Natasha Christofa from Paloma Living Gives us an Insight into her Successful Homewares Business
Paloma Living is one of our premier providers of cushions because the aesthetic is one that we value and appreciate at Lavender Hill. For Natasha Christofa, the owner, a love of home décor came naturally as she spent many school holidays with her parents, owners of a homewares store, buying and sourcing.
Natasha now brings to the Paloma Living line a love and appreciation for fashion, design and home décor. Inspired by the classic aesthetic of Ralph Lauren, it’s not uncommon to feel a sense of escape with the Paloma Living line of cushions.
They transport you to another place, whether it be the Hamptons or the Mediterranean, with their use of sumptuous linens and artisan materials, and design style that integrates coastal, nautical and natural elements.
We sat down with Natasha to find out more about her journey with Paloma Living.
1. What path led you to where you are now with your successful homewares business, Paloma Living?
I guess I kind of grew up in the industry, my parents own a homewares store and when you’re surrounded by business your entire life it ends up becoming second nature. Growing up as a young kid, my school holidays were spent sourcing and buying product alongside my dad and working in their retail stores and whilst most kids my age were studying, my parents would take me and my sister to all the gift fairs and trade shows. For me it feels that business and design is now somewhat in my DNA.
As I got older my love for the homewares industry gradually progressed and now looking back at it all, I could never imagine myself doing anything besides interiors. We are so fortunate to be surrounded by such beauty and craftsmanship; that it truly is an honour to design décor pieces for Australian homes.
2. Have you always had an interest in textiles and design?
Funnily enough at school we were given a project to make a cushion, mine was an absolute disaster! My textiles teacher at the time said to me Natasha whatever you do, don’t do textiles for a living and just a few years later here we are. I laugh about it all the time, but there’s an underlying truth to the story, it’s that you never really know which career you will land.
I can’t say that I had an interest in textiles specifically but definitely fashion, design and home décor. I spent a lot of time in my teenage years running a popular fashion blog and reading Vogue religiously; that paired with a background in business and having grown up around interior design it seems that textiles is truly a perfect fit.
3. What is your favourite part of your job and what is the most challenging?
My favourite part of my job is travelling to India. I have developed a love for the generosity and humbleness of the people in India; it truly is an amazing and spiritual place. I am extremely fortunate to have a business that allows me to travel to exciting places of the world and for that I am forever grateful.
The most challenging part is probably the preparation before a trade show; exhibiting your product to thousands of people per day can be a bit daunting. Trade shows are like a runway shoot for home décor, it’s the first public launch of your collection; so for that it can be a bit unnerving but once we’re a couple of hours in; it’s back to normal!
4. What inspires you?
From a design perspective, definitely Ralph Lauren.
I have adored his work for as long as I can remember; it’s the attention to detail and the story behind his designs that have always inspired me to strive for absolute perfection when designing a collection. In my travels, wherever there is a Ralph Lauren Flagship Store it’ll be the first place I go, each store regardless of the city sells a complete and refined lifestyle the minute you walk in the door. There’s always a sense of continuity amongst Ralph Lauren’s collections and I was inspired by that from the minute I started Paloma Living; I wanted to create a brand that was true to itself and that design wise never contradicted its image.
Paloma Living stands as a testament to consistency, each season we may design with new fabrics and patterns but the timelessness of our brand will always be evident. As each collection passes we hope to have a similar thread running through it; year after year.
5. Do you think fashion trends can reflect textile design trends?
Yes, I believe that trends do have an impact on the textile industry however in my design work I always look to the classics for inspiration. At Paloma Living we design for the quintessential Australian home, the majority of homes are neutral in colour and for that I design with a timeless colour palette.
6. Do you have a particular design aesthetic that you follow?
When it comes to designing a collection each season, I am always inspired by the natural beauty and relaxed lifestyle of Australia. The design flair amongst the Paloma Living range transcends between Hamptons and Provincial, our colour pallete however is inspired by the Mediterranean. We take elements of Hamptons, Provincial and European aesthetics and add simplistic motifs from Australia.
We usually photograph our Summer Collections in Sydney’s Northern Beaches and our Winter Catalogues in the Southern Highlands; the lifestyle associated with these beautiful Australian suburbs undeniably complements the Paloma Living range.
7. Can you give us 3 tips on the best way to arrange cushions on a bed and a sofa?
The great thing about the Paloma Living Range, especially with our Spring/Summer 2018 Collection is that you can mix as many different cushions as you like and you’ll achieve a really beautiful aura.
I always recommend starting with a basic; our Basic Cushions are perfect as they are finished with a crisp white contrast piping; they are available in a large 60x60 and a smaller 50x50 which is ideal for different sized sofas and beds.
Once you’ve placed your basics, you can then begin layering with different sized square cushions and finish it off with a variety of lumbars and rectangular cushions in front. Some people like complete symmetry; others choose to be a bit more care free with their cushion placement; regardless of your choice the range is extremely easy to arrange aesthetically.
8. You started off designing cushions and you have recently moved into other products like wall art, vases, lanterns etc. What inspired you to move into this area of design?
Igniting a love for all things quality is the essence of Paloma Living and it was for this reason that I decided to introduce a bespoke range of home furnishings to our collection. We created a range of homewares, all crafted in India to complement the textiles that Paloma Living was founded on, we take great pride in craftsmanship and the artisan traditions embedded throughout our industry.
The range was designed to introduce a more tactile experience with smooth woods and marble top tables whilst keeping a holistically classic experience. We have always believed in providing superior quality and it’s my absolute pleasure to introduce this divine range of homewares to our portfolio.
Let's Get Personal .......
1. What else are you passionate about besides your work? Travel and Food.
2. What is your most treasured belonging? A watch gifted to me by my beautiful grandmother.
3. What's one thing people may not know about you? My charity work.
4. In 10 years I'd like to be.... If I can be doing what I’m doing now in 10 years’ time, I’ll be blessed; we pride ourselves on loyalty and I hope that my relationship with our stockists will hold the test of time.
5. What can't you live without? My family. Everything I am and everything I hope to be, I owe it to them.
While a career in textiles might not be where Natasha originally saw her design work heading, Paloma Living has evolved into a company that values not only classic timelessness but also the design details that can only be delivered through an appreciation for artisans, rich texture and quality design, and excellent construction.
We stock a selection of Paloma Living cushions - click HERE to view. If there are any other Paloma cushions you would like please let us know and we can order them in for you.