Whimsical Decor By Nathalie Lete


I'm a big fan of, and subscribe to, Milk Decoration magazine and love reading their website as often as I get a chance. I came by so many great stories there this morning over breakfast but one stood out because I've been getting press release after press release lately for Nathalie Lete. Milk covered her too so I thought I needed to share her latest work because apparently she's all the rage - again! NathalieLete_2

I say again because she was big for awhile and then I didn't see much from her for a period of time but that's changed because now I'm hearing about her newest this and her latest that all of the time!

I first learned about her first in design school. I did a case study on her. Her work is very folksy and colorful and I think it's just great. You may have seen some of her work at stores like Anthropologie, for instance. She's a big name in Japan, they love her over there. Here are some peeks at what she's been up too lately...


This German-Chinese artist has lived and worked in Paris for so long that everyone assumes she IS French but she's not -- her father is Chinese and her mom is German, which is why her work is so fairytale inspired as Germany is the land of so many of the fairytales westerners grow up hearing. She has her paintings on everything from paper to fabric to clothing and beyond, it's all so interesting to see since I've been following her career for over a decade.

And look at this apartment, it's her atelier and showroom in Paris, check out the sleep space! She worked with French architect Nicolas André and cabinetmakers Antonis Cardew and Matthew Impey to create it - what a unique interior.


Nathalie is inspired by American artist Kiki Smith, William Morris - "English textile designer, poet, novelist, translator, and socialist activist. Associated with the British Arts and Crafts Movement, he was a major contributor to the revival of traditional British textile arts and methods of production", Bernard Palissy -"French Huguenot potter, hydraulics engineer and craftsman, famous for having struggled for sixteen years to imitate Chinese porcelain", and American Folk Art.

I always appreciate learning of the inspirations behind famous names in the art world and to then look at the work and see how those inspirations were translated into patterns and objects. Fascinating.


Rugs, chairs, tiles, pillows, prints, dolls, hangers, wooden stools, wallpaper, glassware, trays, lamps, wall hooks, clothing, tea towels and plates, ceramics (my favorites), wall stickers, stools and tables, silk scarves, there is nothing her imaginative work hasn't touched.

Can you picture being a painter and illustrator and having your work influence so many products and people? It's really a dream come true, she must feel so fulfilled by the outpouring of love for her whimsical work.

(Photography: Karel Balas)