A Design Journey of Passion

Functioning as a “one-stop-shop” for home furnishing and décor, Bungalow is also a “feast for the senses

Article by Ashley Loeb

Photography by Ashley Loeb + Provided

Originally published in Boise Lifestyle

In a world where practicality often overshadows creativity, Judith Balis stands as a shining example of someone who has never relinquished her passion for interior design. From a young age, her love for creative expression and transforming spaces was unmistakable. While other kids played outside, Judith could be found rearranging furniture or fashioning home décor from scraps and found objects. Raised in a single-parent household, she mastered the art of thrifting and upcycling long before it became a trend. To her, creating wasn't just a hobby; it was an irresistible calling.

As she neared college, Judith's dreams of becoming an interior designer were postponed due to the lack of a suitable program in her hometown, Boise. Instead, she pursued a career in education, becoming a devoted special education teacher. Yet, her heart yearned for more, and she found solace in constantly redecorating her own space and helping friends and family with their homes. It wasn't until someone pointed out that she should turn her passion into a career that she seriously considered making the leap.

Despite her limited formal experience, Judith's determination led her to audition for an HGTV show, where she faced the daunting imposter syndrome head-on. Against all odds, she triumphed over another home designer, and her name began to gain recognition. The experience taught her invaluable lessons, propelling her growth as a designer beyond what any formal education could offer.

Judith's success as a home designer isn't solely attributed to talent and creativity; it's her innate ability to connect with people that sets her apart. She believes being a designer is an intimate job, requiring a deep understanding of clients' personalities, families, and lifestyles. Her advice to aspiring designers is to take psychology classes, emphasizing the importance of reading and understanding people to thrive in this profession.

In 2018, Judith opened her first storefront, Feather and Twine, to share her talent and passion with the Boise community. The response was overwhelming, with lines forming down the street on opening days. What made her store truly magical were the connections that blossomed between customers, who would meet up, catch up, and share their lives over a cup of coffee on the store's sofa.

As the demand grew, Judith knew it was time for a bigger space to continue fostering those meaningful connections. Thus, in 2021, Bungalow Home Furnishings was born—a place that not only offers a wide range of home goods but also stimulates the senses. Stepping into Bungalow is like entering a warm, inviting cocoon that wraps visitors in an earthy, comforting scent, reminiscent of a cozy bungalow.

Beyond being a one-stop-shop for home décor, Bungalow offers in-home design consultations, ensuring that clients truly transform their houses into homes that reflect their personalities and stories. Judith's own home exemplifies her design philosophy, with a blend of contemporary comfort and cherished antique finds.

Despite her undeniable success, Judith remains grounded and encourages others to pursue their dreams and passions. She believes in listening to one's inner voice and paying attention to what truly feels right. For her, life is about finding beauty in the simplest things, reconnecting with the earth and soul, and creating a harmonious work-life balance.

With each new chapter, Judith's journey continues to inspire and uplift those who cross her path. As she lovingly curates spaces that uplift the human spirit, she teaches us that a home is not merely a collection of objects but a reflection of the soul that resides within. Through her intimate connections with clients, Judith proves that design is about more than aesthetics—it's about understanding, empathy, and creating a sanctuary that nurtures the heart and mind.

So, the next time you find yourself wandering through the cozy aisles of Bungalow Home Furnishings, remember that behind every piece lies a tale of passion, perseverance, and the magic of human connection. From her early days, transforming furniture with soda cans, to winning over audiences on HGTV, and finally creating a haven for Boise residents at Bungalow, Judith Balis has woven her love for design into every thread of her life's tapestry. Her journey is a testament to the power of following one's passion, the courage to face challenges, and the joy of forging meaningful connections in the pursuit of creating spaces that bring happiness and inspiration to all who enter.

Judith Balis

Judith enjoys time in her beautiful home which features a beautiful blend of more contemporary but comfortable pieces and antique finds with her husband of twenty years, two grown daughters and two dogs about which she fondly joked seem to rule the house.

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