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.

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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: Walls as Canvases

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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

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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

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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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Balsam Hill_Mothers Day Brunch_Table Setting by Rosen Georgiev
Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Host a Mother’s Day Brunch Party

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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

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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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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

My Balsam Hill Home: How to Build the Perfect Sunroom

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The month of May ushers in just the right amount of sunshine. The temperate climate allows you to enjoy a quiet morning at the park or a fun afternoon at the beach, without your being scorched by the harsh sun.

With the seasons beginning to shift from spring to summer, now is the best time to transform an area of your house into one that welcomes the perfect weather: the sunroom. Let sunshine into your home with these tips for your conservatory.

My Balsam Hill Home: How to Build the Perfect Sunroom
by Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Modern Palaces: The World’s Most Beautiful Homes

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The concept of the home has changed over the years. It’s no longer a simple place where people dine, rest and live. They have become personal sanctuaries, a delightful space that provides comfort from the stress-filled environment of the outside world.

There are those who have taken this idea further. Instead of creating simple retreats, they have constructed their own paradises, grand houses that not only personify their owners, but also exude luxury and sophistication. In celebration of Landscape Architecture Month, here are five estates that have redefined our notions of what a home can be.

1.) Updown Court in England

UPDOWN_COURT_HELICOPTER_PICTURE_002

Photo by Lord Wishanger via Wikicommons. CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Upscale Upcycling

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Upcycling is a practice that is becoming increasingly popular among environmentally conscious groups and individuals. While recycling, on the one hand, is good, it involves breaking down something into articles of lesser quality—a process that consumes precious energy and resources. On the other hand, upcycling is about transforming a used or disposable item into a new and desirable product of higher quality.

Many artists, decorators, and designers have utilized upcycling to create exciting new products that are both fashionable and eco-friendly. Join us in celebrating Earth Day with these inspired upcycling ideas.

 

ecram1 flickr
Photo by ecram1 via flickr.com CC BY 2.0

1. Tea cups

 

If your favorite teacups have lost their saucers or gotten chipped, don’t throw them out just yet. Instead, transform them into beautiful candle holders to enjoy in your home or give as special gifts.

Making teacup candles is easy and requires only a few items like soy or bees wax and candle wicks. Add fragrance oils like vanilla, lemon zest, or lavender to make your candles smell even sweeter and more irresistible. Clara Bows shows you how to make these adorable candles in a few simple steps.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Timeless Design Ideas for your Patio

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The patio is not only a warm setting where people can host dinner parties and small gatherings, it is also a homeowner’s immediate retreat from the sometimes stuffy environment of the indoors. It is a space intended for relaxation, a place where you can breathe fresh air,  sit with a good book and leave your problems behind for a short while.

As far as patio designs go, you can never go wrong with a rustic look. They are timeless and they always exude sophistication. They also seamlessly blend with modern décor and any natural surroundings. Finally, there is something about them that’s comforting, as if they’re a gentle reminder of simpler times.

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Jessica | Balsam Hill Designer

Vintage Finds: Antique Home Décor

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Vintage home décor can give your living spaces an air of  nostalgia. With unique pieces placed in the right corners, your home allows you to embark on a journey back in time. But hunting for that ultimate vintage piece can be tricky.

Sammy Davis of sammydvintage.com encourages buyers to invest in antiques with a “modern day purpose” while highlighting the buyers’ personal style. Here are four design ideas that achieve a balance of functionality and timeless chic.

Classic Comfort

Breathe new life into vintage décor by updating their features. This antique industrial chair exhibits a brightly colored back cushion that not only adds pizzazz but also comfort. This minor adjustment can transform an otherwise ordinary piece of furniture into one full of character.


Eclectic Home Office by Idledale Furniture And Accessories Vintage Renewal

 
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