plants Posts

Holiday Home Wishlist

By: The Balance Design Team

While we strongly believe this time of year should be spent with loved ones, cherishing relationships and friendships, we’re also human — it’s fun to give and get gifts!!! What’s on our wishlist this season? Check it out below.

Stephanie’s Pick: Modern Mobile

Photo courtesy of Etsy.

There will always be a spot in my heart for modern mobiles. This particularly lovely one is brass, stainless steel, and copper, and inspired by willow branches. Mobiles are all about structure, proportion, and movement, and this one conveys pure grace. I picture it hanging above a reading chair in an office, perhaps as I continue to armchair shop Etsy’s vast array of emerging artists!

Shelby’s Pick: Teak Housewares

Photo courtesy of Steel+Plank.

This year I’ve tried to embrace a more minimalist way of life, collecting functional items that I truly love and will stand the test of time. When I came across Athens, GA based Steel+Plank, I fell in love with their curated kitchen accessories, especially these teak measuring spoons and cups. My family loves to spend time together in the kitchen and entertain, so these pieces are perfect for us to enjoy this holiday season! (PS – we met the ladies of Steel+Plank at an event recently and could not have loved them more!)

Danielle’s Pick: Indoor Olive Tree

Photo courtesy of HonestlyWTF.

I may have 16 plants in my studio apartment, but that’s still not enough for me. Most of my plant children are hearty succulents, cacti, and a couple of mosses, and I think I’m ready to branch out (pun absolutely intended) into a new plant families. Olive trees are a symbol of peace, and who wouldn’t want to bring that energy into their home? Plant a dwarf variety of this striking Mediterranean native in a cute planter and enjoy its visual energy in any style of room. Its sage-hued leaves compliment modern interiors and Tuscan-inspired sunrooms alike. Just make sure it can sunbathe a LOT — olive trees like 6-8 hours of sun each day.

Jennifer’s Pick: Concrete Lamp

Photo courtesy of Surya.

Concrete is one of those materials that’s better known for its structural purposes in the building world than in furnishings and decor. However, more recently, designers and architects alike have been drawn to its simplicity and versatility for styling interiors. Not only can this material add a soft, calming feel to a space, it also brings a bit of the outside world indoors. I’ve had my eye on this lamp from Surya for quite some time, being drawn to the beauty of its clean styling and the elegant pairing of the stone-like material with brushed metal accents and natural linen.

Melody’s Pick: Heirloom Tapestry

Photo courtesy of Anthropologie.

Having a large dog sometimes means sacrificing the option of having nice things close to the floor. But with a gorgeous wall hanging like this, I don’t have to worry that his nails will snag a loop or his hair will become “fur”ever incorporated into the weave. Often beautiful rugs (or even remnants) get stuffed into storage to avoid damage. I say appreciate them as art instead — tapestries are a gorgeous way to showcase more fragile pieces! This one reminds me of the Turkish rugs I’ve grown up around, and presents it in a beautifully different way. I love the old world feeling pieces like this can bring to a home.

Magnolia’s Pick: Original Art

Photo courtesy of Chairish.

Having just recently moved in to a new home, it’s taken months and endless hours of shopping/moving/organizing just to get my basic living necessities in order. Now that the space is functional, I can finally focus on making it my own! And what better way to do this than by adorning my walls with gorgeous works of art? This piece by Charleston-based artist Leslie Weaver (found via my new favorite vintage marketplace, Chairish) beautifully compliments the moody, expressive, and subtly feminine energy that radiates throughout my entire living space. In my opinion, there’s no better gift than something that truly resonates with me in the way that paintings like this do (not to mention, it’s a great conversation starter for guests)!

Are you inspired yet? If you still have a few people to find the perfect gift for, we recommend shopping local. Go out and about your neighborhood/city/town and find independent and small businesses to support!

Halloween Forever! How to Keep the Spirit Alive All Year Long

By: Danielle Clockel

Today is the day: Halloween! This is the peak of the scary season, when there are carved pumpkins, fake skeletons, and giant spider decorations everywhere. For some of us, this kind of decor never really leaves our home — creepy chic is a way of life. But beyond plastic bones and wispy spiderwebs is a whole world of stylish, more subtle ways to embrace your darker aesthetic.

Clawfoot furnishings don’t always have to be paws. This side table from Blackhouse is giving us major Edgar Allan Poe vibes with its raven black bird claw base.

Vintage medical illustrations are not only an unexpected way to adorn your walls, they also add a bit of history to your home. Even though at some point you’ll probably have to pack up your dangling Halloween skeletons, these works of art can stay put throughout the year.

These quirky dolls heads planters are just cute enough to not be absolutely terrifying. (Can anything really be that scary when there’s a plant in it?)

Not only is this coffin shelf an eye-catching piece for your wall or dresser, there’s also a satisfying irony in using an iconic symbol of death to display elements of life: thriving plants, favorite jewelry, cherished treasures, etc.

Candles always set a perfect mood in the evenings, with their warm glow and dancing shadows. Bring that to the next level by displaying dark colored candles with woodsy scents, and live your haunted autumn fantasy even in the thick of summer.

So there you have it. If the thought of packing up your favorite holiday’s decorations after tonight breaks your heart, never fear! There are plenty of stylishly spooky ways to incorporate a little bit of macabre into your home and “creep it real” well past October 31st. (Happy Halloween!!)

4 Design Books to Inspire You

By: The Balance Design Team

There’s something about a beautiful, hardcover design book that all the internet browsing in the world just can’t compare to. If you’re on the same page (ha ha ha) as us, we think you’ll enjoy this list of some of our favorite inspirational sources!

If you love color, pattern making, and rugs, Absolutely Beautiful Things by Anna Spiro will inspire you to paint, mix color, and just create! As designers and entrepreneurs, finding space in our lives to be creative is essential. This time spent unplugging and pondering art and design is sacred, and this book takes us there.

Noted father/son architect duo Eliel and Eero Saarinen are most famously known for their neo-futuristic music halls, Finnish train stations, the Washington Dulles airport, and the St. Louis arch (just to name a few). Saarinen Houses is a fascinating look into their lesser known ventures designing and decorating houses all over the world with their signature style. It’s a classic study on mid-century modernism, rife with inspiration for newer generations of designers.

Nomad Deluxe is the perfect book if you’re looking to connect with the essence of the author and the subjects. Through gorgeous travel photography, this book links people and cultures on a deeper level, which we find helps guide our design process in a more meaningful way.

The Little Book of Cacti and Other Succulents may not be your typical “design book” (because it’s a plant book), but that’s what’s so inspiring about it. There are well known succulents as well as rare cacti with shapes, colors, and textures you’ve probably never seen before. It’s a welcome reminder that beauty comes in an infinite amount of forms, and that not fitting into the mold is something to be celebrated — not feared.

We think online resources for creative inspiration (like Pinterest and Instagram) are fantastic tools, and ones that we use every day! However, there is a deep joy in the tactile experience of holding a beautifully curated design book in your hands and leisurely flipping through the pages. It really is an art form all its own, and being able to proudly display the author’s work on your shelf or coffee table is a privilege.

The Plants of Balance Design

By: Danielle Clockel

Nothing breathes life into a space quite like plants. They’re colorful, lively, and many of them improve the quality of air in your home. At our studio, we have really embraced this concept! Let us introduce you to some of the plants we share our workspace with, and see if any of them might be a good fit for your home.

Phalaenopsis Orchid

Ah, orchids. So beautiful, so inspirational. Phalaenopsis is a pretty simple plant to keep happy. Make sure it gets good light, but not direct sun, as it will burn. Set this orchid on a windowsill with a view of trees or one that is covered by a sheer curtain; it loves soft, filtered light. Most importantly, stick to a routine. Most orchids do well with a shot or so of warm water once a week. And don’t be alarmed when its blooms fall, it’s simply done with that bloom cycle! Stick to the watering schedule and keep an eye on the leaves. If they’re healthy looking, your orchid should bloom again when it’s ready. Your patience will be greatly rewarded!

Sansevieria Cylindrica

Sansevieria is a succulent, which means it isn’t very high maintenance. It loves sunlight, but even if you don’t have a full sun window it should do pretty well. Just try to keep it out of a dark shady corner, that will make it sad. Its watering schedule is every other week at most, so you don’t have to panic if you realize you haven’t given it a drink in a little bit.

Pilea Involucrata

Aka the friendship plant. Aww! This is a great plant for beginners because it’s resilient and low maintenance. Water about once a week, or when the soil looks dry, and it’ll be a happy camper. It likes a bit of light but not direct sun, so it can go almost anywhere in your home that isn’t totally shady and dark (ours have been happy on desks, in bathrooms, and in the middle of the room). Also, you can take a cutting and submerge the stem in water for a while and you’ll see it begin to root. Once you see roots, you can plant this new friend in soil and watch it grow.

Bromelia

The Bromelia is a newcomer to our studio, but it’s definitely a favorite with its tall, lively red flower. Ours is in the storefront window, which gets a good bit of light but not full, direct sun (which would be too intense). It lets you know when it needs water, as the water collects in a cup at the base of the plant. When you see that it’s empty, fill it up a bit! Enjoy all this beauty while you can, the Bro is a love ’em and leave ’em type of plant, only flowering once. Luckily you’ll get a good four to six months of prime flower time from one of these, and once the bloom starts to die, the plant will begin producing “pups” or clones of itself. So you can pluck one of the babies and grow it into a new flowering Bromelia! The gift that keeps on giving.

More than just being beautiful, plants have their own personalities and quirks that help personalize a space. While not every plant is ideal for every room (or every person), there’s certainly one out there that’s a perfect match for you. Do a little research and a bit of hunting at local nurseries and you’re sure to find your soul plant!

It’s Element-ary! How to Incorporate The Four Elements in Your Home.

By: Danielle Clockel

The four elements of earth, fire, air, and water were used by the ancient Greeks as a way to simplify life’s complexities. Nowadays, we often refer to them in terms of our personalities. For example, maybe you identify with the free-spirited nature of the wind, or are passionate and fierce like fire. Whichever one speaks to you, here are some ways to really get in your element at home.

Earth.

Photo courtesy of Femina.

Filling your home with plants is the best way to immerse yourself in earthy goodness. But what if you don’t have a green thumb? We love pressed plant art as a way for everyone to celebrate their earth element roots in a clean, modern way.

Fire.

Photo courtesy of Frerik Hylten-Cavallius.

There’s something so comfortingly primal about fire. Grand fireplaces and outdoor fire pits are amazing to gather around, but not everyone has the space for them. That’s not an issue for petite ethanol-burning stoves. These little guys are perfect for feisty spirits in any size abode, especially since they don’t produce smoke.

Air.

Photo courtesy of Studio KO.

This is an easy one: just open up! Open any doors and windows you can and get some air flowing through your home. That feel of a gentle, calm breeze — what can be better? How about standing amongst flowing sheer window panels like some sort of goddess? Yes, that.

Water.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Ceiling mounted rainwater shower heads. Floor inset soaking tubs. These are amazing ways to turn your morning (or evening) shower into a luxurious submersion, but what else? Match your floor and walls in a cool blue handmade tile to channel the experience of swimming through a beautiful lagoon every time you bathe.

Natural elements in the home, regardless of which specific one they reflect, make a space feel grounded, intentional, and authentic. And of course you can mix several elements in one room — whatever speaks to you!