My Story Part I | S is for Soul

My Story Part I | S is for Soul


What is soul? It's like electricity- we don't really know what it is, but it's a force that can light a room. -Ray Charles 

The Young Designer

Lately, I have been doing a lot of soul-searching and trying to rediscover that intangible knowing within myself that I'm pretty sure was there not too long ago but somehow I let slip away. The thing that comes from deep beneath my chest, the slight tingly and warm feeling that springs forward when I come across something that speaks to me, whether it be architecture, interior design, or a flower arrangement. As a little girl, I was obsessed with Homes & Land magazine I would grab one every time I had a chance, I still recall the first dream home I came across, it looked just like a castle with a big gorgeous garden.

As long as I can remember, I've always wanted to create my dream home. When I was about ten years old I remember taking my Lego set, and color coordinating this little white house with a blue roof. I was about 12 when we were ready to move on from our little house located on the last dirt road left unpaved in my little cow town of Chino Hills, California. Once I found out we were moving I went for the graph paper and began drawing out the plans for the custom home that my parents were not planning on building. I vaguely remember the layout, but I do recall my bedroom being the largest. 

My First Design Project

We ended up moving into bigger home the summer before I started high school. It was close enough to what I wanted which made me happy. The master bedroom was located on the main floor and my room on the second floor. So, there it was an entire floor to myself with a bedroom I could do with what I pleased.

With the money earned at my first job with Target, I had my dad pull the carpet and install the birch laminate flooring I bought from Ikea. I painted the walls and furnished the room with matching Ikea furniture. Considering my budget, it was gorgeous, clean, spacious and exactly how I had envisioned. My room had been painted and redesigned a few times prior, but this look stayed for the next few years until we ultimately lost the house during the recession.

Off to Design School

It was also that fact that pulled me towards pursuing a degree in Interior Design. I was in my senior year of high school and a FIDM rep came to speak at the school. Although FIDM is a fashion-oriented school, the rep went on to describe their interior design program after asking the group if they found themselves constantly rearranging furniture (Me!), and suddenly, I had found my college major. At the time FIDM only offered an associate’s degree in Interior Design and I ultimately ended up the Interior Designers Institute in Newport Beach to pursue my bachelor's degree. Thus, beginning my young and optimistic path to becoming an insanely successful interior designer... or so I thought.

Now, I'm not exactly an interior designer these days, but it's that fact that has brought me here. I'm here to share my story, my ideas and in this post particular, give you the beginning of my story, the second part of which you can find here. Be sure and sign up for my email list so you never miss a post. 

Until next time, with love,

Natalie Heel

My Story Part II | G is for Grit

My Story Part II | G is for Grit