Natalie McDonald

Natalie McDonald of Simply Shabby boutique in downtown Anniston.

Natalie McDonald owns Simply Shabby boutique in downtown Anniston, in the location formerly occupied by The Rabbit Hutch, 1026 Noble St. The store, which opened in October, sells handmade goods from Alabama.

What is your professional background? I have a bachelor’s degree in interior design from the University of Montevallo. I worked in the kitchen and bath industry for years doing sales, design and marketing. Now, I am freelancing from home doing kitchen and bath design.

Where does your interest in interior design come from? I have always been creative. I can somewhat draw and paint. I have always taught arts and crafts at Vacation Bible School and stuff like that.

What is it that you do as an interior designer? I work with different cabinet manufacturers and distributors. I have clients all over the Southeast; they send me their measurements, and I draw their kitchen. I will take a set of house plans and sketch it out.

How long does it take to go from idea to finished design? I work with the cabinet distributor, and it typically takes me about two to three days to finish the design.

Do you draw it by hand? No, I have a CAD (Computer-Aided Design and Drafting) program for kitchen and bath design.

Do you have a particular style? No, it is all about what the client wants.

What trend is popular right now? Modern farmhouse is very popular for kitchens.

What makes a room “modern farmhouse”? Two characteristics that are usually present are a painted white shaker door and a neutral color like gray.

What is popular for bathrooms? Luxury spa is popular now. That style features light colors, tranquility and serenity.

How do you transition from interior design to owning a boutique? God really put all this in place. I dreamt of doing this for so long. Doing freelance work from home, I thought this was the perfect time to open a store, because I could do my work from the store. We had booths in antique stores for years, and I have always wanted to have my own store.

What items do you sell? We sell furniture, antiques, vintage things and handmade items like birdhouses, soaps, jewelry, dip mixes, wooden bowls, walking sticks, pottery, wine and all sorts of things. Our store is like what you would find at an arts and crafts show.

What is the favorite item you sell? I do not know, but I do love my Ug Chug Mugs.

How many vendors have items in your store? I have close to 30 different vendors currently, and I am reaching out to more. If someone is interested in selling their stuff through my store, just come by to talk or call me at 256-770-4203. I am always looking for new items.

What are you passionate about? I love all things pretty. I want everyone to be surrounded by beautiful things. I have beautiful things in my store, and I want you take them home and enjoy the beauty.

Faith Dorn is a freelance writer in Anniston. Contact her at