A Business Owner’s Got Design in Her Blood

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(Image credit: Liz Daly)

Name: Nicole Balin and two pups
Location: San Anslemo, California
Size: 1,200 square feet
Years lived in: 4 years, owned

I moved into my bungalow/ranch style home in 2015 after living in LA for 15 years with my two dogs. My hobby and passion has always been interior design and I started and run my own boutique PR firm for interior designers, product designers, and musicians.

(Image credit: Nicole Balin)

My mother was a decorator in the 1970s and design is in my blood. All of my things are family heirlooms and acquired art and collectibles over the years. Every piece and furnishing has a story. My home reflects my eclectic, diverse life and interests. I was a hip-hop publicist and journalist prior to that, so much of my art are favorite artists or painted by clients, etc. Today I’m the publicist for the Queen of New Orleans Bounce, Big Freedia. We co-wrote a book together in 2015.

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Casual bohemian chic.

(Image credit: Liz Daly)

What is your favorite room and why? Favorite room is the dining room, hands down. I love the blue paint and the wall gallery of art. Again, everything is from my childhood and/or collected at flea markets or commissioned art. Every pet of mine gets a portrait. Obvi! I just love how you can decorate a tabletop quickly and go from one amazing look to another between dinner parties. I can be formal traditional or California casual. And you eat there, which is my second favorite passion: cooking for friends!

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? I would add another bathroom! One bathroom is challenging. Or paint my kitchen cabinets white.

(Image credit: Melanie Acevedo)

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? I bought a Biggie Smalls needlepoint pattern and have started needle pointing. It’s going to be a pillow and will go in my living room.

(Image credit: Liz Daly)

Any advice for creating a home you love? Your home is a reflection of you and your lifestyle and really isn’t something that you can design overnight. If you want it to have soul, you just start with basics and start collecting. In time, it will start to take shape and will reflect your personality.

Thanks, Nicole!

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