On our Turf Posts

Mindful at Home: 6 Ways to Enhance Your Time and Space

By: Stephanie Andrews

There’s no getting around how important it is right now to keep safety at the forefront of our minds– safety for ourselves and for others.  As so many of us stay indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it may feel unsettling to have your daily routine turned upside down and your physical world reduced. If you’re a creature of habit looking for ways to create a new schedule or just need help taking a step back from a stream of constant uncertainty, we have a few suggestions that you can do in your own home

1. Read (or re-read) and implement: “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo


Photo Courtesy of Amazon

I read this book in one sitting when it first came out, and I think it’s time for another go with it. Organizing, taking stock of what I have, and donating things I do not want or need isn’t something I usually make time for. Now as I am forced to pause and simply BE in my space with everything, I find myself more open to the process. Plus, I love the feeling of opening a freshly cleaned and sorted closet, fridge, and pantry.

2. Finally read that pile of books.

Here in Atlanta it has become porch weather, although the pollen has also joined the party. After giving my outdoor spaces a good sweeping (and maybe a bit of hosing down), I’m dedicating some time to get comfy on my porch swing and settle in with a good book. This world is tough right now; spend some time in another world instead.

3. Edit your bookshelves, give a room an accent wall, or create a new art wall.

Take on a small project you can be proud of. We’re happy to consult remotely if you have a question or need a suggestion! I had a moment of pure bliss when I removed everything from my dining room bookshelf, edited down the books and accessories, and color coded the remaining items. With less of a rush to get everything done, allow yourself to enjoy the process as much as the result.

4. Do a puzzle, play a card game, draw in your sketchbook.

Images Courtesy of Courtney Khail

This works whether you’re solo in a studio apartment or navigating a home full of family. One of our favorite artists, Courtney Khail says “People constantly tell me that they are not creative . . . but I have NEVER once heard someone tell me that they can’t color. So . . . I made y’all a few coloring book pages.” Take this time to explore your own creativity! For me, it’s a way to reconnect with my husband and teenage daughter by doing some fun activities as a family. We choose one activity each day so it’s not overwhelming –  it’s enjoyable!

5. Make your bed!

Photo Courtesy of Danielle Clockel

Little rituals give structure to daily life, and making the bed is one of the simplest ways to signify the start of another day. I find serenity in turning tousled sheets and blankets into a neat and tidy display of crisp bedding and comfortable pillows. Plus, what greater reward at the end of the day than pulling back a tightly tucked corner and sliding into an envelope of soft sheets?

6. Spend time in Nature.

Photography for Plants Creative by Joel Hordyck- Cameron Street Photography

Walk, weed the garden, do yoga on the deck, whatever you need to do to get out of the house (safely), soak in the vitamin D, and move your body. This beautiful outdoor space we designed last year with a beloved Druid Hills client and Plants Creative Landscapes in Decatur. It’s quite a gift to be able to sit, eat outside, and enjoy your personal spaces.

We’ll do our part to navigate the present uncertainty with a sense of purpose and mindfulness, and we ask you to stay the course with us. Share your plans, your projects, and your thoughts with us – we’re in this together. Stay safe, stay happy, and know that this too shall pass.

Environmental Consciousness in Design

By Jennifer Carter

Environmental Consciousness is Balance Design’s third core value. Reflected throughout our designs and business, we are dedicated to being responsible stewards of our planet by sourcing from local craftsmen and artists as much as possible, as well as repurposing many of our clients’ existing items and giving them new life.

Photos courtesy Whitney Wolf, The Jack Ellis Company

One of our favorite collaborations to date is working with The Jack Ellis Company, based in Avondale Estates, GA. Each tree that founders Whitney Wolf and Tryon Rosser use to build their beautiful reclaimed furniture, cabinetry and accessory pieces for the home has a unique story attached to it. Last year, a couple of our clients in the Oakhurst neighborhood of Decatur, GA were able to go in person and hand-select a slab of white oak wood from the Jack Ellis shop for the custom live edge dining table we designed for them. Coincidentally, the table top slab came from a 100+ year old tree that had fallen a few months prior in the same neighborhood where they now lived. The way in which every ring and worm hole within the slab was exposed was not only beautiful to look at, but showcased the full history and life of the tree. What a great conversation starter for guests coming to dinner!

Photo courtesy Danielle Clockel

By sourcing custom furnishings locally, our clients also gain the ability to tailor every last detail of a finished product according to their home and personal design style. For this client’s kitchen renovation in the historic Lake Claire neighborhood of Atlanta, we teamed up with The Jack Ellis Company again to hand-craft all of the cabinetry, shelving, bar top from locally salvaged wood. Our design became a reality, as each piece was perfectly crafted to complement the age and unique architecture of this Craftsman-style home.

Whether it’s custom furniture, cabinetry, or a piece of art, we love the idea of repurposing materials that would normally end up in a landfill and giving them a second life in the homes of our clients to enjoy for years to come.

Innovation In Design

By the Balance Design Team

Innovation is one of our core values, both in our process and our final designs. But what does that really mean? Shelby walks us through a few of her projects and explains how outside the box thinking led to incredible spaces for her clients.

Photo Courtesy of Gary Gomez

These clients contacted us to renovate their entryway and dining room, which are connected by a beautiful arched doorway that’s totally original to the 1910 home. They wanted the entrance to function as a study area but still feel open and connected to the dining room. The only way they could see achieving this was to demo the arched wall to open up the space. We hated the idea of getting rid of such a gorgeous and historic feature, so we suggested keeping the arch, cutting into the adjacent wall, and wrapping built-in shelving around the dining room into the entryway. It was so important for us to preserve this architectural detail in the space but still create that open and inviting vibe. Now the two spaces are configured perfectly for storage as well as a space to entertain.

Photo Courtesy of Christina Wedge

A newly purchased midtown condo with beautiful architectural details dating back to 1914 presented a challenge for the new homeowners. At the top of their wishlist was a wet room (a soaking tub in the same area as the shower, enclosed behind shower glass doors). The clients’ master bathroom was a cramped space, but we saw a lot of potential. After reviewing the floor plan, we found that we could turn the adjoining closet into a toilet room and use the entirety of the original bathroom to create a wet room with a floating bath vanity (and a floating makeup vanity!). To say we utilized every last inch of space is an understatement, but the final result was a stunning and zen like retreat.

It takes a lot of trust (and the occasional leap of faith) to let someone into your home and allow them to change things up to create your vision, and we are eternally grateful to our amazing clients who bestow this honor on us. This trust is what allows us to think outside the box and take these chances in design — we couldn’t do it without them!