Balance Design Studio Earns Its Name

Catherine Weiland of Balance Design Studio uses biophilic design to make a kitchen feel like home
Words By Anna Mangum
Photos By Erin Little
Styling:Danielle McGee|Interior Designer:Balance Design Studio|Builder:MGM Builders|Installer/finish carpenter:Jon Williams

Extra outlets for electric slow cookers were a must, not a want. Catherine Weiland, of Balance Design Studio, had clients who needed a home that could host large gatherings, as they often invite their church community over for a Sunday potluck. The kitchen—a center of the universe for such an event—was going to be a high-traffic area in the house. To make space for the church crowd and kids running around, the clients wanted dual kitchen islands to spread out the flow. The sink and prep area for the island gives the chef enough room, while there is still enough counter space and outlets for guests to plug in slow cookers. Tucked behind the kitchen corner is the pantry, so the clients can easily move back and forth between areas when cooking.

Catherine Weiland uses earthy colors, making a soothing environment for the home chef and diners.

The colors in the kitchen balance light and dark. Taupe emphasizes the size of the large kitchen, while the gray centers it. As a designer, Catherine likes to find these complementary moments, often inspired by nature, or biophilic design. Nature comforts on a psychological level and makes people feel calm—whether conscious of its roots or not. Common examples of biophilic design are adding plants, earthy colors, and windows to a home. Catherine takes it one step further and considers how nature arranges itself. 

A floating staircase to the left of the kitchen enhances the earthy feeling of the space due to its spare and spine-like design.
A tucked-away pantry provides storage behind the cooking area.
The lines at the end of the islands and tile of the backsplash are spaced unevenly to imitate how nature arranges itself.

The lines on the prep island and the tile of the backsplash are spaced unevenly, like how trees might appear in a forest instead of a park. Behind the second kitchen island, the chairs have a similar style, but no two chairs are exactly the same. These subtle differences symbolize how nature appears beyond the windows in the kitchen and give the design an authentic sense of comfort. This kitchen invites people to sit down, have a cup of coffee, and be together.

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