abstract Posts

Balance Design Open House: Modern Gothic

By: Melody Richardson

One of the best things about having a gallery space (besides getting to gaze at art every day) is meeting the talented artists that create meaningful and beautiful work. Whether it’s a long-time friend introducing us to her recent endeavors, or finally meeting a local favorite we’ve been following, we love broadening our artistic horizons.


Eva Magill-Oliver is a multi-media artist currently living and working in Atlanta, GA. The natural world is an ever-present theme in her work, and one that is transitional based on the landscape that surrounds her. It inspires her color palettes, the way she creates patterns, and informs the organic shapes and silhouettes prevalent throughout her work.

Eva had been working uniquely on paper over the past several years, but expanded her work to include oil/acrylic abstract paintings on canvas. The work is organic and playful and represents the continuously dynamic evolution that is the natural world.


In 1999 Kristin Thorsen accepted a grant from Georgia Perimeter College to study painting in Imatra, Finland. Guided by Russian and Finnish masters, she explored printmaking, painting, photography, and independent studies. In 2002, she was accepted by the Atlanta College of Art and received a portfolio scholarship. She made the most of this opportunity to hone her technical skills, receiving her BFA magna cum laude in 2004. She has participated in over 30 group shows and personally organized four solo exhibits and five group exhibits. Her work has appeared in galleries all over the Atlanta area, including a year-long exhibit at the Chrysalis Gallery. Her work can be found in private collections throughout the United States as well as Finland, Russia, Norway, Ireland, and Vietnam. She is a member of the Women’s Caucus of the Arts of Georgia, Wonderoot, and the Atlanta Artists Center.

Join us Thursday November 2nd for our fall 2017 open house! We will be proudly featuring the incredible works of these two artists, as well as revealing our new collection. We’ve designed and created custom pieces inspired by Eva’s and Kristin’s art as well as gothic European architecture.

Come by the Balance Design studio at 1653 McLendon Avenue from 7-9pm for drinks, small bites, and conversation! We’ll see you there!

The Expressive Line: Moroccan Rug

By: Danielle Clockel

Renowned American abstract artist Cy Twombly described his work as “childlike, but not childish.” This assertion referred largely to the freeform, organic lines in his paintings, but we also like this as a mantra for personal style.

Photo courtesy of Eye Likey.

Far from having a negative connotation, the word “childlike” evokes a sense of wonder, free spiritedness, and glee. And who doesn’t want a little bit of that in their home? We see these attributes (both conceptually and graphically) in Moroccan rugs like this one.

Photo courtesy of Nazmiyal Collection.

A rejection of perfection, this rug (and ones like it) embraces playfulness in design while still showing a mastery of craft. Moroccan rugs are a classic design staple, and it’s not hard to see why! Such a rug elevates any space while remaining fun and fresh.

Transitions with Color and Subtle Connectivity

By: Loren H. Pratt

Photo courtesy of Hygge & West.


Recently the talented team at Balance Design helped me select and install this Hygge & West wallpaper in the top stair landing of my home. The inky blue color and quirky copper design reflects the mood of my home: cheerful and playful, yet sophisticated and relaxed. It invigorates the landing by adding movement, and the metallic details reflect light, making the area seem larger. This wallpaper inspired me to make the most of my transitional spaces.

In the past, I viewed these spaces (front entryway, hallway, and staircase) as simply a means to an end — get me to the next real space. However, they don’t have to simply be placeholders for connecting the main living areas; they can communicate something about you and reinforce the mood of your home as well.


Color is an easy way to create mood and connect spaces. Blue is the primary color unifying the rooms in my open-concept home.

Photo courtesy of Loren H. Pratt.

Various shades of blue help the oversize photograph flow into the almost indigo color of the upstairs wallpaper. I love how the copper frame of the Brittany Kidd photograph (another Balance Design purchase!) complements—both in movement and color—the model’s hair color in the image and the underwater sea creatures in the landing wallpaper. Color unifies all of these spaces and helps you move naturally from one to the next.

Subtle Connectivity

I love a subtle theme. We’re not talking about your grandparents’ “Santa Fe room.” (I hope I’m not the only one with grandparents who had a Western themed room.) One or more subtle themes can tie multiple areas together. An implicit theme of water flows (couldn’t help myself) through the transition spaces in my home.

An abstract painting in the downstairs hallway was created at the beach, where the artist, Candace Greer, incorporated sand into the paint. The different blue shades symbolize the ocean and sky, and the hallway rug below the painting is reminiscent of coral. In the racy laundromat scene, the circular washing machines remind me of submarine windows.

Painting by Candace Greer.

Photo courtesy of Loren H. Pratt.

As I mentioned, the wallpaper contains whimsical underwater creatures perfectly in keeping with the water theme.

Photo courtesy of Loren H. Pratt.

Perhaps few will notice the subtle connections between these transitional spaces, but they really bring a sense of passage and evolution to otherwise mundane areas in our home. Take a second look at your “in between” spaces. Let them connect to each other and communicate something interesting.

Loren Pratt is a lawyer and legal writing professor who loves interior design. Her legal writing background influences her affinity for juxtaposing order and symmetry with personality and flair in decorating. Loren loves working with the Balance Design team when she’s stumped with a design challenge or when she needs a second opinion. Follow Loren to see what inspires her as she decorates her new Atlanta home. 

Oh Rug, where art thou?

By: Melody Richardson

As the newest member of the Balance Design Atlanta team, I have been fortunate enough to be thrust into the wonderful world of interior design. Coming from teaching elementary school, it has been big and exciting change. I have learned that creating a comfortable learning space pulls upon some of the same concepts as creating a comfortable living space. One key skill I have been made aware of is the ability to incorporate art and rugs into a design. We were lucky enough to attend a session on this very skill at ADAC last week. John Oetgen worked with the Hathaway Gallery and Moattar to curate a fabulous collection of paired art and rugs.


Pairing an abstract painting with a geometric rug creates structure while still celebrating the organic, expressive lines of the art. Common colors draw upon each other to create a consistent theme without matching too closely. The muted colors in this pairing create a serene and comfortable space.


The flowing lines of this art deco inspired rug bring out the same whimsy as the painting even though the colors are not an exact match. This rug is inspired by the Chinese rugs that were popular in the 1920’s, and embraces the decadence of that era with curves galore. The painting gives similarly luscious feel, with a figure gazing out into the distance. Each is a statement piece on its own, and together the two create a sumptuous feeling of elegance.


Both this beautiful large scale painting as well as the antique Turkish rug have a saturation of rich, deep color. Although they are definitely different in their styles, they complement one another through shared color, richness, and warmth.


Finally, we saw the use of a rug as art. This dragon tapestry speaks for itself! The vibrancy of the colors as well as the detail within the piece really make a statement. This is one rug we wouldn’t dare to walk on.

I would never have imagined the impact that rugs and art can have on a room design. I’m learning new things in the field every day! Colors, fabrics, stones, and floor plans — each day I find myself immersed in something new. I can’t wait to share my ongoing journey!

Textile Artists You NEED to Know.

By: Danielle Cornely

Textiles are more than just fabrics for curtains and furniture; there’s a whole genre of art dedicated to turning fibers into beautiful and engaging creations.


Kate Keara Pelen gives needlework a gorgeous modern makeover with her abstract embroidered creations.


UK based Etsy shop Sew Sarah Walton’s illustrative textiles look remarkably like hand drawn artwork.


Colors and woven fibers blending fluidly into each other are the hallmark of Mimi Jung’s textile sculptures and wall hangings.


Master carpenter + textile artist with a fashion background = textural wonderland of wood, metal, fiber, and reclaimed materials (officially known as All Roads studio in Los Angeles).


Chung-Im Kim’s voluminous wall hangings combine shape, texture, and pattern to create an immersive experience.

Looking for something modern, unique, and three dimensional to decorate your space? Consider textile art as an alternative to a traditional painting or photograph.