exterior design Posts

Top 5 Quintessential Courtyards.

By: The Balance Design Team

As the weather gets warmer, people tend to talk about “porch season” or “deck weather” in terms of spending more time in their outdoor spaces. But let’s not forget courtyards! From grand, lush British gardens to architecturally focused Turkish temples, the style range is immense. Take a walk with us through some of the courtyards of our dreams…

Having a courtyard sounds like such a lavish luxury only attainable if you have a huge expanse of space in your home or yard. Not true! This Paris hotel does what Parisians do best: fit impeccable style into a small space.

But speaking of lavish luxury, the courtyard of the Riad Johara in Marrakech is doing it so right. This is everything we love about Moroccan style: cobalt blues, beautifully patterned tiles, and architectural shapes that are unmistakable (and astounding).

On the flip side of that coin, a simplified approach can be just as beautiful. This minimalist courtyard evokes a calm, quiet feeling and puts the focus on the experience of being outside. We can almost hear the quiet birds chirping and the soft breeze blowing.

We love a good fire pit, especially in such a lovely little courtyard. Balancing out the gravel ground with lush blooming hydrangeas and climbing vines creates a welcoming and intimate atmosphere.

We weren’t going to let this post go by without featuring a courtyard with a pool! Plus, look at those carved wooden doors, tropical palms, and crisp white facade. This is paradise.

In the most basic definition of the word, a courtyard is simply an unroofed area completely or mostly enclosed by the walls of a building. But to us, it’s so much more! A blurring of the line between indoor and outdoor space, a meditative sanctuary to commune with nature, or a gathering place for friends and family.

Hello, Spring!

Primavera: a beautiful Italian word that translates to “spring!” With this beautiful season beginning to blossom, we’ve got some eye candy that is sure to motivate you to get outside and enjoy it!

Photos Courtesy of AlmanacWhats Gaby CookingJanus et CieElle Decor500pxLonny, and Love This Pic

Ultra Violet: Pantone Color of the Year 2018

By: Melody Richardson

Every December Pantone gifts us all with the Color of the Year. Last year was the fresh and bright Greenery, and the year before we saw the duo of Rose Quartz and Serenity. This year Pantone took inspiration from the cosmos, as well as some truly bright stars like Prince, Jimi Hendrix, and David Bowie, and debuted Ultra Violet.

Photo courtesy of Pantone.com

While we sometimes struggle with this color reminding us of Barney, our grandmothers sweater or a child’s favorite stuffed animal – we thought we could show some designer approved uses of ultra violet.  Think sultry, moody, restrained and intriguing! We found the following inspired photography to show this color at it’s best.  From the patina finishes of dusty ultra violet to the regal front door to the high fashion use on supermodels, this color does not lack drama.

Photo courtesy of Elledecor.com

Photo courtesy of today.com

Photo courtesy of frenchbydesignblog.com

Photo courtesy of apartmenttherapy.com

This blue hued purple can be seen popping up in some fantastically moody homes as well as Vogue fashion week in Paris.

Photos courtesy of Vogue.co.uk

We can not wait to see how else this can be incorporated into our lives. Ultra Violet is sure to make a big bang in 2018!

 

Need We Say More: Steamy Shower Goodness

By Melody RichardsonThis is the steamy outdoor shower of our dreams! This outdoor oasis is a part of the aptly named Woodman’s Treehouse featured by Dwell Magazine. We could certainly imagine ourselves freshening up and getting close to nature in this gorgeous space. Couldn’t you?

Serene and Strong: Zen Gardens

By: Danielle Clockel

Everyone needs a place they can go to be still and quiet, and unwind from the stress of the day. For some, that place is a comfy chair nestled within a room in the home. For others, it’s a luxurious bath. And still others find their peace in nature. The garden has long been a place to go to reflect and regroup, and none is more up to this task than Japanese zen gardens. (I mean, it’s in the name!)

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

While they are called “rock gardens,” don’t think you have to completely forsake your beloved plants. Most zen gardens heavily feature stonework and pebbles, but mossy patches and petite trees are also right at home here.

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Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Maybe you just don’t have a green thumb. Hey, we’re not judging you. Immerse yourself in the meditative process of raking intricate swirls (symbolizing ripples on water) into the pebble gravel of your rock garden. It may be neutral in color, but this garden has visual interest galore!

Minimalism may be a common theme in these kinds of gardens, but don’t fret, maximalists — you can still go big! Shapely trees, peaceful ponds, meandering bridges, different levels…this garden has it all.

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Photo courtesy of Damien Douxchamps.

You can still feature color even if you’re more into rocks than roses. Different stones have different hues, and arranging them in a geometric patchwork creates a fun, modern look.

Because of Atlanta’s climate, it’s easy for us to get wrapped up in landscapes full of lush greenery and bright flowers. But that’s not the only way to turn your outdoor space into a personal paradise! Just picture yourself in the quiet serenity of these zen gardens, and find your inner peace.