I am so excited to introduce our next Southern Creative feature, Nicola Bathie. Nicola is proof of how small the world is! Nicola is from Texas and i'm from Alabama, but we ended up attending the same abroad program in Oxford during high school. Turns out we both left Oxford, having fallen in love with design and travel. We reconnected through a mutual friend, and have been keeping up ever since. We have so much in common and its been so fun to have someone that shares my interests and passions.
Nicola is a rockstar! On top of being a successful jewelry designer, she is also very talented interior designer. She worked for a wonderful firm in Dallas, and has recently moved to San Antonio to get married and start her own firm, McLaughlin Interiors. I love Nicola's aesthetic. It is so fresh and colorful. I love everything she does. I know there are so many wonderful things to come in her career! Read on to learn more.
Tell us a little bit of your background. when did you realize that you wanted to be an interior designer? I really don’t remember a moment in time where I knew I wanted to be an Interior Designer… It always just was what I wanted… In my 5th grade questionnaire for the school’s year book, I said I wanted to be an Interior Designer when I grew up. Although, in my sophomore year of high school, I went to Oxford University to study Interior Design for a summer, and that is when I knew I wanted to go on and study Interior Design in College.
You are also an incredibly talented jewelry designer. Tell me more about that! When did you get into designing jewels? I really got into designing jewelry when I was in college. It is addicting, so I just haven’t stopped since I started!
What inspires you? Being able to do something different that I am used to doing.
Where do you feel most inspired? When I am traveling. You see so many new things when you travel, maybe be a type of architecture in the city, the color of a front door you wouldn’t think of using, a way tile is laid, or maybe the railing of an entrance to a metro station. Whatever I might see, traveling is the most inspiring way for my mind to get creative.
How would you define your interior style? I would say a combination of transitional, soft contemporary, clean lines, and mixing old and new.
Who do you admire in design? A few that I really admire are Victoria Hagan, Suzanne Kasler, Kelly Wearstler, Sister Parish, and Zaha Hadid.
what are your goals for the future of your design business? You jewelry company? I would love McLaughlin Interiors to be my 9-5 job, per say, and to continue making jewelry on the side.
advice for others who are pursuing a career in design? Jewelry making? For jewelry - if long necklace are in and are a big money maker, then make earrings, make sure your designs don’t look like anyone else. For interior design - do something out of the box, that seems scary, make a statement.
how do you balance your creative passions and the rest of life? Multitasking, I seem to always be doing both at the same time.
does being from the south have an influence on your artwork? Yes, the south is so connected, everyone knows everyone. So, by living in the south, you are able to meet so many fabulous people, from near or far. Whether it is Mario Buatta or Aerin Lauder or George W Bush, it is crazy to see how many inspiring people right at your finger tips.
how do your family and/or friends play a roll in your art? They play the biggest role in everything I do. They are my biggest supports and fans. They have motivated me and encouraged me to be able to be where I am today.
describe your personal style. I love dressing up. I always have since I was a little girl. I love putting together an outfit.
tea or coffee? flats or heels? dogs or cats? breakfast or dinner? Tea, earl gray with milk and sugar. Heels are always my first pick. I am a new found dog lover of my welsh terrier, Jiminy Cricket. I could eat breakfast for every meal of the day, I have actually already had breakfast for breakfast and lunch today.
Who is your style icon? I am really into Giambistta Villa and Elie Saab.
favorite vacation spot. Florence, Italy.
what things are always packed in your carry-on bag? My jewelry and my camera. two things that I could not live without.
what are you looking forward to this summer? The completion of my fiancé and my new home. We bought a house in February and it has been undergoing remodeling. It has been such a fun time and we just can not wait to see the finished product.