vintage Posts

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!

Fall/Winter 2018 Collection: Alchemy

By: Danielle Clockel

The time has come! We’re unveiling our 2018 fall/winter collection this Thursday from 7-9pm. As the name implies, we were inspired by the history of alchemy, a seemingly magical process of transformation.

Our focus is on refurbishing and reimagining vintage and existing pieces, as well as incorporating lush, sumptuous colors and textures. Above is a tiny glimpse of a rescued vintage sofa that you’ll have to see to believe the transformation!

Thrifted glass and bountiful jewel tones in our newly curated lounge area prove that being resourceful and creative can create truly remarkable designs.

And of course, we’re proud to feature the stunning abstract art of Steve McKenzie! Come by Balance Design in Candler Park this Thursday from 7-9pm to see the full collection (and get a MARI reading!). We’ll also be raffling off some incredible items, all proceeds of which go towards the Partnership Against Domestic Violence. See you then!

4 Vintage Designs That Are Still Pretty Genius

By: Danielle Clockel

While some things are best left in the past (like Aquanet hair spray, or wall-to-wall brown carpet), every now and then there’s a design innovation that stands the test of time due to its form and function. Here’s a few vintage interior pieces that we think are still pretty darn cool.

Photo courtesy of Mustard Vintage.

Popular in the 1960’s, mid century modern telephone seats may seem pretty useless in the digital age, but let’s rethink that. You’ve got a nice little sitting perch with an attached side table for storage. Pop a table lamp on top instead of a rotary phone and pull over a small pouf or ottoman, and you’ve got a sweet reading area to fit almost any size abode!

Photo courtesy of Home Made Lovely.

The secretary desk’s simple yet genius design is a space saver and the precursor to modern standing desks. Plus, it’s the perfect secret weapon for cleaning procrastinators. No time to tidy up your workspace? No problem! Just close up shop — we won’t tell anyone.

Photo courtesy of One Kings Lane.

Born in the Victorian era of manners and modesty, the tete-a-tete sofa pushed the boundaries a bit. It was a way for would-be lovers to sit close together (how scandalous!) while still maintaining  proper decorum. Nowadays, it’s a sculptural and statement-making lounge piece that fosters conversation.

Photo courtesy of Pinterest.

Who doesn’t love pocket doors? They’ve been around since the mid 1800’s, but their drama stands the test of time. Whether smooth and modern or embellished with moulding, you never have to worry about swing clearance in a room with these guys. In fact, they save an average of ten square feet of floor space!

While we love staying on the cutting edge of new design trends and innovations, we think it’s important to examine existing pieces to see their potential. Just because it’s old doesn’t mean it’s time to toss it! Look at function as well as form, and you might just realize you’ve got a gem on your hands.

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.

A Dark and Classy Upgrade: The Cane Chair

By: Danielle Clockel

Photography courtesy of Danielle Clockel for Balance Design.

We have a special fondness for giving new life to vintage and salvaged furniture. When we saw this rattan chair at a local shop, it was cushion-less and unpainted, but in beautiful condition. We loved the wingback silhouette and abundance of parallel lines, and knew with a little work it would be a perfect fit for our current Modern Gothic collection. We chose Studio Green by Farrow and Ball (an inky, almost-black green that changes slightly depending on the light) to add a little elegance and mystery, and created a custom seat cushion with lacy detail. In the end, the Cane Chair went from a bohemian staple to a sophisticated accent that would be at home amongst a variety of styles. Are you in love yet? We have two of these beauties available for purchase at the Balance Design studio! Come by and see them in person.