6 Things with Natalie Myers Founder of Veneer Designs

Based in Los Angeles, Natalie Myers heads an award-winning full-service interior design studio, Veneer Designs. She is known for her signature Scandifornian style bringing an organic modern-inspired perspective to contemporary spaces. Natalie combines a minimal edited approach inspired by Nordic and Japanese sensibilities along with the laid back Californian lifestyle that meshes indoor and outdoor living. With an eye towards modern clean lines, but a weakness for classic and mid-century design, Veneer Designs creates unfussy contemporary spaces with personality.

1. What started it all for you?

I was always pretty good at art from an early age. Drawing and painting every day since I was able to hold a pencil. I also excelled academically. In high school, when we had to start applying to universities I knew that I wouldn't go the art school route, as nice as that may be, and I should get a "competitive degree" as a daughter of immigrants. I figured that architecture was the right path for me since it was a combination of technical knowledge and art as well as a highly respected field. I honestly didn't know Interior Design was even a career path option. I was admitted to Cornell University and started studying architecture. And you know what, I found it to be quite dry and boring. At least in Year 1.

Luckily, Cornell has a world class Interior Design program that I happened upon when I noticed an exhibit of student work. It was an aha moment for me realizing THIS is actually what I meant when I signed up to study Architecture. I didn't realize it was its own very different field. It sounds naive, but there is a lot more visibility and accessibility now in regards to Interior Design with social media than there was then. I was able to transfer to the Interior Design program and have been passionate about the development of my skills ever since. I did internships at larger architecture firms with interior departments in college, hit the ground running as a Junior Designer after graduating, and worked my way through a few corporate jobs in my 20's. It was only after I had my first baby at 30 that I had acquired both the confidence in my skill set, the desire to express my own point of view creatively, along with the need for a flexible schedule and a more personal client experience to be able to start my own practice. I have been running my studio in Los Angeles as the Design Principal and owner for about 12 years now. I find it extremely fulfilling and joyful to help my clients realize the beauty and function in their spaces and am grateful for the steps that lead me to this point in my younger years

2. What drives your creative spark?

A little travel goes a long way. Whether it's in the US or a farther flung destination, feeling out the energy of a different region really gets my creative juices flowing and infuses my work locally. I find that with Instagram and Pinterest a lot of us creatives end up being inspired by the same images and pretty soon everything starts to look homogenous. Devoid of a personal point of view. Travel helps to open my eyes to unfamiliar color stories, material selections, textures. The ideas start to flow. Not being able to travel for a few years during Covid has me appreciate the flavorful possibilities even more than before.

3. Most treasured home decor item?

The world is full of pretty things and boy do they come and go around here in whiplash speed. My family has learned not to get too attached to anything because I have a one thing in, one thing out policy to keep visual clutter to a minimum but I do hold onto sentimental art. I have a hard time letting go of paintings, photographs, and sketches that were gifted to me by close friends or family. They don't take up a lot of space and are infused with meaning. I have one small watercolor of a ballerina that was by my mother's bedside for years (she used to dance) and now it's in my home. Its a most treasured piece.

4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?

Comparison is the thief of joy rings true in our creative journeys. With a constant stream of others' accomplishments blasted into your inbox, it's easy to doubt if you should be doing more and bigger work. And harder to appreciate your own incremental daily successes. I don't have a 20 person firm or a product line with Target and I'm 100% content with that. The shape of my career is the exact right shape for me in the here and now.

5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?

I'm trying to tone down my overzealous wine consumption, but I am a sucker for a natural red wine. Especially if it comes in a cute graphic label. Stolpman Vineyards Love You Bunches and Folly of The Beast Pinot Noir are both lovely weeknight wines. My husband has gotten into brewing his own water kefir which is a whole new world of probiotic health and I'm trying to drink more of his fruity bubbly concoctions when 5 o' clock hits.

6. What are your favorite 6 accounts that you follow for inspiration?

That's hard because dozens of designers are inspiring me daily but these accounts see the world in a unique way that I adore. They push me to be more playful and whimsical with each new post.

"A little travel goes a long way. Whether its in the US or a farther flung destination, feeling out the energy of a different region really gets my creative juices flowing and infuses my work locally. Travel helps to open my eyes to unfamiliar color stories, material selections, textures and the ideas start to flow." -Natalie Myers