Courtney Balestier

Senior Writer, Creative Studio

Courtney Balestier is the Apartment Therapy Creative Studio Senior Writer. She holds a master's degree in magazine journalism from NYU and lives in Pittsburgh, where you'll find her doing DIY projects in her new house with her dog and cat (who are not being very helpful).
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3 Interior Design Classes That Will Make You Want to Go Back to School
One of the things we love most about interior design (and there are many) is how much there is to learn. Whether you want to geek out on artisan textiles, historical wallpapers, or landmark architecture, you can always dig a little deeper. And sometimes, if you keep digging, you might find that your curiosity is actually your calling.
Jan 31, 2024
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This Is the Iconic IKEA Product That Never Fails to Bring Order to Small Spaces
Do you ever look at photos of a beautiful home and think, “But where’s all their stuff?” The miscellany of everyday life — mittens, dog leashes, those packages you need to mail — can make even the most stylish space feel cluttered. That goes double for small spaces, where every square foot has to count.
Jan 29, 2024
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Everything You Might Want to Know About Molekule’s Air Purifiers
Fresh air is the difference between a room that looks clean and a room that feels clean. From pet dander to cooking smells, stale air can creep up on you in all kinds of ways. And Molekule air purifiers take care of pretty much all of them.Chances are you’ve admired the statement style of Molekule air purifiers, with their sleek modern designs and tasteful vegan leather handles.
Jan 25, 2024
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Learn All About Bed Bath & Beyond’s New Program for Small Business Owners and Design Pros
Bed Bath & Beyond has always been in the business of making home decorating easier, with a great selection, quality options, and affordable prices. And now, Bed Bath & Beyond is making it even easier for design professionals to create beautiful spaces (and get a little more attention while doing it).Bed Bath & Beyond Trade is a program tailored to the unique needs of interior designers and anyone else who helps people’s homes look great.
Jan 24, 2024
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We’re Giving Handmade Gifts This Year — and These Are Our Favorites Under $100
It’s no coincidence that some of the best gifts we’ve ever gotten were handmade: There will always be something extra special about receiving a unique creation made by an independent artist. And we love shopping for these kinds of gifts, too. Spotting something whimsical, crafty, or creative and knowing just the person who’ll love it — well, that feels like a present all its own.
Dec 7, 2023
We’ve Collaborated on a Colorful New Mix-and-Match Bedding Line — and We’re Thrilled to Finally Share It with You
We like to think about bedding like we think about putting together an outfit. Sometimes, we want to make the big statement of a monochromatic look. Other times, we want to mix and match complementary colors to create something with depth and layers of visual interest. And this was exactly what we were thinking for our new collaboration with the bedding company Cammie!Cammie makes super-soft bedding from 100-percent organic cotton with a 400–thread count percale weave.
Dec 6, 2023
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This Holiday Party Idea Is Relaxed and Heartfelt — and It’s Our Lifestyle Director’s Favorite Modern Tradition
At the risk of sounding cliché, the holidays really are about who you spend them with. We love to get into the festive spirit with sparkly decor, seasonal recipes, and holiday tunes, but the most important thing is celebrating with the people you love. As Apartment Therapy’s Executive Lifestyle Director, Charli is a nonstop source of creativity, from home decor and hosting tips to gift ideas. That’s the spirit behind Charli Penn’s “holiday wishes” party.
Dec 4, 2023
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This Robot Vacuum Fixed All of Our Pain Points About Robot Vacuums
No but really, why are robots round?
Dec 1, 2023
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The 3 Best IKEA Storage Solutions That Create a Functional Entryway in Any Size Space
A great entryway is like a warm welcome: Whether you’re opening the door to old friends or new guests, it’s your first chance to make them feel at home in your space. It shows off a bit of your personality, hints at your style, and creates a place for guests to shed their coats and get comfortable. And even if you don’t think you have the space for this kind of functional entryway, we’re here to tell you that you do.
Nov 29, 2023
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Our House Tours Director Sees Lots of Homes, and This Is the Single IKEA Piece She Can’t Live Without
Behind every stylish home is at least one great storage solution. Whatever your aesthetic, it’s only improved by pieces that keep clutter contained so your space can shine. And this time of year, we seem to need a little bit more storage for just about everything. Holiday decorations, tableware for entertaining, extra bedding for overnight guests: It all adds up to a busier home, in more ways than one.
Nov 27, 2023
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Make This the Year You Go All Out with an Epic Holiday Light Show
This time of year, there’s nothing more magical than a snowy scene of holiday lights twinkling in the night sky or glowing in the window. Contrary to what Clark Griswold would have you believe, turning your home’s facade into a full-on light show doesn’t have to be an extreme sport. It’s a lot easier now! And way more fun.
Nov 20, 2023
This Perfectly Proportioned Sofa Is a Dream Combo of Classic and Modern
Buying a couch is a big investment: Not only do big-ticket items tend to come with big-ticket prices, but you also want to make sure you’re buying something that’s going to stand the test of time. That goes for quality, of course, but also aesthetics: Will that shape or upholstery still feel stylish five years from now? And — perhaps most importantly — will I love lounging on it as much as I love looking at it?
Nov 16, 2023
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The 3 WFH Styles — and How Each One Should Set Up Their Workspace
At this point, you’ve probably carved out the space to comfortably work from home. Maybe it’s a corner of the couch, a seat at the kitchen table, or a dedicated office (with a door and everything!). But if the spot where you send emails and join meetings doesn’t jibe with the way you work, then your WFH setup can only work so well.
Nov 6, 2023
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3 Innovative Design Degrees That Will Make the World a Better Place
Good design makes our lives better in so many ways. Wherever we are, myriad design choices are shaping our experiences in ways we might not be aware of — but you can be sure the designer thought of everything.If you’ve been considering a career in design that makes a difference, the New York School of Interior Design can help you unlock this beautiful world of possibilities.
Sep 27, 2023
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See How This Fall’s Big Trend Can Work in 5 Rooms of the Home
This season, we’re setting our clocks way back: to the 1970s. Our favorite design trend of the fall is inspired by that dreamy decade’s desert hues, earthy materials, and sun-baked vibes. It takes that nostalgic charm and gives it a modern twist, for a fresh and timeless style that can work in just about every room — which is exactly what we did.
Sep 25, 2023
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3 Easy Takeaways That Show How This Before & After Nailed the “Modern Retro” Aesthetic
When Leslie moved cross-country from LA to Chicago, she found a dreamy city apartment with floor-to-ceiling views, hardwood floors, and modern conveniences. She was having trouble deciding on an aesthetic for her new-build bedroom — one of those all too familiar spaces that at first presents as an exciting blank canvas, but quickly reveals itself as a tricky style challenge. But the Brownstone Boys stepped in with a groovy idea: a subtle ode to ’70s style.
Sep 25, 2023
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Two Designers Share the Affordable Tips That Helped Them Pull Off Their Own B&As
It’s not hyperbole to say we love pretty much everything that both Katie Zamprioli and the Brownstone Boys design. In New York, the Brownstone Boys (aka Jordan and Barry) restore the city’s iconic architectural style and add vintage-inspired touches for modern living. In Los Angeles, Katie uses her richly layered aesthetic to create delightfully maximalist spaces full of wit and charm.
Sep 25, 2023
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Before & After: This White-Box Bedroom Got Warm ’70s Style from an Unexpected — and Affordable — Source
When Leslie relocated from Los Angeles to Chicago, she found a gorgeous new apartment with gleaming hardwood floors, tall windows, and Windy City views. She wanted to add personality to her new-build bedroom but was having trouble settling on a style. So we brought in reinforcements: the Brownstone Boys.Jordan and Barry specialize in restoring their namesake architectural style, and they love helping folks solve design riddles in their own homes.
Sep 25, 2023
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Before & After: This Designer Completely Glammed Up Her Entryway with Surprisingly Affordable Furnishings
We have a pretty big design crush on designer Katie Zamprioli. She’s never met a candy-colored hue she can’t style, and her maximalist mixture of vintage finds and quirky accents is expert-level. (Not many homes can pull off a fried egg dining table.) So when Katie wanted to refresh her entryway, we couldn’t wait to see what she chose. “I wanted furniture and decor that better complemented the wallpaper,” she says.
Sep 19, 2023
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Before & After: One of Our Favorite Design Duos Made a Retro “Conversation Corner” in Their Study and We’re Obsessed with Their Choices
Jordan and Barry, aka The Brownstone Boys, are living the dream. First, this DIY- and design-savvy duo turned their passion for Brooklyn brownstones into a gorgeous home for themselves. Then they started a renovation business to help other lovers of this classic architectural style restore their spaces to full glory. While the Brownstone Boys have already done enough DIYs and projects for their home to be completely stunning, they’re always down for new ideas.
Sep 19, 2023
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6 Smart Ways to Personalize Your Home — and Make It More Secure
Some home innovations are so game-changing that, once you have them, it’s hard to imagine life without them. Smart products definitely fall into that category. Whether you’re setting the thermostat remotely or asking Alexa to reorder toilet paper, it’s amazing to consider all the ways that technology has made our lives at home easier — and safer.
Sep 1, 2023
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5 Smart, Stylish Ways to Accessorize an Open Kitchen
Open kitchens are — and this is a technical design term — so much fun. Abundant natural light, beautiful open shelving, and unobstructed access to the party you’re hosting, even while you prep dinner. What’s not to love?After a nine-month renovation that delivered the kitchen/dining area of their dreams, Kirsten and her husband were excited to bring it to life with their clean, modern style.
Aug 18, 2023
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14 Things in This Open Kitchen-Dining Makeover That Just Make Sense for Entertaining
After nine long months of renovations, Kirsten and her husband couldn’t wait to get started turning their open-concept kitchen/dining area into the entertaining epicenter they’d been dreaming of.“The kitchen and dining area felt like it could be the heart of the home and the center of fun when friends came over,” Kirsten says. “The new open plan felt warm and welcoming — a perfect place for guests to relax.
Aug 18, 2023
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6 Tips for Designing a Stylish, Modern Dining Room
The phrase “open concept” calls to mind breezy rooms, natural light, and fluid movement from one space to the next. And after nine months of construction dust in their L.A. home, that’s exactly what Kirsten and her husband had: Their newly completed kitchen and dining room renovation created a bright, airy footprint for entertaining family and friends. But it was also, for a moment, a big empty space.
Aug 18, 2023
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Our Lifestyle Expert’s Glam Micro-Makeover Gave Her Entryway a Smart Design — for All the Senses
You know that one accessory, maybe it’s a statement necklace or a cool pair of sneakers, that instantly makes any outfit 10 percent more stylish? There are spots in our homes like that too. They don’t take much work to shine (that’s the whole point!), yet they look amazing. And they make the rest of your home look amazing too.
Aug 15, 2023
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Our Home Design Director’s Room Refresh Uses a Tried-and-True Shortcut
Sometimes when a room needs a little reboot, the possibilities (and the square footage) can make change seem a little overwhelming. But we know a shortcut to refreshing any room’s vibe in an afternoon: Find your focal point.That’s what Apartment Therapy’s Executive Home Director Danielle Blundell did when her living room felt a bit uninspired.
Aug 15, 2023
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This Sunny California Home Got a Whole New Summer Vibe with Just a Few Tweaks
Sometimes your space doesn’t need a stuff refresh as much as it needs a mood refresh. Sure, you might want to add a new element or two, but the goal is more about cultivating a new vibe than creating a new visual effect. This feeling often hits in the summertime, with its effervescent energy that has us wanting to do all the things. For Emily Paloma Sanchez, that means more get-togethers with friends in her chic SoCal home.
Aug 15, 2023
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How This Bedroom Got Way Cozier with Almost No Effort
Part of designing a stylish and comfortable room is thinking about how you want it to feel. Whether you’re talking about furniture, paint colors, scents, or textiles, mood is what brings all those elements together into a look — and a vibe — that you love. And when it comes to decorating the bedroom, that vibe is a no-brainer: cozy cozy cozy! DIYer and design lover Elisa Mastrocolla wanted to give her bedroom an extra dose of snuggly energy without doing much work.
Aug 15, 2023
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Our Lifestyle Expert Swears by “Sofa Dates” — Here Are Her Must-Haves for a Cozy Night In
Going out is fun, but staying in is divine. No reservations? Wonderful. Soft pants? Yes, please. We at Apartment Therapy think that doing nothing is underrated, which is why we’re celebrating our right to relax in honor of National Lazy Day. (It’s officially August 10, but really, it’s as often as you want it to be.) And here’s a secret: relaxed, restorative nights in can feel just as special as nights out.That’s a vibe that La-Z-Boy® understands.
Aug 9, 2023
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Our Home Project Expert’s Artsy Lazy Day Proves You Can Be Lazy AND Creative
When was the last time you stayed home and played? If your answer was “middle school,” then hear us out: Canceling your plans in favor of some low-key indoor activities is kind of the greatest and you should try it immediately. It’s just one of the ways that we at Apartment Therapy are honoring National Lazy Day: August 10 on the calendar; every day in our hearts. A lazy day is a moment to appreciate all the reasons that staying in is way more fun than going out.
Aug 9, 2023
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Here’s How Our Culture Expert Recreates the (Lazy) Movie Theater Experience at Home
Sometimes the plans you’re most excited about aren’t really plans at all: They’re the low-key, low-effort activities that happen when you don’t feel like making a big fuss. That’s why we’re honoring National Lazy Day (August 10 — but every day, honestly) with a celebration of all the ways that staying in can feel way more fun than going out. Spoiler alert: There are a lot of ’em.
Aug 9, 2023
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Our Editor’s Lazy Self-Care Day is Big on Books, Wine, and Snacks
Sometimes, self-care can sound a little too much like work. (If you’ve ever struggled to get the perfect coat of polish using your non-dominant hand, then you know what we mean.) On those days, self-care is about doing less of everything. And here at Apartment Therapy, we’re honoring National Lazy Day (officially recognized on August 10 but celebrated whenever we feel like it) by embracing the idea of doing less and resting more.La-Z-Boy® knows all about that.
Aug 9, 2023
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This Furniture Rental Service Is the Perfect Combo of Convenience and Style
“Forever homes” tend to get all the attention, but sometimes home is temporary. From sojourns in new cities to landing pads before a bigger move, there are all kinds of reasons why we might not want to spend forever-home energy (and dollars!) in our current living space. But whether you’re between more permanent solutions or just haven’t figured out what decor you want to invest in, you can still make your space your own.
Aug 3, 2023
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This College Student Gave His Bathroom a Warm, Sophisticated Glow-Up for Less Than $100
For University of Miami architecture and interior design student Benedetto Rebecca, a beautiful home isn’t just a perk — it’s his major. When he lived in a dorm, he made the cinder-block space feel serene with textured curtains and warm neutral bedding. Now he shares a stylish off-campus house with friends, and he wanted to start the new school year by giving his bathroom a grown-up refresh on a student budget. “It felt a little too cold,” Benny says.
Jul 28, 2023
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Behind the Before & After: The Easy Design Principles that Made this “Secret Garden” Makeover a Success
As a floral designer, Rachel Clark tended to keep her space neutral so that her designs could shine. But when her white walls started to feel boring, she wanted a refresh that added color but stayed subtle enough to let her decor — from floral arrangements to vintage furnishings — have center stage. The result was part art gallery, part secret garden, and all Rachel. But it didn’t happen by accident: A lot of choices go into one pretty “after”!
Jul 20, 2023
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This Is the (Free!) Online Tool Design Enthusiasts Have Been Waiting For
Admit it: You’ve got that house. The one where guests always gush over your great taste and even better ideas, from furniture and gallery walls to paint colors and pattern-mixing. Maybe you’re even taking on projects for family and friends, selling your furniture flips, or sharing DIYs on social media. If you’re dreaming of taking your design skills to the next level, there’s a free and easy way to start.
Jul 18, 2023