Charlotte local Natalie Papier is an artist and expressionist at heart. Her interior design company, Home Ec., is an extension of her passion in the form of vivid aesthetics that successfully reflect the characters and nuances of the individual.
She formed her business in 2016 after spending years experimenting with her own home. The business launch followed a successful start in curating local vintage pop-ups shops.
“Buying and selling unique vintage pieces in a curated shoppable form helped get my business started and would help to define my style,” Natalie Papier explains. “When a friend of a friend hired me to help her with her living room and dining room redesign, word of mouth spread quickly.
Here, Natalie Papier tells us more about her style, love of design, and what a day in the life looks like.
What got you into interior design?
I have had a lifelong background and love for art. This passion, combined with growing up in a small town and watching my dad renovate our Victorian home by hand, inspired me in later years to use interior design as my own 3D art canvas. There is something magical about working within the bones of the home. You can pay respect to the original architecture but then infuse it with art, vintage, color and furnishings. These can be both functional and reflective of the people living in it.
How would you describe your style?
With my lifelong love of art and color, I have a strong belief that homes should be a reflection of the people who live in them: full of life, character and warmth. As an artist myself, I am a firm believer in supporting original art. Much of my interior design centers around traditional elements redesigned with whimsy and artful layers.
Describe your role day-to-day.
I tend to wear many many hats in my business! Since I keep my design firm small, I have to balance the creative work, like building mood boards and experimenting with color palettes, with accounting, client communication, website management and the all consuming beast that is social media. One day, I might be in my pajamas most of the day getting all my paperwork in order. The next day, I might be meeting with clients.
What is the process like for a client working with you? What should a new client expect?
I truly want the client to feel like part of the design process. Design should be fun, not taken “oh so seriously.” With that said, we start out by talking about the budget. This heavily influences what we are going to be capable of achieving. From there, I like to pinpoint a high/low. What is worth spending a little more on, like splurging for a gorgeous new piece of art and then balancing that out with affordable accent pieces to keep the budget intact? After that is determined, we can get into the fun stuff with a style questionnaire, researching options, and building mood boards and layouts accordingly.
What or who do you look to for inspiration when doing a design job?
I always start with the client,their interests, their backgrounds. I always ask about the pieces that they love in their home and use that as a jumping off point. Art is always a good jumping off point for my design work. I tend to draw inspiration from the color palette of the art itself. I then use that as an opportunity to let the art really shine in the design.
Natalie Papier’s passion for art has been with her since she was a child. Home Ec. exists because she decided to share her passion with others, to make Charlotte homes more beautiful, one job at a time. Her story is both an inspiration and a quality addition to the Charlotte community.