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Interior Design That Fits Your Lifestyle and Personality: An Interview with Natalie Malik of Talie Jane Interiors

By Natalie Malik

Tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Talie Jane Interiors is a full-service, luxury interior design firm that specializes in sophisticated and elegant residential environments. Principal and owner, Natalie Malik, creates highly individualized interior spaces, which reflect a mix of antique and traditional or modern sensibilities suffused with warmth and comfort. Natalie has a considered, analytic and artistic approach to design. Each space takes on a distinct personality reflective of client, context and lifestyle. By incorporating extraordinary furniture pieces and artifacts, Natalie crafts intriguing, intricate and profound designs that transform a space from house to home.

Talie Jane Interiors is headquartered in Chicago and has a west coast office in South Lake Tahoe, serving clients in Illinois, California and Nevada.

Talie Jane is multifaceted and offers a wide array of services: Consulting, Project Management, Space Planning, Color & Material Selection, Furniture Buying, Sourcing, Home Staging, Custom Millwork & Furniture and Art Selection.

Can you briefly talk about the importance of matching the way your home is decorated with your lifestyle and personality?

Your home is an extension of you. If reflects your tastes, personality and history. It tells your story- the story of your friends, family, travel and ever-changing interests. It can be bold and colorful for the outgoing, energetic and boisterous; it can be calm and subtle for the relaxed, tranquil and reserved. It may be simple and organic, busy and modern. It can be a mix of everything and anything- as long as it's YOU.

It is important to put your stamp on your home. Make it yours. Don't be afraid to express yourself. Color, textures and styles should all mirror your personality. It is after all, your home. It should be a comfortable and enjoyable place for you to reside.

Mix and match. If you like it, it will work. Some of the best spaces are an eclectic mix of styles, colors and time periods. If your design reflects you and is in-keeping with the feeling you are striving for, go for it.

What's the first step you would take to create this type of interior design?

Begin by finding colors you love. A favorite piece of art or clothing that you own is a great place to start.

Next, determine the feel you're looking to create. Do you prefer bold, colorful spaces or more subdued environments? Perhaps your taste is for something in between. The important part is understanding the feeling you are trying to establish.

What are the most important aspects of personality and lifestyle that should be factored into interior design?

Your space should have personal artifacts and pieces, reflective of you. For example, collectables and objet d'art from travels, inherited furniture and artwork from grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, your child's drawings and pottery creations, gifts from friends, family photos, crochet throws and even caricatures and professional photographs of your dog (ok, that's just me).

I have a pair of wooden clogs sitting on my living room table. Why do I have shoes as decoration? Well, they were the shoes my great, great grandmother wore as she came to the US (through Ellis Island) from Sweden. My clogs are a conversation piece, but they also tie me to family and are a nice reminder of where I came from. Bonus-they look really cool! Look for finds like this in your parents'/grandparents' attic. If you come up empty, flea markets are a great source for pieces that tell a story. Even if it's not YOUR family's story, there is still a narrative. Once you surround yourself with these pieces, you can create your own anecdote.

Is there anything that people don't normally consider when it comes to redecorating their house that they should consider?

Another way to "make your mark" is to refurbish pieces to make them your own. Old family furniture or pieces from antique stores/flea markets may need some TLC. Repaint, add new hardware, reupholster. Make these elements your own while still maintaining the essence of the item. One of my favorite design techniques is to modernize antique pieces with a contemporary fabric or "antique-ify" a modern piece with paint or vintage upholstery. Be creative.

What advice do you have for a household where the members have personalities and lifestyles that aren't necessarily the same?

A creative compromise always exists. For those of us living with a significant other who has different tastes and interests, it can be difficult to build a cohesive space that reflects both personalities. Never fear. He wants bright and bold and you want light and airy? Establish an accent wall, add colorful pillows and accents and incorporate a bold focal point. Balance with softer lighting and a neural color palette. You want to incorporate family heirlooms that he can't stand- repurpose and refurbish. His "gentleman's lounge" isn't in keeping with your arts and crafts room? Add a wall of storage and card table to suit both needs. A creative solution is always possible. When compromise seems out of the question, call Talie Jane Interiors.

What's the best way for people to contact you and your company?

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