Nestled in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina is perhaps one of the most magical homes we have ever had the pleasure of seeing. This house belongs to the ever amazing Natalie Papier of @home_ec_op. If you don't follow her on Instagram yet go ahead and hop to her page to marvel at the bright, happy squares of her home.
She's an avid art lover, a color connoisseur, and she's completely fearless when it comes to interior design. As soon as we found her page, we swooned in disbelief.
Fast forward to today, she's now one of our BFFs on Instagram AND she has a big, beautiful Arlo Chandelier hanging in her entryway. We love Natalie so much we wanted to give you a home tour sprinkled with some questions we had the pleasure of asking her. Read away...
Tell us about your home - how long have you been there and how did you find it? Was there a particular selling point for you?
We moved into our house March 1st of 2020. This was a BIG move for us moving from Chicago to Charlotte! The first 2 months of our time here were spent in temporary housing while renovating parts of our new home. When we made the decision to move to Charlotte, we did quite a bit of research on neighborhoods that would suit us well. Good public schools were a priority of ours for our two kids as well as ample outdoor space which we lacked in Illinois. My husband, Alan, and I flew down to meet with the realtor we used through relocation services and looked at 30 houses in 3 days. It was completely overwhelming! I honestly felt nausea the entire time we were here from the pressure of it all.
Alan knew I wanted a home we could make our own so that ruled out a lot of newer builds that were already “done”. We didn’t have an exact style of house in mind but I am drawn to homes that feel a little different, unique. On our last day of looking at houses, we stepped into what is now our home and immediately fell in love with the bones. It was an interesting layout with unique features like the high ceilings, moldings, fireplaces but was very much in disrepair. We made the decision to purchase it knowing that we would be starting some of these renovations prior to moving which was not easy but the best long term decision for us. It gave me freedom to really create this chateau style home!
What’s your favorite room in your house?
My favorite room in our house is the kitchen. This was the first time in our lives, I was able to fully gut and renovate a kitchen to our specifications. I love how we opened it up and made it more functional as well as all the aesthetics I was able to bring into the design. From the custom hood over the stove, to picking out the perfect blush color for the cabinetry, it was truly special to be able to design every component.
Are you redoing anything right now at home?
I am going to be fully renovating one of our upstairs bathrooms. It’s pretty dated as well as just has a tub with no shower. We have two additional bathrooms that we will need to renovate down the road as well. But we would really love to convert our existing garage into a pool house next year. As you can probably tell, I have big eyes for all these future projects… Haha! Now if the darn budget would just cooperate. ;)
As a designer and artist, where do you find the most inspiration?
SO many places! Art has always been part of my background so it’s been a natural transition for me to use homes as canvases. I get inspired by travels, movies, magazines, other designers but first and foremost art has always influenced my designs. Bold color, pattern mixing, sculptural components and vintage are always at the heart of my work.
What do your favorite client projects usually look like?
When I am able to build a really trusting relationship with the client, this is where it always gets fun for me. It’s so rewarding after I get to know a client’s likes/dislikes, hobbies and aesthetics and be able to form that into a room design that is reflective of them and their lifestyle. Especially if they allow me to get a little funky!
Just from looking at your portfolio, we can tell you’ve been in the game for a while. How has social media and being online shifted your perspective on business and creativity?
Social media has really expanded my reach to potential clients but also relationships with companies, artists, sellers and makers who now I often collaborate with in making my room designs truly one of a kind. I love the community and support behind these little squares and how much we can learn from each other and grow together. I am obsessed with finding new artists and my color loving people!
Who is your favorite person or brand to follow on social media right now?
Far too many to name! But I get inspired every day by the creativeness and individuality behind so many accounts. I do love really UK design accounts. They have a way with color and pattern that blows my mind! And I really love Wes Anderson movies. His aesthetic is just so uniquely his own. Same with Tim Burton. I like when their style is instantly recognizable.
Do you have any projects in the works right now that you are excited to share?
I have three big ones coming soon! I am not yet at liberty to talk about them but I can assure you they will be FUN!
Want to see more from Natalie? Follow her here.