We sat down with the ever-so-visionary artist, designer, and influencer Natalie Papier of @home_ec_op. With an eye and fervor for mixing and matching patterns, colors, and textures, Natalie creates spaces that make any house feel like a home. Here’s how she’s leveraging Caraway’s new Brick Set as a pop-of-color, utilitarian piece in the kitchen.
With minimalism taking today’s homes by storm, finding a uniquely discernible home decor has become more and more challenging. So how does one go about transforming a house into a home without having spent years living in it?
Artist, designer, and influencer Natalie Papier has the answer.
With an eclectic eye for pieces, patterns, and positioning, Natalie creates spaces that provide that “homey vibe” we all yearn for (Think: The Family Stone) without compromising the original structure or flow of the space. She also adds that extra je nais se quoi, thanks to local art pieces and a willingness to design outside of the box with funky texture.
Tour The Kitchen
How do you describe the aesthetic of your home decor?
Art forward, colorfully curated and layered with pieces that bring you joy.
What is the main design philosophy that you swear by when decorating any interior space?
I have a strong belief that homes should be reflections of the people who live in them — full of life, character and warmth.
When it comes to home decor, what is your philosophy on color?
Color for me is JOY. Color offers you limitless ways to mix and match, layer and bring those unexpected pops into a space. Giving them LIFE!
What are the most common things people are looking for when they come to you for help?
People want help making their spaces cohesive and functional but also warm and inviting. And they want it all done in a slightly unexpected, unique fashion.
What are three pieces of design advice you would give to someone moving into their very first home?
Take your time finding decor and furniture that you really love and can grow with you. Surround yourself with pieces that bring you joy. Invest in art. Original art and designs are available at all price points if you take the time to really seek them out.
How do you balance colors with patterns without making it look cluttered or chaotic?
It’s important to layer in neutral elements like warm woods, bright whites, and grounding textures (stone, metals, neutral textiles) to let the colors and patterns shine without it all feeling messy.
What are some key pieces an interior decoration newbie should look for when trying to add personality and individuality to their home?
Look for vintage art/decor/textiles that speak to you and tell your story. Facebook marketplace and flea markets are a great source for finding quality vintage.
What makes a kitchen feel like a kitchen design-wise?
We spend a lot of time in our kitchens. It’s important to design a kitchen like any other room in the house — straying away from what’s trendy and instead designing around what’s both functional and reflective of the people living in it.
You’re an artist. How do you incorporate your own personal art into your home decor?
EVERYWHERE and ANYWHERE. ;) From my kids’ artwork hung in my walk-in closet to our gallery wall along our back stairs, we have personal art all over our home. Even my pantry has art in it.
What do you think about cookware as a way of integrating a “pop-of-color?”
A perfect example! Even the functional, everyday pieces in your home can provide that pop of color. You don’t wanna hide pretty cookware like that.
What do you like about Brick Red for your cookware?
I love Brick Red because it's the perfect pop of color that still reads warm on my countertops and stove top. I especially love the combination with my pale pink cabinetry and black and white marble.
What’s your favorite piece in your home right now?
Now that is really hard to answer… haha! I love my dining table though. It’s a salvaged refectory table from a college in Chicago. All the marks and scratches show how much life this table has already seen. It’s solid design will last forever.
- Biggest Inspiration for art: Travel.
- Favorite painting of all time: No way I could pick one.
- Who has your dream kitchen: In London I saw this kitchen with a glass conservatory off of it, and the light was EVERYTHING.
- Best cooking advice your mom (or dad) ever gave you: Low heat!
- Favorite Baked Good Smell: Probably a cupcake.
- Favorite family recipe: My Grandma Claire’s cut-out sugar cookies
- Favorite food item in your pantry: Bread. I could live off toast.
- Most fun room to decorate: Kids’ rooms. You can always have fun with a kid’s room.
- The first thing you notice in someone else’s home: Whether it feels warm and welcoming.
- Most notorious DIY project you’ve done in your home: Painted a ceiling (I’m not much of a DIYer)
- Favorite kitchen accessory: Coffee pot.
- Best color for a pop of color: Marigold.
- Caraway Cookware – countertop or cabinet: Cabinet for me (just because our countertop space is limited).
- Dream dinner guest: Bill Murray
- Favorite kitchen memory: Dancing with my kids while the food was slowly burning… I’m working on getting better about this. ;)