Meet Nicole

“Hey Nicole, can you take this and make it pretty?”

That's a phrase I've heard my whole life. 

It used to drive me crazy. I would grumble under my breath, “of course I can take and make this pretty. But don't you know I have so much else to offer?” But as the years went by, everyone always turned to me for support as the creative friend, the creative colleague, the creative teammate, and the creative mom.  Now I realize that’s God's gift to me. I do take things and make them pretty, so why not lean into that? Having a beautiful space that you love is so important; you don't always realize how much you're influenced by the color and design that surrounds you, but it can affect your mood, your energy levels, your decision-making, and your well-being. There's a reason why God-given sunsets are bursting with the most powerful hues!

I have been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember, but I am classically trained in oil painting with a degree from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia (go Dawgs!). As a serial learner, I also have a background in psychology (go Dawgs again!), management (go Peter Drucker!), and textiles (go Wolfpack!), and I draw creativity from every domain as I bounce between my right brain and left brain. I worked for ten years as a marketing professional for a variety of different companies, but I started to experience severe burnout and knew I needed to shift my career towards the creative industries.

When it comes to painting, I consider my style to be a form of contemporary impressionism. I love the energy created through the brush strokes of artists like Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne, and Vincent Van Gogh. I enjoy leaning into a brighter color palette, though, and I find inspiration in the works of artists such as Joseph Mallard William Turner and his ability to capture light. Having studied traditional techniques in form, function, and color, one of my favorite activities is to bend the rules and see just how far I can push the boundaries. A blue tree? Why not, if it makes sense within the piece!

In terms of surface design for textiles and wallpaper, I idolize William Morris. His attention to detail was surpassed by none. We live in a world of wonderful technological advancements, but it also means we are now in a time of "cut and paste" and "graphic packs" as people churn out work as quickly as possible in order to mass produce items. With so many designers mimicking each other's work for a quick buck, consumers end up in an endless sea of poor quality design. With my understanding of textiles and surface design, I strive to bring quality and craftsmanship back to the decorative arts, where intricate details and product quality are celebrated. 

I launched Nicole Athena knowing that many times, there is a gap between where you sit now and your dream vision for your space. That gap where you don't have a need (or the budget) for a full-blown interior designer, but you need a push in the right direction to really love your home. You may already have a good eye, tasteful furnishings, and a functional layout, but something is missing. Well, worry no more - I offer curated collections of fine art, textiles, and wallpaper that all coordinate together and tie your space into one complete package. Consider me your new creative bestie. I can help you achieve your dream space by making design decisions easy. Let’s "make it pretty," together!