kitchen Posts

The Wonderful World of Smeg

By: Danielle Clockel

Oh Smeg, how we adore you. Your 50’s-inspired curved edges and fun and unconventional color options turn kitchen appliances from eyesores into eye candy.

A. Breakfast prepared with this toaster will be anything but basic.
B. What’s more Italian than sipping espresso from an espresso coffee machine actually manufactured in Italy?
C. How sweet is this cute little kettle? Tea parties await!
D. Somehow this blender manages to look modern and retro at the same time. We love it!
E. Your dishwasher doesn’t have to be a big robotic square amongst your cabinetry. Check out this lovely pink lady.
F. Last but not least, the iconic Smeg fridge. Perfection.

Timeless Design: An Oak Grove Kitchen

By: Shelby Adamson Pawlak

We recently had the opportunity to design a kitchen remodel for an endearing young family in Atlanta’s Oak Grove neighborhood. To accommodate their growing size, they needed storage and workspace, and quality materials to build it all. Our goal was to create such a space in their sprawling ranch home without it feeling compartmentalized, with a timeless style that would delight them for years to come.

A quartz countertop with minimal surface movement is beautiful, yet still durable for any food and beverage spills. A natural stone, Carrara Bella marble, creates a timeless backsplash without taking over the budget. As a contrast to these lighter accents, we painted the cabinetry a daring, chalky black.

We had some fun mixing metal finishes, choosing matte black for the faucet and brushed brass for the hardware and light fixtures.

But the piece de resistance is definitely the shelving suspended from the ceiling. This creates more dining space without sacrificing storage, and holds its own as a beautiful feature to display china and pottery. Its design is clean, delicate, and just the right touch of ornate.

This family deserved style, and we nudged them just enough to think outside the box and not be afraid of something unexpected and different. Functionality was key, but we’re also proud of the unique touches that make their kitchen a showpiece of their home.

Cookin’ Color: Bright and Bold Kitchens

By: Danielle Clockel

Kitchens are a big ticket item when it comes to your home’s resale value, and happen to be one of our favorite rooms to design. While a neutral white/grey kitchen is a timeless classic, we’re inspired by those who mix it up with unexpected color.

Photo courtesy of French Fancy.

This sunshine yellow is about as bold as it gets! The calm grey walls provide a necessary balance to the brightness of the cabinets and allows them to really shine.

Photo courtesy of That Nordic Feeling.

Maybe a kitchen full of bold paint is a little intimidating for you. Try choosing one piece to be your pop of color, like this lipstick-red Smeg refrigerator.

Photo courtesy of Domino.

Want color and pattern? How about an unexpected take on a backsplash: bold wallpaper! In this look, the classic marble countertop and simple hardware keep the vibrant floral wall grounded without squashing its wild side.

Photo courtesy of Farrow and Ball.

Even with a small surface area, you can still make a big statement. Paint your upper walls a solid color, or get funky with positive and negative space.

Thinking outside the box when it comes to your kitchen can be a little daunting. Renovations are a big investment and contribute greatly to the value of your home, but you don’t have to completely sacrifice style! Sometimes a little bit of paint or a single wallpapered wall is all you need to breathe life into your space.

Our Neighbors’ Kitchen

By: Elisabeth Paulson

The finished product of this home in the Lake Claire/Candler Park neighborhood of Atlanta was truly a result of contradictions. The galley kitchen was part of the original home, while the vaulted extension housed an overly-engineered laundry room and mud room. We unified this space with cleanly-planed, clear-oil-finished antique lumber beams that look like they were born there.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

We were lucky enough to work with the couple that calls this place home and get to know them a bit. They love cooking and beer and added their own distinct styles to the home: hers more farmhouse rustic, his more modern. A European drinking sink and fittings, handmade beer tapper, and chef’s kitchen spray faucet were only a handful of requests to make this dream kitchen.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

Since the narrow space didn’t allow for an island, we incorporated a New York style deli counter instead, opening up the windows to the side yard.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

The counter was built from a 110-year-old live edge white oak from the Emory University campus and formed the foreground for a truly unique quartzite wrapped bar and lacquered floating wall cabinets.

Photography by Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

This project was definitely one of our favorites! Not only were the clients creative and possessed an incredible sense of style, but the finished product is something we’re extremely proud of. With those exposed beams, a custom bar, and a deli style counter, what’s not to love?

Architectural Trends of 2017

By: The Balance Design Team

We’ve made our own personal resolutions for the new year, but what about for the home? This week we’re focusing on architectural trends we hope to see take off in 2017.

Stephanie’s Pick: Naked Floors

Stephanietrend

We’re always looking for green, sustainable building solutions, and remodeling with wood floors is typically a smelly, messy process involving sanding, staining, and polyurethane. Rubio Monocoat, however, is a plant-based, 0% VOC flooring solution with a one-coat oil finish. We have been using it to achieve a more natural Scandinavian look, but there are many different finishes available.

Elisabeth’s Pick: Modern Moulding

Elisabethtrend

A recent trip to Charleston challenged my “less is more” tendencies. This geometric wall moulding satisfies a historical desire to ornament your wall without terribly faking it. This monotone moody trim and wall color doesn’t hurt either. Consider taking your walls, ceilings, and doors to a daring level of embellishment!

Shelby’s Pick: Backsplash Backlash

Shelbytrend

My weakness is a beautiful and functional kitchen. I love the bespoke nature that kitchens are taking on recently, and an edited, clean design is always timeless. Sometimes the dominant, geometric nature of a tile backsplash can take the focus away from great custom cabinetry. Luckily, we’re seeing more and more home do away with the backsplash by either completely removing them, or pulling the countertop slab up the wall for a seamless look. Either way, the focus is on the beautiful custom work and not grout lines.

Danielle’s Pick: Cozy Conversation Pit

Danielletrend

Don’t get any shag-covered 1970’s flashbacks — modern sunken sitting areas (or “conversation pits“) are streamlined enough that they are comfortable without sacrificing style. This year my focus is on the comfort of design and not just the aesthetic, and sinking into a nest-like area such as this is just what I’ve got in mind.

Melody’s Pick: The Fifth Wall

Melodytrend

Though often forgotten, the ceiling is a great place to bring some daring personality into a room. The use of a wallpaper or mural will bring the eyes up and add interest in an otherwise overlooked space. Especially eye-catching with clean neutral colors and monochromatic palettes, the fifth wall is one to be embraced and utilized.