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Greg, congratulations on being shortlisted for the Designer of the Year award for IDEA 2011. What projects have been your personal favourites this year?
It goes without saying that The Twomey Country House and The Optometrist are our favourites. We are also really excited about an apartment in The Astor on Macquarie St, Sydney with views of the Botanical Gardens which has just been completed – it feels like an apartment on New York’s Fifth Avenue. We recently completed an office fitout on Martin Place which has a black lift lobby, something the building owner was very wary of but which worked out very cool. Also, our first home in Brighton, Melbourne, which was basically a rebuild, has just been finished. It has a minimal black and white colour scheme with no colour, something we don’t usually do; very Melbourne.
And what have been your more challenging moments for 2011?
The volatile economy. It really affected commercial work but residential projects have been very consistent. We have totally grown out of the current office, so lack of has space has been very challenging.
You got the opportunity to design the interior for a large house in country New South Wales this year, in the Twomey Country House. How did you approach this project?
We approached it like all our projects; we first looked at the planning of the spaces, how they interacted. The bones where very good, we just had to make some minor structural changes. We then detailed the interiors, where every aspect was developed and considered giving it a rich textured quality. Lastly the decoration was layered to achieve a holistic and cohesive project.
You’ve been running your practice, Greg Natale Design, for ten years now and have established a signature style for high-end luxury and glamour across residential, retail and hospitality projects. What else would you like to achieve with your practice?
A bigger office! We have seriously run out of space so I am taking over the office next door and therefore doubling our floor area in the next couple of months. I would also like grow my product design collaborations. My Designer Rugs collaboration has been a big success and I hope to repeat this for other Australian retailer(s). I would also love to do a hotel, and I feel our style would really suit a hotel.
What projects do you have in the pipeline, and what are you looking forward to next year?
Of course the bigger office, and my tenth anniversary party, and I am currently working on my new apartment, which I’ll move into at Christmas. As for next year, we are working on a wall-to-wall carpet collection for Designer Rugs. A bachelor pad in Elizabeth Bay which features a sexy grey and black colour palette is not far off, and a four-bedroom family home in Bellevue Hill with French Deco influences and heaps of Jonathan Adler furniture should be finished early in 2012.
Greg Natale Design is one of six firms shortlisted for the Designer of the Year: Judges’ Award at IDEA 2011, sponsored by Corporate Culture.