The Belle Coco Republic Interior Design Awards acknowledges and rewards excellence and creativity in the Australian interior design industry. The winner of the Interior Designer of the Year Award 2011 went to Greg Natale of Greg Natale Design and his prize was to be flown to London to meet two world renowned Interior Designers; Kelly Hoppen and Andrew Martin. He recounts his visit…
“It was another brisk morning in London as I charged off down to Oxford Circus, jostled down the tube to South Ken and a swift mozy up Brompton Road to the Andrew Martin offices to meet the founding owner himself, Martin Waller. The offices were much like their furniture; dark, raw, beautiful timbers, decked out like an expensive antique dealer; old money. Martin’s dry, clever wit put me at ease as we popped out for a coffee at a nearby fave café of his where we chatted about their success in China and the Andrew Martin Award, which he suggested I also enter.
After a few lattes Martin and I headed back to the showroom to look through their collection where he regaled me with the history of Andrew Martin and how they eased out of Interior Design right into the thick of furniture production. After an inspirational meeting I headed off to my next appointment with Kelly Hoppen. Another quick tube ride to Notting Hill to the steps of the Kelly Hoppen studio, a similarly large, warehouse space, this time, a white on white approach.
Kelly immediately made me feel welcome and her charisma and candour made her an instant friend. The statuesque redhead spent time talking with me about design, our inspirations and aspirations and how she had branched out from Interior Design to creating a home wares empire of both furniture and accessories. Kelly, who works all over the world with local architects is very keen to come over to Australia to get a feel for our local market.
Both Kelly and Martin were a pleasure to meet and gave me some invaluable advice which I fully intend to follow through with. I am only too grateful that Coco Republic had the nous to introduce these two amazing brands to Australia for the first time.”
Photography by Jose Lasheras & Sarah Kaye, courtesy of Belle Magazine.