If you were to drop in on us unannounced on a lazy Sunday morning, you would find us comfortably sipping our espresso on a sofa, while wearing our KIP pajamas. Drop in on us a little later in the evening, and you might find a very similar scene (except by this point we’ve probably swapped out the caffeine for vino!) The point is, we greatly value time spent at home in our PJs so you can imagine our delight and surprise when we had the privilege of working with Natalie Marshall (founder of KIP Sleepwear) on her recently-purchased, North Rosedale home, which she shares with her husband and two French bulldogs, Stella and Alfie. The transition from a condo to the couple’s first home was big but exciting and with Natalie’s clear vision and style, the results are stunning. Upon completion of the project, we had the opportunity to sit down with the entrepreneur to chat further about her home, work, style and the Real Housewives…
What were the “must haves” on your Homekin wish list?
Having functional and comfortable pieces of furniture in our main living area was very important to us, as we love to entertain. In our master bedroom, we wanted to incorporate a unique wallpaper. This is our first time living in a home so we also really wanted to invest in classic furniture for our first ever house-sized master bedroom!
What does the concept “home” mean to you?
Both my husband and I are busy entrepreneurs so for us, home is our oasis. Home, in my mind, is a place that is filled with warmth and where you feel most comfortable.
Where do you like to splurge in your home? Where do you feel it’s ok to economize?
We invested more in the most-used areas of the home such as our living and dining areas, as well as our master bedroom. We really took the time to select furniture for these spaces that is timeless and will stand the test of time. For lighter-traffic areas such as our guest bedrooms, we played around with more trendy but affordable pieces and textiles.
What kind of art and decorative pieces are you most drawn to?
We have a lot of open shelving in our home so for that reason, I’ve enjoyed collecting all kinds of coffee table books. As someone who works in the fashion industry, I also love to incorporate pieces from that world. I’m a big fan of framing classic scarves or adding designer blankets for some colour.
Who are some of your favourite designers for interior decor, furniture, fabric, wallpaper etc?
I absolutely love Missoni Home. The wallpaper in our master bedroom has to be one of my favourite parts of our house. Homekin also introduced me to Aerin Lauder’s collection of home accents and I’m obsessed! We have several of her light fixtures in our home. For carpeting, I’m in love with the antelope and geometric prints from Stark. For classic furniture, we found a lot of great pieces from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams as well as Bernhardt.
What’s your favourite piece that you purchased via Homekin?
Our dining room chandelier by Terzani! It is truly the crown jewel in our home and such a unique piece.
As a designer and entrepreneur, what do you look for in a home?
Our home is very multifunctional! We use our home for everything from hosting to working so an open floor plan was very important to us. I also need to feel creative and be inspired by my surroundings in a space that is well-lit with lots of natural light.
What was the most helpful part of the Homekin process?
The overall concept that they could take my vision and put it on paper. It was so nice to see my plans come to life. It was also so valuable to work with knowledgeable, industry experts who have the intel of which brands would work with both my style and budget.
Did you end up making any purchases or changes to your home that you wouldn’t have, had it not been for Homekin?
Absolutely. The biggest things were the unique painting recommendations! Homekin had the fabulous idea of painting several of our interior doors a contrasting colour, which made such an impact. Also, they made the suggestion of painting the trim and fireplace in our master bedroom a colour that complimented the wallpaper. When it came to home accents, we definitely wouldn’t have been nearly as creative as Homekin. It was these little details that made our space feel complete.
How has the pandemic influenced…the way you feel about your home? The way you spend your time in your home? And your needs within your home?
I have far more appreciation for my home now and it truly has become my favourite place. Now I find I miss it more than ever when I’m not there! On weekends, we used to cram in so many things that involved being away from home but now, we love our Friday night movies and lazy Sundays. The pandemic has also taught me to appreciate the peace of nature, which is a new thing for me. I find that I value outdoor space a lot more now.
Are you back in the office? Or working remotely from home? If from home, how did that influence your Homekin project?
I’m part time in the office and part time at home. Homekin was great at helping me make decisions quickly so that I could feel settled enough to work from home as quickly as possible
Does the way in which you approach designing for KIP influence design choices for your home?
100%! When I started KIP, I wanted to create a pajama that was both stylish and timeless and I definitely took the same approach when selecting pieces for our home.
Would you say your fashion choices are of a similar aesthetic as your interior decor choices?
Very much so! In both fashion and interior decor, I love neutrals and mixing metals!
If you could swap homes with any celebrity, whose would it be?
Lisa Vanderpump! She knows how to create glam spaces for entertaining.
You’ve mentioned in the past how growing up in England has influenced KIP sleepwear? Would you say the same about the aesthetic of your home?
Very much so. Our home is 100+ years old and I love the details that come with it. It reminds me of the homes I grew up in, in the UK. Thoughtful touches are also very big in England. Things like bespoke drapery and custom pillows are very British and therefore important to me. These pieces were made particularly special with help from my mum and her business, Holford White Design.
What are some of your favourite boutiques in Toronto for home decor, furniture and clothing?
Elte is a staple for investment furniture. Accents for Living is also a great resource for unique pieces. 6 by GEE beauty and TNT both do a great job of curating the best of the top, contemporary fashion brands!
Who do you look to for personal style inspiration?
I’m always inspired by old pictures of Princess Diana. I see so much of what she styled being replicated today. I also love following European bloggers like Chiara Farragani, Sophie Knight, and Hannah Strafford-Taylor.
Using 3 words, how would you define your personal style?
Classic, neutral and feminine.
Do you have a “signature” perfume or do you change it up?
My favourite is Baccarat Rouge 540. I wore it on my wedding day and love it for a night out. I also love several of the Kilian and Armani Prive scents.
Patterns or solids?
Heels or flats?
Shoes or purses?
If we were to raid your purse, what would we find?
My wallet, phone, at least 4 lipsticks and a mini mirror and brush for quick touch ups.
3 things you can’t live without?
My french bulldogs, Stella & Alfie, morning reading, and the Real Housewives franchise.
How do you start your days?
Lemon water followed by coffee. Then, reading and a meditation, which is a phone-free time.
How do you recharge?
I like to go for walks and practice self care regularly with massages, manicures and facials. They help me feel my best!
Are you a morning person or more of a nighthawk?
What does the perfect night-in look like for you?
A feel-good movie, takeout from one of our favourite spots (Terroni or Mamakas), and sharing a good bottle of wine with my husband.
Have you traveled outside of the country recently? If so, where did you go? If not, where is the first place you want to go?
We haven’t travelled recently. Miami was a regular stomping ground for us and we will be heading there at the end of the month for a quick break. In the future? I’m desperate to get to Europe at the first opportunity… Mykonos & Spain specifically.
Favourite place to vacation?
Capri, Italy and Mykonos, Greece.
Where have you always wanted to travel to but haven’t yet?
I would love to see Dubai.
Window or aisle seat?
What book did you most recently finish?
Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey- I highly recommend it.
Favourite movie atm?
I Care A lot with Rosamund Pike was very unique and kept me guessing
Favourite song atm?
Bad Habits by Ed Sheeran
What movie makes you laugh really hard?
National Lampoons Christmas Vacation or Anchorman
What movie makes you cry every time?
The Art of Racing in the Rain
Favourite restaurant in Toronto?
Alo Bar and Giulietta are two of my favourites.
What’s your favourite comfort food?
ANY kind of cookie.
What’s a guilty pleasure of yours (food, activity, splurge)?
Watching reality TV with a glass of wine.
What is your cocktail of choice?
Skinny Spicy Margarita
Savoury or sweet?