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In Australia, Greg Natale is considered one of the country's most prolific interior designers. For over 15 years, he has created an iconic aesthetic for his bold use of color and pattern, with multiple projects featured in publications from Architectural Digest, Harper’s Bazaar, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair, and Vogue Living. His entire philosophy centers around one guiding principle: Never be afraid of pattern, which explains his second book released this fall, The Power of Pattern.
"Pattern can bring a space to life. It introduces a vital layer to the design of a house, delivering a dynamic buzz, adding contrast and balance, injecting warmth, detail, and interest," says Natale of his love of pattern. "With this book, I share my love of pattern and reveal the many impressive ways in which it can be used to enliven, enhance, and create environments."
Ahead, we share the valuable lessons we learned from the book along with some of the designer's most memorable spaces. Trust us, decorating with color and pattern isn't as scary as you'd think.
Not everyone is comfortable using pattern in their décor, but an easy way to get more at ease with it is to start by introducing pattern subtly, as Natale did in this home in the Great Barrier Reef. In this primary bedroom, blush tones and moss green accents were introduced to soften the space's omnipresent rosewood timber. This color palette was woven throughout the house, evoking the native flora, fauna, and reef beyond.
The term "Primary Bedroom" is now widely used to describe the largest bedroom in the home, as it better reflects the space’s purpose. Many realtors, architects, interior designers, and the Real Estate Standards Association have recognized the potentially discriminatory connotations in the term "Master." Read more about our Diversity and Inclusion Pledge.
Play With Complementary Colors
In the Sydney suburb of Tamarama, Natale created a luxe jewel box for a young couple—all in shades of turquoise and gold to reflect the colors of the ocean and the owner's passion for surfing. A hand-painted deGournay wallpaper serves as a backdrop for a camel-hued sofa and a golden-hued rug. This softer take on a blue-and-yellow complementary palette creates a striking yet calming space.
Limit Your Color Palette
If you discount the bold blue graphic tiles in this petite bathroom, the simple space is entirely composed of white and brass. With the tiles added—the space is transformed into a luxe and striking space—finished with a fluted glass shower door and navy towels to complement the floor's bold hue. By limiting the color palette, Natale was able to use a bold pattern in a small area successfully in this inner-Sydney space.
Evoke the Outdoors
In this country home in the Victorian countryside, Natale kept a limited color palette of black, gray, and green—using the repetition of the green accents to introduce a patterned rug. The geometrics in the rug, the plants, and the green accents all helped connect the indoor and outdoor in this moody family room.
Mix Monochrome Materials
In the same home, Natale used various finishes—all in black and white—to create a dominant color palette. The marble backsplash, patterned floors, and upholstered benches all boast different patterns, but the limited color palette helps to keep the space coherent and not overwhelming.
Make a Statement With Art
In this Sydney apartment, the light color palette stays consistent throughout, accented only with a luxe gold marbled wallpaper and striking red, green, and blue artwork by Sydney Ball. By keeping the room devoid of any color (save for the metal finishes and the gray patterned rug), Natale allowed the art to take center stage.
Repeat Metals Throughout
In an ensuite bathroom in the same apartment, Natale once again introduced pattern with green terrazzo floors, patterned marble tiles, a cerused oak vanity, and fluted glass shower doors. In this room, the repeated brass accents in the hardware, fixtures, mirrors, and lighting, keep the space from feeling overwhelming—instead creating a luxe and calming space.