Belle Coco Republic Interior Designer of the Year 2011 Greg Natale is celebrating ten years of running his own business this week. What a year it’s been for Greg! Not only winning the top accolade, but a collaboration with Designer Rugs and an anniversary too. Congratulations to Greg, who I recently had the pleasure of meeting.
I asked him ten questions for ten years of and he kindly gave Phukienso readers an exclusive sneak peek behind the scenes of his latest project.
1. Tell me about how you got into the industry 10 years ago? I started Greg Natale Design after working for various design firms in Sydney for five years. I spent those years cutting my teeth in residential, retail and commercial firms. I decided to start Greg Natale becouse I had a clear vision of what I wanted to produce. I basically got to a point where I needed creative freedom and I am creative person so this is my outlet for expressing myself.
2. What was the interior design industry like then? I would say in the 19 years since I started my deisgn course, the general public has become a lot more design savvy and they see the value in design now. Apple really sums this up perfectly. In the last ten years the big difference has been the shift of moving from minimalism, the industry was entrenched in it. Don’t get me wrong, I love minimalism but it’s not right for every brief. So eclecticism become all the rage in the noughties.
3. What are the main differences these days? We really are now in the age of decoration where pattern, colour and personality are no longer dirty words. Minimalism is still very strong but it has more layers and contrast.
4. How does it feel to have been in business for a decade? It feels great, I am so happy to have survived! I have had an amazing decade and worked with a great team, great clients and amazing editors.
5. What have been the biggest challenges? At the beginning it was building a portfolio and understanding the business side of running a design firm, then the crash of 2008! It really affected commercial work but I have always kept the work varied and residential work has been strong.
6. What are you most proud of? Our large portfoilio of work, our collaboration with Designer Rugs and winning 2011 Belle Coco Republic Designer of the year which rounds off the year perfectly.
7. Has your style changed? How? Ten years ago I was already shifting to decoration but it will continue to change and evolve. My style now is richer and more layered. I think is down to what’s in vogue, bigger budgets and maturity.
8. What’s next for Greg Natale Design? A bigger office, a furniture range and a carpet range. I really want to do a fabric range and a hotel to bring everything together!
9. What do you think about all these home renovation/design shows? I think they’re great! As I have said to you before, more over celebrity chefs and fashion designers! It’s happening in the USA where interior designers like Kelly Wearstler and Jonathan Adler have crossed into the mainstream
10. Do you think the general public is much more interested in, and capable of, creating a stylish home these days? For sure. The general public sees the value in design now so they buy great books and do research on great blogs like yours. The internet really has helped all of us become become more design savvy. It’s so easy for everyone to research now.