Greg Natale has been designing and decorating luxury homes around Australia for 13 years, winning a bounty of awards along the way. In his new book, The Tailored Interior, Natale invites us into 18 of those homes and explains his tricks of the trade.
“I wanted the book to be a beautiful coffee-table book,” Natale says. “But I also wanted it to be a reference for other designers. I wanted it to be for anyone who loves interiors and for it to showcase my process.”
Natale uses monochrome geometric patterns, splashes of bold colour and plush fabrics and textures to create tightly curated, sumptuous interiors with a, “Touch of drama”. In his youth, he was enamoured by the glamorous sets in television shows such as Dynasty. Later in life it was the layered motifs and playful, vivid decor of designers including Verner Panton and David Nightingale Hicks that made their mark.
“Even as a young kid, when I was really inspired by all those sets on TV, I’ve always been drawn to these beautifully considered, tailored spaces. They’re the ones that really excited me.”
The Tailored Interior is filled with advice to guide the design layman in a process that, “Many people find daunting,” Natale says. On a checklist called “getting started” Natale offers tips such as, “consider proportion” and “check for contrast”, topics he explores in detail later in the book. He has also included a catalogue of his favourite furniture and design resources from around the world.
Natale started his own firm in 2001 after a decade in which a minimalist, pared-back look had come to dominate interior design. Natale was more interested in creating spaces that felt warm and luxurious, and he wanted to stand out from the pack.
“Growing up with Italian parents who built their house in the early ’80s, there was pattern everywhere,” he says recalling his colourful family home with its green kitchen and decorative tiling.
“I knew that, to be noticed, I needed to do something out of the ordinary, so I began exploring the patterns, prints and textures that I’d admired in my childhood,” he writes in The Tailored Interior.
Natale acknowledges the impact interior-design books have had on his own aesthetic and style, which, before the days of Pinterest and Instagram, provided him with access to the work of icons such as Panton and Hicks – revelations that he says transformed his career. Today, Natale says he comes back time and again to volumes by contemporary American designers such as Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler. Though he adds that his inspiration comes from a diverse and ever-expanding library of books and magazines.
“I have a bit of an Amazon addiction,” he says.
The Tailored Interior is available online at gregnatale.com.