Top 5 Ways To Keep Your Balance in Design ~

Let’s chat about BALANCE.  Balance in Interior Design is not too different from balance in other areas of your personal or professional life. Why?  Dictionary.com defines it this way;

bal·ance

[bal-uhns]  noun, verb, -anced, -anc·ing.

noun
  • a state of equilibrium or equipoise; equal distribution of weight amount, etc.
  • something used to produce equilibrium; counterpoise.
  • mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc.

Notice  common words of calm and stability? That is what proper balance can bring to a well designed space. When a room is out of balance, you will tend to feel out of balance entering it or spending time in it.

A well balanced space can be determined in more than one way.

1. Visual Balance or weight: This can relate to a large bank of windows on one end of  a room with the opposing wall with nothing but a 12″ picture hanging in the center of it. It is important to properly balance the weight in the room. One side should not be overbearing. A solution to the bank of windows on a wall is a set of bookcases along the opposing wall to create visual balance or weight.  Notice in the definition above that other words for balance is weight and equilibrium.

Visual Balance, in my opinion, is the number one most important form of balance in designing a beautiful, inviting space and the one I will spend the most time chatting about.  It is wide ranging and encompasses more than the architecture of the room or large furnishings. Visual balance is key when accessorizing a room. Too much clutter can throw off even a well designed and balanced space. Balance your art and objects of desire appropriately, or better yet, have a professional Interior Designer assist you.

Visual balance allows your eye to rest between furnishings or objects.  A focal point is to draw your attention in a strong way to a particular spot or location in a space.  A focal point can also set the tone of the room and need to be balanced. A large stone fireplace on one wall is a beautiful focal point and you don’t necessarily want or need to detract from it, but how you arrange your seating around it can be very important to the success of the room.  The space created around furnishings and objects give the eye a place to rest. The balancing of tall and short is also key which gets us into another area of design, proportion, which Chatti Patti will address in a future post.  Maintaining good balance in very large rooms can be very tricky for an untrained eye and this is where an experienced Interior Designer can assist you in your quest for a beautiful and restful space.

Visual Balance

Beautiful symmetrical balance depicted here in this room. Photo via Pinterest with no credits.

2. Light Balance. You need to have more than a single glaring light in the center of the ceiling. Consider adding some perimeter recessed can lights or eyeball lights in front of a fireplace or bookcase. If you are using lamps, then you will want to balance the light within the space so as not to create dark spots. Offset the natural light coming in through the windows by installing a pendant light over a corner chair to cozy up the space at night or better yet, my favorite: sconces!

Light Balance

Notice chandelier, sconces, floor lamp, daylight and candles all contribute to a well balanced lighting plan.Via Pinterest, Google Images.

 3. Color Balance: If you have opted for a contrast or accent wall, then you need to balance the room with some of that color elsewhere in the space. Suppose you have a strong turquoise wall, placing similar color objects of art or pillows throughout the area or incorporating turquoise into a window treatment or area rug will bring in the aspect of color balance. The multiple strong accent colors shown in the picture below are well balanced, thus keeping the design pleasing to the eye, by the repetition and even color blocking of the color selections. Although the colors in the room below are very vibrant, the positioning of the accents still create a restful space!
Color Balance

Notice the accent colors are distributed around the room. The floor is anchored by a black rug and offset with black shaded pendant lighting. Photo via Pinterest, no url.

4. Texture Balance: If you have rough hewn wood flooring, don’t furnish out the room with smooth shiny objects and furnishings. Incorporate texture into the space by the addition of wool throws or an animal skin rug, etc. to “equal” out the texture.  Heavier weight fabrics such as the suede sofa shown below blend with the “feel” of the room in harmony. There is also a restful tone to this room created by the unification of color.

Textural Balance

Notice the overall rustic feel of this room via Pinterest. No furnishings or objects are too elegant for the comfortable balance of this space. Photo via atlantahomesmag.com.

5. Cost Balance: What in the world is this? This is a way I help clients achieve a well balanced project when keeping within a budget. An example of poor cost balance would be spending $10,000 on a down filled cushioned sofa and running out of money and then completing the room with put it together yourself furnishings. Great to invest in a few good pieces, but keep the “balance” of what you need to purchase in mind when writing those checks.

As mentioned earlier, not too very different from balancing your life in all other ways, keeping an eye on time with family, friends, work and play all take some effort yet yield great results as in good design!

Thanks for stopping by, please feel free to comment or ask a question!

Check back soon to hear what Chatti Patti is up to!

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The $35,000 Kitchen Island ~

What, a $35,000 island? It better be good! When you see the photos below, you will see the design gave the homeowner exactly what they wanted, a large multi-functional working space with room for two cooks and lots of room for guests to gather ’round!

As a designer who also does kitchen and bath remodeling, I can attest that many people do not have a clear understanding on one aspect of the remodel process and that is: LABOR COST and actually, rightfully so! Who knew?

Many people come to me with ideas of what they “wish”  to accomplish in their kitchen.  Some have done their research in regards to appliances, have possibly even been to a granite yard, etc. however do not fully understand the labor involved and that is where Chatti Patti comes in…to educate the consumer, even if you don’t want or need a $35,000 island.

In this post, Chatti Patti is spotlighting a luxury kitchen makeover that Patti Johnson Interiors designed and executed in the Columbus, Ohio area, focusing on just the kitchen island in this segment and what was involved for its completion to give you, the reader, an idea of budgeting and where those precious dollars go.

Here is the “BEFORE” picture of the kitchen prior to remodel by PJI~

Patti Johnson Interiors Kitchen Remodel

Here is the Proposed Kitchen Island Improvement:

Drawing for proposed Island and Kitchen Remodel

Here is the $35,000+ Kitchen Island after remodel by PJI~ two views:

A $35,000 Kitchen Island

Here is an approximate breakdown of the island cost:

Cabinetry  & Hardware $6000.00

Granite  $8,000.00: Two pieces, Total of 80 s.f. with ogee edge with 2 cut outs – no seams

Thermador 48″ 6 burner gas cook-top & telescoping downdraft ventilation system with blower motor ~ $5,000.00

Wine Cooler $950.00

Prep sink with food disposal and faucet – $550.00

Microwave – $550.00

Demo, Installation of cabinetry and appliances

Installation of HVAC (cook-top ventilation through floor and exterior wall to vent outside of basement in rear of home), Re-routing the heat duct into the toe kick of island

Electrical: Outlets for: Cook-top, Ventilation, Wine Cooler, secondary disposal, dedicated microwave outlet, and auxiliary outlets for standard kitchen use. Adding all electrical to panels in basement and bringing to code.

Plumbing for running gas line,  drain and water lines for prep sink.

Delivery, parts and taxes

Labor $14,000

Actually, the cost could have gone higher with the addition of a warming drawer or double drawer veggie coolers which in turn present more electrical, cabinetry and installation costs! But as you can see, there was Italian travertine flooring, perimeter granite (black galaxy), new appliances, window treatments, sink, faucet, tumbled marble backsplash, additional recessed lighting and chandeliers all to be worked into the budget.

Costs can vary. Why? Depends largely upon what currently exists in the space and what is being added as well as the quality and quantity of  cabinetry and appliances incorporated into an island. This home was less than 10 years old at the time of remodel, however Patti Johnson Interiors has remodeled  kitchens and baths in homes built during the 1950’s and it can require a lot more work and investment when it comes to code compliance with local entities by the necessary upgrading of electrical wiring & panels, outdated plumbing, discovering that there is no insulation behind the wall and the all around “UNKNOWN” factor.  Working with experienced contractors and licensed plumbers and electricians, all work is completed to code by Patti Johnson Interiors.

Chatti Patti goes GREEN.

Green & Sustainability~ How is this design Green you ask? Notice the perimeter cabinets are original; stripped and repainted with an automotive type finishing application, new accent dentil molding, toe kick and hardware were added as well as some re-configurations i.e. plate rack, decorative end panels, etc. saved the homeowner a LOT of money while repurposing at the same time. The cabinets were solid maple and in very good condition so refinishing them vs. replacing gave the homeowner the ability to achieve the more desirous features in the kitchen! All appliances removed were donated to Habitat for Humanity of Delaware, Ohio ~ PJI will always look for “Green”practices to incorporate into every design!

  • Part of the PJI difference and design philosophy is that you don’t have to replace everything! Often when designing a room for a client and specifying furnishings, PJI will suggest one or two focal or investment pieces and some basic less expensive pieces mixed in. Certainly friendlier on the budget!
  • The Patti Johnson Interiors Motto ~ “Transforming Spaces Into Beautiful Places!”. If you are looking to hire an interior designer in the Michigan or Ohio area, please contact me at 740-816-3606. 

Thanks for stopping by ~ Be sure and check back frequently as Chatti Patti shares her interior design insight and expertise!

Disclaimer: ALL Design and Photography property of Patti Johnson Interiors and cannot be copied without consent.  Thank You.

Art Studio is Open with some Green Ideas!

Art Studio is Open with some Green Ideas!

Recycled Tables from solid core doors

One of my contractors cut done the doors, laminated them in Pionite and now they are a showpiece. Booths and Chairs from Chicago Booth.

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