This month, we made our way to an immersive launch of Cafe, A Matte Collection which included a new collection of appliances and finishes that could be customized to truly make your home your own. At this event, two concepts were presented a clean white foused design which reminded us os a french provencial look and a very cool modern copper style that was oh so New York. This concept was created by the Louisville based interior designer, Natalie Officer of Natalie O. Design. We talked with her about how she transitioned from the fashion world to interior design, how she works with her clients to create their vision, her attention to detail and her favorite spots in Louisville. ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell Athleisure Mag about your background and how you went from fashion to interiors? NATALIE OFFICER: Fashion is a tremendous place to cut your teeth. It invites you fully understand textiles, the process of creating, and the actual viability and sustainability of style. Working with large national and international brands and how they dance with the wholesale and retail side of existence was tremendously insightful. In this life, if you are lucky, you eventually strive to create something of your own. Something that reminds you of what you are made of. When I left fashion, my then boyfriend and now husband and I jumped into renovating large greystone homes in Chicago; a very expensive and educational "side hustle". After completing the third large scale project, other builders were approaching me to design their developments and stage their properties. Much has been learned since then - gains, losses, and hard lessons. Coming out on the other side of nearly 15 years of study, and seeing Natalie O Design provide for my family, other creatives, and innovative people has been a dream that is finally being realized. AM: What is your process when approaching a design process? NO: As a student in Fashion Design, you learn first to appreciate the "hand" of fab-
ric. Years ago, a Couture German instructor impressed upon me the importance of that tactile sense, as well as the "finish" quality of our work. So, we start with the textiles and then back into the space. AM: How do you obtain inspiration for creating transformative spaces that speak to your client? NO: Over time, my process has evolved. It started with images, and visual reference goals, really from the time I was a kid. I would eagerly await magazines to arrive in the mailbox. As time has passed, the use of images and over exposure of certain trends/thoughts has complicated this process and lent to industry "sameness". So, I have returned to the trusted inspiration of hand and textiles, along with a bit of an archeological dig into each clients need, life travels, and personal stories. You can find such environmental inspiration all around you. Travel, touch and a good ear are really the big winners in design. All the qualities of a quality love story. AM: Tell us about your firm Natalie O’Design what was the nexus to launching it and what is its design ethos? NO: We are comprised of four people. We listen. We teach one another. Empathize in the journey, and grow. Inspiring one another and our clients all the while. This has long been our creed: To inspire others to be their most authentic selves, in their homes and daily walks. AM: We were blown away by the Cafe event. We love the fact that in addition to the design showcased, the Cafe products, the personalized/customized experiences and great food, that Louisville was also showcased. How did you become a part of this event and why did you choose the design angle to creating your vision of a space that included the products and finishes of your “rooms”?