A Builder's Beige Rental Gets Bright & Bold in Charlotte

A Builder's Beige Rental Gets Bright & Bold in Charlotte

Hayley Lawrence
May 6, 2017

Name: Nolan and Natalie Smith
Location: Plaza Midwood — Charlotte, North Carolina
Size: 1,136 square feet
Years lived in: 2 years, renting

In the times of meeting your mate online, Natalie and Nolan did it the old-fashioned way — through mutual friends in Nashville, Tennessee. The couple has now made a home in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a "plain" apartment they've added tons of color and life to.

Natalie and Nolan moved to Charlotte so that she could work with her mom at their fabric store, Front Door Fabrics. Nolan owns a live event production company called The Production Source.

Since getting married in 2014, these two have traveled the world in search of adventure and unique food. Because Nolan travels a lot for work, they try to make this rental cozy so they can thoroughly enjoy their time at home together.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: Bright and bold.

Inspiration: Anything that fills my heart with joy. I work with so many neutral palettes throughout the day (who can blame everyone? It is beautiful and relaxing!), but it leaves me craving bright and cheery patterns and colors. So I went full throttle in our space.

Favorite Element: I do love our bright blue wall. In an apartment full of builder's beige, this was a little treat for myself that makes the whole apartment pop.

Biggest Challenge: Falling in love with rugs, fabric and furniture and having no where else to use them.

What Friends Say: It's always one of two things: either they absolutely love the space or they ask, "Nolan is okay with all of this?"

Biggest Embarrassment: It's not the worst thing in the world, but our apartment layout really doesn't have any room for the cat's litter box, so it lives in the guest bath.

Proudest DIY: It's such a simple thing, but I make these photo books every few months to document our adventures. Our friends and family love to browse through them and it's a great way for us to look back at our love story.

Biggest Indulgence: Custom drapes, but they are SO worth it. Blackout lining in the bedroom does wonders for my sleep and goodness, I love pretty fabrics.

Best Advice: Buy the things that make you happy and don't worry about everything coordinating perfectly. In the end, you'll have a home that is beautifully curated to your unique style.

Dream Sources: There are some stunning Thibaut textured wallpapers that I obviously can't use in an apartment setting, but I drool over them weekly.


Lakeshore — Sherwin-Williams

Custom table — AtelierEben on Etsy
Great Smokey Mountains Canvas — Muir Way
Metal Dining Chairs — Target
Rug — purchased on vacation in India

Sofa — Wesley Hall from Front Door Fabrics in Banks Velvet
Pink & floral chairs — Hallman Furniture from Front Door Fabrics with Waverly Graceful Garden and Manuel Canovas Bandol Hibiscus fabric
Chair pillows — Front Door Fabrics in Schumacher Chaing Mai Dragon Jade
Ottoman — Capa Furniture from Front Door Fabrics in Robert Allen Luv Sunrise
Corkboard map — Easy, Tiger from Home with Heart
Custom TV console — Atlas Wood Co. on Etsy
Side table — West Elm
Orange lamp — Front Door Fabrics
Overdyed turoquoise rug — Anthropologie
Artwork (top to bottom): "Choose Joy" by Handy Housewife Design, Print by Jason Woodberry & Marcus Kiser and print by Walter G. Byers, a local school student
Bookshelf knick-knacks — from Nolan's dad, including the stamp collection and brass giraffes. Eva Crawford bird painting was a wedding gift.

Rug — Front Door Fabrics
Barstools — Capa Furniture from Front Door Fabrics
Rolling pin, spoon rest, butter dish & recipe box — Anthropologie

Nightstands — World Market
Custom drapes — Front Door Fabrics in Edinburgh Weavers' Camden Pastel
Duvet — Anthropologie
Euro shams — Front Door Fabrics in Anna French Camisha Natural Champagne
Mirror — Front Door Fabrics
Bed frame — West Elm
Artwork — Kammi Updyke

Shower curtain — World Market
Bathmat — Anthropologie

Shower curtain — Urban Outfitters
Bathmats — Marshalls & Target
Artwork — IKEA, Scott Partridge and Rifle Paper Co.

Desk & storage furniture by Capa from Front Door Fabrics
Custom drapes from Front Door Fabrics in Robert Allen Ikat Bands Indigo
Desk organizer from Anthropologie and Bossy Nameplate from Paper Skyscraper
Folding chair from Anthropologie

Thanks, Nolan and Natalie!

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