balance design Posts

The Home for This Holiday: Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Showhouse

By: Melody Richardson

Feeling rather ambitious, the Balance Design team decided to take on not one, but two designer showhouses this year. Shortly after beginning our journey into the Cashiers showhouse, we were asked to be featured designers for Christmas at Callanwolde.

Fortunately, this one would be just down the road in Atlanta’s Druid Hills neighborhood, not across state lines. As soon as Cashiers wrapped up, designers Melody Richardson and Jennifer Carter began to conceptualize the winter forest lounge that would soon be brought to life.

We knew this design would be completely different from the al fresco dining room we created for Cashiers, especially with the Christmas theme. Garlands, lights, and ribbon were a must, but finding a way to balance all of the delicate festivity with the overwhelming masculinity of the room would prove to be our biggest challenge. With that in mind, we dove right into Christmas — in August.

Dark wood trim with black leather panels dominated the room. We immediately knew we wanted to design a space that would highlight these signature elements rather than detract from them. We began our design, like all good designs, with the rug. We were fortunate to find a unique, style-appropriate rug from Anadol Rug & Home, and its color palette and motifs helped to guide our design and create the ambiance we were looking for.

After numerous visits to various vendors, multiple floor plan configurations, and a few bumps in the road, Balance Design partnered with Lewis and Sheron Textiles for our upholstery pieces in an unforgettable collaboration. The quality of the pieces were incredible, with supple leather, rich woods, and sturdy frames. It was like love at first sight, and we knew they were the key to creating the perfect atmosphere.

The cherry on top was the discovery of Katherine Mialkowski. A local artist featured in the Candler Park Festival this year, her stunning oil paintings brought a touch of whimsy to round the whole space out.

So, what words of wisdom can we impart upon our readers after two huge Showhouses this year?

1. Don’t bite off more than you can chew! — but if you do, just chew slowly. Cross your T’s and dot your I’s. Make sure you take the time to go through your processes. They are there for a reason. Pace yourself, you’ll do just fine.

2. Sometimes less really is more. In the whirlwind of decorations, sometimes we get caught up in adding more and more “stuff.” Scaling back allows the pieces you do choose to stand in their own light.

3. Collaboration is key! For both showhouses, collaborating with our favorite vendors allowed us to bring our visions to life. We couldn’t have done it without them!

The Christmas at Callanwolde Designer Showhouse is an absolutely lovely experience to get you into the holiday mood, and there is still time! Tickets are available at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center but hurry — this is the last week!

A Heartfelt Thank You!

By: Stephanie Andrews

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”  — John F. Kennedy

We each have our own personal reasons for entering the interior design field, but no matter what brought us here, we all strive to create spaces that make people comfortable and proud of their homes. We’re eternally grateful for the experience of working with our clients, their families, and their communities. In the spirit of the season, we thank you — clients, families, friends, artists, vendors, and fellow team members — for the incredible opportunity to do what we love. We hope our gratitude comes across through our dedication to all of you throughout the year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Fall/Winter 2018 Collection: Alchemy

By: Danielle Clockel

The time has come! We’re unveiling our 2018 fall/winter collection this Thursday from 7-9pm. As the name implies, we were inspired by the history of alchemy, a seemingly magical process of transformation.

Our focus is on refurbishing and reimagining vintage and existing pieces, as well as incorporating lush, sumptuous colors and textures. Above is a tiny glimpse of a rescued vintage sofa that you’ll have to see to believe the transformation!

Thrifted glass and bountiful jewel tones in our newly curated lounge area prove that being resourceful and creative can create truly remarkable designs.

And of course, we’re proud to feature the stunning abstract art of Steve McKenzie! Come by Balance Design in Candler Park this Thursday from 7-9pm to see the full collection (and get a MARI reading!). We’ll also be raffling off some incredible items, all proceeds of which go towards the Partnership Against Domestic Violence. See you then!

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!)

5 Looks We Loved at High Point Market

By: Stephanie Andrews

As designers, we are constantly looking for inspiration.  We want to be able to present new ideas with a fresh and provocative point of view.  This week we made a quick jaunt to Highpoint, North Carolina for the fall market.  We wanted to share a bit of what we loved during our visit.

Vibrant Patterns

We were drawn in by the vibrant use of patten and color that Julian Chichester used in their furniture and wall coverings.  They stayed true to their point of view and yet incorporated new silhouettes in a sculptural way!

Framed Flags

Bobo Intriguing Objects displayed white framed, huge nautical flags that contrasted beautifully against a rich dark background – a graphic way to add bright modern colors!

Outdoor Statues

Giant outdoor statues for the garden were another theme that we noticed at market.  We were so moved by the serenity of this statue sleeping in nature.

Natural Dining Chairs

By far our favorite dining chair at High Point.  The woven rope paired with smooth walnut wood displayed beauty in contrasting textures.  This chair was surprisingly comfortable and added a natural touch that could work for many different personalities.

Curved Sofas

The curved sofa was a delightful example of a fresh silhouette featured at High Point, and we fell in love! Organic curves really inspired us to rethink the usual floor plan and consider floating these beauties in the middle of a room. Either on its own or paired together, a great conversation piece for any gathering space!

We hope to make this Highpoint Market visit an annual tradition. Each year’s market introduces us to interesting shapes, bold patterns and innovative designers.  As always, we promise to share with you what’s new and inspiring in the world of interior design.  Happy Fall!