interior design Posts

Wanderlust: San Diego

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

My husband and I recently had the chance to jaunt to the west coast, where I was a bridesmaid in a good friend’s wedding in San Diego.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Eater.

Photo courtesy of NBC.

Upon arrival we made our first stop at Liberty Public Market. Old navy barricades were transformed into eateries, bars, and craft vendors. What I loved about the space, besides the food and unique artful gifts, were the farmers market booths on the lawn and the vegetable garden growing out front. Spanish style architecture and bright paint helped us to appreciate not only the food but the detail in the structure as well. We loved it so much we went our first and last day in California.

Photo courtesy of California Beaches.

Photo courtesy of Traveldigg.com.

The next place on our list was Balboa Park. Rich in history, the park is home to multiple museums, performing arts venues, beautifully lush gardens, greenhouses, trails, and of course the San Diego Zoo. San Diego has the perfect climate for vegetation and it’s easy to lose yourself in the vast rose and cactus gardens. Our personal favorite was the greenhouse, which had an abundance of every plant you can think of. We even saw a staghorn fern that was close to 6 feet tall! Spectacular!

Photo courtesy of La Jolla Mom.

Photo courtesy of Hipmunk.

Our last leg of the trip was the wedding in La Jolla. The drive up was incredibly stunning with bright yellow and orange wild flowers climbing their way up the cliffs along the highway. We were lucky to have the venue directly on the beach, and allowed ourselves to get lost staring into the vast turquoise of the ocean and the beautiful topography of southern California. We treated ourselves to a night at La Valencia hotel, a Spanish style establishment built in 1926 that boasts original hand painted murals from the 1940s and is set right on the ocean. We did not want to leave!

We loved our visit to southern California and the only regret we had was not staying longer!

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!)

zen1

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.

zen2

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.

zen3

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.

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.

rothko

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.

Our Picks: The Ideal Poolside Chill Spot.

By: The Balance Design Team

Things are heating up here in Atlanta. Summer is just around the corner, and in our neck of the woods that is one long season! How do we plan to beat the heat? Dive right in!

Stephanie’s pick:

PoolSA

Photo courtesy of Home Designing.

I feel very inspired by Japanese zen gardens, like this one in Kyoto, Japan. My dream includes a natural pool with Koi, moss, pavers and boulders, wonderful Dr. Seuss-like trees and zen temples. Every place I look would be a place for my eye to rest and marvel.

Elisabeth’s pick:

PoolEP

Photo courtesy of Stylish Eve.

I imagine a scene where an architect, landscape designer, electrician, and pool installer held hands and sung “Kumbaya” when they designed this perfectly transitional poolscape. Always on the search for such cooperative examples of indoor-outdoor space, this patio has it all: outstretching architecture, multiple hang-out levels, sultry lighting, tropical foliage, even an impressive outdoor shower. Let’s throw some Moroccan tiles on the side of that hot tub and call it a day (or night), folks.

Shelby’s pick:

PoolShA

Photo courtesy of My Design Chic.

The foliage, the loungers, the incredible and beautifully set table — this pool area incorporates my two favorite ideas: hostessing and relaxing. This photo screams summer garden and pool party to me. Who wouldn’t want to sip on some bubbly rose at this beautiful pool?  Swoon worthy!

Danielle’s pick:

PoolDC

Photo courtesy of Life With a View.

Look, I’m just gonna say it: I hate hot weather. But I love water. How do I reconcile these two extremes? Natural hot springs, of course! This geothermal pool is nature’s hot tub, surrounded by a sturdy yet beautiful rock ledge and the delightfully gritty Icelandic fields beyond. Be still, my icy heart.

Melody’s pick:

Melody Pool

Photo courtesy of Decoist.

When I think of relaxing poolside my mind immediately goes to my childhood summers, where I would spend several weeks in Turkey. To bring that feeling home requires special touches of the mediterranean. In my ideal poolside setting there is beautiful blue tile work to channel the feeling of the crystal clear waters. It is also incredibly important to me to have a space to entertain and/or lounge from day to night and still interact with people in the pool. This setting gives me just about everything I could hope for; there is space to comfortably lay out and tan, swim, entertain, and even build a fire in the evenings. It is my ultimate mediterranean oasis.

Deirdre’s pick (our newest team member!):

PoolDF

Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton.

I love the greenery surrounding this pool, the lines and dropoff of the infinity pool, the wood deck, and the water feature gargoyle spouting water into the pool. Total eye candy. And the most beautiful and spa like pool I’ve been in! Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico.

However you choose to kick it poolside, we hope our favorites have given you the get-up-and-go to head outside.

From Start to Finish: Candler Park Custom Bar

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

One of our favorite things to do is customize a space to fit a client’s lifestyle. These design savvy Candler Park clients had just purchased their new home and brought us on board to update the kitchen, fireplace, and bar. They liked modern design, are friends with the distillers at Old 4th Distillery (known for their copper cups), and like to have company over. We designed this space so they can celebrate in style!

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.