showhouse Posts

2018: Year in Review

By: Stephanie Andrews

The year is coming to a close, and what a year it has been! We may be exhausted in this last little stretch, but we’re incredibly grateful for all the amazing experiences we’ve had as a team this year.

Photography by Christina Wedge for Balance Design.

The beginning of 2018 marked the completion of our first ground-up new construction in Roswell, GA. Designer Elisabeth Paulson worked alongside a team consisting of the architect, builder, and client to create a one of a kind modern treehouse home overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Not long after, we said goodbye to Elisabeth as she ventured out on her own. This was certainly a difficult change for both of us after seven years together, but we still collaborate on our Grain series of furniture and support each other’s individual design endeavors.

Photography by Garey Gomez for Balance Design.

Another design achievement early in the year was breaking through the walls of an Oakhurst farmhouse. Newly appointed senior designer Shelby Adamson worked with a master carpenter to create a totally custom, delightfully textured library and bar.

Things really started picking up at the end of spring. We brought on Jennifer Carter as our newest interior designer and immediately felt that she was the right fit. With a creative spirit, kind heart, and experience on new-build homes, we welcomed her to the team just as we began designing the dining room at Atlanta Home and Lifestyle’s annual Cashiers showhouse. The whole team pulled together on this project under Shelby’s direction to create an opulent, al fresco dining room experience.

But it didn’t stop there! We were also featured as one of Modern Luxury Magazine’s 2018 Faces of Design, AND we brought on a much needed administrative team member: project coordinator Magnolia Triplett. With this additional support in our studio (and our online presence, in case you haven’t noticed that we majorly upped our social media game), we were able to work with exciting new clients in Druid Hills, Old Fourth Ward, and Sandy Springs. Stay tuned in 2019 for photos of these finished projects!

And of course, as you know, we ended the year on a high note with our billiards room design at the Christmas at Callanwolde designer showhouse. Designers Jennifer Carter and Melody Richardson transformed this dark room off the side of the main hall into a distinguished-yet-cozy lounge that was widely applauded.

This is all to express our sincere, heartfelt gratitude for all who have supported us throughout the year. To our readers, clients, friends, families, and colleagues — we look forward to sharing meaningful moments and real design with you in 2019!

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!

The Experience of a Lifetime: Cashiers Showhouse 2018

By: Stephanie Andrews

As you know, we were selected to design the dining room for the Atlanta Homes and Lifestyles annual Cashiers showhouse. At first we thought, “There’s no way we can pull this off in such a short timeframe!” This was completely new territory for us, and to be honest we were nervous about how we could transform this room in less than six weeks!

With not a moment to lose, the Shelby Adamson/Stephanie Andrews dream team headed up this massive project and discussed (with vigor) the use of the room, aesthetic inspiration, and ultimately the stylistic direction. Both were instantly inspired by the tile serpent on the floor that the homeowner had taken over a year to lay by hand herself. We chose Farrow & Ball Studio Green for the walls as the base of the dramatic atmosphere that only a dining room of this caliber can manage with ease. We also wanted to celebrate the beautiful acreage surrounding the home, so we set to finding the perfect set of trees to make an impact in the room (with 15 foot ceilings, this was no simple task).

We sought the help of incredibly talented artist and designer Steve McKenzie to create a massive, dramatic painting for the main wall. This giant triptych measured nine feet tall by six feet wide, and we could not have been more thrilled to work with Steve on it. And the result? We think it speaks for itself.

So what did we learn from this entire experience?
1. Sometimes you just gotta do something risky and outside your comfort zone — it’ll work out!
2. The other designers in the showhouse were not only extremely talented, they were also a lot of fun and super supportive.
3. Our favorite vendors really went out of their way to help us, graciously providing the furnishings to make our room sparkle. We cannot thank you enough! (Special shoutout to Steve McKenzie, Verde Home, Direct Furniture, and Trinity Mercantile.)
4. The Balance Design team cleans up beautifully at a black tie gala!

The entire home is awe inspiring, so if you want to get away from the heat, head to the cool mountain paradise of Cashiers, NC. Tickets are available through the Cashiers Historical Society website (https://www.cashiershistoricalsociety.org/showhouse) but hurry! This is the last weekend!