atlanta Posts

Wanderlust: Turkey

By Melody Richardson

As a Turkish-American child, I remember splashing in crystal clear waters, enjoying spectacular food, and absorbing the fast paced culture of Turkey every other summer throughout my childhood. The country has always held a special place in my heart. My mother is from Izmir, a small town on the southwestern coast, but spent her teenage years in Istanbul, making both cities a home away from home for me. After the passing of my mother, my younger brother and I decided to make an annual visit. Despite having spent so much time there growing up, viewing Turkey through unaccompanied adult eyes gave me a completely different experience. This time I went off the beaten path, exploring islands, and smaller historical neighborhoods, while still finding time for our favorite places. 

When in Istanbul, we stayed with our Aunt in Kadıköy, a local neighborhood. Each day we gazed out from her balcony, across the water, to the Princes Islands. This time we were fortunate enough to visit those islands. We knew after a one to two hour hike to the top we would be greeted by a 200 year old church and beautiful views. We did not, however, expect to be met by wild horses! As we took in the beauty, we fed the horses figs and olives from the surrounding trees. The Princes Islands are often visited by locals for a day trip, and I have every intention of going back each and every time. 

After a few days in Istanbul, we travelled to nearby Izmir to visit my grandmother. Izmir has been dubbed Ataturk’s City and has a giant stone monument in his honor. Another thing it’s is famous for is the Karşıyaka Bostanlı Bazaar which is only a 5 minute walk from my Grandmother’s house- we never miss it! It is definitely not the ideal environment for the claustrophobic, but very rewarding if you dont mind a little hustle and bustle. The bazaar is always busy with vendors and customers bargaining for goods. From fresh fish and vegetables to handmade jewelry and traditional Turkish towels, you can find just about anything. I always end up bringing an extra luggage to fill up with treasures to bring back home. After a long day of bartering, a nice ride around the bay on the Bostanlı Ferry at sunset is a relaxing way to take in a once in a lifetime view. 

The final leg of the trip we ventured back to Istanbul to visit with our uncle and explore the more touristy areas of Taksim and Karaköy. I always like to visit these neighborhoods because of the incredible combination of new and old, foreign and local. There are modern, trendy shops and buildings alongside centuries old palaces, mosques, and architecture– including the second oldest underground transit system, inaugurated in 1875. You can see Turkish people and foreigners alike bustling through the areas visiting the shops and cafes. 

Being in that environment is an experience impossible to find in the United States, that I highly recommend to all that are able. Coming home to Turkey makes me feel closer to my mother, closer to my family, and closer to the culture that I so deeply adore.

Turkey is a magical place with incredible people, sights, and history. It truly is my happy place. If you get the opportunity to go, please don’t hesitate to contact me for information and tips. I’d love to share, give recommendation and wish you: İyi yolculuklar! (Have a wonderful trip!)

Sneak Peek! Candler Park Tour of Homes

By: Danielle Clockel

The Candler Park Tour of Homes is next weekend, and we are so excited about people coming to our neighborhood to see its charm and personality, especially since our very own Stephanie Andrews’s home is featured! Let us give you a special sneak peek into her curated abode.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

A deep purple velvet sofa (refurbished from a vintage find) rests atop a lush Moroccan rug in the light-filled living room.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

A striking staircase with glossy black trim frames a boldly wallpapered curved wall.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

It doesn’t get more dramatic than all black. We’re especially gushing over the mosaic floor tile hugging that curb. (Swoon!)

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

This petite breakfast setting is softly bathed in window light — the perfect spot for morning coffee.

Want to see this and many other amazing, enigmatic homes on the tour next weekend? We know you do! You can purchase tickets here — get ’em before they’re all snatched up!

The Experience of a Lifetime: Cashiers Showhouse 2018

By: Stephanie Andrews

As you know, we were selected to design the dining room for the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles annual Cashiers showhouse. At first we thought, “There’s no way we can pull this off in such a short timeframe!” This was completely new territory for us, and to be honest we were nervous about how we could transform this room in less than six weeks!

With not a moment to lose, the Shelby Adamson/Stephanie Andrews dream team headed up this massive project and discussed (with vigor) the use of the room, aesthetic inspiration, and ultimately the stylistic direction. Both were instantly inspired by the tile serpent on the floor that the homeowner had taken over a year to lay by hand herself. We chose Farrow & Ball Studio Green for the walls as the base of the dramatic atmosphere that only a dining room of this caliber can manage with ease. We also wanted to celebrate the beautiful acreage surrounding the home, so we set to finding the perfect set of trees to make an impact in the room (with 15 foot ceilings, this was no simple task).

We sought the help of incredibly talented artist and designer Steve McKenzie to create a massive, dramatic painting for the main wall. This giant triptych measured nine feet tall by six feet wide, and we could not have been more thrilled to work with Steve on it. And the result? We think it speaks for itself.

So what did we learn from this entire experience?
1. Sometimes you just gotta do something risky and outside your comfort zone — it’ll work out!
2. The other designers in the showhouse were not only extremely talented, they were also a lot of fun and super supportive.
3. Our favorite vendors really went out of their way to help us, graciously providing the furnishings to make our room sparkle. We cannot thank you enough! (Special shoutout to Steve McKenzie, Verde Home, Direct Furniture, and Trinity Mercantile.)
4. The Balance Design team cleans up beautifully at a black tie gala!

The entire home is awe inspiring, so if you want to get away from the heat, head to the cool mountain paradise of Cashiers, NC. Tickets are available through the Cashiers Historical Society website (https://www.cashiershistoricalsociety.org/showhouse) but hurry! This is the last weekend!

Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle’s Cashiers Showhouse

By: Shelby Adamson

We are incredibly honored to be chosen to design the dining room at this year’s Cashiers designer show house by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyle Magazine! The Cashiers Historical Society hosts this event each year as its largest annual fundraiser. This year’s home is a Mediterranean style villa situated on 42 acres, graciously donated by Terry and Brenda Beye.

The dining room boasts 15 feet high ceilings and an Ouroboros inlaid into the stone floor by the homeowner herself. We embraced these serpents and gave the room a dramatic feel while incorporating the beautiful scenic landscape. We almost immediately decided to paint the walls Studio Green by Farrow & Ball (kindly donated by Verde Home), a sultry and moody black-green that makes the room feel cozy and comfortable. We really took advantage of the high ceilings (and brought the outdoors in) by flanking Steve McKenzie’s gorgeous black and white triptych painting with a pair of sculptural Japanese snowbell trees.

To complement the inlaid stone serpents and give a nod to the mosaic’s eastern feel, we adorned the grand table with coral and white ginger jars (loaned to us by our friends at Trinity Mercantile & Design) and flanked them with two jade foo dogs. The result is a dining experience that embodies a Mediterranean courtyard, where one feels that they are enjoying a meal alfresco in a dramatic space that tantalizes all of the senses.

Spring Collection 2018: Bright and Bold!

By: The Balance Design Team

Join us as we unveil our new featured artists Crysta Luke and Emily Grant, and introduce our spring/summer collection.

We are thrilled to show the dynamic abstract art of Crysta Luke, some oversized and some petite — all fabulous!


We are also excited to introduce newcomer Emily Grant, showcasing her luscious and moody still life photography.


Join us Thursday May 24, 7-9pm for Latin inspired cocktails and tapas! See you there!