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Q&A with Greg Natale

For as long as he can remember, Greg Natale has been passionate about interior design. The multi-award-winning interior designer has become known for his masterly use of pattern and colour, and his bold application of both in creating tailored, glamorous and sophisticated spaces.

Q: Do films ever stimulate your style or aesthetic? And if so which film/s have left an indelible mark? 
A: I love film, but I would say that from an early age it was probably television that really captured my imagination and introduced me to the idea of creating amazing spaces. I’ve spoken often of my love for Dynasty in the 1980s and the way the sets and costumes had the ability to transport you. As a kid I loved the fact that these weren’t actually real homes and offices and that they’d been dreamt up by designer… Whilst the DYNASTY aesthetic might not be something that directly worked its way into my interiors it certainly set me on a course to becoming an Interior Designer from a very young age! To look at Alexis’ office and apartment now, you would see that it was light, clean and enjoyed pops of pink… it still resonates now!

Q: Is travel an inspiration from an aesthetic point of view, and if so, what place/s have impacted your work?
A: I travel year-round. Across Australia and abroad… and I love it. It’s impossible not to be inspired and motivated by the people, places and things you engage with when travelling. Last year one of the highlights was a trip I enjoyed to the Gio Ponti-designed hotel, Parco dei Principi in Sorrento. It’s an incredible study in pattern and even though it is awash with a sea of hand painted blue and white tiles he designed for this project it is wonderfully restrained. It really responds elegantly to its breathtaking clifftop seaside setting. Pattern is somewhere in my DNA, I’m sure of it. My new book is even called The Patterned Interior, so this hotel was a masterpiece to me.

Q: Which fashion designer do you most admire and for what reason? 
A: I’m greedy. I’ve got two! Alive today and still doing amazing things is French designer, Hedi Slimane. I think he’s a genius! His work for Yves Saint Laurent as creative director was clean and sophisticated – it carried through into the design of the retail experience. And the late HALSTON is also a favourite. There was a man who had style – like Slimane I love his approach to design and brand. He had a great sensibility for clean work and his own home, on the upper east side of Manhattan has always been a great influence on my work.

Q: What item, experience or combination of the two is your personal idea of luxury today? 
A: A bath! The luxury of a beautiful bath is unmatched. It’s a great combination of relaxation, luxury and design that can be enjoyed all by yourself! In fact these days it’s often just the space to accommodate a bath that is a luxury! There’s an unmistakable retro glamour to your work.

Q: What combination of city, socio-cultural movement and decade (past) most fascinates you and why? 
A: It’s always funny hearing people say that. Because I often think If I could transport myself to any time and place in history for a visit, I would be straight back to Studio 54 in New York in the 1970s! It was a wild moment in time where fashion, art, music and performance all collided in this raw creative way that ignored the rules and embraced fun. I have many books on Studio 54 and I’ve watched all the documentaries and films. It’s a real fascination.