Monthly Archives: October 2013

Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

The Balsam Hill Traveler: Europe’s Breathtaking Castles

Throughout history, few dwelling places could capture imaginations and command attention more than the great medieval castle. Devised to offer protection in an era of the feudal system, these magnificent manors housed and protected its inhabitants from outside forces and raids that threatened their very survival.

Other estates have also undergone numerous transformations and were family retreats and hunting lodges. Today, they have become timeless ‘studies’ to remind us of a world of long ago and history itself. Join The Balsam Hill Traveler as we visit five of the world’s most breathtaking castles. Marvel at the artistic beauty of these enduring sanctuaries.

The Windsor Castle of England

Built during the 11th century as a citadel for the Norman king William I, the Windsor Castle continue to serve as one of the official residences of the British royal family. Located in the town of Windsor, this ancient castle covers an area of about 13 acres and contains the State Apartments furnished with treasures from the Royal Collection, the great miniature masterpiece Queen Mary’s Dolls House, and the historic St. George’s Chapel where 10 former monarchs are buried.

Windsor Castle
Photo from CodyR via flickr. CC BY 2.0


A well-preserved relic of medieval European architecture, the first engineers of the Windsor Castle used an evolved Norman Motte and Bailey design in order to make the castle more structurally sound and virtually impregnable. They collected stones and chalk from the surrounding area as materials for the construction.

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Autumn Colors: The Warm Shades of Red

One of the remarkable colors found in the autumn landscape is the poignant shade of red. Deep, evocative, and imbued with the warmth of the summer, this hue represents the last breath of vibrant beauty that spreads throughout the country before the cold months of winter settle in.

crisp autumn leaves with a red shade

Inspire life into your home with the moving tone of the autumn season with these design ideas from the Balsam Hill blog.

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

How to Host an Autumn Party

Gatherings during the fall are truly unforgettable. The warm sense brought by the stunning colors of autumn makes the season a great time to throw a party for your colleagues, friends, or relatives. While the air is crisp and the outdoors are embellished by gorgeous works of nature, get together with your loved ones to enjoy the ambiance and the beauty of life.

In this post, Balsam Hill shares with you some wonderful ideas for decorating and entertaining at home. Celebrate the beauty of autumn with family and friends and mark the beginning of a glorious and bountiful season.
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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Rugs that Make a Statement

Rugs have been used throughout history for various reasons. While their first qualities were from a practical standpoint of warmth and softness – both significantly functional characteristics – others have emerged. Rugs define space, outline seating areas, and provide style that can easily set the tone of a room in an instant. Here’s how you can add style and visual comfort to your home using rugs:

Patterned Rugs

Geometric Pattern

Setting the mood of a room, a rug’s design and pattern is a wonderful way to reflect your unique taste and style. For a bold statement in your living room, choose a geometric print in a contrasting color scheme.

This stunning rug provides the right amount of visual contrast and balance. Its edgy pattern creates a focal point and offers a flattering backdrop against the simple furniture.

A rug with a geometric pattern in a contemporary living room
Contemporary Living Room by Austin Architects & Designers Chioco Design

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Decorating for Autumn: 5 Gorgeous Fall Mantels for Your Home

With the cooler climate of autumn finally settling in, it is time once again to redecorate our home to relish the season. And as we shift to a warmer and cozier focus, we begin by updating the look of our favorite area for the family to assemble, the fireplace. Join Balsam Hill as we review five stylish ways to transform your mantel to promote the autumn season.

man/t’l n. – The facing of stone, marble about a fireplace, including a projecting shelf or slab above it

Pumpkins and Gourds


Transform your fireplace into a vision of nature-inspired elegance by placing the bounty of harvest on your mantel. By using accents from nature, such as pumpkins, gourds, and feathers, you can present the sense of the autumn season into your home. Placing autumn flowers and dried foliage can also add to the pastoral look of your mantel.

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Autumn Colors: The Timeless Shades of Brown

The classic tones of brown look even more gorgeous during the fall season. Juxtaposed with the myriad of deep colors that envelop nature during this period, the beauty of this pigment is made more apparent, highlighting the irresistible qualities of this hue. Bring the beauty of brown into your precious home with these refined design ideas from the Balsam Hill blog.

autumn dry leaves featuring the color brown
Photo by Horia Varlan via flickr. CC-BY-2.0

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Autumn Colors: The Intense and Vibrant Shades of Orange

Nothing captures the drama and beauty of autumn more than the color orange. This hue perfectly encapsulates the gorgeous landscapes and the expectant mood that people associate with fall. Bring the appeal of this season into your home with these marvelous design ideas featuring the lovely shade of orange:

the wonderful and bright hue of orange that comes with fall
Photo by Carelinamia via flickr. CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Decorating for Autumn: A Warm Welcome in Your Porch, Patio, and Portico

The vast outdoors rapidly change once fall arrives. A fine way to welcome the gorgeous new season is to redecorate your home exteriors and give them a wonderful look that perfectly matches autumn. In our second feature on Decorating for Autumn, we give you marvelous ideas for your porch, patio, and portico that will brilliantly complement the deep and spectacular colors of everyone’s favorite season.

the autumn season brings different shades of color to the outdoor landscape

Photo by blmiers2 via flickr. CC BY NC-SA 2.0.

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Dagmar Obert | Balsam Hill Design Consultant

Decorating for Autumn: How to Use Pumpkins and Gourds as Elegant Décor

Pumpkins and gourds are among the simplest and most charming decorations that abound during the fall season. These nature-inspired accent pieces represent a bountiful harvest. Their vibrant colors and smooth texture and contours bring to life even the quietest corners of your home. The first post in our new series, Decorating for Autumn, will give you creative ideas for turning pumpkins and gourds into elegant home décor.

Pumpkins as Candle Holders

Enhance the warmth and coziness of your home to match the cooler climate of autumn by adding a few candles placed in small orange pumpkins. The solid round base of the vegetable provides an excellent and sturdy support for the candles while its orange color adds a warm and cheerful look to your space.

Balsam Hill Pumpkin Candle Holders

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