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Idée Chic Designs, the award winning interior design boutique located just outside of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington, was founded in 2004 out of principal designer Natalia Smith’s love for creating highly functional, yet chic and sophisticated interiors.

Working from a cozy studio, Natalia and Studio's design team, skillfully execute interior design projects of all types including kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, and office space. Natalia’s commitment to exceptional customer experience and practical designs fuels Studio’s continuous quest to introduce their clients to the best blend of design-value-quality solutions. Talented Studio designers utilize their polished skills to orchestrate remodel and new construction projects, offering spectacular, client pleasing, nationally recognized designs.

Principal Interior Designer, Natalia Smith

Principal, Natalia Smith, September 2010 Natalia’s early experiences significantly influenced her design sensibility. From a young age, the artisans and engineers in Natalia’s family taught her the importance and value of deeply understanding a craft. Through her work, Natalia offers the perfect balance of intense creativity coupled with an engineer’s attention to detail.

As a child, Natalia learned the invaluable skills of sewing and knitting, which provided a solid foundation for her love of textiles. To Natalia, fabric is an essential material that can truly transform a space with touches of brilliant texture and color on walls, windows, furnishings, and floors. She possesses a great understanding and respect for textiles, and flawlessly incorporates layers of fabrics, wallcoverings, and area rugs into her designs.

Natalia also acquired a profound appreciation for quality and a reverence for antiques through her early travels to Europe and Asia. Her design aesthetic blossomed upon witnessing the dichotomy between historical neighborhoods and progressive designs in Europe, as well as the minimalism contrasted with the colorful and elaborately adorned carvings in Asia. Subsequently, Natalia’s interiors illustrate a balance of antiques and modern elements, resulting in designs that are full of meaning, and provide long-term satisfaction for her loyal clientele.

Natalia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Pre-Law, as well as her Masters in Business. However, she soon realized the overwhelming force of her creativity, and decided to pursue a degree and career in Interior Design. The two sides of education blossomed into a successful business.

As an interior designer, wife, mother, and active community member, Natalia finds it important to incorporate efficiency and livability into each interior space she designs, and does so by custom tailoring each design to fit the client’s everyday needs. Natalia is fully dedicated to her work, and believes in the importance of comfortable, peaceful, elegant surroundings, and works closely with her clients to deliver designs that are distinctive and refreshingly unique.

Interior Designer, Allison Lind

Designer, Allison Lind, October 2010

Allison Lind’s road to the world of interiors was a round about one. She grew up admiring the work of her interior designer grandmother, thus inspiring her to craft her own space makeovers for any willing candidate from the time she could hold a paintbrush. But it wasn’t until she was pursuing a journalism career that she realized her passion and ingrained eye for design could translate into a real profession.

Allison got her start locally in the world of interior design as a writer and stylist with Seattle Homes & Lifestyles magazine. She eventually took her skills to New York City where she worked as a magazine prop stylist and designer, working with such clients as Kelly Ripa and Mark Steines, the host of Entertainment Tonight. She also served as the head designer and stylist for Ty Pennington at Home magazine.

It was while working behind the scenes for assorted national magazines, including Every Day with Rachael Ray, Woman’s Day and Remodeling & Makeovers, that Allison honed her ability to create unique, inspired spaces. She still writes in her spare time for a variety of publications, but her day-to-day is now devoted to helping clients go beyond the ordinary and achieve a home that perfectly reflects the individuals living within its walls.

Interior Designer, Aimee Upper

Designer, Aimee Upper, October 2010

Aimee Upper's artistic notions have been with her since the time she was young. With parents who were consistently updating their homes, her artistic inclinations soon developed into a love for interior design. Aimee pursued her design degree and was sought out by one of the local custom builder to lead their in-house design team.

Aimee now has a resume that boasts more than ten years of helping clients materialize their remodeling and new construction dreams including single family and multi-family projects. Her talent and polished through years of work list of resources enables her to swiftly find solutions to most challenging projects. Her passion for exploration of various styles connects her well with clients of diverse lifestyles and tastes.

Aimee’s philosophy of being clients’ best advocate is evident in her work where projects are designed to truly reflect the essence of her clients’ aesthetics. Aimee’s dedication to quality design and genuine interest in her clients’ projects earned her a solid distinction as a “to-go-to designer” in the design/built community.

Aimee’s time at home is concentrated on raising her baby-boy, Aiden, and catching up with her friends and family. In the few spare moments she enjoys fishing and water activities, staying fit, and attending all the Seahawks home games.

Studio's Awards
1st place in the Large Bathroom category at National Kitchen&Bath Association's 2010 Best of the Best Kitchens&Baths
3rd place in the Large Kitchen category at NKBA NW 2008 Best of the Best kitchens& baths
425 Magazine, Best of 2010, Best Kitchen & Bath Designer we are a runner up by the number of local votes
Best Interior design company by Citysearch in 2007 & 2008 & 2009

Professional Affiliations
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Allied Member
National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)
American Institute of Architects (AIA) "Open House" committee with AIA Seattle Chapter

Publications
About.com, Home Remodeling site owned by The New York Times Co., "Small Bathroom Designs - Advice From Top Industry Professionals" June 2010
HGTV.com "7 Beautiful Window Treatments for Bedrooms", April 2010
Seattle Home and Lifestyle, January/February 2010
Decorating, Sunset Magazine special interest publication October 2009
Better Home and Garden, special interest publication "Remodeling", May 2009
Seattle Home and Lifestyle, March 2009
Kitchen and Bath, NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) Puget Sound 2008-2009
@ Home Seattle, September 2007

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An interview with Natalia

To get to know our Principal Designer's style and preferences, we will use Architectural Digest's format for their feature publication "Designers tell all."

When I begin with a new client, I always... listen very carefully to what they are saying and question them about their lifestyles and things they don't like. In general, I am more interested to know what they don't like before we begin the process.

My favorite room to design... I love doing any kind of room, from master bedroom suites to home spas to comfortable entertainment areas and gourmet kitchens. What I enjoy most is creating something entirely fresh and unique–which is why clients come to me.

There are many rules designers should bear in mind. One is... There are no rules aside from the rule that interiors have to work and to be safe. The interior space has to be beautiful, of course, but it also has to be practical, livable for everyday life, and it should have a sense of unobstructed movement either through textures, patterns or space planning. Interiors have to flow, connect and relate.

The order I follow when I design is... It is not always the same, and it depends on the room. Sometimes it is the particular dimensions or architectural details of the room that kick off the process; other times, it's the pattern on a fabric, unique furnishings or a family heirloom. My designs are different because they originated in different ways.

Every home must have... a place to share good food, close friends, and a place for a favorite book.

Who or what has influenced my style... This question has several answers. To begin with, my upbringing in Russia taught me to be practical and use space wisely, appreciate resources and give old things new life rather than starting from scratch.

Designing and making clothes from early on also influenced me. It polished my innate ability to combine color and texture, thinking through the entire process from conception to the end before the first material was cut.

My travels though Europe and Asia shaped two styles I love. One is transitional ("comfortable modern," I call it) with simple geometric forms in a warm, inviting palette of exotic materials. The other is traditional with gorgeous veneers and an abundance of textures and textiles.

Lastly, the work of Peter Marino, architect and designer, influences my thoughts on cohesiveness of space by the way he warms and balances his designs.

The clients can make the design process go more smoothly by... Trusting the designer, being honest and upfront, and making decisions promptly. The design process is about solving problems. I don't dictate what and how things should be, I guide. Consequently, the clients have some decisions to make and be comfortable with the outcome. I will provide all the support to make the decision process easy but ultimately, the final word comes from the client. So, honest and open communication is key to success.

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