Curate My Life

5 Surprising Book Storage Solutions

By: The Balance Design Team

Summer reading materials getting a little out of control? Yearning for a way to celebrate your impressive collection of classic literature AND Marvel comics? Well why go the normal route when a storage solution can be part of the presentation? Observe:

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

We wouldn’t ordinarily tell you to keep your books on a staircase, but there’s no danger of tripping over them in this design that uses the protruding edges as shelves. This staircase/bookshelf is clean, modern, space saving, and honestly pretty genius.

Photo courtesy of Did Ya See?

This one reads right out of a Disney movie (pun intended). A ceiling bookcase is whimsical and orderly all at once, keeping the daily workspace free of clutter while creating a magnificent focal point.

Photo courtesy of Behance.

Minimalists, do you struggle to find a way to store your books that doesn’t make your head want to explode? These floating shelves are symmetrical and geometric, and don’t involve stacks and stacks of visual clutter.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Then again, maybe you like a little non-linear fun! This mandala bookcase is part storage solution, part full wall art, and all awesome.

Photo courtesy of HGTV.

It’s a lounge chair, it’s a bookcase, it’s the perfect all-inclusive reading nook! Don’t let the small footprint fool ya — this guy packs 27 square feet of storage space (plus a hidden compartment).

Whether you’ve got enough space to build your own custom library, or need something a little more compact, your bookshelves don’t have to be boring. What are some other non-traditional storage solutions for your reading collection?

Artist in Residence

How Art Influences Interiors

By: The Balance Design Team

When viewing art, it can sometimes be easy to see how one movement influences the next. But what about across mediums? Does sculpture influence graphic design? Does painting influence woodworking? Yes, yes, and more yes. As designers, we draw inspiration not just from our colleagues and predecessors in our own field, but also from the talented artists and makers in other areas.

Alex Calder and the modern mobile

Photo courtesy of Artsy.

Alexander Calder’s mobiles are sculptural embodiments of the passage of time and the movement of air. Simple geometric shapes combine with visual and kinetic movement to create inspiring art in motion.

Photo courtesy of ATY Home Decor.

Modern mobiles have taken many forms, from sophisticated nursery decor to innovative lighting. The impact, however, remains the same: an intriguing fixture of tranquil movement.

Georgia O’Keeffe and the beauty of simplicity

Photo courtesy of Widewalls.

Her flower paintings are iconic, but Georgia O’Keeffe did more than just magnify a part of nature — she took things we see every day (but may not stop to really look at) and gave them a powerful presence.

Photo courtesy of Lekker Home.

In design, it’s our job to bring out the potential in a room. Looking at a simple piece of furniture, we see not only its practical use, but also the way it relates to the environment around it. As Georgia O’Keeffe said, “I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way — things I had no words for.”

Giulio Aristide Sartorio and imaginative color

Photo courtesy of Arte Liberty.

Sartorio, an Italian symbolist, drew inspiration for his paintings from dreams and visions. In a time when depicting your subject as realistically as possible was the standard, he instead focused on his own imagination.

Photo courtesy of Elle.

We channel our inner Giulio Aristide Sartorio in each design by challenging the status quo, often through color choices. An updated color palette can revamp an entire room and create an entirely new mood, like a stately deep green built-in bookshelf, or invigorating deep blue dining room walls.

Betty Anglin Smith and mixed genres

Photo courtesy of Betty Anglin Smith.

Anglin’s expressionist brushwork and vibrant color create a modern interpretation of the the French impressionists’ landscape paintings. Looser strokes and bolder hues capture the essence of her native Charleston’s coastal light patterns.

Photo courtesy of Katie Considers.

Similarly, in interior design you don’t have to start from scratch to modernize a classic piece. Showcase your beloved antique by updating it with bold new fabric, pops of color, or both! This mix of old and new keeps the vibe relaxed and fun, yet elegant and elevated.

All of your tastes are interconnected and influence one another. For some, this means your style is cohesive and streamlined. For others, things can get a little more eclectic. Regardless of where you fall, embrace it! Get curious about why you’re drawn to something, and look at it in the larger context of your likes and dislikes. You’ll gain a deeper understanding of your overall sense of self and maybe find that there’s a common thread linking everything together.

Curate My Life, Learn it!

5 Magnificent Modern Rugs

By: Danielle Clockel

In design, the word “modern” refers to a wide range of attributes. And for rugs, these qualities tend to be pretty bold, distinctly separating themselves from other styles. So what makes a rug modern?

Photo courtesy of Loloi Rugs.

Monochrome grid. Paired with similarly angular pieces or contrasting curved furnishings, this is a minimalist combination that’s always on the cutting edge of style.

Photo courtesy of 1st Dibs.

Bright, saturated color. Coincidentally, such hues are often found in vintage rugs — isn’t it interesting when something old still feels super modern?

Photo courtesy of Kyle Bunting.

Textural optical illusion. Combining different materials (or alternating shades of the same iridescent material) and arranging them in just the right way can play the most delightful trick on the eyes. Look closer…

Photo courtesy of The Rug Company.

Geometric shapes. The bigger and more askew, the better for a totally abstract, totally modern look.

Photo courtesy of Elsebeth Studio.

Irregular shape. Don’t be a square (or rectangle) — an unconventionally shaped rug is a surefire way to bring your space into the future, where there’s plenty of different shapes to adorn your floors.

While we love our oushaks and flatweaves, a truly unique modern rug is always inspirational. Sometimes you gotta ditch the well-traveled path and go your own way — and if that way includes funky, fearless rugs, we say all the better!

Need We Say More?

Need We Say More? The Martha Mirror

By: Stephanie Andrews

Photo courtesy of Factory Italiana.

We love duality in design. The soft, colorful border of the Martha mirror paired with orbital lines creates a balance of ethereal whimsy and modern geometry. What’s more, Covi & Puccioni’s Factory Italiana handmade products are created in a centuries-old Murano glass chandelier factory in Italy. Modern furnishings + historic roots = WOW YES!!!

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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!