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How Greg Natale became one of Australia’s most sought-after interior designers

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Some people take many years to work out their true calling in life. Others seem to have it all figured out from the start.

Interior designer Greg Natale belongs in the latter category. As a child, he had a knack for everything creative, and has been passionate about interior design for as long as he can remember.

After high school, Greg took his first step towards a career in interior design by graduating from TAFE NSW’s creative hub, the Design Centre Enmore in Sydney. It wasn’t long before he had started his own business and landed a project: his sister’s one-bedroom apartment.

Greg’s efforts on this inaugural project earned him the first of many awards he would go on to receive throughout his remarkable career.

“Let’s talk about ‘it’. ‘It’ is the ability to make perfection look effortless. Greg Natale definitely has ‘it’. His rooms are designed with such sureness that they look as if they were always meant to be.”
– Jonathan Adler

Over the years, he’s had designs featured in a variety of local and international publications. Today, his unique approach to pattern, line and colour has earnt him recognition as one of Australia’s most prolific interior designers.

Greg’s first book, The Tailored Interior, was named by Architectural Digest USA as one of the 21 Best Books by Designers and Architects of 2015. A second book is on the way, so we couldn’t help but reach out to him and find out more about his journey from TAFE NSW graduate to where he is today.

Can you tell us the short story behind the launch of Greg Natale Design? What makes you unique amongst other interior designers in Australia?

“I finished studying in 1996 and went straight into the workforce. I couldn’t wait!

“I spent about five years working for various design firms, some large and more corporate and others at a more decorative level, and it really contributed to a broader appreciation for the diverse ways people apply to the design process from a client perspective and from the studio’s standpoint.

“Looking back, it really was inevitable that I would start my own studio. I wouldn’t say that I was frustrated creatively but there certainly was an eagerness and a little bit of impatience in wanting to get my hands on my own projects all the way from brief to installation.

“What makes my studio unique? I guess that my dedication to really tailoring spaces, honing in on each of the parts and then standing back and examining how they work.
This focus on layering is something we take great pride in.”

Describe your studies at the Design Centre Enmore and how it helped you kick-start your own business.

“I’ve always had a creative streak. My eldest sister and I have a pretty big age gap and with her being a fashion designer I was never without pencils in my hands.

“I guess where Enmore became most important was that it taught me how to think as a designer – it gave me the foundations of how to think as a designer.

“It took what was already there and put some context around what I wanted to do and where I wanted to go. It connected the head and the hand in the creative process.

“In design, there is the practical, the theoretical and the actual! Design Centre Enmore was great in preparing me for what would come afterwards, even though my business was some years away, it was the ability to think laterally and design consciously that really set me on my way.”

What fundamental design principles guide your creative vision?

“I touched on it earlier, but I will always love the process of Layering. Building up and up. Creating an environment from many parts that each rest on the other, some contrasting and some and relate back to the next – but always for a cohesive, dynamic result that immerses the occupant.”

What advice do you have around study and work experience for young aspiring creatives looking to get into the field of interior design?

“It should be done at a reputable institution like Design Centre Enmore. Grab opportunities with work experience whenever the opportunity presents itself. Take a range of opportunities, too.

“Don’t pigeonhole yourself and cut out the idea of different ways of doing things or styles that might not match your own. You never know when your breadth of past experiences will come back to you and be integral to your work!”

Inspired by Greg’s story? You too can follow your passions and turn them into a career. With over 1,200 courses, including diplomas and degrees, TAFE NSW offers a real-world course for just about anything you want to do in life. So take the leap and make the switch to TAFE NSW
today! Find out more here!

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In partnership with our friends at Glenmorangie, Lost At E Minor presents the second episode in the We Are The World We Create podcast series, dedicated to celebrating those people, and their exceptional creations, that help make the world a more interesting place. In this episode, Bigsy speaks with Sons of the East about changing perceptions, rethinking the way you play an instrument, and what’s next for them. Listen now!
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