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!