HON's Best of Bali

It’s been just a week since our plane landed in Charlotte, delivering us and our memories of beautiful rattan everything back to the Queen City. Unlike Morocco, we weren’t able to pack part of what we sourced in our suitcases (turns out rattan does not compress as well as Moroccan pillows) — but an entire shipping container is its way to our studio. We’ll be sure to let you Queen City locals know when it arrives and our loot is ready for shopping!

We’re back in the swing of life in the studio with design consultations, installs and photo shoots, but took a bit to reminisce on our top moments in Bali. Here are the sights, memories and food we will always carry as our first taste of Bali — but not to be the last!

1. Rattan Workshop Visit

What surprised us the most was debunking our assumption that certain rattan pieces might be crafted in a factory! Every piece is TRULY hand crafted. We watched artisans hand bend the rattan to make each and every shape for bar carts, hanging swings and so much more.

The second surprise was realizing we could design our own rattan pieces! From a bar cart, headboards and coffee tables to a beautiful caned-back shelf, hanging swings and accent chairs — we cannot wait to see these custom rattan items come to life.

2. Trade Safari

Our first two days in Bali, we boarded a trade safari where a guide took us to all the go-to spots for sourcing, introducing us to artisans and guided us to custom design locations. Second after our rattan experience -- a favorite was a visit to a manufacturer for Australia-based Barnaby Lane, where we designed some of the most beautiful things we have ever seen, including a favorite hide to be crafted into sling chairs. 

Then, we visited an artisan wood carver where we designed side tables. Not only did we shop a range of traditional, gorgeous Balinese pieces but also ordered custom decor and tables. On another day, we met with a lighting artisan and created designs for HON custom light fixtures — AND met with an incredible leather artisan! We can’t WAIT to share what the Bali artisans are busy creating and shipping our way soon!

3. Air B & B

After our 32-hour trip from CLT to Bali, it truly felt like we woke up in a Domino Magazine. It was an incredible surprise to wake up in this space where every detail had been thought of and every space was thoughtfully designed. From the round pillows to the combo of blush and orange, it was impeccable and so inspiring! A favorite memory was the dance party we had in the pool! If you ever go to Bali, it's a must-stay!

4. Cooking Class

Our favorite way to get to know a culture is to do a cooking class at every new destination. We both love cooking (and lucky for us, so do our husbands!) so once they arrived, we booked a cooking class with the Kenduri Project.

She came to our villa, not only bringing spices and ingredients for a feast but flowers for a tablescape. As we ground spices in a traditional Indonesian mortar and pestle to make sambal paste, we heard the story of her business launch and marriage to an Australian native who relocated to Bali. It was such a fun evening! 

While our favorite of the class was the Kenduri turmeric chicken (a traditional chicken dish made with local ingredients), we’re always up for a good dipping sauce. A menu stand-out was the peanut sauce we made, served with homemade prawn crackers. So delicious! 

5. Sundays Beach Club

After all the sourcing, it was a luxury to sit in a lounger right on the ocean and watch the surfers — and enjoy a drink! What made Sundays Beach Club stand out from other Bali beaches is its location a cove. It took us 1.5 hours to get there and once a day, the tide calmed and we snorkeled and paddle boarded in the insanely bright teal waters. That was a memory worth the 32-hour trip there.

6. Cove Island Essentials

There were so many Balinese shops we adored, but we stumbled upon a retail shop we wished we could copy and paste into our retail location in SouthEnd — Cove Island Essentials. They even had a candle and a perfume they dubbed ‘Nomad,’ so obviously, those made the cut and came back to CLT with us. Next door, a chic clothing boutique owned by the same person offered some amazing coats that we were crazy about. We can’t wait to bring some of this inspiration into our shopping space as we overhaul it this fall!!!

Stay tuned for our full Guide to Bali that we’re releasing soon, adding it to our Travel Guide collection

Basket Wall Tutorial

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Art is tricky — and basket walls are the perfect art option that makes a big, beautiful impact. They’ve become a House of Nomad (HON) go-to and are versatile whether you want a playful wall with pops of color (like this Lake Norman craft room designed by HON) — or a monochromatic collection, keeping the baskets to natural and black. The baskets not only layer the room in texture, but also bring in the story of where the baskets were sourced into your space.

Take our word for it: basket walls truly are not hard! But, there also is an art to the order of the steps. We’re giving you all our best advice here, step by step — timelapse included!

Step 1: Wall Shop

The number of baskets you need depends entirely on the size of your wall, so start by selecting the best wall you’ve got to hang baskets!

  • Tip: Places we love to do a basket wall include the living room, a large installation in a craft room, above a console in the entryway, above a piano — or a more sophisticated grouping in a dining room.

Step 2: Basket Shop

More often than not, art is purchased too small for a space — so keep that in mind as you tally up your basket list. Don’t skimp on the baskets!

  • Trick: When ordering baskets, stick with odd numbers. A nice grouping can start as small as 3 — for a mini-space. For an upcoming HON installation, we have as many as 27 ready to hang! Make sure your baskets are all different sizes, usually 1-2 large and 1 small, with a few in between sizes. It works to have a few the same size, but try to vary for the best look. Keep in mind, you don’t want baskets that compete.

  • Source: Search “tonga baskets” on Etsy or for “woven African baskets,” and note that the ones that are wrapped tend to hold up the best! We love to mix in a few simple, monochromatic ones and then add in a statement basket or two. The statement could be in the color, pattern — or size.

Also, be sure to check out African wall discs, which are stunning! But get ready, those can be pricey!

STEP 3: Tape it Up

On a roll of kraft paper, trace the largest part of the circle and cut out each shape. Using green tape, tape them on the wall.

  • Trick: Don’t be afraid to do this step, just get taping! We typically start with the larger baskets, then fill in with the smaller ones. Start with them pretty tight, like you are forming a cluster.

  • Common mistake: The most common mistake with basket walls is that the baskets are too far apart! They should be tight knit, which creates a custom art-installation feel. Our favorite way to fight this mistake is to provide some overlap.

  • Tip: Before you commit to your pattern always STEP BACK from the wall and look at it from when you walk into the space. Walk in and out of the space and look at it from different angles. 

Step 4: Basket Up the Wall

Take it from our install team: the simplest and most secure way to hang baskets is to use finishing nails and push them gently through the front of the basket.

  • Tip: Look at the weave of each basket and in between two of the weaves, find that space where you can slide the nail, so that it won’t be visible. Hold the basket over it's corresponding piece of paper, press/hammer in the nail — and gently pull the paper off once it’s hung.

Happy basketwall hanging! Cheers to layered, happier spaces!

Stay tuned for details from our BALI trip, where we died an went to basket HEAVEN and sourcing ALL the baskets for the Queen City. Follow along with our adventures on Instagram, and we’ll post details for studio parties and pop-up sales soon!

It's Bali Time! Shop HON's Suitcase

BALI — here we come! After dreaming and months of planning, we’re putting the final items in their suitcases and headed to Bali on Saturday! First, we’re jet setting for the Bali markets sourcing gorgeous handmade rattan everything — then headed for a little R&R! While it’s fresh on our minds — here’s our best travel tips, do’s and don’t’s of international travel!

1. Before You Leave

  • Grab your passport and check the expiration date. If needed, apply for a renewal - ASAP!

  • A passport holder is a fun way to keep track of your important documents!

  • Once your flight is booked, check your airline and download their app. Sign up for flight status notifications. Create the wallet option on your smart phone so you’re not juggling passports and tickets and boarding passes.

  • Research the converter you will need! Before you hit the airport, make sure your phone is charged so you aren’t in line worried about showing your boarding pass before your phone dies.

  • Apply for TSA Pre-Check and Global Entry! We think the $85 membership fee for five years is WELL worth it — it’s a lifesaver, especially for the trip home! Keep in mind you have to apply in plenty of time prior to leaving on your trip but it saves (ALOT!) of time in customs and security lines both going and coming.

  • Download 3-4 movies, a few podcasts and a book on your Kindle! Last trip, I stood in the airport trying to get my movie to download and it never did. Make sure you go board ready with some fun media to look forward to!

  • Search “sleep” on Spotify and download a sleep playlist. It’s so worth it!

2. Pack in These Bags

  • And what we mean by “bags” is BAG! We never check a bag — unless it’s an EMPTY duffel to bring back full of goodies for our shop! This is a favorite suitcase!

  • Pack light! Just fill your carry on what you love! This not only cuts down on travel prep but strangely cuts down on stress during the trip. Your favorites are always enough. Five days prior to leaving, lay everything out that you might bring. Set the items in your guest room bed, perhaps, so that you can walk in and out a few times a day and start removing things you’re not thrilled about bringing.

  • This Calpak laptop bag is tried and true and we’ve found nothing safer or easier to carry for our computers! It’s a backpack and stylish, too.

3. Tuck these in your carry on

  • Nothing is worse then chapped lips on a plane! We never leave the house without this!

  • Travel-size dry shampoo is your best friend while en-route and all trip long.

  • This (travel size) facial spray is magic for when you start to feel like you need a mid-flight refresh.

  • These no-leak containers are perfect for toiletries.

  • We are both are suckers for a travel uniform, meaning our favorite joggers, a T-shirt, lightweight and comfy sneakers (perfect for when we have to sprint to our gate!) — and most of all, soft socks. Sounds ridiculous but it makes the hours and hours on a flight that much more comfortable.

  • Tiger Balm is magic — it’s a tiny container, perfect for your carry on and takes away headaches and neck/muscle tension quickly.

  • We love having these Colgate Whisps on hand to freshen breath in between flights.

  • Neck pillow — this one is perfect! It inflates/deflates so doesn’t take up too much space, and truly we can’t sleep without it!

  • Benadryl — take it 20 minutes prior to being ready to go to sleep and turn on your sleep playlist!

  • Investing in these noise-canceling headphones is a no-brainer. They dramatically changed our experience on flights! They’re incredible.

  • Eye Masks really help get your zzz’s in on a flight!

4. Airport Tips

  • When you have long layovers, find the closest lounge to pay to get into and use their shower! Definitely worth the fee!

  • Buy some healthy snacks ahead of time or in the airport shop — they always have a nice selection and will help you feel better during your flight.

  • Buy a large bottle of water prior to boarding your flight — and try to get some steps in. We walk our terminal at least twice, just trying to prep for a long time staying seated.

  • We only share this with a laugh — we both get cankles easily so always grab the largest container of water we can in the airport and sip it constantly while on the plane.

Follow our Bali adventures on instagram at @houseofnomaddesign! Watch for posts with photos as well as photos on the instagram stories. Cheers to summer travels!







HON House Tour: Americana Funk in Myers Park

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HON’s clients, Matt and Scottie Akins, are Charlotte natives who returned to the Queen City after having their first child in Jackson Hole, Wyoming — and purchased a home next door to HON’s Berkeley Minkhorst! Their 40s Myers Park home has integral history and charm but after numerous additions, they were left with a funky flow downstairs and came to HON to rework the design of the space.

HON’s goal was to take some of the Americana style the duo both loves, funk it up a bit and bridge the vibe to the rest of the rooms in their downstairs. HON created an entry point with industrial shelving to work as a catch-all for their family of four.

With now two young children in tow, HON’s living room design is family friendly with slipcovered swivels (a breeze to clean), a coffee table with a removable top for storage — and personalized baskets (one for each family member) that brings a little style and organization to their lives. A design favorite from this space is the vintage overdyed rug — a gorgeous, soft color palette.

The overall highlight of this design for HON is the graphic Cle tile in the bar area. A blank wall turned modern bar area pulls the modern design from the front door to the kitchen nook.

Matt and Scottie love to travel and requested incorporating HON travel finds from their space, which included black-and-white pottery from Fes, Morocco, and custom mudcloth pillows made in Marrakech in their kitchen banquette nook.

Matt and Scottie love to travel and requested incorporating HON travel finds from their space, which included black-and-white pottery from Fes, Morocco, and custom mudcloth pillows made in Marrakech in their kitchen banquette nook.

Not only were these clients fun to work with and neighbors of Berkeley — but HON is attached to this house because it was the former home of HON’s very first clients!

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For daily design inspo, follow along on our Instagram!

Patio Prep for the Queen City

Because Charlotte springs are best enjoyed outdoors, here’s our patio prep tips to get your space ready and you outside — cocktail in hand!

We know that it’s hard to relax in a space that feels unfinished or requires a lot of in-the-moment prep (carrying cushions outside, then back inside, anyone?) — so we’ve compiled our go-to advice whether you are starting with an empty space or just need a refresh.

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1. Pick a color palette

When Kell was creating her outdoor oasis (pictured here) — a rooftop patio on her townhome in NoDa — she wanted the space to be an extension of their home. Something that felt modern and fun fused with a bohemian feel. 

Kell’s tip? Start by thinking about the location of your outdoor space. What’s the color of your siding, your deck railing or the brick of your patio? Take those tones into consideration as you plan and shop. For Kell, her dark gray siding immediately set the tone, calling for a white sofa

2. Play the Seating Game

Configuring seating is the most important game to play in patio design. For Kell, maximizing seating for her rooftop space was vital to the hosting they envisioned — and have done — since their house was built! 

There’s a lot to be said for the inviting feel of a sectional. If you have a big family or love to host, go for it! We’re also in love with this teak and metal sofa set, if that’s more your vibe.

Kell’s tip? Consider if you’re up for the in-and-out with the cushions game. If not, consider going with a sofa set that’s just as stylish, but not as cushion-heavy. Other less-cushioned styles that caught our eye include this gray-washed set and this natural collection.

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3. Keep it Fun and Light

To keep the vibe light, add in extra seating with something unexpected. Add a hanging chair (which look best mounted in corners) or two to mix things up. Or jump for the double if can find the perfect spot! (Check out our hanging-chair tutorial for step-by-step mounting instructions.)

Pops of color are a must for outdoor spaces, and whether it’s aqua or pink or something a little more mid-century that’s your vibe — acapulco chairs are our go-to! We are huge fans of this white loveseat, too. Let’s not forget about the power of rattan, which is on-trend right now, comes in all colors and is comfortable — even cushion-less.

More can be less sometimes, so consider adding a bench for more seating — coupled as a plant-stand, bar cart and catch-all when you don’t have a crowd.

If you’re looking for a dining table, we can’t get enough of cement these days and this one sure is a beauty. (If that’s not on-par with your budget, take a look at this.) Pair it with these white cuties and add in some texture with chair cushions

4. Layer It 

While we are against it feeling like it’s a chore to go in and out of any space, Kell says there are a few soft goods she brings out every time she grabs a glass of wine and heads for the roof. These items include her poufs, and a pillow or two

It’s important that an outdoor space feel warm and inviting and the grounding layer is the rug. Kell brought in pops of color with her indoor/outdoor rug, but you could not go wrong with bold stripes, something a bit playful, a more neutral or graphic route, a little blush or all natural.

Kell’s tip? Commit to bring in and out some soft goods for comfort, but pick other grounding items that stay put. Their stay-put items that have weathered the best have been cement pieces — coffee tables and side tables — their drum end table and their black acapulco chairs.

And! Don’t forget the furry family members! Try neutral or pop of black and white as a fun way to incorporate them into your design.

5. Lighten the Mood

It’s truly incredible the power a strand or two of outdoor lights has over a space. String up some lights, pour some drinks and the party is cued. Add in a battery-powered, rattan lantern or two, which can be hung or placed wherever a little extra light is needed.

6. Plant it Up

Kell’s tip? Make sure add in lots of greenery and pay attention to scale. Most often, plants are bought too small for a space — and there’s nothing better than the right amount/size of plants reminiscing your Queen City patio of tropical vacations

Our friends at Malone’s said good plants that can survive the CLT summer include tropical cacti (the cholla cactus grows tall) — as well as lavender, which loves the heat as well as the drought. Cold-hardy succulents such as hens and chicks are perfect for outdoor patios as well as salvia, which adds purple blooms and a lovely scent. Kell’s had success with rooftop monsteras and ferns, as well.

When picking planters, concrete is a great option for outdoors. We’re loving this bohemian planter and the feel this would bring to an outdoor dining space. Dress up the walls or your table with these modern options for cut greens.

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7. Don’t Forget the Sun

Kell’s must-have? Her patio umbrella, which can be adjusted with the sun’s movements. She snagged this one and it’s held up beautifully. 


Cheers to a beautiful spring and summertime where your patio’s ready, full of friends and the design makes you feel right at home. Follow along with our daily design inspo on
Instagram — and contact us if you hit any design snags and we can help along the way!