art Posts

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

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. 

Abstraction and Color: Stonewashed Indigo Linens

By: Danielle Clockel

Abstract expressionism divides people like no other art genre — you either love it or you hate it. I personally love any art that moves me when I see it, and makes an impact on the space it inhabits. Let’s consider Mark Rothko’s color field paintings.

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Mark Rothko “Green on Blue.

A key player in the abstract expressionist movement (right alongside Jackson Pollack), Mark Rothko’s massive canvases of color are meant to be viewed up close and personal. They are so big that they surround you and engulf your peripheral vision, transforming the act of viewing into a complete experience. I can only imagine immersing myself in the cool blue and distressed texture of “Green on Blue” here.

rothkobedding

Photo courtesy of House of Baltic Linen.

The beauty of abstraction is that it’s up to the viewer to decide what they see. For me, Rothko’s painting evokes soft, stonewashed linen bedding. The deep indigo hues intermeshed with worn-yet-bright whites make me want to float off into a cool, calming dreamland.

Artist in Residence: Christina Wedge

By: Danielle Clockel

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Thursday night is our open house and our featured artist, Christina Wedge, will be in attendance as we reveal her latest work. We can’t wait for you to see it all in person, but as a little teaser we sat down with Christina and talked to her about this incredible series.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

1. What type of subject do you most enjoy shooting?   

Interior photography has always been a passion for me. The act of creating images, framing them, and telling a story. The process itself provides the essential inspiration in what I do. My personal work includes a lot of landscape shooting. I am obsessed with getting lost in areas without a GPS, discovering new cities and countries, and just enjoying the moment.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

2. What inspired your trip to Iceland and Greenland?

Growing up in Europe, I have always had a bad case of the Iceland bug and desperately wanted to visit this small island in the north Atlantic. I am fascinated by the volcanoes, the wild horses, and the hot springs in the middle of ice and snow. I have always loved the Scandinavian design style which is defined by clean lines, simplicity, minimalism, and functionality. I also wanted to see the culture and extreme environment of Greenland and was so excited when I had the opportunity to tag along with designer and producer Brian Patrick Flynn.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

3. As far as the natural landscape/ environment, what was your favorite aspect of the trip and why?

Truly memorable to me was hiking in the endless lava fields in Iceland. Experiencing the different colors and shapes of lava, some of which were heavily covered with vivid green moss. Getting lost and ending up in fishing villages where I stayed in hostels (and had probably the best breakfast in my life). Seeing the floating ice pieces on Glacier Lagoon being washed up on the black sand beaches. And of course the Northern lights. They were spectacular and I wished I would have seen more of them.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

4. Did anything surprise you about either country?

I could not get over the sheep head dish in Iceland! It is a traditional dish consisting of a sheep’s head cut in half on your plate served with vegetables. After taking so many pictures of the sheep on my trip, I just could not believe people were eating them. In Greenland the buildings emphasize functionality over form. Greenlandic homes are typically constructed of stone, sod, or wood, and many Inuit live in single-story, prefabricated wooden houses. Most are heated with oil-burning stoves. These colorful houses make picture perfect opportunities, but I learned from the tour guide that the colors were actually practical and indicated the purpose of each building: commercial houses are red, hospitals are yellow, police stations are black, and fish factories are blue. I am already thinking about going back there and staying there a little longer…in the summer!

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

  

5. What was the biggest challenge you faced on your trip?

I learned not to underestimate the Icelandic weather. It is highly volatile, no matter where you are. If you see a gas station, stop and fill up because you don’t know where you’ll find the next one.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

6. If you could bring back one piece of Iceland/Greenland, what would it be?

The little husky puppy that followed me around Greenland, and the most amazing silica face mask found at the bottom of the Blue Lagoon.

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Photography by Christina Wedge.

7. What other places are on your bucket list to photograph?

I am traveling to Tuscany Italy this June to teach a workshop and after that I will fly to Norway. The other places on my list: Australia, Israel, Patagonia, Tokyo, and the Faroe Islands.

5 Ways to Create Positive Energy in Your Home.

By: The Balance Design Team

We believe your home should be a haven, a place of peace and revitalizing energy, an escape from the stress of the day. While this involves very personal and varied priorities, there are a few tried and true ways to surround yourself with positivity in your home.

Stephanie’s Tip: Art Wall

Stephaniepos

Photo courtesy of Honestlywtf.com.

Nothing speaks to me quite like seeing my personal items displayed in a collection on the wall. Photos of places I have traveled to with loved ones, carvings, personal and family art, and ceramics can look amazing when arranged in a balanced and interesting manner. A collection like this is uplifting to look at and fun to tell friends and family the reasons why the specific items made the wall.

Elisabeth’s Tip: Bringing the Outdoors In

Elisabethpos

Photo courtesy of Bloglovin.

There is something about bringing home a new plant that heightens our senses and improves our mood. By reducing pollutants, carbon dioxide, and dust in the home, indoor plants are healthy as well as beautiful. There are other ways to let the outdoors in, however. Embrace artwork and photography with botanical designs, or the earth, sky, and everything in between. Open up your windows and doors, let a little dirt inside!

Shelby’s Tip: Organization/Minimalism

Shelbypos

Photo courtesy of MyDomaine.com.

Nothing makes me happier than quiet coffee time on a Saturday morning in a clean house. It’s my nirvana. Living in town in a small space really makes you embrace the “less is more” philosophy. I have learned to pare down my belongings to a minimal, organized approach. Everything in my house is a piece that is used often; I don’t collect items that I do not need or use (a la Marie Kondo), and everything has a place. Most importantly, organization and minimalism means that the items I surround myself with are only the items that I love.

Danielle’s Tip: Meaningful Pieces

As easy as it is to get swept up in what’s new and different, there’s something to be said for keeping a little history around. Maybe it’s a rug that’s been in your family for generations, or a piece of furniture lovingly handcrafted by a talented friend. To me, what really makes a home happy is when it has a soul — when it’s not just an assortment of the best looking items of the season, but a collection of important and meaningful pieces that carry with them memories and personality.

Melody’s Tip: Paint

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Photo courtesy of Houzz.com.

Paint can uplift the feel of any space. A clean white interior, for example, can create a feeling of unparalleled tranquility and comfort, an area to clear your mind and help you gain positivity and motivation. Equally uplifting can be a room packed with color! The contrast of cool and warm tones create an inviting place to share with others, and there is no better positivity gained than sharing a good space with great friends.

More important than a home that looks good is a home that feels good. What are some ways you cultivate positive energy in your home?