of the border. Greg Natale takes his dark and chic interior design signature south
Designer Greg Natale indulged his love of moody hues in the sophisticated interiors of this grand Melbourne home.
This page Gold accents enliven the sophisticated tones of the living room. Oly ‘Stella’ shelving unit, Oly ‘Rory’ mirror and ‘Adeline’ co ee table from Coco Republic. Porta Romana ‘Honeycomb’ side table from South Pacic Fabrics. Ironies ‘Henri’ brass side table from Kneedler Fauchère, LA. Minotti ‘Dubu et’ sofa from De De Ce sit s on a Greg Natale ‘Circles’ rug from Designer Rugs. John Boone ‘Radiance’ chandelier. Opposite page The classic portico of the 1930s Georgian revival house.
These pages A pair of ‘Adeline’ co ee tables from Coco Republic anchor the living room. One holds an abstract sculpture by Kelly Wearstler. Porta Romana ‘Honeycomb’ side tables from South Pacic Fabrics ank a Minotti ‘Dubu et’ sofa from De De Ce. Greg Natale ‘Circles’ rug from Designer Rugs. Fritz Hansen ‘Egg’ and ‘Swan’ chairs in the background. Salvador Dalí ‘Bracelli’ lamp by BD Barcelona from Ke-Zu. ‘Sinkiang’ silk wallpaper from Eurowalls. Opposite page Porta Romana ‘Honeycomb’ console. Vases from Meizai. Artwork is Lines on White by Terri Brooks.
With its classical portico leading into a cavernous hallway adorned with pillars, marble oors and a sweeping staircase, this 1930s Georgian revival home in Melbourne’s southeast knows how to make an entrance. Everything is played out on a grand scale. But it’s also home to a large, young family and in that it presented a sizable challenge to interior designer Greg Natale – how to give these ample, elegant spaces a human scale, without diminishing their drama and spectacle.
When the owners signed on the dotted line in early 2013, they were drawn to the home’s generous proportions which included two huge sitting areas, a separate dining room, study and media room, and seven bedrooms. They were also seduced by the manicured garden with its pergola, cabana, pool and tennis court.
But, having been renovated 10 years previously, the home featured a blizzard of white walls and carpets, cream curtains and blond timbers, while a modern extension with an informal living area and kitchen jarred with the original structure. Says the owner, “It was dated and re ected someone else’s style. We wanted warmer, darker tones.”
“The house had amazing bones, but it was bland and the rooms were disjointed, with no ow,” adds Greg. “The entry especially was huge and overpowering. We wanted to add intimacy with layers and textures.” From beige to brilliant, he worked his magic in just six months. Luckily, the only structural work required was the removal of a wall between the main bedroom and the ensuite to create a parents’ open-plan retreat.
An immediate task was to bring warmth to the hallway. Greg installed a panelled ceiling to deliver more human scale and stuccoed the walls in rich, moody charcoal to add texture. Similarly, a rug in zebra stripes softens the marble ooring and adds informality to a structured space. A contemporary
This page Rollo ‘Cluster 10’ pendant lights from ECC Lighting + Furniture hang above the kitchen bench. Andreu World ‘Carlotta’ bar stools from Ke-Zu. Arlington brass bowl from Plantation. Joinery in American oak custom stained. Minotti ‘Powell’ sofa from De De Ce in the family room. Designers Guild ‘Kelston’ parchment wallpaper from Radford Furnishings. Artwork is It Was All Yellow by Keren Seelander. Flooring is Eterno Grande European oak from Tongue n Groove. Opposite page Custom dining table from Holly Hunt with ‘Avalon’ chairs from Kelly Wearstler. Bolier ‘Domicile’ cabinet from Cavit & Co. Art Moderne star mirror from Laura Kincade. Kelly Wearstler ‘Pop’ bowl. Gaetano Sciolari chandelier from 1stdibs. Candlesticks by Arteriors from Boyd Blue. Greg Natale ‘Chevron’ rug from Designer Rugs.
Greg replaced an ordinary kitchen with something more urbane. “It was inspired by hospitality design. It feels like a bar with its brass shelving and aged mirror panelling.”
chandelier, a fuchsia Kelly Wearstler ‘Souf e’ chair and a huge round ottoman lend the nishing ourishes.
Greg applied other textured wall treatments throughout. With silk wallpapers in the formal areas and the main bedroom, and grass weaves in the dining room, family room and media room, “there was no painted plasterboard left”, he says. “These nishes create luxe, layering and mood.”
Meanwhile, he replaced an ordinary kitchen with something more urbane. “It was inspired by hospitality design,” he says. “It feels like a bar with its brass shelving and aged mirror panelling.”
New European oak timber in herringbone replaced the offwhite living room carpet, and Greg had the existing timber oors in the family living area, study and dining room stained to create sophistication. Panelling in the study was retained but teamed with dark-stained oors and ceiling, a geometric rug and tub chairs, it delivers a club-like ambience.
The rich, moody palette also helps tame the home’s dimensions. “My signature style is dark colour, such as charcoal and grey on grey,” says Greg. “Fortunately, the owners also love dark interiors, with a pop of colour here and there. It’s offset by brass, copper and gold accents in the furnishings, lighting and accessories. The contemporary furniture adds an extra layer, another element. ”
For Greg, the formal lounge room is one of his all-time favourites, while the owner has a different favourite. “We spend 95 per cent of our time in the family living and kitchen area,” she says. “It’s warm and cosy, an intimate space in a relatively large house.”
For more go to gregnatale.com.
» In 2013, a Melbourne couple with a large family bought a sprawling 1930s brick mansion in the city’s southeast. » Its Georgian revival architecture, lavish proportions and well-established garden were major drawcards. But the decor in whites and beiges with blond timbers was bland, dated and not suited to the needs of an active young family. » They enlisted interior designer Greg Natale to bring more human scale into the home without compromising its spectacle and drama. » Greg’s signature dark grey palette is coupled with geometric patterns, and texture in silk and grass weave wallpapers, stuccoed walls and richly stained timbers, with pops of bold colour in the furniture. This page A pair of Minotti ‘Quinn’ armchairs from De De Ce in the main bedroom on a Greg Natale ’Tom’ carpet from Designer Rugs. Baker Furniture ‘Quarry Accent’ side table from Cavit & Co. Romanzo bedspread from Analu. Opposite page, clockwise from top le Classic lines by the pool. ‘Hamilton’ bed and Archipenko bedside table from De De Ce. ‘Atollo’ lamp from Euroluce. Painting is by Adrian Lockhart. Honed Grigio Carnico marble from RMS Marble and Labirinto Nero mosaics from Bisazza in the ensuite. Wall sconce from Jonathan Browning Studios, San Francisco.