Designer Natalie Officer Walks Us Through Her Creative Process

Designer Natalie Officer, founder and principal designer of Natalie O Design Group, captured our hearts with her recent work on a contemporary home in Louisville, KY. Featured in the 2019 issue of ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME, you can read the full article here.

We caught up with Natalie recently to get a closer look inside the project, and discuss the careful work that went into sourcing the details within the space. 

ASPIRE: Where did you source the furnishings and art for this project?
Natalie: The gift of this work was that Deborah (the homeowner) had amassed treasures from travel and experience that set the tone for the home. We did not neglect any of those in the finished home, and in fact, the design was truly and fully enhanced by the “compass-like” effect of the collections.

There was an immediate connection between Deborah and I. One that was equal parts admiration and respect. Having a rich love of textiles and design excellence bonded us, and we are good friends even now.

ASPIRE: When it comes to the smaller details of a room, at what stage do you start sourcing? (is art a finishing touch or a jumping-off point?) What about larger pieces like dining room tables or couches?
Natalie: At the heart of our work is the person. The person guides these selections fully.
Small details are the magic ingredient to the outcome, and sourcing begins at the first visit to a home. Before the measure of the work – or even a contract. My mind starts work on those pieces, pulling them from the surrounding of travels and environments from the very first moment.

A designer’s mind, much like any artist or creative, does not ever fully turn off. There is not a time when those projects that inspire us rest.

Large pieces are traditionally driven by function, in advance of the form they take. How many people are you loving in your home and how often those people commence in your space. Is the sofa for formality or for lounging with loved ones. Does the table serve as a buffet, or for seating and community? Is there prayer? Do people hold hands at this table? What is the volume of the dining experience? Laughter, music, spice…. every intimate detail goes into the selection of pieces and how and from where they are sourced.

ASPIRE: Vintage or new?
Natalie: Mix. Mix. Mix. But, never without care.

We hand select new pieces from craftspeople in our area and from all over the country. We create from what is provided in personal connection with our client and what we glean from their needs and interests. In this particular home, the vintage pieces received new textiles and the new pieces received vintage textile design. For us, if there is not something relevant and relatable in each space for those who visit, the comfort will not be found.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.