March 27th, 2012

Entries closing soon for the Belle/Coco Republic Interior Design Awards!

What do you mean you haven’t entered yet?! Don’t panic! You still have three days to work on that application. Entries close this Friday 30 March.

Celebrating and rewarding excellence in Australian interior design and decoration by individuals, partnerships and design practices at residential, commercial and corporate levels, these prestigious awards are committed to supporting the creativity and innovation of the Australian interior design industry.

For more details and an entry form, email belleawards@acpmagazines.com.au

Steve Cordony at Coco Design School

I was so excited to attend Steve Cordony’s session at Coco Republic Design School last week and he didn’t disappoint.

Steve is interior design editor at belle magazine and responsible for the styling behind those incredible, dramatic, often fantastical photos we devour on its pages each issue. He’s also in great demand as an event stylist, working with glamorous fashion brands, on private parties and more. It’s hard to believe someone so young (28) has such a stunning portfolio of work already. He’s also an incredibly nice guy (don’t you hate it when someone you admire turns out to be well, less than nice?!)

I learned a few interesting things about Steve last week. First, when he was a kid, he used to play a game (on his own!) which he called Renovation Rescue. He’d empty a room, taking all his parents’ furniture outside, then put it all back again and rearrange it. Cue often confused parents when they got home. One two three—Naaaaaw! These days the more sophisticated grown-up Steve is very influenced by fashion and I think it’s fair to say a little bit obsessed with Tom Ford. And candles!

His session was great because not only did he share tips, tricks and shopping destinations, he also gave hands-on demos, like bringing everything from his coffee table at home and arranging it in front of us to show us how it’s done. If you’re interested the contents of a super stylist’s coffee table include a Tom Ford candle, Becker Minty bowl, framed butterfly, Tom Ford (I did warn you!) book and, interestingly, a bonsai! I reckon he’s one of the only people who could make bonsais cool, but there we go. What I liked most was how down to earth Steve was. He gave realistic, affordable suggestions of things to buy and do in our own homes.

We were also let loose (ever heard the expression kid in a candy store?) in the Coco Republic showroom where he showed us a few different ways to make a bed. I do love that practical stuff!


He also told us something about bringing out our inner stylists, starting with the stylist’s toolkit:

  • Staple gun
  •  Tape
  •  Pins
  •  Sharpies
  •  Camera
  •  Sketchbook
  •  Laptop.

Then he advises building up your database. Where to start?

  • Break it up into categories (linen, floral, events, surfaces etc)
  • Go through the address books/stockists pages of homes magazines and start Googling
  •   Jump online and search websites and design blogs
  •  Visit shops, pick the product up and really get to know it.

Some of Steve’s favourite stores are:

  • Coco Republic
  •  Becker Minty
  • The Country Trader
  • Seasonal concepts
  • Drawing Room Theory
  • Your Display Gallery
  • Mitchell Road Auction House
  • Les Interieurs
  • Rust
  • MCM House
  • Ici et La
  • Orson & Blake
  • PAD Interiors
  • Quintessential DuckeggBLUE
  • Nicholas and Alistair
  • Scout House
  • Izzi and Popo

That’s enough to whet your styling appetite for one day. I’ll be back with more tomorrow…

Find out more about Coco Republic Design School and its courses here.

November 25th, 2011

Coco Republic launches a blog

Furniture and homewares brand Coco Republic has launched a blog called Design Field Notes, ‘your guide to the great indoors’. On first glance it’s a great source of interior inspiration with photographs, how to’s and more. 

November 21st, 2011

Greg Natale celebrates a decade in business

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 Greg Natale Design and he kindly gave Interiors Addict 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.


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October 21st, 2011
Former Interiors Addict interviewee Greg Natale has been shortlisted for Designer of the Year in the IDEA Awards and I’d love you to get behind him by voting. 
IDEA, the Interior Design Excellence Awards 2011, are run by the Australian Design Review.
"I feel honoured to be shortlisted long with my peers" said Greg. "It’s especially awesome to be shortlisted after winning 2011 Belle Coco Republic Interior Designer of the Year."
The prestigious awards showcase the best of Australian design. IDEA promotes and rewards recent work in interior design and product design across 14 different categories, as well as recognising emerging young talent and designers whose work demonstrates exemplary sustainable objectives.
The winners will be announced at the IDEA Gala Party at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts (ACCA) in Melbourne on 25 November.
Read my inteview with Greg and learn more about him and his work here.
You can vote for Greg  and see the other shortlisted designers here.

Former Interiors Addict interviewee Greg Natale has been shortlisted for Designer of the Year in the IDEA Awards and I’d love you to get behind him by voting. 

IDEA, the Interior Design Excellence Awards 2011, are run by the Australian Design Review.

"I feel honoured to be shortlisted long with my peers" said Greg. "It’s especially awesome to be shortlisted after winning 2011 Belle Coco Republic Interior Designer of the Year."

The prestigious awards showcase the best of Australian design. IDEA promotes and rewards recent work in interior design and product design across 14 different categories, as well as recognising emerging young talent and designers whose work demonstrates exemplary sustainable objectives.

The winners will be announced at the IDEA Gala Party at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Arts (ACCA) in Melbourne on 25 November.

Read my inteview with Greg and learn more about him and his work here.

You can vote for Greg  and see the other shortlisted designers here.

September 15th, 2011

Looking forward to publishing my interview with Belle Coco Republic Interior Designer of the Year 2011 Greg Natale soon. In the meantime, here’s a video of him and his home. Enjoy!

September 2nd, 2011