At Home with Natalie Smith of NARU Studios
At home with

A home of

Words by Lucy Siddall. Photography by Trisha Ward.

On creating a calm yet inspirational space to call home
with designer and founder of NARU Studios, Natalie Smith.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Lounge

Natalie’s lounge marries memory and style with her minimal, monochrome aesthetic. Armchair (similar here), glass top coffee table by Royal Design, Mercer Sideboard by SOHO Home, black metal candle sticks by H&M Home, Sphere Pendant Light and Aluminia Wall Light by Tala and geometric cushion by One Nine Eight Five.

From Europe to America and back again, NARU Studios founder Natalie Smith has worked for many prestigious global brands, including Rebecca Minkoff, Hugo Boss, and H&M. However, her ultimate goal was to launch her own sustainable and conscious luxury leather brand, which she did in 2022. Since moving back to the UK and establishing her brand, she has styled a beautiful home that is the perfect amalgamation of all the places she‘s lived, culminating in a minimal space peppered with artworks and furniture from some of the most acclaimed artists and designers across Europe and America. We sat down with her to discuss how living abroad has influenced her interior styling choices and her most cherished pieces at home.

Lucy Siddall: What does the word ‘home’ mean to you?

Natalie Smith: Home is a space where I can feel completely myself and express my creativity. It’s the place I love being the most, so everything looks and feels exactly how I want it to. Each item here is a reflection of what I know and love.

A Haven of Tranquility

An intimate corner of Natalie's bedroom, featuring Adnet Mirror by Gubi, granite tray (similar here), Super Cedar Perfume Byredo and Body Candle (similar here).

LS: Tell me the story of your home.

NS: I bought my apartment in 2021. I didn’t make any structural changes, but I completely gutted the interior because it was a mess! It was dirty, the tiles were coming off the walls, it was grim. I renovated the kitchen and bathrooms, changed all the floors and painted all the walls. It took three months in total.

LS: How did you make your house a home?

NS: The main thing that makes it feel like home is that I created it exactly how I want it. I designed it and chose all the details, and for me, that’s incredibly meaningful. The space is minimal, mainly grey and white, but the pieces I’ve collected over the years make it feel special and like home. It’s the art on the walls I chose, the photography and the frames.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Bedroom

Natalie’s bedroom is a calm and clutter-free environment for welcoming sleep. Artwork from the collection at Fotografiska, Stockholm, Reflection Enno Table Lamp by Tala, hanging shelves, made to order via Out Of Stock Design, navy candle by Potts Candles, Wool Throw by One Nine Eight Five and Linen Bedding (similar here).

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Bedroom

A walnut chest of drawers (similar here) doubles up as Natalie's dressing table. Featuring Adnet Mirror by Gubi, granite tray (similar here), Super Cedar Perfume Byredo, Body Candle (similar here) and blue ceramic flower pot (similar here).

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - The Coffee Table

Collected moments telling a story. The coffee table, featuring, bottle opener by H&M Home, Ren Hang Book, Pictures from the Surface of the Earth by Wim Wenders, Tim Walker: Wonderful Things and Rug via Olsson & Gerthel (similar here).

LS: What feeling did you hope to evoke when designing your home?

NS: I wanted the space to be somewhere I would feel inspired—a place where my mind could feel open and productive, a place that fosters creativity. I wanted a calm space to relax and work in rather than a hectic environment. I knew I would work from home, so it was also essential to be intentional when I curated each space. My bedroom is extremely calm because I wanted to invoke a good night’s sleep. My office, however, is a more creative environment with swatches of leather piled on my desk and more pictures on the walls.

LS: What inspired the style of your home?

NS: Living abroad and in European countries inspired how I wanted to design my home, especially my time in Scandinavia. I had a very strong connection to Sweden. Not only was it where I owned my first home, but I was very inspired by the people and the culture. I admire the connection Swedes have to themselves and nature. Their whole outlook on life is more advanced and modern than anywhere else I’ve lived. In Sweden, there is an over-arching sentimentality of respect for themselves, their health, each other and nature. They have very modern views on gender equality and human rights, and in general, their policies and approaches are very forward-thinking, which inspired me a lot. I was also very inspired by Danish design, and I have a lot of pieces from makers in Denmark.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - The Lounge Details
For celebrations to remember

Crystal Highball Glasses by SOHO Home, Glass Carafe by Questo Design.

LS: Can you tell me about all the places you have lived and how your home represents your travels?

NS: At the start of my career, when I lived in Switzerland, Italy and New York, I lived a lot more minimally whilst simultaneously absorbing the styles of each country and slowly starting to collect pieces from each one. Italian furniture design is amazing; the handwriting is very specific, but it’s beautiful, and there’s a lot of wood, which influenced my interior style. My love for Wim Wenders originates from my time in Germany and Switzerland, but the majority of my furniture and art are from when I lived in Italy and Sweden. Most of my big pieces are Swedish, as that’s where I lived last, and I furnished an entire apartment there, but I have collected bits over the years. I have an incredible clock from New York. It was only $5, but I love it so much. I’ve tried to bring everything I’ve done, and everywhere I’ve lived into my home. Now, it really is a true extension of who I am, my experience, career, life and everything I feel. It’s very personal.

At Home With Natalie Smith - Dining Room Details

Savoured moments in the home. 1970 Candle by Bella Freud and Relax Diffuser by Cowshed.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru

The social hub of Natalie's home, the dining room: Featuring large round metal mirror (similar here) and black metal bar cart (similar here).

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - Dining Room

Natalie’s contemporary dining room features her carefully curated art collection. In Between SK4 table by &Tradition, dining chairs (similar here), triple pendant light by Tala and cushion by One Nine Eight Five.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Office

A creative corner in Natalie’s office. Featuring the Reflection Oval Table Lamp by Tala, metal wall grid and NARU Studio's Fan Shoulder Bag.

LS: What is your favourite part of the house? Why?

NS: The living area. It’s like a little gallery, a mixture of all my artworks, photography and inspiration. It’s also where I feel most calm. It lets in a lot of natural light and is a very nice space. I’m happy when I’m here.

LS: What are your most cherished pieces in the home?

NS: I’ve got a few favourites. My Ewa Rudling photographs, Mercer Sideboard from SOHO Home and GUBI Adnet Wall Mirror are all really special. I also have several pieces made by a good friend at One Nine Eight Five, including this beautiful throw; I love supporting people I know and having their incredible work in my home.

LS: Where did you collect/ shop for/ find your favourite pieces?

NS: I’ve bought items for my home from various sites or platforms in all the places I’ve lived. There’s not one particular shop I prefer. I purchase what I love more than anything. I like to buy secondhand, but I’ve also bought new pieces from specific designers because I want one of their pieces. I love OX Denmarq, for example, and bought the Trifolum Chair new because I like the designer.

Visit NARU Studios to learn more about Natalie’s brand and to explore the range.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - The Office
A hub of inspiration

Natalie's office is the place where her creativity turns into reality. Featuring The Arco Desk by Design House Stockholm, Stretch Chair by OX Denmarq, floor lamp by SOHO Home, sold out (similar here) and Lampshade by Folk.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Kitchen

Curated functionality. Natalie's kitchen, featuring glass storage jars, kitchen utensil holder by House Doctor and stone chopping board (similar here).

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Kitchen

Tea Jar by Solstickan and mug by House Doctor.

At Home With Natalie Smith of Naru - the Lounge

Woman Print and Recycled Cotton Throw by One Nine Eight Five.