Denton House Design Studio

Designer in Profile: Natalie Ellis, Denton House Design Studio

Denton House Design Studio have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – Americas AwardResidential £20 Million Plus (Property by Value) Award and Beach House Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020. Read more about Vice President of Design, Natalie Ellis, below:

Name: Natalie EllisDenton House Design Studio

Company: Denton House Design Studio

Position within company: Vice President of Design


Tell us a little about your background in design:
I have always wanted to know “what was behind the walls”. Since my step-dad was a general contractor, from a very young age, I was on job sites learning about construction. I was always impressed by the number of skilled craftsmen it took to complete a project. As I grew, so did my desire to be an integral part of the building process. I graduated magna cum laude from Utah State University (CIDA accredited) with a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design and minored in art. I studied design and architecture for a semester in London and Paris. This experience opened up my view to global influences. I started my career in NYC under the tutelage of renowned designer Jamie Drake. Under the guidance of design industry leaders, I have had the opportunity to work on many award-winning projects. Following my time in New York, I moved to Utah where I have enjoyed designing and overseeing boutique resort communities and custom residences around the world. With almost 20 years of design experience, I find inspiration in nearly everything around me. Creating the perfect space for my clients invigorates me.

How would you describe your personal design style?
Bold colours, clean lines mixed with classic form. I always like to throw in something unexpected for a signature touch.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
Everywhere. I take photographs when I travel and use them for color and pattern inspiration. One example, I was on a nature outing with my family and become captivated watching the ripples in a lake when a droplet hits the surface of the water.  I was in the process of designing a health spa and decided the shape of the rippling water would make an impressive focal point in the lobby ceiling. I had a craftsman recreate this effect by hand-carving the waves in natural oak.  This was a complicated endeavour, but the result was amazing.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
Clients are asking for more natural elements. They are looking for a connection to the earth and want to thrive surrounded by materials and resources from local areas. Thus, paying homage to the local artisans, the use of natural textures and neutral earth tones are important to bringing tranquillity to their space.

 Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2020 and beyond.

  1. Design for health and wellness. Innovation will follow.
  2. Homes are becoming hallowed spaces and retreats that need to maintain connectivity beyond – bringing the everyday external needs into personal use designed into the space.
  3. Creating cultural immersion experiences at home and abroad.
  4. Seamless integration of new technology into homes and businesses
  5. Thoughtful sustainability to reduce environmental impact

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Be bold. Whether it is in colour, scale, texture, or art; pick an element and do something unexpected.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
They link us globally to one another and the trends of Design & Architecture moving forward

What projects are you currently working on?
Restaurants, spas, resorts, and custom residences throughout the world including locations: Madagascar, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Mexico, Canada and the U.S..

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
Continue to provide exceptional level of service to our clients while aligning ourselves with the changes and expectations the pandemic has introduced.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
A blown glass bowl I purchased on a trip to Murano, Italy with my daughter and mother. I was able to watch and experience the process of this piece being made. It is both beautiful and sentimental.

Your favourite holiday destination?
A mountain chalet with my family.

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
My favourite hotel is the Auberge, Chileno Bay Resort in Cabo San Lucas. My favourite restaurant is a local start-up called Oteo. They specialize in authentic Mexican classics with a unique spin.

Your favourite book, film & song?
My favourite non-fiction is Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull and Amy Wallace. My favourite fiction is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. My favourite film is The Wizard of Oz.  My favourite songs are classic instrumental movie scores.

Your favourite food and drink?
My favourite food is roasted vegetables, favourite drink is water.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
On Sunday afternoons I enjoy napping in my hammock.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
Chef/Baker – I love to create things for others to experience and enjoy.

Denton House Design Studio have been shortlisted for Luxury Residence – Americas AwardResidential £20 Million Plus (Property by Value) Award and Beach House Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2020.

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