holiday 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 Simple Holiday Season

By: Stephanie Andrews

What a year it has been! We have so much to be thankful for: a thriving interior design business, a beautiful community, and some very special clients, friends and families. With the holiday season in full swing, it’s important to stay mindful of what is truly important this time of year. To us, holiday decorating means creating a space that is warm, inviting, and finds inspiration in the simple beauty of nature.

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Photo courtesy of The Kitchn.

Air plants and oranges. Simple, festive, easy.

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Photo courtesy of OMGLifestyle.

There’s something magical about the blooming of forced bulbs like amaryllis, paper whites, or tulips.

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Photo courtesy of Monika Hibbs.

A beautiful way to decorate the banister: delicate greenery, pinecones, and ribbon tied to the newels with floral wire.

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Photo courtesy of FamilyHoliday.net.

Don’t forget the fireplace! Seasonal fruit and pines create an organic and authentic ambiance.

We wish you the very best holiday season and thank you for an incredible year. Looking forward to a sumptuous (design- filled) New Year!

A Very Koselig Holiday from Balance Design.

By: Elisabeth Paulson

It is December 23rd in Atlanta, and the weather is cloudy, rainy, and unseasonably warm. Most of the season’s rush has died down and the best part of the holiday has begun: time with family, friends, or even the long-anticipated alone time. Either way, our wish for contentment and joy reminded us of a word that doesn’t exist in the English language: “Koselig.”

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Photo courtesy of Just The Design.

In Norway, the word “Koselig” (roughly pronounced “Kush-lee”) is both a noun and a verb. We understand it to be a feeling especially welcomed in the winter season: cozy, intimate, and warm. It could be a dinner, a conversation, a fire. To ensure my English accuracy of this definition, I decided to reach out to some long-lost Norwegian relatives who were generous in their responses. Here are some Koselig musings from the experts:

“Joyful, heartwarming, fireplaces and family, relaxed, balanced, safe.” – Anita Salamonsen

“You have just entered your home from a long skiing trip, you are cold, wet and the house was left with no heat on. You open the door, the heat is on, fire in the fireplace, dry clothes hanging over a chair and a hot meal with a burning candle is waiting for you. Your wife has made the house koselig for you. Then you give her a hug and a kiss -or- en kos.” – Arne Hostvedt (What a charmer!)

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Photo courtesy of Planete-Deco.

“It’s mostly little old houses that are well kept. And when you come inside it’s nice and clean and quite often full of little things the owners have collected over the years, and most important of all, candles.” – Lise Margrete Hostvedt Hjarder

“One meaning is a very nice time together over a meal, homeparty, trip travel, etc. Everything is warm, not cold.” – Wiviann Mostervik Hostvedt

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Photo courtesy of DigsDigs.

Here at Balance Design, we wish you all a cozy, content, and intimate holiday season. We are grateful for our clients, friends, family, neighbors, and talented team! 

Koselig, y’all!