Author Archives: Jessica

About Jessica

Inspired by my passion for the visual arts and my years of experience in the field of design, I enjoy a life of style and artistry. I am a devoted follower of minimalism and I believe in the marriage of form and function. I try to live by these principles, from my subtle but classic fashion sense when it comes to clothes and jewelry, to the various projects I manage and work on in my professional career

Influenced by the refined grace of Coco Chanel, the timeless beauty of my favorite city, Stockholm, and the new ideas and trends I read from design books, I try to infuse my life with elegance and sophistication. Join me on Balsam Hill’s blog to get my tips and advice on home design and personal style.

Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: 5 Elements of a Cozy Reading Room

Reading a book is a wonderful way to escape the many stresses of work. A compelling novel or an awe-inspiring memoir transports you to a different place and time, and gives you the marvelous opportunity to unwind and gain new and valuable insight into life.

More than just a pastime or simple hobby, reading requires utmost concentration in your own intimate corner of the universe. A reading room provides exactly that: a sanctuary where you can relax and delve into the pages of your stories, far from the distractions and noise of home life. Here are five elements of a tranquil reading room for your literary adventures:
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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Balsam Hill Travels: Martha’s Vineyard

When it comes to the best vacation spots in the country, few others exude the simple yet enticing appeal of Martha’s Vineyard. The beauty of this New England paradise – from its rustic architecture and landmarks to its seemingly unending coastlines – has captivated the hearts and imagination of all who come to visit for the summer.

This season, join Balsam Hill as we take a closer look at how each town on the island helps define Martha’s Vineyard as an ideal home away from home.
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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Balsam Hill Travels:
5 Summer Destinations in Europe

Nothing can be more intellectually stimulating than a holiday in Europe during the summer. This season gives your mind that much-needed midyear rejuvenation. It highlights the glorious colors of the world through the exuberance of the various cultures found on this continent. Enjoy the fine weather and take an enriching journey to five of Balsam Hill’s favorite cosmopolitan destinations in Europe.

Barcelona and Madrid

The sunny climate and flamboyant culture of Spain make this country an exciting summer travel destination. The city of Barcelona is famous for its fanciful but majestic architectural wonders by the renowned Antoni Gaudi, while the neo-classical city of Madrid is home to lovely parks as well as the Royal Palace, Museum on the Americas, Prado, and an Egyptian temple.
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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: Stylish Slipper Chairs

Introduced in the early 18th century, the slipper chair brings to mind romantic scenes from old films where a beautiful lady wearing an oversized skirt and laced corset sits on an armless high-back chair by the fire. Traditionally, this low-slung chair was used only in boudoirs to assist ladies in dressing.

While people typically no longer wear such extravagant clothing, this vintage piece of furniture can take on new life in neo-classical and transitional homes. Here are some of the ways old slipper chairs can be reused in different rooms.

The Slipper Chair as an Accent

Infuse personality and pattern into a room by using your slipper chair as a beautiful accent piece. If the original color isn’t already stunning, you can re-upholster it in vibrant fabric to add a pop of color.


Contemporary Living Room by Portland Furniture and Accessories thejoinery.com

With the right fabric, your slipper chair can expertly bring together your living room furniture. It can also enhance the look of the entryway while providing comfortable seating as you put on or remove shoes.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Summer Style Guide:
10 Decorating Ideas for Your Home

Spring is ending, and now is the perfect time to update the look of your home.  Invite the joyful mood and vibrant colors of the new season with Balsam Hill’s simple but lovely summer decorating ideas.

#1: A Splash of Color on Your Walls

Never underestimate the power of a fresh coat of paint. Changing the shade of your walls to a light pastel hue can invigorate the atmosphere. It perfectly matches the bright summer days ahead.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: Walls as Canvases

 

Walls tie the look of the room together. Even when you have the most expensive furnishings, your home design can turn into a disaster without an appropriate backdrop to envelop your space. How do you choose the best wall decor?

One thing I do is grab paint swatches from hardware stores like Lowes or Home Depot, and frame them up on my wall to add some color. This also helps me imagine how a space can come to life.

Most homeowners are now becoming bolder in their choices of wall decor. Some have even gone to great lengths turning their walls into their very own works of art. In my latest post for the Balsam Hill blog, I will show you five ways to transform your blank canvas into a masterpiece.

 

1.) Typography

Typography has now become a hot trend, according to Houzz contributor Becky Harris. Alphanumeric designs create a range of looks. Sharp edges exude a modern appeal, while fluid cursive strokes add a classic touch. Often, you can find vintage street signs or modern letter or number blocks that provide your home with that eclectic look.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Spring Style Guide: Plains and Prints

Home redecorating is a great way to showcase your personality, but it becomes more difficult when you are uncertain about using a subtle design or something bolder. Playing with colors and patterns allows you to create a sense of balance and contrast in your space. But going for the yin & yang effect may seem like a daunting task. A room can end up looking bland, or it can go overboard. The Balsam Hill blog lets you in on a few ideas on how to redecorate your space with colors and patterns but without the fear of “underdecorating” or “overdecorating”.

Solid Colors

If you are leaning towards something simple but are trying to get out of your shell, try using plains first. It won’t do well if you just buy a fancy printed couch and decide later on that it’s too flashy for you. Start small, but don’t be afraid to go a bit bold as well. For a fresh start, have your walls painted white. Then add an eyeful of color by placing a vivid red rug on your plain floors. You can also have your kitchen cabinets painted blue or a sunny shade of yellow.

                                                                 Eclectic Dining Room by Atlanta Interior Designer Habachy Designs

If you think the rug and the repainted cabinets are a bit too much, opt for something simpler. A few jewel-toned pillows on your couch will do the trick.
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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: Travelers’ Trinkets

8 Design Ideas for a Travel-themed Room

Every city, every town tells a story through its geography – and its culture. This story unfolds with every step of your journey. Enthralled by your destination, you return home having seen more than you remember, and remembering more than you have seen.

But memories of your travels need not fade like an old photograph. Showcase mementos from your journey. And incorporate travel-themed home decor that captures your love for adventure.

1. Maps

A great alternative to wallpaper, these cartographic designs exhibit cool coastal colors of blue and beige, while the continental patterns create a unique visual texture on the walls. Choose vintage-looking maps: their earth tones exude old world elegance. Take inspiration from the geography of a place as you plot your next adventure with friends and family.


Contemporary Home Office by Boston Architect ZeroEnergy Design

 

2. Globes

Like maps, globes infuse contemporary spaces with an air of adventure. Conjuring up images of faraway places, these pieces invite you to circumnavigate the world in one spin. Set in a corner and on top of old suitcases, this spherical accent may exhibit imperfections, but the flaws only add to the antiquarian charm of the piece.


Eclectic Living Room by Dallas Media And Blogs Sarah Greenman

 

3. Postcards

Postcards offer you a glimpse of the traveler’s life on the road. As wall decor, vintage postcards hold both an aesthetic and sentimental value because of the artwork, postage stamps, and scribbled messages on them. Display a set of five in coordinating frames to give your room little snapshots of the world.


Eclectic Bedroom by Austin Interior Designer Maureen Stevens

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Host a Mother’s Day Brunch Party

Mother’s Day is a celebration that easily conjures up memories of home. The way moms fill every corner of the world with love and sunshine elicits this warm feeling.

The pressures of the daily grind may leave you with little time to appreciate the role your mom plays, and few opportunities to express just how much she means to you. But there is still one day out of every year that allows you to remember and, best of all, reconnect with her. This second Sunday of May, go beyond the usual Mother’s Day gifts. Take time out of your busy week and host a brunch party in honor of one amazing woman.


Traditional Patio by Other Metro Media And Blogs Aiken House & Gardens

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: The ‘New’ in Neo-Victorian


Traditional Exterior by Downers Grove Design-build Oakley Home Builders

 

When it comes to bringing old world charm into modern homes, the neo-Victorian design remains a popular choice. What defines this style? The inspiration comes from a diverse mix of Gothic and Baroque as well as Old English influences.

Historic Homes

Victorian homes showcase turrets and towers that hover proudly; jarring asymmetrical facades; and ornate shingles, eaves, porches, and balconies that speak of extravagance. Inside, old Victorian homes exude romance through lavish furnishings and accent pieces in drawing rooms and bedrooms.

Original layouts from this era were, however, convoluted. These had a labyrinth of hallways and small, cramped rooms, particularly bath spaces known at the time simply as “water closets”.

Today’s revival of this classic architecture has prompted designers and builders to create more spacious, more functional dwellings fit for the modern lifestyle. My very own city of San Francisco is well known for breathing life into this old world aesthetic during the 20th century.

How does one incorporate the neo-Victorian look into a Balsam Hill home? Here are five surprising ways to put the “new” in neo-Victorian.

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