The Personality of Design

Photo by Amy Barber.

Photo by Amy Barber.

When Kelly Hill decided her Lake Forest home was in desperate need of an interior redesign, there was only one person for the job: Natalie Officer of Natalie O. Design Co. The two were already friends, but as Hill wanted her home to match her diverse personal taste, she knew she needed someone who would work with her to make the nuance of her home the best representation of herself – and Officer was just the designer for the job.

“I’m one of those people who likes a lot of different things but I can’t figure out how to put it all together, and Natalie was the one who brought all my varied and eclectic ideas into one,” Hill relates of the project, which saw the women work side by side for two years. Hill describes it as a patient and thoughtful process, going room by room and making sure each was just right before moving on to the next area.

As Hill recounts the journey she took with Officer, she details that her personal taste often manifests in the form of quirky, mismatched objects that she finds in the most unique of places, and while she knows she essentially likes them all, she doesn’t know how they fit together. That’s where Officer came in.

“I would find something on my travels through Kentucky – just stopping over on the side of the road picking up something from a little tiny shop – and sure enough, Natalie would find somewhere amazing to put it and put everything else around it and tell a great story,” Hill says. Consequently, the Hill home is now a completely singular place, teeming with tasteful, multifarious accents that make their house unique and personalized.

For example, Hill describes the skull of a bull that now proudly sits on her office wall. She found it at a small antique shop in Glasgow, Kentucky, and while she knew she wanted to feature it in her home, she was truly at a loss as to where. However, Officer decided to use it as a juxtaposition piece in Hill’s office, which had a sleek and refined vibe to it. The skull is now the foundation of an accent wall that is indicative of Hill’s wonderfully wide-ranging style.

Photo by Amy Barber.

Photo by Amy Barber.

Similarly, Officer worked wonders in Hill’s bedroom. “I absolutely love my bedroom,” Hill exudes. “I love it because it’s fancy mixed with not-fancy. The back wall is a great barn wood, and I have these great gold sconces next to my bed and this really elaborate fancy mirror. It’s almost like mafia meets backwoods. It’s really fun.”

Officer looks back on her time with the Hill home and likewise maintains that it was the personality of the Hills and their collection of items that made the house so totally one of a kind. “By mixing the personal and meaningful belongings of the Hill family with custom items, we were able to create a polished look with a comfortable feel – a home for a growing family that made every room enjoyable,” she says. “The home, tucked in the back part of a more traditional neighborhood, screamed for character elements, which we later added to both the dining room and kitchen.”

Hill is sure to emphasize, however, that the entirety of the credit for the home’s now iconic personality belongs to Officer, a designer who is able to infuse a home with a special personal touch that elevates it to something absolutely inimitable.

“Natalie has this eye that no one I’ve ever met has,” Hill adds. “It’s funny because you could go see a house that’s designed from Pinterest all day long. And you could walk in and think, ‘This house looks perfectly staged – it’s beautiful and there’s nothing wrong with it.’ But then you walk into something Natalie’s done, and you can just tell that something she did was a little bit different. She gave it that personal touch that doesn’t look like it came directly out of a magazine – it looks like it came from your story, your own personal story that’s better than anything that was posted online.” VT

By Remy Sisk.