Curate My Life

An Office that Works for You

Week 5 of our Shelter in Place in Atlanta. We have a pretty clear picture of our new normal. Many people are working from home. We are zooming, face-timing, video conferencing, and trying to accomplish our work while in wonder of what the future holds. To say working under these circumstances is difficult, is an understatement. We understand this because we are working virtually as well. Monday meetings, client meetings, finding creative solutions without the ease of collaborating with each other at our studio, without the ease of popping by a client’s home to run ideas and questions by them, is something that we are beginning to understand. So we decided to put another challenge to our designers that may speak to you personally in these times. Design a serene, organized office that reflects a place that you would like to work- all of a strict budget. Jen tackled the $1500 budget and Melody had a bit more at $5000 (minus tax and shipping). Our hope is that these designs give you some ideas for your own space.

Jen $1500

Inspiration for the smaller budget office came from a few weeks of working outside on the deck and enjoying this beautiful spring weather we’re having in Atlanta right now. By creating a light and airy office space within your home, you can bring a similar feeling indoors on the days and nights when you can’t work outside. To start, a few key splurges like a grey-washed wood desk and a comfortable, stylish chair can be layered with clean-functional shelving and mixed media artwork. Then, a simple woven cotton rug acts to anchor the furniture ensemble, along with a minimal ceiling fan to provide an overall cozy feeling and much needed air circulation. Your once dreary office can become a fresh place you want to work in and be inspired by.

Melody $5000

The go to color palette for a “serene” space tends to use soft light colors, but what if you feel the need for something a little more grounded? The saturation of these jewel tones paired with the layered textures evokes a different sense of calm. The mixed metals of the bookcase and textured desk pair beautifully with the ombre floor lamp. The rich evergreen velvet of the office chair mixes luxe with function atop the mustard tribal flatweave. Cool marble contrasts the warm grasscloth when the clock is layered on the wall, and hung with the foggy forest print. Each piece is intentional and intriguing, giving this space a sense of peace and purpose.

Soon, these designs will also be available as Limited Edition designs. we will be able to send you your favorite design with the links to the items that can ship directly to your home, and some helpful design tips in setting up your new room. We hope that this service can offer some peace, beauty and respite during these difficult times. Please reach out to us at: [email protected] if you are interested in this or any of our virtual design services.

Curate My Life

Week 4: Expanding Your Shelter in Place to the Outdoors!

By: The Balance Design Team

At Balance Design, we have been sheltering in place and working remotely, much like the rest of Atlanta for the past 4 weeks. We have also been realizing how having some comfortable stylish spaces outside can keep up from feeling too cooped up. So, we challenged our designers to create outdoor spaces for the patio, porch or balcony that would be both stylish and budget-friendly. We gave Shelby a budget of $1500 and Melody a budget of $5000 for a bit more of a splurge. See how their creativity was not limited, even though their budget was!

Shelby: $1500 Budget

Total: $1390

Creating a serene outdoor space can completely transform your home life and take you on a beautiful get-away – in your very own backyard! By utilizing online vendors, we have pulled together a great budget-friendly space that can be easily implemented! Combining a sleek teak sofa with textural woven chairs, and layering with colorful accents and a smart rug, really pulls everything together. The icing on the cake is the colorful sailcloth (great for shading from the sun), whimsical accent pillows, and a pitcher of margaritas! A beautiful outdoor space can be attainable at any budget!

Melody: $5000 Budget

Total: $4475

When utilizing a larger budget, we wanted to ensure there was plenty of seating that could be lounged on poolside, or just enjoyed on a lovely spring day. We paired a woven sofa chaise with a swing to give every member of the family their choice in seating! The swing is actually a double, perfect for cuddling up next to a loved one, or curling up with a good book.  The pineapple wind chimes add a bit of whimsy that sound with the breeze and colorful pops from the rug, pillows, and tables bring a fun boho vibe that pairs beautifully with the subtle ombre coffee table. Finally, the striped umbrella keeps everyone cool, calm, and protected from the sun.

We invite you to reach out to us if you would like any design assistance during these unprecedented times. These designs are available from online retailers and can ship directly to your home! Your home is your haven and we think you should love it. Take care and stay safe!

On our Turf

Designers at Home: Challenges, Surprises, and Projects

By The Balance Design Team

Week 3 of our Shelter-in-Place orders in Georgia. We, like many other small businesses, have been facing some tough challenges. From not being able to move forward on some projects, to practicing virtual meetings, to homeschooling and not going stir crazy, we are all trying to cope with this new way of life. And although these are unprecedented and difficult times, we are eternally grateful to the healthcare community and essential workers for their service.

We thought it would be interesting to recant the experiences over the last few weeks of some of our designers, and gain a personal insight on everything from their thoughts and fears to fun projects around the house.


This time at home has been particularly stressful for me. As many of our readers/clients/friends know, I live in my childhood home helping to take care of my father who is in a wheelchair due to an autoimmune disease. Naturally, under the circumstances, we are taking every precaution possible to limit our exposure. Working from home, keeping up with the news, and maintaining the household/cooking has definitely been a challenge and I have struggled with my stress levels.

I have been saying that I was going to paint over the pink sponge paint from 2005 in my bedroom for a long time now, and somehow have never gotten around to it. However, now that I’m spending significantly more time in the house, I found the walls to be much too loud for my overwhelmed brain. So this past weekend, I decided to finally get it done. Many of my friends were shocked when I told them I’d gotten rid of the pink- it has been my signature color for 15+ years! And honestly, as I began painting, I had a minor moment of panic and regret – was I really ready to let go of the room that I grew up in? But now when I enter my space, I feel a sense of calm that has not been present there for a long time and I am ever so grateful.

If there is just one thing that you can focus on that will bring you a little bit of peace in this time of uncertainty, go for it! It will make a world of difference and grant you that small respite we are all desperately searching for.


For my family, just like many other families with young children during this time, trying to work while homeschooling has been our biggest challenge. I’m not going to lie, our first week at home was a complete mess – lots of meltdowns, stressful conversations and an overall feeling of being overwhelmed – with everything! Week #2 started to get a little better once my husband and I both acknowledged the simple fact that we could both no longer get eight consecutive hours of work in if we were going to give our son the attention that he needed. We have been able to prioritize a few work tasks per day for each of us, while taking turns doing 15-20 minute spurts of kindergarten lessons with our son and making time for lots of play to break up the day. Luckily the weather has been really nice here in Atlanta, so we’ve been able to get outside, go on lots of “nature hikes”  and tackle a few projects around the house too. 

Home projects are huge de-stressors for me. I love using power tools, building things with my hands, as well as the cost savings involved with fixing things myself while adding value to our home. With each new project we tackle, however, there always seems to be a learning curve we have to overcome or break we need to take to play, making most of our recent home endeavors take longer than they should to complete. Either way, I have found painting, cutting wood, and drilling holes all to be somewhat therapeutic and gratifying for me during this time of seclusion at home.


Photo Courtesy of YoungHouseLove

Over the past 2 months, my husband and I have been working on our outdoor shed. Ever since we moved into our house 6 years ago, I could not wait to get rid of the “red barn” in our backyard. The walls and interior of the shed were in great conditions, but the overall aesthetic was definitely not up to par with the rest of the work we have done on the house. Just like we tell most of our clients, I started off with an inspiration image. I fell in love with this shed from YoungHouseLove, and knew I could adapt it to fit our shed style and color scheme.

First to go was the roof! When our house’s roof was replaced earlier this year, we had the guys also replace the roof on the shed. Once this was complete, the doors were the next challenge. I had searched high and low for pre-made shed doors to purchase and install, but the only ones I could find with windows that would fit, were completely out of the budget. (Basically, I could have bought a new shed for the price of new doors). So, I set to work scouring the internet for how-to videos and ended up putting several techniques together to build the doors I had envisioned.

Next we temporarily installed the doors to make sure they’d fit, and then un-installed them to paint, caulk, and seal them. The exterior of the shed was then painted, and all new trim installed. The doors were re-hung and we set to work this past weekend constructing a new ramp for the lawn-mower to finally drive up! While the shed still has a few more details we’d like to tackle, like installing additional windows on the side of the shed with flower boxes, finishing the trim paint, and then organizing the inside, at least we have something much prettier to look at in the meantime while we sit out on our deck or look out our windows. 

My advice to everyone during this time is to just take it one day/one week at a time and not be so hard on yourselves if everything that you set out to do in the morning doesn’t get done that day. We only have so many hours in the day, and now that we’ve been given this opportunity to spend more time with the ones we love, we should definitely try and make the most of it, have fun, and just slow down to enjoy the little things.


All of us from Balance Design wish you safety, and peace of mind. We are all in this together, and we will all get through this together. Hope you find some inspiration and we would love to hear about your thoughts and projects, feel free to share!