Earlier this week I posted Part One of my Designer Spotlight interview with Greg Natale from Greg Natale Design, which you can read here. Now here’s the second part of our entertaining, informative and inspiring chat.
Have you done any hotels?
No, I’m dying to do one.
Which hotels to you like to stay at in the US?
In New York I like staying at The Thompson, and the Standard. In LA, the SLS is amazing, and The Chamberlain. The rooms are stunning. In London I stay at The Langham just off Regent St, it was done by David Collins. Stunning, amazing.
Do you watch Million Dollar Decorators? Who’s your favourite designer?
I love it. Personality wise I love Martyn, but work wise I love Mary. Her work is beautiful. But the boys all do nice work.
What’s your go-to white paint?
Dulux Lexicon Quarter, that’s my go-to.
Do you have a favourite wallpaper?
My own (through Porters). The horizontal stripe is probably my favourite at the moment.
What do you think about feature walls? How do you make them work without looking dated?
Tie in at least one colour from the wallpaper to your walls. If you’re going to do white walls, then do a white based wallpaper. A feature wall should be one with no windows or doors in it. It should be clean.
Do you consider the ceiling a 5th wall?
We did a project with wallpaper all over the ceilings. It’s amazing. We do plasterwork too, although keeping them white a lot because I find darker ceilings heavy.
Do you ever do high gloss on walls?
No yet, that’s a very David Hicks things. It’s hard finding the right person with the skill to do it. I love it though. I don’t do high gloss on woodwork, it’s really tricky. I’ve been using satin finish.
What are your favourite interiors shops in LA?
Holly Hunt is really good. Jean DeMerry, Jonathan Adler, and vintage stores like Bite, The Collection, JF Chen, and things like A. Rudin in the Pacific Design Centre. And of course Worlds Away. We use them a lot.
Would you open up a store?
It’s not my focus, but there’s a big hole in the market. We have everything from Europe, and some good American brands, but there’s a lot more we could have. I’m doing a carpet collection at the moment, and another rug collection for Designer Rugs. I’m working on a few furniture lines for Stylecraft, Casa Mia, Fanuli, Worlds Away.
You tend to use a lot of dark colours and black. Some people would worry that it makes a room look smaller.
Not true, it makes them feel bigger. It’s like wallpaper. We’ve got a signature dark grey, with a lot of white contrast.
Do you find clients resist using curtains?
We use them a lot, even in our modern houses. We are in the age of layering and if you start pulling out that layer of curtains, it’s not going to look finished. In a modernist setting you can still have rugs, curtains, pendant lights. You just do it in a clean way.
How do you make a modern home feel cosy?
You can have it all. You can have lamps, layers, warmth. We play a lot with contrast, rugs, curtains, side tables, all that.
Are you surprised how many people don’t make use of lamps?
I know, it’s the easiest way of finishing off a room. We put lamps everywhere. I love lamps. We put them on every bedside table we do. It’s really rare. A lot of designers don’t use a lot of lamps. One of my earliest memories is of the Brady Bunch bedroom, it had these amazing lamps.
What are your design influences?
My influences are from like the Brady Bunch house to Halston, to Tom Ford, to Mies Van Der Rohe. I travel for inspiration and go to Europe and America all the time. You’ve got to travel.
Are we behind in Australia in terms of design?
We are isolated. That’s the problem and we are very limited in product. We import a lot from America for our work. We bring in containers all the time, which are very job specific.
Do you source products overseas for a specific job?
I have done that. Next week I’m going to LA for a wedding and I’m doing a house in Melbourne, but there are certain pieces I can’t find here. So I will look in LA.
Do you work seven days a week?
Yes. It’s a hobby for me. I love it. I could have been a fashion designer or a jeweller. We’ll see where these lines go. The rugs and the wallpapers are doing really well. I’d love to do a patterned or geometric wallpaper collection and a fabric line. It will come. You’ve got to find the right people to align yourself with.
Hope you found some ideas, advice and inspiration. So watch this space! Plenty of exciting things happening in the world of Greg Natale. Thanks to Greg for his time and insight, such a nice guy!