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Style A glamorous Toorak penthouse inspired by a popular 1980s drama series

07:31  24 august  2022
07:31  24 august  2022 Source:   homestolove.com.au

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With seductive gemlike hues of ruby, sapphire and gold, and lashings of sheen, this multifaceted penthouse in Melbourne's Toorak has all the alluring glamour and drama of a jewellery boutique. But perhaps that's not surprising, as it is owned by James and Jaimee Belle Kennedy of Kennedy luxury jeweller fame.

The couple bought the three-bedroom apartment shiny new in 2020. Its then-minimalist design had been masterminded by Sue Carr of Carr interior designers and architects, so it had quality bones and the flow of the spaces worked smoothly but, seeking more exuberance and energy, they asked designer Greg Natale to add his maximalist magic.

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The arched hallway, with its ceiling in Phillip Jeffries 'Enlightenment' wallpaper from The Textile Group, sets an elegant tone the minute you walk in the door. 'Rinna' custom runner by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. 'Melange' petite flush-mount burnished-brass ceiling lights, with alabaster shades, from Kelly Wearstler. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The arched hallway, with its ceiling in Phillip Jeffries 'Enlightenment' wallpaper from The Textile Group, sets an elegant tone the minute you walk in the door. 'Rinna' custom runner by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. 'Melange' petite flush-mount burnished-brass ceiling lights, with alabaster shades, from Kelly Wearstler. The dining room serves up lavish helpings of jewel-like hues, including ruby, sapphire and gold. Boca do Lobo 'Fortuna' dining table from Covet House. 'Goldfinger' dining chairs and 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. 'Stella' rug in custom colours by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. Italian vintage glass Sputnik-style chandelier from Conley & Co. Custom artwork from Greg Natale. White fluted wall in Dulux 'Lexicon' quarter two-pack, and archway in matte brass finish, both supplied by builder. Flooring in limed American oak. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The dining room serves up lavish helpings of jewel-like hues, including ruby, sapphire and gold. Boca do Lobo 'Fortuna' dining table from Covet House. 'Goldfinger' dining chairs and 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. 'Stella' rug in custom colours by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. Italian vintage glass Sputnik-style chandelier from Conley & Co. Custom artwork from Greg Natale. White fluted wall in Dulux 'Lexicon' quarter two-pack, and archway in matte brass finish, both supplied by builder. Flooring in limed American oak.

As if draping jewels on a classic outfit, the designer added layers of colour and texture to make the spaces glow. And with the couple being young and now having a two-year-old son, they asked the designer to make it fun and flamboyant – as they have plenty of time for the more serious stuff as they get older. "I love working with minimalist spaces," Greg says, "because they are a blank slate and lend so much scope".

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The couple had already amassed a collection of Jonathan Adler furniture – with its retro lines and whimsy – of which Greg has been a perpetual fan. "It made us all a good fit," he says. So, it became the appropriate starting point for the miraculous makeover. Appropriately, too, he was in Paris when he was given the nod for the project and that's reflected in these bold, elegant spaces that don't hold their punches. "It's the city of maroon and arches," he says.

'Pollock' sectional sofas from Minotti. 'Bacharach' swivel chair, 'Bond' round table, 'Canaan' table lamp, 'Lisbon' wall sconces and 'Sunburst' hand-knotted rug, all from Jonathan Adler. 'Petra III' chandelier from Christopher Boots. 'Emilio' custom print from Greg Natale. Fireplace in Calacatta Viola marble. Walls in Dulux 'Lexicon' and 'Library Red'. Joinery by RJR Shopfitting. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd 'Pollock' sectional sofas from Minotti. 'Bacharach' swivel chair, 'Bond' round table, 'Canaan' table lamp, 'Lisbon' wall sconces and 'Sunburst' hand-knotted rug, all from Jonathan Adler. 'Petra III' chandelier from Christopher Boots. 'Emilio' custom print from Greg Natale. Fireplace in Calacatta Viola marble. Walls in Dulux 'Lexicon' and 'Library Red'. Joinery by RJR Shopfitting. Boca do Lobo 'Wave Center' tables from Covet House sit in a corner of the living room. 'Ziggurat' brass bowl and 'Plinth' bowl from Greg Natale. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Boca do Lobo 'Wave Center' tables from Covet House sit in a corner of the living room. 'Ziggurat' brass bowl and 'Plinth' bowl from Greg Natale.

Greg enthuses about his love of television - and movie-set design, and the eclectic range of influences also includes Alexis Carrington's apartment in that 1980s potboiler Dynasty, here reprised in pops of pink, burgundy and gold. "When Greg Natale turns your home into a Dynasty set…" muses Jaimee Belle.

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The result is a treasure trove of colour, texture and pattern, with strong echoes of Memphis postmodernism, which Greg lovingly recalls from his youth. "As a child of the 80s, Memphis was one of the things that made me want to be an interior designer," he recalls. It was the first major design style he encountered, with bold colours and vitality being its signatures, not to mention cheekiness. "It was playful, ironic, humorous, with lots of colour."

The brass curve in the fluted divider between the living and dining areas echoes the arches in the hallway. 'Ether' sofas, covered in Aalto 'Rosa' fabric from South Pacific Fabrics, and 'Jacques Grand' cocktail table, all from Jonathan Adler. On the table, 'Niemeyer Rosso' bowl from Greg Natale, and 'Versailles Puzzle' vase and 'Orb' from Jonathan Adler. 'Caracas' chandelier and 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd The brass curve in the fluted divider between the living and dining areas echoes the arches in the hallway. 'Ether' sofas, covered in Aalto 'Rosa' fabric from South Pacific Fabrics, and 'Jacques Grand' cocktail table, all from Jonathan Adler. On the table, 'Niemeyer Rosso' bowl from Greg Natale, and 'Versailles Puzzle' vase and 'Orb' from Jonathan Adler. 'Caracas' chandelier and 'Lisbon' sconces from Jonathan Adler. Gucci 'Heron' wallpaper, in Jaimee Belle's cherished pink, blushes in the dining area. 'Reform' credenza, 'Canaan' table lamp and brass 'Orb' sculpture, all from Jonathan Adler. 'Mies' vase from Greg Natale. Limed American oak floor. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Gucci 'Heron' wallpaper, in Jaimee Belle's cherished pink, blushes in the dining area. 'Reform' credenza, 'Canaan' table lamp and brass 'Orb' sculpture, all from Jonathan Adler. 'Mies' vase from Greg Natale. Limed American oak floor.

Greg left the floor plan, with the open-plan living areas along the south-western side accessed by a long hallway and the bedrooms and service areas on the other, largely untouched. The notable exception is a fluted dividing wall ingeniously obscuring a structural pillar in the open plan. The hallway is a succession of golden arches and mirrored panels, creating both a sense of arrival and expectation for what lies beyond. And those other rooms don't disappoint.

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Greg resurfaced the kitchen bench with a rich burgundy marble, the luscious colour further highlighted by the two-pack joinery, which he resprayed, while the two bathrooms were also treated to lush maroon marble.

Luscious burgundy and ruby tones create a cosseting feeling in the main bedroom. 'Goldfinger' lounge chair, 'Teardrop' brass side table and 'Lisbon Torchière' floor lamp, all from Jonathan Adler. Custom 'Nova' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Aurora' prints from Greg Natale. Cabinets in Dulux 'Library Red'. 'Appia' wallpaper in Wine Pearl by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. Flooring in limed American oak. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Luscious burgundy and ruby tones create a cosseting feeling in the main bedroom. 'Goldfinger' lounge chair, 'Teardrop' brass side table and 'Lisbon Torchière' floor lamp, all from Jonathan Adler. Custom 'Nova' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Aurora' prints from Greg Natale. Cabinets in Dulux 'Library Red'. 'Appia' wallpaper in Wine Pearl by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. Flooring in limed American oak. In keeping with the rest of the apartment, the kitchen joinery was resprayed in chic Dulux 'Library Red'. 'Reva' counter stools from France & Son. DelightFULL 'Laine' suspension chandelier from Covet House. 'Liza' bowl and vase, 'Pillar' vase in Bianco and Nero, all from Greg Natale. Benchtop and splashback re-finished in Calacatta Viola marble. Tap from Brodware. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd In keeping with the rest of the apartment, the kitchen joinery was resprayed in chic Dulux 'Library Red'. 'Reva' counter stools from France & Son. DelightFULL 'Laine' suspension chandelier from Covet House. 'Liza' bowl and vase, 'Pillar' vase in Bianco and Nero, all from Greg Natale. Benchtop and splashback re-finished in Calacatta Viola marble. Tap from Brodware.

Burgundy wallpaper in the main bedroom and the statement peachy pink 'Heron' wallpaper in the dining area lend colour and pattern.

"I treated the apartment like a jewellery store," explains Greg, reflected by the vast banks of joinery, both lacquered ("like a grand piano") and mirrored, all suitably, perhaps, installed by shopfitters. The rich palette echoes that store's precious merchandise, with Greg's and Jaimee Belle's shared passion for 1980s peachy pink added to the heady mix.

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Oly 'Diego' bed from Coco Republic. Custom bedspread from BQ Design. 'Bruna' white-lacquer side table from James Said. 'Canaan' table lamp and art print above bed from Jonathan Adler. Italian vintage lights from Conley & Co. Custom 'Nova' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Appia' wallpaper by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Oly 'Diego' bed from Coco Republic. Custom bedspread from BQ Design. 'Bruna' white-lacquer side table from James Said. 'Canaan' table lamp and art print above bed from Jonathan Adler. Italian vintage lights from Conley & Co. Custom 'Nova' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. 'Appia' wallpaper by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. In the dressing room, 'Couture Geometric Wien' bench from Lorenza Bozzoli Design. 'Maja' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd In the dressing room, 'Couture Geometric Wien' bench from Lorenza Bozzoli Design. 'Maja' rug by Greg Natale from Designer Rugs.

Those lustrous surfaces are further highlighted by warm brass accents ("one of my signatures") and luxe velvet sofas. Meanwhile, curves are celebrated in those golden archways and fluted joinery, the latter providing a strong visual contrast with the smooth lacquers. Jewel-like chandeliers and elegant sconces are also in on the act, in a project "that has drama and is designed to perform".

Meanwhile, Greg re-covered the couple's cherished Jonathan Adler furniture in Memphis-inspired designs, but perhaps not wishing to gild the lily, he left the original limed floorboards untouched. "It's not meant to be timeless," the designer says of this fabulous flight of fancy. "It's not James and Jaimee Belle's forever home and they only spend part of the year here. It's youthful and probably not what they would do if they were older, but they wanted it to be grand and elegant – after all, they're in the jewellery business."

In the powder room, Pierre Frey 'Portor' wallpaper from Milgate. Custom mirror from Greg Natale. 'Helio' wall sconces from Regency Distribution. Tap from Brodware. Vanity in Calacatta Viola marble. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd In the powder room, Pierre Frey 'Portor' wallpaper from Milgate. Custom mirror from Greg Natale. 'Helio' wall sconces from Regency Distribution. Tap from Brodware. Vanity in Calacatta Viola marble.

Be that as it may, the penthouse still offers hints of what we could see from Greg in the near future. "Style-wise, this is an evolution of everything that has gone before," he says. Can we expect to see further elements of Memphis and postmodernism, as he draws more and more from his formative past? "Watch this space," he says with a smile.

Nadia Fairfax and Kate Waterhouse at Hamilton Island Race Week

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gregnatale.com

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Pretty in pink – the guest bedroom is invitingly elegant. 'Connery' bed, 'Harlequin' drawers and 'Blocks' hand-knotted rug, all from Jonathan Adler. Custom quilt from BQ Design. DelightFULL 'Norah' chandelier from Covet House. 'Stucco' wallpaper by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. Artwork from Greg Natale. Joinery by RJR Shopfitting. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd Pretty in pink – the guest bedroom is invitingly elegant. 'Connery' bed, 'Harlequin' drawers and 'Blocks' hand-knotted rug, all from Jonathan Adler. Custom quilt from BQ Design. DelightFULL 'Norah' chandelier from Covet House. 'Stucco' wallpaper by Greg Natale from Signature Prints. Artwork from Greg Natale. Joinery by RJR Shopfitting. In the room off the main bedroom, the 'Goldfinger' dining chair is from Jonathan Adler. Joinery and walls in Dulux 'Naked Lady'. 'Bubbles' thumb pulls from Spark & Burnish. Flos 'Mini Glo-Ball' lights from Euroluce. © Provided by Are Media Pty Ltd In the room off the main bedroom, the 'Goldfinger' dining chair is from Jonathan Adler. Joinery and walls in Dulux 'Naked Lady'. 'Bubbles' thumb pulls from Spark & Burnish. Flos 'Mini Glo-Ball' lights from Euroluce.

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