When artist-turned-designer Natalie Papier moved from Chicago to Charlotte in fall 2019, she brought her unique brand of maximalism with her. Finding a French-influenced abode in Olde Providence ironically allowed her to keep her firm name, Home EC. OP (formerly for Chicago’s Oak Park). With the slow-down that came with COVID, Papier focused on infusing her family’s new residence with the same fierce spirit as their previous Victorian (where the once-neutral walls became a blank canvas for her colorful paints). Aiming for exuberance without excess, we asked her how to make an impact.
What’s the difference between kitsch and maximalism? Maximalism is a lot—color, boldness—happening. But kitsch is me having a coffee table in the shape of a cassette tape. If you’re going all one decade, I think that’s kitsch. But maximalism, to me, is curated objects. Scale is super important. And you have to edit.
What colors are you loving right now? A lot of people shy away from primary colors, but they’re my favorites: I re-covered a vintage chair with a Hudson’s Bay blanket and painted a Swedish clock entirely in yellow. It’s really important to temper them—with warm woods or a bit of blush—or they can skew preschool.