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Meet Natalie Zudin of NDZ Designs in Studio City

Today we’d like to introduce you to Natalie Zudin.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Natalie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Like many others, I came to LA as an aspiring actor. I’ve always loved theater and the costumes and the sets. I studied hard and worked hard to get acting gigs…but it just wasn’t working out. I found myself getting depressed and upset and feeling lost. I didn’t know what to do with myself but I knew what I was doing wasn’t working. Thankfully, I had a great friend, producer Brian Burke who helped me find my way. One evening as I was complaining to him about my lack of an acting career. He suggested that maybe there was something else I could do that would bring me more joy. He gave me $300 and told me to a magazine store and pick out as many magazines as I wanted. Anything that caught my eye. Anything that seemed interesting to me. So I did. I had a HUGE haul of magazines that I brought back up to his house. He suggested that we sort them and see if there was a common thread.

As we started going through them this is what we saw: architecture, interior design, antiques, furniture, more interior design and more interior design. Then we started talking about my love for decorating and how I’ve always completely redone my apartments, down to new wallpaper and lighting fixtures. Could it be that I needed to start a new career? I was nearly 30 years old and I had already graduated from college and didn’t want to go back but…I guess better late than never? During this period, I happened to be working at a restaurant that one of the stockholders was the interior designer. I didn’t know that at the time and ended up waiting on him. I told him how much I loved working there because I loved the atmosphere and design. Then he told me he was the one who designed it! It turned out to be Eddie Bitton of Bitton Design Group.

Eddie is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. He’s beyond talented but also a really great person. I asked Eddie what I needed to do to become a designer and he told me about the program at UCLA ext., and that he thought it would be a great step for me. The program was very challenging but I graduated in three years. After graduation, I got a job interning for Peter Dunham. That was a huge step for me. Peter is an incredible designer and being exposed to his methods and working in his Hollywood at home office/showroom was a remarkable experience. I worked there for a bit and then left to do some commercial designing. It was also a wonderful experience that kept filling my bag of tricks. But then I found my ultimate job. I got hired to work for Brian Little of BGL design construction. Brian has been a mentor and friend, teaching me everything he knows.

While working for Brian, I also became a licensed contractor. We primarily did residential design in Hancock Park. I worked for Brian for nearly five years. Learning and absorbing every little bit of genius he put out there. I will forever be grateful to Brian. Though working with him was a dream come true, I knew it was time for me to fly and believe in myself. In honor of Brian and BGL, I named my company NDZ Designs. I’ve been so fortunate to have a range of celebrity clients with large budgets to people who just want to redo a room in their apartment. I love it all. I love the challenges on every level and working closely with clients to create their most sacred place. One thing I’ve learned during quarantine is how much I miss my clients. How much I miss vibing with them and seeing their faces. I feel honored to be let into people’s homes and lives and to go on a journey with them as we create their literal happy place!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has definitely not been a smooth road. Putting myself through design school while working was very challenging. Finding jobs after graduation was also challenging. Though I’ve had many great jobs that laid a strong foundation, I’ve also had many cruddy jobs and encountered difficult situations. Every project has it’s own struggles and I learn new things on each job. No matter how experienced you are, every home is different. It is a living, evolving thing and it must be respected as so. Every custom piece is different and poses its own challenges. Never is there a dull moment in the design industry!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about NDZ Designs – what should we know?
NDZ Designs specializes in creating custom homes and furniture to capture the clients best lifestyle. I specialize in building relationships with my clients. It’s through understanding their unique needs and wants that special environments are built. I start my designs based on classic, tried and true design. I then start to add layers of my client’s personalities. I also love to try new things and push the envelope either with custom furniture or perhaps a trendy wallpaper or fabric. If the foundation is classic, you can be bold and incorporate some daring elements, which I love to do!

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
I’ve had some of the best mentors as I continue to build my business and brand. Of course, my parents are the original believers. They never held me back and always believed in my dreams. It’s amazing how much they sacrificed so I could follow my passions. My husband is also a constant source of support. He pushes me to do better and be stronger. I’ve brought wild designs to him expecting him to veto them and he never does. He always says, if you think it will be good then it will be great. Professionally I’ve had amazing supporters such as Eddie Bitton, Peter Dunham, and Brian Little.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.ndzdesigns.com
  • Phone: 3107295878
  • Email: natalie@ndzdesigns.com
  • Instagram: ndzdesigns

Image Credit:
Evan Beaudeau, Jeff Bodman, Joy Meulenberg

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