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Name: Nicole Balin and Nola and Bug (the dogs), and Diggie Smalls (the cat)
Location: Marin County, California
Size: 2200 square feet
Type of Home: Single-family Spanish Style
Years lived in: 3 years, owned
I started a PR and marketing company for creatives and luxury lifestyle brands and I bought this house from an interior designer client. We’d often meet at her place to discuss work, and I fell in love with her home. The interior of the home — the molding, trim, and hardwood floors — were classic and charming. In 2019, the client told me she was putting the house on the market and I jumped at the chance to buy it. It wasn’t quite as easy as that, but they ended up accepting my offer in the end. The home is on a cul-de-sac, which I love because I feel hidden from the busy streets.
I am VP of branding for the New Orleans personality Big Freedia and founder of a PR and marketing firm for interior designers, architects, homeware designers and artists, called Ballin PR. Basically, if you are creative, uber talented, and have a strong POV, I want to work with you!
My Style: Maximalism with a nod to tradition
Inspiration: Johnson Hartig of the fashion line Libertine and my mother. They’re the only two people I will ever copy or take design advice from.
Favorite Element: I think that every room in my house is a different color — pink, yellow, green, red — and they all go together.
Biggest Challenge: The biggest challenge in this home are the small and irregular size of the rooms. It’s a luxury problem, so I don’t overthink it. I buy the furniture I love and make it work.
Biggest Indulgence: I’d say (other than some family heirlooms), I’d say my collection of vintage Moroccan carpets from Coco Carpets. They give each space in my home personality and coziness that I love. They are worth every penny.
What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? My art. I have purchased special art over the years (nothing blue chip) but all from vintage stores, art stores, flea markets, or I’ve commissioned pet portraits — each piece is very meaningful. I love it because it all represents me and my interests and vision. No mass-produced art allowed here!
Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I think it’s about buying pieces slowly and making them work together. Some people want to envision the whole room or space, so they can’t make decisions. Don’t overthink it. Also, buy well made real vintage furniture (and fewer of them) instead of disposable furniture. The design industry is so full of waste.
This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.