Talking Home Interiors With Natalie Thiart From Solving Spaces
Natalie Thiart of Solving Spaces recently joined the Mansionly board of designers. As a customary welcome, we decided to get to know her better and share her story, as well as her work with you.
With an interior design studio in South Africa, Natalie is known for designing exquisite home interiors. She believes that “Spaces have the ability to shape, influence and direct human behavior. As we grow and change so must our environments.”
Her design philosophy intrigued us and here’s what our tete-a-tete resulted in!
Welcome to Mansionly Natalie, we would love to know a little about you and your background!
Growing up we’ve always had interesting homes.
My mother used to move furniture around at night, so often I’d wake up to a new layout. Imagination was considered a priority. She once had a shipwreck craned into our garden, for further creative exploration!
It is this passion and curiosity that we look for in our clients. We’ve been fortunate to have worked with a range of varied, diverse clients. It is this background that actually brought on Solving Spaces, and today, we get to work with the Mansionly team of interior designers to take the passion a step ahead.
Looks like your mother was as creative as you! You’re known for designing the most personalized home interiors. What is the one project you’re really proud of and why? Any picture we can share of it in the interview?
It was a Dubai project that was designed for somebody who is extroverted, high energy, very social with a manic corporate schedule. However, all those qualities sit outside a very quiet meditative spirit who regularly seeks out spiritual retreats all over the world and reads extensively.
We started the design as a ripple in a pond, with circles going outward. The main bedroom in white is at the center, the core. The rest of the space was designed keeping in mind the energetic outer shell – you will note much more color in the public rooms.
We are proud of this particular project as we feel it reflects a good balance and keeps up with the personality of the client. Here’s a picture from the project.
Wow, that sure looks like a really gorgeous home. What is the design psychology that you absolutely swear by?
Honesty, which can, at times, be brutal.
Honesty to the materials, the location, and the client. The building and environment should inform the interior design so that they complement each others’ characters.
Honesty to material, whether stone, metal, linen or wood. Honesty between Designer and Client to quickly cut down on any unnecessary avenues not to pursue.
Being direct saves time and allows more focus on what is important!
True. Honesty is so important to be able to understand each other. So where do you take inspiration from for the interiors you design?
Futurism and science fiction. In particular, I enjoy the interpretation of the future as seen from times that have passed and how contemporary (at that time) objects were used to imagine a future.
Poster design and architecture offer many examples (love the Geisel Library). More inspiration comes from enjoying Art (Lynn Chadwick + George Condo + Mattia Bonetti + Philip Glass).
Our designs never reflect my personal taste. Each space is custom designed for the occupant. At Solving Spaces we get great satisfaction knowing that our stamp is not in our work, but that we are able to interpret and realize a space for each client. And the same philosophy we’re going to be following here.
We look forward to really seeing you in action! If there were 5 interior tips you could give to someone who wants to turn a house into a home, what would they be?
1. De-clutter. Clutter holds us back and prevents the space to function optimally. This does not mean all your interiors need to be lean. Let it be curated with intent and composed to tell a story.
2. Be honest. The definition of home is different for each of us. Don’t shop with your eyes, shop with your heart.
3. Be Practical. Say, for instance, you surf frequently. Create an area where you can leave gear and rinse before going into the house. Continuous sand in the tub and a wetsuit dangling and dripping behind the door may soon cause you to surf less.
If you entertain, make sure the layout allows for the flow of foot traffic. Let your home encourage the activities you love.
4. Lighting. This is a game-changer. The same room using a different lighting layout can appear to be a completely different space. Think of light as you would music. Some areas are dense, some fast, others are lighter and softer, but there is always an underlying melody.
Use warmer lighting for social and sanctuary areas while the harder colder light could go for task areas.
If you don’t want to complicate the light setup or don’t have a system that is pre-programmed, install dimmer switches. Adding more controllable light sources (floor lamps, table lamps, candles, mirrors, sheers), can change the energy of the space immediately.
5. Plants. They bring life.
Those are some really good tips, thank you! Lastly, we want to welcome you onboard Mansionly, again. How has the experience so far been? What are you looking forward to?
Thank you. Thus far it has been positive and filled with much excitement. I look forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals. Being able to discover and work with local artists and craftspeople around the globe is rewarding.
Well, we’re so glad to have an interiors mastermind like you on our team, Natalie!
While we let go of Natalie after our cup of coffee was over, so she could focus on creating more gorgeous places, you can still catch up with her. Check out her work on Mansionly or contact us to get in touch with her for a quick interior consultation.