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Greg Natale Interview

By Designer Rugs on May 26, 2022 

Our collaborative relationship with Greg Natal is one of our most enduring, and has resulted in five rug collections and two carpet collections. We are thrilled to unveil the next chapter for Greg Natale and Designer Rugs - the New Wave collection.

With postmodernism and a bold ’80s sensibility at its core, this striking collection of seven handmade rugs showcase Natale’s inimitable flair for pattern and colour, and represent another evolution in his design journey. After the last collection, which was Deco in theme, New Wave embraces the vibrant hues and geometrics of the Memphis movement and the work of Ettore Sottsass. Motifs also reference the architecture of Louis Khan and his use of symbolism.

We spoke to Greg about his experiences creating this collection:

Greg Natale Designer Rugs Collection 23
Greg Natale

This collection has strong inspirations from the 80s – what draws you to this decade of design?

It was a bold and exciting time in design, colour and pattern were king and the Memphis design movement was in full swing. I fell in love with the interiors of 80s TV shows like Dynasty so that era has a strong place in my memories.

What was your personal style like in the 80s?

I was a teenager in the late 80s, so was drawn to brave, patterned clothing- this started very young.

You’ve used a number of these new designs in your incredible Toorak apartment. What kind of customizations did you apply and what do you think these designs brought to the project?

Yes it was the perfect project to include this collection in! For the customisation we played with the colours of the designs of Stella and Banto to suit the interior colour scheme of the apartment and also altered the scale in the Maja design enlarging the graphically shaped motif.

Greg Natale Toorak 03
Toorak Penthouse by Greg Natale, featuring custom Stella. Photography: Anson Smart

Do you have a favourite design from the collection?

It’s hard to choose, but I do love the Stella and Mezza Luna as they are both tonal in colour and really impactful in a softer manner.

There are some bold colours in this collection! What advice would you give to someone looking to embrace a statement coloured rug in their home?

My advice would be go for it, start with a tonal design and let it ground your space. The designs in this collection all have a neutral colour in the designs which makes it easy to tie back to lots of different interior spaces.

designer rugs greg natale mezza luna lo wr 3
Mezza Luna

You’ve released both handknotted, hand tufted and Axminster collections, what drew you to the hand tufted quality for these designs? How do you approach using these different qualities in your projects?

I chose hand tufted for this collection due to the way it shows the designs in such a graphic bold way and also because I did a lot of carving in this collection. When it comes to choosing between handknotted or hand tufted for projects it’s really about its use and application – for example in high traffic areas I would specify hand tufted.

What is your design process when it comes to creating rugs?

In the early stages I often take from inspiration from my recent interiors projects, what colours the studio is using in schemes and what I see in my research and travels. The design process is all about nailing down the perfect colour combinations and patterns and letting these initial ideas inform the final designs and shapes of the rugs.

geometric maja rug by greg natale and designer rugs

This collection includes your first runner design, and your incredible custom hall runners are highly sought after – what’s your approach when it comes to designing hallway spaces?

I approach them just like other spaces, with a cohesive mix of curated pieces. The hallway is often your first glimpse of a house, so it’s a good opportunity to showcase the palette and mood with a runner. The pattern of the runner can also speak to the era of the house or the direction of the design, highlighted by one or two key pieces of furniture and some artworks.

After more than a decade of collaboration with Designer Rugs, including countless projects and 8 collections - what brings you back, and how do you find the process of collaboration?

I think there is nothing more inspiring then collaborating with a team of creative, driven people who strive to produce the very best, and for me Designer Rugs continues to be a leader in the industry. Their commitment to quality and attention to detail continue to inspire me, and I appreciate the opportunities they have given me to realise my vision.

The New Wave Collection is on display in our showrooms, and can be custom shaped, sized and coloured to suit any residential or commercial space. Contact us to find out more!

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