When Australian interior designerGreg Natale was working on his book, The Tailored Interior, the chapter about achieving balance in a space was the hardest one to write. “It is really about your eye and how you define balance,” says Natale. Reconciling one’s spirit of creativity with an end result that is cohesive isn’t straightforward, even for professionals, and he wanted to help readers get there using what he describes as “a thoughtful formula of addition and subtraction.” Natale, after all, is known for creating layered perfection. “What I’m talking about is layering,” the interior designer says. “Those very pared-down Danish interiors aren’t for me,” the designer says. “I want to find that sweet medium.” He recently spoke to AD, divulging his tips for striking the perfect balance.
“This is the easiest one for me,” Natale says. When the designer approaches a space, he begins with a muted foundation then layers it with color. A room that is too bland often suffers from an overly neutral palette. The fix is a splash of color—maybe in the form of throw pillows or a candy-bright KitchenAid mixer.
Contrast is what makes a room visually interesting. Be sure to build in a degree or two of difference. “It can be a punch of pattern,” the designer says, “or black against white. “I like to play organic prints, especially geometric patterns, against solids.” Texturize by introducing smooth surfaces to rougher ones—one is the antidote to the other.
Accessories do wonders for breaking up wide-open surfaces. Fill in that emptiness with well-chosen items in ceramic, metal, or wood, Natale advises. Accessories also lend their own powers of contrast and texture. “They’re the final layer that finishes the room.”