Choosing a first home was a no brainer for the paint expert.
When Natalie Ebel & her husband Caleb founded Backdrop, they were overwhelmed by choosing the right white paint. Instead, they envisioned a curated line of easy-to-shop colors, shipped right to your door. Three years and a cross country move later, Natalie is still using her home as a testing ground for her paint colors. After getting used to New York City’s tight square footage, their new home was a huge change, with a lot more space to spread out. But the interior stays true to Natalie’s impeccable taste: it’s washed in her signature white paints, with airy, playful touches throughout. They’ve adapted well to the Los Angeles lifestyle: every room seems to showcase the lush colors of their outdoor space. Read on for Natalie’s take on designing a first home, and some expert paint color insights.
Give us an intro!
I’m Natalie, Co-Founder of Backdrop. I just moved from New York to Los Angeles with my husband, 2 year old, and basset hound.
What should we know about your home?
This is our first home! We just relocated from NYC after 10 years to a beautiful Spanish colonial house in Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Our home is a 1922 character home in the hills of Silver Lake. Quite the contrast from our small Upper West Side NYC apartment, it's a light-filled home, landscaped with bougainvillea and maintains original architecture (the doors are gorgeous and 100 years old). We were told the house was handcrafted by a Hollywood set designer, Russian ballerinas used the laundry house as a hideout when they defected from the USSR. Plus, we now have a washer and dryer—which is a big deal for us.
Did you fall in love with your home the first time you saw it?
Yes! I was sold on the spanish architecture, hill top views, and quirkiness of the design. It was the very first house we looked at and we knew it was the right one for us.
Were you nervous about anything before living here?
This may sound strange but I was nervous to live in an actual house! We’ve only lived in apartments, which in NYC really felt like adult dorms. Our old neighbors were like family where we would all leave our doors open and our kids would go back and forth. I really loved that sense of community. The idea of moving into a real house made me a little uneasy because it felt like too much seclusion. As it turns out though, we’re super loud people and our neighbors here can hear everything we say and do. Really bringing that community spirit with us after all. Between, me, my toddler, and our grumpy basset hound, I think we are the loudest family on our block
What room do you use the most?
The laundry room/house? It feels very luxurious to do laundry without having to look for quarters, at whatever hour I want. I truly love it.
How would you describe your interior style? Has it evolved over the years?
My husband and business partner is a minimalist. If it were up to him we would have one piece of furniture and sit on the floor. I love a clean line but at heart, I am a maximalist and appreciate pieces with character. I would call my style eclectic because I think you can really make anything work if it’s styled right.
Do you ever find it challenging to come to a consensus with your husband about the space?
Caleb and I are business partners, married for 10 years so we spend A LOT of time together both at home and work. We’ve found ways to carve out areas of respective ownership and generally Caleb defers to me on most decisions about our home space. I do ask his opinion and it’s helpful because he’s decisive and not sentimental. I like another opinion even though ultimately it rarely changes my mind
Has your use of color in the space changed since starting Backdrop?
I love color and painted our apartment in New York a handful of times. Since we moved to LA and the outside colors really shine in our new house, I wanted a clean white backdrop and went with SUPERMOON and DARK ARTS in most of the rooms. White paint was the impetus for us starting Backdrop, and one of our best sellers.
Do you have an absolute favorite color to incorporate in a space?
Did you furnish the home from scratch, or did you bring in pieces you loved from previous spaces?
Since we moved here from NYC we had a random hodgepodge of furniture mostly vintage and acquisitions from craigslist. We sold everything when we moved.
What’s the story of some of your favorite pieces?
I love glassware and barware. I have vintage murano glasses from Italy that have been in the family for years. I also recently got a beautiful vintage Henredon dresser from MidCentury LA and know I’ll have it for years.
Where do you find inspiration for your space?
Art and books! I love art and design books and have a large collection from my days working in book publishing.
Is there anything you can’t feel at home without?
Candles and incense. I’m really into these copal incense we got from Hotel San Cristobal last year.
What’s a favorite memory you have in your home?
We haven’t been here too long but so far it’s spending time outdoors with my daughter Colette. She’s still adjusting to the idea of nature but it’s been very cool to open our doors and have our own outdoor space.