Design time

Home + Garden People

March 31, 2023

Artfully Designed is a Magnolia Network series filmed in Charlotte featuring color-loving designer Natalie Papier of Home Ec. and Frankie Zombie, the artist known for his bold designs covering everything from sneakers to surfboards. The creative duo joined Racheal Jackson, a muralist from Vancouver, Wash., in the four-episode series, which can be streamed on Discovery+. The trio teams up to tackle projects from a pool-house redesign to a primary-bedroom makeover, along with fun and functional spaces for kids. The show features “cameos” by other Queen City creatives, including House of Nomad’s Kelley Lentini and Berkeley Minkhorst (Papier incorporates a House of Nomad wallpaper in one episode), Twine & Twig cofounder Jacquelyn Tugwell, and local stylist (and SouthPark style editor) Whitley Adkins. We also spied a fiber artwork by local artist Kat Sanchez in one episode. We asked Papier to describe the experience. Comments have been lightly edited.

What was it like having a camera crew follow you around? At first, filming felt very awkward and nerve-wracking. But as we got to know the crew and felt more natural around the camera, it became easier over time, and fun. There is a lot of prep work for filming with audio, cameras, lighting, etc. So it did make for some long days both filming and doing our jobs for the clients.  

The three of you seemed to get along swimmingly. Are you as close off camera as you seem on the show? Yes! I already had formed friendships with both Racheal and Frankie and worked with them on client projects prior to the show. The friendship and respect are most definitely real. It wasn’t always a smooth ride, but we do balance each other out really well — and we always had each other’s backs when things felt too overwhelming.  

Did any of the projects turn out better than expected?

They really all did! Working in the space during the design process always sparks our creativity and understanding of how we can add more functionality and fun.

Were there any hiccups or curveballs in the process?

Always. We had a sofa that was not looking like we could get it in the room, furniture backordered, an issue with construction of a fridge surround that had to be taken apart and rebuilt. [There were] some very late nights to ensure we had everything taken care of on time.  

Will there be more episodes?

Maybe … (wink, wink).  SP

photograph courtesy Natalie Papier


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