The big picture
I’m always drawn to the buildings of the late Australian architectural legend Harry Seidler – his clean, modernist lines have been a major influence on my work. I’m fortunate enough to live in one of his apartment blocks, where I’ve been careful to marry my interior style to his vision.
I find the creations of US architect Paul Rudolph inspiring, in particular his Milam house in Florida, with its clever interplay of modular cubist structures, inside and out.
Across the Atlantic, the ribbon staircase at Swiss designer Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye, in the outer regions of Paris, is a piece of pure sculptural genius that mesmerises with its seamless, dynamic design.
Big ideas, smaller spaces
I paid homage to both these incredible places in a recent home I designed and built in Sydney’s Tennyson Point. It’s a monumental, minimalist building built on cubist principles, where a dialogue is maintained between exterior and interior in terms of structure and surface. I introduced a winding circular staircase that adds a deceptively simple organic element amidst all the angles.
Between the lines
But I have to admit, it’s often the smaller, sometimes overlooked spaces that catch my eye and really inspire me. There will always be grand design statements and beautiful buildings to admire, but as someone whose work is dedicated to the tiny details as much as the big picture, I’m very aware of those striking elements of the everyday that can leave a lasting impression. Nowhere does this become more apparent to me than when I’m travelling – and in fact, two recent ventures overseas have inspired new product designs for me.
Small inspirations, big impact
Visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, I was taken with the intricate designs on one of the gates and re-created its interlocking lines and curves in a carpet for Designer Rugs called ‘Emilio’.
During a trip to New York, where nearly every vista provides fuel for the curious designer, I took a moment to look away from the skyscrapers and down, to where I was walking. I was rewarded with one of the most iconic features of the New York street – the manholes – which are fascinating in their various patterns and stages of wear and tear. They became my ‘muse’ for the circular ‘Manhattan’ rug I created for Designer Rugs.
What I love about both these spaces as sources of inspiration is that whatever their location or heritage, both could be re-imagined within the personal surrounds of someone’s house, in either a classic or contemporary environment.
To read more about Greg Natale’s design inspirations, read Greg’s first book, The Tailored Interior – available for $69.95 at all good book retailers, in store at Coco Republic and online at Bookworld.