Treehouse living, Natty style

Treehouse 2

By Elien Blue Becque

Okay fine, it’s not an actual treehouse, but given the space constraints placed upon those of us living in certain major cities (hint: not Detroit) the square footage we have to work with might as well be that of a tree house. Hence RoomZoom’s recent visit to Natalie Decleve’s West Village studio, the top floor of a pre-war walk up that her friends affectionately refer to as “the treehouse.” If anyone can make a small space both homy and elegant it’s Natalie, a stylist and fashion correspondent who’s known as NattyStyle, the Hippie in Heels.

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Natty’s apartment, as seen from the kitchen.

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During the shoot we discovered a new favorite new flower, romantic  Anemone from the Ranunculaceae family.

I <3 the Container Store

The pieces for this custom closet came entirely from the Container Store, who also sent someone to install it! I was very curious how, considering her profession, Natty manages to keep her wardrobe evolving but not accumulate more things than will fit in her closet. The answer? “It forces me to only keep the things I love. I am constantly editing my own wardrobe as I add in new pieces and I give myself a full “Closet Cleanse” at least 3-4 times a year.” She’s also clearly a pro at maintaining sanity though organization: “I try to keep everything very neatly organized by categories so that I can always find what I need and don’t forget what I have.”

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Inspiration and a BFF

Can you spot Natty? “This is my BFF Krystal and me, it was taken last summer in Le Marais after an epic day of vintage shopping, this was one of the most fun trips of my life and I love that this moment was captured.”

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West-Village-Sized Kitchen

This kitchen made for one is open to the apartment, making cooking a social experience, as it should be! Though the fridge is super tiny, that’s just fine with Natty as the cabinet is big enough to house her “slightly absurd” dish and glass collection.

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Persistence My Dear

After searching high and low Natty found this pristine art deco chandelier on Craigslist, the only problem: it was in White Plains. On the off chance they could figure out transportation, Natty inquired anyway and the owner’s son happened to be driving to Manhattan the next day! She met him on the Upper East Side and brought the entire thing home in pieces, as she describes it, “I then had to employ several handy gentleman friends to help me get the thing up and running with a dimmer.  It was quite a process, but lighting is so crucial in any room that it was totally worth the effort!”

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Spoken Like a True Professional

What of the organizational M.O. here? “If you can’t see them, you won’t wear them. I always try to keep my jewelry, shoes and bags in a decorative and orderly display so that I know what I’m working with. ”

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Life Shrine

The nook between the fireplace and the kitchen seems like it was made for displaying the people and memories Natalie hold dear, certainly best described in her own words:

Top shelf: “The large print is from San Francisco, which was my first “city” as i grew up just outside in Palo Alto.” Second shelf: “My 3 nieces are the loves of my life, so the silly framed photo on the middle shelf always makes me smile. The porcelain clown is from a flea market the South of France and reminds me of my favorite French nursery rhyme.”
Third shelf: “I have several old images of my parents framed in a collage.  I love seeing how much of their old lifestyles (and personal style!) I have incorporated into my own. The seashells are collected from various beaches around the world. Giraffes are my favorite animal, and the one on my mantle was a gift from one of my besties who bought it when we were in Tulum together.” Fourth shelf: “You can barely see the black and white photo of Natalie Wood framed behind my perfumes, but my mother named me after her, so she’s my namesake!”

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This final shot of the day was captured by standing on the kitchen counter.

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Many Thanks to You Both.

Celebrated fashion photographer Simbarashe Cha was the talent behind the lens. You can find a lot more of Natalie’s work here and here.