Wanderlust: Las Vegas

By: Shelby Adamson

Recently an incredibly dear friend of mine invited me to her fabulous wedding in Las Vegas. To be honest, if it were not for this event I really would have no reason to take a trip to Sin City. For me, whatever happens in Vegas can stay in Vegas. I don’t gamble, I prefer a dive bar to a club filled with house music, and I would rather go to the real Paris or Venice than see the American versions in the middle of a desert. All that being said, here is my “skeptic’s highlight” of the city.

Image courtesy of Spoiled Splendid.

Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed with the canyons surrounding the city. I’m a Florida girl, and the expanse of desert was a beautiful sight to behold. My first stop along the strip was the Bellagio, a large hotel with a casino and shops on the main expanse of the first floor. High end shopping, Michelin star restaurants, and intricate interior details showed that no expense was spared here. After grabbing a cocktail and walking around, I have to say my favorite part was watching the fountain show that occurs every 15 minutes in front of the hotel. The fountains are paired with music (my favorite was the Pink Panther theme) and it is quite magical to watch.

Image courtesy of Cosmopolitan Las Vegas.

Yet another stop along the strip was the modern Cosmo Hotel, home to the Chandelier Bar. Pro tip: order the Verbena cocktail — it isn’t on the menu, but you will be so happy you did. This lemon verbena and ginger infused margarita is garnished with a Sichuan flower. Eat the flower before drinking the cocktail; your mouth will tingle and then go numb, but your taste buds will be heightened due to the alkaloid ingredient in the flower spilanthol. It’s a very unique and Alice in Wonderland type of experience!

Image courtesy of Conde Nast Traveler.

The details that go into each hotel really are impressive. If you know me,  you know I love to look up, and the Venetian had me marveling at its incredible ceiling. After popping into an oxygen bar and watching the gondola’s float along the indoor canal I made sure to get my fill of this ceiling before leaving.

Image courtesy of Shelby Adamson.

The dizzying lights, the sounds of the casinos, and the smell of cigarette smoke can be a bit overwhelming. So when I had a chance to hike Red Rock Canyon with a friend, I was eager to get some fresh air (this type of outing is much more my vibe). We were lucky to have a guide take us into the canyon and hike up the cliff, and learned about the common misconceptions that the desert is barren. On the way up, we were able to see all of the beautiful flora native to Nevada. The patterns in the sandstone truly were a work of art, and the peace and calm of the desert was exactly what we needed after the overstimulation of the Vegas strip. Ultimately we hiked to an elevation of 600 feet and looked over the beautiful splendor that is the desert.

My honest opinion about Las Vegas is that it is somewhat of a Walt Disney World for adults. I personally would prefer to visit other continents, hike Glacier National Park, see foreign sights. But overall I had a really great time in Las Vegas, and I was incredibly honored to be able to witness my friends beautiful nuptials.

On our Turf

What We Love About Our Homes: #bdhomelove

By: The Balance Design Team

Throughout the month of February, we’re celebrating the love of one’s home, no matter what form it takes. To kick things off, each member of our team chose the spot (or item) in their home that fills their heart with love and appreciation. As expected, the results were as diverse as each of us!

Stephanie’s Home Love

One of the most exciting things about design is having a concept or detail you really connect with, and then working to bring it to life in the entirety of the space. This was certainly true for me when I redid my master bath shower — I saw a photo in a magazine of an all black tile shower with a curved curb, and I fell in love with the art nouveau look. The process of getting my own classic black hex tile to line up perfectly was tough, and it took a lot of time considering it’s a detail many people would probably overlook entirely, but I adore it. Along with the natural stone black mica tile walls, my shower is a completely unique and refreshing experience in my morning routine.

Danielle’s Home Love

My philosophy is this: if you don’t love it, don’t let it in your life. This goes for clothes, people, art, and especially furniture. Sometimes this means having less than you expected, but as a minimalist and anti-materialist I believe this makes the things you do have all the more meaningful. Couple this philosophy with my love of sustainability and resourcefulness and you’ve got a gal who will visit the same thrift store every weekend for six months waiting for the perfect piece to appear on the floor. Sometimes, however, that perfect piece just falls into your lap. This incredible mid century credenza was left on the sidewalk outside my building one Saturday morning. As I passed by on my morning walk with my dog, I was immediately skeptical that it had been abandoned. Surely no one would leave behind such a beauty! Certainly the rightful owners would appear shortly to load it onto some unseen moving truck. But no, this did not occur, and after 20 or so minutes of a covert stakeout from the lobby of my building, I pounced. Now this lovely lady graces my living room and proudly displays some of my favorite antique cameras, cast iron kettle, collected/gifted art, and a very tiny TV. In a home full of rescued, refurbished, and 100% secondhand furnishings, she fits right in.

Melody’s Home Love

Dubbed the “Turkish Room,” this is my absolute favorite spot in my house. It is my quiet place early in the morning to sip my coffee, and my safe space when I want to feel closer to my mother. I can feel the love in this room each time I set foot inside. Normally, I’m the person who feels like the more color the better, however the creamy color palette in here is perfectly ethereal. Each and every item has significance to my family; certain pieces my parents collected through their travels, while others have been handed down in my family since Ottoman times. They give this room an energy that is full of heritage, tranquility, and love. While a lot of people may love to celebrate the new things in their homes, in this case I celebrate the old.

Shelby’s Home Love

In the past year, we acquired an antique upright piano and it has really transformed my outlook on our home. We are limited on space, living in a mid century ranch, but I really loved the idea of creating a music area in my home. The front room off of our living room currently hosts this 1970 Emerson upright piano, which sits across from a mid century credenza that houses a small bar and my husband’s record player. (Did I mention we painted the room studio green by Farrow & Ball? Major upgrade.) This small space brings me joy and encourages me to not only cherish my space but to learn new skills — and playing the piano is on my list!

Jennifer’s Home Love

When I think of the one space in my home that brings me the most joy, I actually find myself gravitating outdoors. Our back deck has become an extension of both our living and dining areas, especially during the warmer months. I find gardening to be very therapeutic, and a collection of mix-match pots and tranquil fountains have become the perfect vessels for designing little vignettes that are easy to maintain. By pairing brightly colored annual and perennial flowers and plants together in varying heights and textures, we’ve been able to create the perfect backdrop for attracting as many butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds as possible. The addition of the fountains this past summer and the soothing element of sound they provide has only added to the tranquility we find ourselves craving after long days spent indoors.

Whether your happy place is a whole room, a special piece of furniture, or even an outside area, your home should bring you peace and happiness. We’re taking this month to celebrate all the things we love in our own spaces — what’s your favorite spot in yours?

Exterior Lovin', Learn it!

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.

Curate My Life

5 Ways to Transform Your Home into a Modern Cabin Retreat

By: Danielle Clockel

When you think of a cozy cabin getaway, what comes to mind? Probably wood tones, comforting textures, and maybe some wildlife elements, but sometimes the style feels a little one-note. Forget what you think you know about cabin decor, and let’s get in the mindset of something edgier and more modern.

Photo courtesy of Trendir.

Yeah. More like that. Let’s dive in!

Wood Accents

Photo courtesy of Dwell.

Log cabins can sometimes have an overabundance of wood — wood floors, wooden walls, wood beams. We love this material too, don’t get us wrong! But using it as an accent or feature instead of overwhelming the senses highlights its natural beauty and character.

Wood Burning Stove

Photo courtesy of Charnwood.

No matter what style of cabin we’re talking about, a fire is an absolute necessity. However, we’re leaning away from grand mantles and giant stone walls in favor of small-space-friendly wood burning stoves. These can go super authentically rustic or more paired down, but the result is the same — a soul-warming fire. Bonus points if you put your firewood on display!

Mixed Up Pillows

Photos courtesy of Chairish, Zibbet, and Pinterest.

Plaid and buffalo check are time honored patterns of any cabin, and we are happy to pay homage to these roots. But a fun way to liven up this look is by adding an additional, unexpected style. Maybe some rug remnant pillows? Hey, why should the boho homes have a monopoly on these kilim treasures!

Faux Taxidermy

Photo courtesy of Anthology Magazine.

Speaking of accessories, let’s address the taxidermy trope. We say skip the dead animal heads and go the more environmentally friendly (and animal friendly) route with whimsical upholstered faux taxidermy. Go from creepy to cute!

Shag Rugs

Photo courtesy of Instagram.

We know, you’re probably a little surprised at this suggestion. Shag rugs are often found in either sophisticated glam spaces or funky global abodes (a la Moroccan wedding blankets), but why not a modern cabin as well? What’s cozier and comfier than a plush shaggy rug underfoot to warm your cold toes?

Winter gets a bad rep for being cold and icy, but who says that’s a bad thing? Surround yourself in a modern cabin aesthetic and revel in the cozy warmth it brings!

Need We Say More?

Need We Say More? The Le Cob Bath by Omvivo

By: Melody Richardson

In the past our “Need We Say More” posts have included pieces we were all in awe of. This time around, we thought we’d stir things up a bit. The Le Cob bathtub by Omvivo exudes modern luxury with its glass sides and waterfall drain. However, some of our team finds the impracticality of the sloped base less than ideal. Can we say, cold feet? Therefore, we are bringing the decision to you! Do you think this piece is the future of bath design? Or is it simply underwhelming?

Photos courtesy of Omvivo.