Daniela Natale, Interior Designer at The Phoenix Group
Interior Designer, Daniela Natale joined The Phoenix Group in 2015 as Principal Interior Designer. With almost 30 years experience helping clients achieve their domestic interior design dreams, and over 11 years on island, she is well versed at taking the stress out of decorating. Whether leading the interior design for a whole house, a room renovation or providing guidance for specific selections, Daniela’s passion and talent for design shines forth.
DN: We lived in King City, a wonderful city just outside of Toronto, Canada when my husband was offered a position on the island. We saw this as an exciting adventure, so my husband accepted the position and we moved to Cayman in 2006.
RL: Were you always interested in design?
DN: Yes. I started as a cartographer, which helped me in the transition to design as it requires great attention to detail and accuracy. Then having an Italian background, my father owning a construction company and my mother with her love of fabrics and sewing – it was inevitable that I would ‘catch the bug’.
RL: Tell us about your role at Phoenix
DN: My primary objective is to present a design concept built around the client’s needs, aspirations and functional requirements. With many projects, there is usually client apprehension from the on-set whether it's related to selection of furniture, window dressings, lighting or fixtures to the importation of goods – it can definitely get overwhelming. It’s my job to relieve any associated anxiety and present design concept options, with samples, sketches and drawings, in an effort to illustrate, as closely as possible, what the end result will look like. I want my clients to feel comfortable, excited and love the selections they make.
DN: From a company perspective, Phoenix provides complete services from General Contracting to Design Build, as well as interior design – be it a house or a room. We also offer custom draperies, bedding and furniture.
RL: Tell us about taking purpose trips with clients.
DN: It is critical to the process that the designer and client work closely together. Preliminary discussions around likes/dislikes provide some clarity, however I invite clients to provide me with magazine images illustrating their taste/thoughts/desires to narrow the overall potential concept and provide me with a starting point. If possible, we also take clients overseas to showrooms to further identify and isolate exact tastes. From there I put together final power points and portfolios with all selections.
RL: Are there any tricks you use to ‘get inside’ a client’s head?
DN: When I first meet clients, they are interviewing me as we would be working very closely on their potential project together. I ask a variety of questions on how they want to use their space, discuss style preferences, colour schemes and even ask about their lifestyle, as this can impact the function of the space.
RL: Are there items worth splurging on?
DN: There are definitely some elements of design that require a focus and/or budget. However, having said that, staying on budget for any project is imperative. There are pieces in design that are worth splurging on such as a comfortable sofa with beautiful fabric that you would use every day, a dining room chandelier which can be your ‘wow’ factor, and artwork for impact.
DN: You don’t need a lot of money – just a vision and a great interior designer who listens to what you are saying!
RL: What makes you stand out from other Designers?
DN: Phoenix is a value-based company. This is highly important to me personally and also from a business perspective. We work collaboratively and I approach every client’s project with respect and honesty. Phoenix is a company working with integrated services making the customer experience low-stress, cost-effective and, ultimately, satisfying.
DN: Inspiration comes from everywhere and is continual. From the beauty of nature’s colour combinations, artwork, fashion or something in a client’s home. When working on a renovation, I always try to repurpose items and spend money on other pieces that will influence and impact the overall design.
RL: What makes a happy home?
Designer – Mary McDonald
Artist – Gustav Klimt, Elton John & The Beatles
Colour Combination – I love taupes
Materials – Crisp linens & luxurious silks
Furniture – Charles and Ray Eames pieces
City – Florence, Italy
Museum – Palace of Versailles, France
Hotel – The Ritz-Carlton, Paris
Holiday – A snowy Christmas with family
Charity – Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
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