NEW YORK, NEW YORK
We sat down with New York-based interior designer, Natalie Kraiem, to discover her elegant approach to design and go-to holiday decorating advice.
A bedroom designed by Natalie Kraiem
I began doing arts and crafts, painting, and training my eye at a young age. My mother was a decorator and my grandmother had a deep appreciation of beautiful table settings and decor. I was always in awe of beautiful decor, whether it was in a hotel, restaurant, boutique, or home.
I would love to have a design mentor. I draw inspiration from many designers: David Collins, Jean-Louis Deniot, and lately Thomas Pheasant.
I have largely been my own mentor in interior design. I trained myself by always being alert to my surroundings, and I was fortunate to have a loving family that encouraged me to do what I loved. My mother is an artist with a passion for painting and my father is a businessman who always inspired me to learn and to be dedicated.
I love the custom Arabescato marble coffee table that I designed for my living room. It is a beautiful statement piece. I also love the bright blue sofa that I designed to go with it. I think texture and shape are the most important factors when decorating. The fabrics that cover the furniture can make or break a space.
"I think texture and shape are the most important factors when decorating."
The bed is number one. The bed will determine the style of the room. It is usually the focal point so I like to make sure that every aspect is perfect. From the headboard to the linens and throw pillows, every detail is fundamental to good design.
Lighting is the second most important element. You want the bedroom to feel cozy and serene. I like to have several sources of light to create the perfect ambience. Flooring is the third most important element. I usually like to use a wall-to-wall carpet or a large area rug. The carpet will make the room feel warm and tie the materials together. Without a carpet or rug, I feel like the room is incomplete.
Sleep determines your wellness and health. My favorite moment is at the end of the day when I can finally lie down in my plush bed and relax. Without the perfect linens, this moment would not be nearly as enjoyable!
Do not follow rules or trends. There are no rules in interior design. I like to mix furniture of different styles: contemporary, vintage, etc. My focus is usually on the materials that I am working with. Scheming and selecting fabrics are my favorite aspects of the design process.
I am still enjoying the success of Holiday House! This is my third year designing a room for the show house and the cause is dear to my heart. In the coming months, I will be designing several summer homes, which will be fun because the styles are more casual and relaxed. I will also be working on a new residential project that is over 16,000 square feet. The interiors and gardens belong to a French Chateau. The house is a dream!
Glamorous and elegant yet comfortable.
I am obsessed with everything Frette! The quality and designs are timeless. The duvet cover that we chose for my Holiday House master bedroom is my favorite item. It represents everything that I like in design. It is elegant, luxurious, and still comfortable. It is a dream, in the most beautiful silk and jacquard. I also love the sheets and shams that we chose for the show house. The Ornate Medallion Lace Shams are exquisite and they complement the duvet perfectly!
In New York, I love walking on Madison Avenue. One look at the beautiful decor in boutiques and store windows sparks inspiration! Every detail tends to be perfect and well-thought-out. I also adore the Lowell Hotel. I would love to one day live in a house that looks like that hotel. The architecture is spectacular! Buenos Aires is always changing and evolving. Every year when I visit, I try to visit the recently opened restaurants and shops. They are very up-to-date with trends in interior design!
I love reading interior design books. “Jean-Louis Deniot: Interiors” and “David Collins Studio: ABCDCS” are two of my favorites. Always near my coffee table are Elle Decor, Veranda, Architectural Digest, Luxe, Galerie, and New York Cottages & Gardens. Instagram is also an easy source of inspiration and a great way of keeping in touch with other designers!
A tissue box, water, a candle, a table lamp, and a few picture frames.
My holiday style is quite glamorous. I love to use metallics, sheens, velvets, fur, and anything luxe. Whenever I have the chance, I incorporate candles and music (Carla Bruni, Frank Sinatra) to really set a charming holiday scene. The Frette candles are some of my favorite!
I recently purchased the silver flower candle sticks that I used in my Holiday House room. They are absolutely gorgeous, and perfect for year-round use or for dressing up my holiday table. The silver sets a tone of elegance, and their dramatic shape makes them one of a kind. I also plan on using the custom throw pillows that I designed for my room. I love using silver and gold tones to give my holiday decorations a glamorous edge!
To get your home holiday ready, engage all of the senses. Dress up your room with flowers, candles, and music! These seemingly small touches are the best simple ways to enhance an existing space and to set a wonderfully festive mood. Use seasonal flowers to create a runner on your dining room table, or replace traditional lights with candles to create the ultimate cozy.
My kids, my husband, and our traditions! My family is really what makes our home and our holidays special. Surprisingly, they always get in the mood before I do! I am more of a late planner. The kids make beautiful decorations in school and my husband is the first one to stock the house with good wine and seasonal decor. I take care of the florals, the food, a great playlist, and making sure that everything looks picture perfect! My touch of decor, and their festive moods, makes our house a party!