INTERIOR TIPS FROM STYLIST NAT TURNBULL
Here we interview Nat Turnbull, one of Australia’s most influential stylists and art directors, but before we do that, let’s introduce you to Nat.
A graduate of Victorian College of Arts, Nat combines her knowledge of spatial awareness, with her understanding of shape, material and form and how they work together. Nat’s work is often playful and bold, with an unexpected edge for added interest.
In this project, Nat demonstrates how she used Bremworth customised rugs to help define different spaces in a home that was small in scale.
Q&A WITH NAT TURNBULL – STYLIST & ART DIRECTOR
WHEN YOU’RE CONSIDERING A SPACE, WHERE DO YOU START?
I would say, I go through a process of first understanding the space:
- How is the space going to be used and by whom?
- What is already there in terms of the architecture, fixtures etc?
- How much space is there to work with?
Then, based on my understanding, I start to make a forward plan in terms of the colour palette and materials I think will work well in the space.
If you are working on a full renovation or a new build, I recommend you start with the larger surfaces which are the floors and walls because they are your big elements to get right first. It is always helpful to get physical samples of the materials you are considering so that you can physically touch and see all of the different materials together as well as have them in the space to see how the natural light reacts with the material.
When it comes to colour if you want to err on the safe side, select muted/neutral colours for these larger surfaces and introduce a few bold accent colours to breathe life into the space using products which can be changed out easily. And don’t forget to look at your colour samples individually and together under different light sources because colour can change.
WHAT ARE THE KEY ELEMENTS IN A ROOM?
I would say flooring is one of the most important elements in the home and I say that because:
- It’s one of the largest surface areas of the home alongside your walls
- It impacts hugely on the overall visual appearance of the interior and you can use different types of flooring materials to help define different spaces in your home
- It’s also a very sensory surface and by sensory I mean depending on the floor surface you choose, you can make an interior feel, warm or cool, hard or soft, quiet or echoey etc.
Then once you have the floors and walls right, the other big element to consider is your lighting and I say this because lighting can add interest and drama to your interior, intensifying and highlighting the mood you want to create for each area.
From there, you can work on your other big elements such as your kitchen, bathroom and so on.
HOW DOES FLOORING DEFINE THE SPACE?
Flooring is the base layer to everything in an interior, so choosing the correct material and finish is important and impacts the whole space. Depending on the type of flooring you select you can:
- Make different spaces feel different. For example, I could put soft flooring down my hallway and in my bedrooms to create an immersive underfoot transitional experience between hard and soft flooring in my home and by doing this, I am going to make these spaces feel warmer, more luxurious and quieter. I might then introduce a beautiful rug into my lounge area to soften and compliment the hard flooring in this space. And by introducing a rug into my lounge will also help to muffle sound which will make the overall space feel calmer and more relaxing.
- From a visual perspective the type of flooring you choose can help to define and create different spaces in your home. This is particularly important for open plan homes where the kitchen, dining room and lounge may be all in one big open space. It is amazing how much of a difference it can make to the overall visual of a room when you simply incorporate a rug or change the floor from hard to soft. So, visually the flooring can be used to separate spaces and change the focal point of a room whilst adding textural depth and visual appeal to make the space feel more inviting.
TELL US ABOUT THE RUGS YOU SELECTED FOR THIS PROJECT AND WHY?
In this particular project I was looking for a soft, neutral tone with texture. I wanted to bring multiple textures into the space without affecting the overall very calm palette.
In this space we have concrete floors, which get cold, particularly in climates such as Melbourne. Rugs are also great way to muffle sound and add warmth and softness to concrete or timber floors. And because this space was so small (the living, dining, and kitchen is all in one room), I used rugs in different shapes and sizes to separate each space.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF CUSTOMISATION?
It can be hard to find the right rug because we all live in different spaces – inevitably a standard rug is either the wrong shape or the wrong size. So being able to customise a rug specifically for this space, was amazing. When you have the choice why wouldn’t you get a rug made specifically for your space?
IS THE USE OF ‘NATURAL’ MATERIALS A DESIGN CONSIDERATION FOR YOU?
As a personal preference, I love things that are in their true state. Timber that shows the natural grain, brass that will age and show patina and wool treated naturally. There is something special about the inherent beauty of natural materials, and it’s not like natural is going to go out of style.
WHAT’S YOUR ‘SECRET’ HOME STYLING TIP?
I think having things in your space, that are specific to you is what makes it more interesting. Remember to add in those little things that feel individual.