtesy of Norwalk, Celerie Kemble, and Schumacher. Rug courtesy of Crate and Barrel.

Limiting your color palette to a few earthy tones gives you more freedom to play with pattern and texture, and can be more approachable to those of us who prefer sepia to Day Glo. Want a smart tweed with a sparkly fabric? Heck yes you can do that!

Black and white fabrics courtesy of Schuamcher and Kravet. Lilac and bouquet fabrics courtesy of Schumacher.

There’s something about stripes and florals that complement each other perfectly. Bold, graphic, black and white lines against delicate, illustrative tendrils gives you edge with a touch of softness. It’s the visual equivalent of “I’m cute, but also don’t mess with me.”

How do you take mixing masculine and feminine patterns to the next level? Involve color! Try a hard zig zag in a lovely gem tone (Schumacher sure knows how), or a delicate hand embroidery in a tough black and blue. (Pair with a luxe berry velvet for extra va-va-voom!)

When it comes to mixing patterns, we say don’t hold back! While these are some good ideas to get you started, the rules truly were made to be broken. Be as adventurous or reserved in your pattern play as you wish — in the end, it’s all about whatever makes your space authentically yours.

It’s Element-ary! How to Incorporate The Four Elements in Your Home.

By: Danielle Clockel

The four elements of earth, fire, air, and water were used by the ancient Greeks as a way to simplify life’s complexities. Nowadays, we often refer to them in terms of our personalities. For example, maybe you identify with the free-spirited nature of the wind, or are passionate and fierce like fire. Whichever one speaks to you, here are some ways to really get in your element at home.

Earth.

Photo courtesy of Femina.

Filling your home with plants is the best way to immerse yourself in earthy goodness. But what if you don’t have a green thumb? We love pressed plant art as a way for everyone to celebrate their earth element roots in a clean, modern way.

Fire.

Photo courtesy of Frerik Hylten-Cavallius.

There’s something so comfortingly primal about fire. Grand fireplaces and outdoor fire pits are amazing to gather around, but not everyone has the space for them. That’s not an issue for petite ethanol-burning stoves. These little guys are perfect for feisty spirits in any size abode, especially since they don’t produce smoke.

Air.

Photo courtesy of Studio KO.

This is an easy one: just open up! Open any doors and windows you can and get some air flowing through your home. That feel of a gentle, calm breeze — what can be better? How about standing amongst flowing sheer window panels like some sort of goddess? Yes, that.

Water.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Ceiling mounted rainwater shower heads. Floor inset soaking tubs. These are amazing ways to turn your morning (or evening) shower into a luxurious submersion, but what else? Match your floor and walls in a cool blue handmade tile to channel the experience of swimming through a beautiful lagoon every time you bathe.

Natural elements in the home, regardless of which specific one they reflect, make a space feel grounded, intentional, and authentic. And of course you can mix several elements in one room — whatever speaks to you!

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!