It is an absolute joy to introduce Nicola Bathie McLaughlin as the latest Well + Wonder guest curator. Nicola is an incredibly talented designer whose knowledge of both histories of design and arts informs her work and as well as brings a dynamic approach to designing. Her designs are swoon-worthy! Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and brought up in San Antonio, Texas, Nicola Bathie has developed an appreciation for travel which transpired throughout her life. A woman with a true entrepreneurial spirit Nicola opened her own jewelry business at the age of 21, Nicola Bathie Jewelry, with the aim of tying together her background in interior design (her major at TCU), jewelry design, and art.  In 2015, Nicola thought to expand her business by opening her own boutique firm focusing on residential interior design in San Antonio, Texas. Nicola’s creative spirit, education, and travels have allowed her exposure to specific areas of her expertise as well as a comprehensive understanding of both timeless and aesthetic beauty on incredibly dynamic levels. Her constant goal is to invigorate while harmonizing with, each client's unique style with the incorporation of space, fresh accents, and timeless taste. Nicola, we are thrilled to host you as Well + Wonder’s latest guest curator! Continue reading to learn more about the woman behind the designer as well as her favorite paintings hanging in the Well + Wonder collection. Welcome, Nicola!

"Giddy Up" by Lindsey Porter - I love the florals of this Lindsey Porter painting as well as the versatilely of florals. Not too feminine or soft.

"Striped IV" by Kerry Hays -  This painting so lovely and calming to look at, I would love to put this in a kitchen.

"under the light - i" by Kit Porter - I love the coloring of "under the light - i" by Kit Porter. It's touching on the gestalt law of closure phenomena, where the eyes see lines that aren't there.

"Better Together" - by Adele Yonchak - I love the perspective, composition, and the texture of the application of paint of Adele Yonchak's "Better Together". It really changes the dynamic of the piece.

Tell us about yourself.

I am a mommy to two beautiful little girls, Sophia and Emilia, who I absolutely adore and wife to my sweet husband, Michael, whom I also adore. He is the ultimate, hands-on dad, and I am beyond lucky. I am the founder and lead designer of Nicola Bathie Jewelry and I love sharing my day to day on Instagram.

Why did you start your blog/brand/business?

For fun, it was completely on a whim and completely took off.

What is currently on your nightstand?   What are you reading?

I have this beautiful carafe and water cup by Petra Palumbo, a velvet jewelry box, an antique Murano bowl that looks like a tutu, and a few books. I am currently reading Mistress of the Ritz.

What is your favorite room in your house? Describe it.

I think my daughter, Sophia’s room. It truly takes me away to this imaginary countryside home in England. Every time I walk in I am blown away how serene it is for me.

What is your biggest score online to date? 

A costerellos dress I had always wanted.

It is said to look for art that "makes your heart skip a beat." What aspects of art make your heart skip? 

Similar to the way I described the way my daughter Sophias room makes me feel. I think it is an overall feel vs certain aspects. I feel like it has to not only has to please you momentarily if you are briefly walking by pieces, but it also has to be able to draw you in and captivate you for longer periods of time, where you are truly locked in and your mind is able to go to a different place.

What is the benefit of buying art through a collective?

A collective has the job of curating and discovering artists of interest and substance. The same benefit of having a certain store that you know you are going to love every dress they have, or having a certain Instagram account that you know you love their style and will love everything they post. 

If you have the entire day to spend in an art museum, which one and why?

Oh gosh, this is like asking which child I would spend the day with. I can’t answer!!

When and where do you get the biggest surge of inspiration? 

Instagram, you follow all of these incredible creatives and they post the most inspiring, interesting, beautiful aspects of their lives. This is like peeking into the best of the best looking glasses.

The key to making a house a home? What does a home need more of and less of?

Collecting and collecting and then layering. Less clutter, more cohesive collections.

The greatest color combination that ever existed?

A soft, playful Parisian blue and a deeper, yet soft green.

What’s your favorite housewarming gift?

A myrtle topiary.

So, tell us a bit about your corner of the world – where do you live and what do you love about it?

I live in San Antonio, Texas. It is big, as is the rest of Texas, but we have a very close-knit community. Some of my very very best friends from growing up have moved back home and now live with their families, so it couldn’t be a more nostalgic and homey feel for me.