With all the wonderful vintage and antiques stores we have in Los Angeles there is one store in particular I must point out called Nathan Turner Antiques in West Hollywood. You may be familiar with Nathan since he is a contributor for Domino and C Living Magazine and was featured on Extra for his "Party Planning Ideas". Nathan, who is originally from NY got his first taste of the design biz was when he sent on an all expenses paid antique buying trip to Europe when he was younger and realized that design was his passion. His store is filled with amazing antique pieces from all over the world and I must add perfectly displayed. When I ask Nathan how do describe your style and the look of the store he adds, "Its a definitely a mix of traditional and bohemian".
A couple months ago our members of the DNG got to hear Nathan speak on tips for starting out as a designer. One thing he mentioned is if you are looking to get some press start with your own home or apartment - design and decorate it to the best potential and then send it to all the magazines. Someone will eventually pick it up!
Below is my interview with Nathan about where he finds his inspiration and his path to becoming an interior designer.
How did you come to be a designer?
After opening my shop, I had loads of requests to decorate. So it just started from there.
What's your favorite color to work with and why?
I love chocolate brown. That’s not to say I don’t use color. I actually use a lot of color. I am so bored by beige decorating! Chocolate brown is such a great accompaniment for blue, green, white, pink, yellow.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Travel. I travel extensively for both my shop and my obsession to see new things. So much of what I do is inspired by something I see abroad, whether it’s a plant, a color, a door, anything. I think exposing oneself to other cultures is essential when working in any kind of creative field.
Which interior or furniture designers, past or present, do you most admire?
I really admire Syrie Maugham, (plus her husband is my favorite author). One of my favorite interiors EVER is the Roman apartment of Cy and Tatia Twombly shown in Vogue’s Book of Houses, Gardens, and People.
Describe your design theory in 4-6 words.
A mix of classic and bohemian
What is your signature mark that you always try to implement in a space?
If you could redo any space, past or present, what would it be?
Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Its truly incredible. It would be so amazing seeing that place with a mixed middle eastern/European aesthetic.
What have you learned about having your own business that you wish you knew when you were just starting out.
To be really organized (my downfall!),and that there is an ebb and flow with business’ sometimes its super busy and sometimes you are wondering if you will ever work again. So just carry on and keep going!
What are your best practices when it comes to client relations?
Listening to what they want and how they live. After all, when the project is finished they will be the ones living there.
What 5 things does a well designed home need?
Functional kitchen, comfortable and properly scaled seating, proper use of space, good lighting and most important it must have the personality of those who live in it.
If you hadn't become a designer, what do you think you would be doing now?
I would have loved to be a country singer!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Living between LA and Europe, and traveling even more!
You can also view some images that AT-NY posted from last months Domino Bazaar that Nathan decorated here.