Natasha Rocca Devine is first and foremost a creator. Hailing from an esteemed lineage of builders and designers, she remembers helping lay mosaic murals for a famous Moore Street in Dublin with her uncle as an eight-year-old girl.

These days, she creates spaces that are open, sincere, and familial, and operates where functionality mingles with creativity. Named ‘Dublin’s Most Outstanding Interior Design Specialist for 2018’ by LUX Life magazine, ‘Interior Staging Company of the Year’ by the Corporate Livewire 2019 Global Awards, and ‘Best for Interior Staging 2019 – The Republic of Ireland’ by BUILD magazine, we caught up with her eager to learn more about her creative process, and peek into the inner workings of her brand, ‘The Interiors NRD’.

 

 

What’s your earliest memory of a beautiful home?

My heritage is Irish-Italian, so on both sides my families take immense pride in their homes. As a child, I recall my Rocca grandparents’ home, which my grandfather built. It had beautiful furniture, art, and family portraits peppered around the house. There were lovely olfactory gardens, and my grandfathers’ workshop that remains there to this day.

On my other side, my grandparents had a pair of ‘his’ and ‘hers’ armchairs, and the family would assemble around my grandfather’s chair for stories and laughter. I like to incorporate a ‘grandad chair’ or love seat into my work as an homage to these fond memories.

So where did you begin?

I have been surrounded by building and design since I was born, it’s a cliché but it’s in my blood. My great grandfather, Egidio, helped in the rebuilding and tiling of The Four Courts in Dublin after the devastation of the Irish Civil War. He then entrusted the family business onto my Grandfather Patrick, who transformed it into the eponymously named Rocca Tiles in 1976.

When I grew up, I formally studied interiors in London at ‘KLC School of Design’, and since then I have worked in the industry in London, Boston, Los Angeles and Dublin. After I graduated I was the assistant lighting design teacher in ‘Massachusetts College of Art and Design’ in Boston, then I became an estate agent in LA. I worked with staging companies, and started to expand on this alongside my real estate career.

When I came back to Ireland I knew I wanted to create my own brand to specialise in interior design, staging, and styling, and so ‘The Interiors NRD’ studio was born.

What are you working on at the moment?

This week I am completing an interior design fit-out for wonderful international clients based on a classic luxury theme. Prior to this, I completed a project designing and staging a show home for Robswall, a beautiful coastal development in Malahide, Dublin. This showhome was built by renowned Hollybrook Developers, represented by Knight Frank Agents, which I am thrilled to say sold within a few weeks and I have won various awards for. In between I have been consulting along with some media editorials and events.

Where do you like to start on a new project?

Each project is bespoke and requires a different approach, but I try to keep a system in place. To start, I always meet my clients and perform a survey, followed by a detailed proposal including a theme, mood boards, furniture concepts, and a room breakdown of proposed staging or design ideas. From there the clients and I move into a new phase, either large scale interior design, staging or styling, each depending on their individual requirements, of course.

 

Do you have a favourite room of the home?

I am fascinated by spaces that gather together family, friends, and loved ones. I love kitchens, dining rooms, and lounge areas, as these are the rooms that collect everyone together with food and conversation.

 

Describe good interior styling in three words.

Bespoke, Detailed, Inspirational.

 

Do you prefer a blank canvas?

Yes, and no. I am an instinctively creative person so in new homes I adore the challenge of creating something when I can start completely from scratch. With existing projects it’s a case of responding to the space you inherit. It is a process of clearing out what should go and deciding what should be kept to transform the house. Regardless, I find each project an exciting and creative opportunity to overcome.

 

What inspires you?

I don’t know where to begin, life inspires me! The world around us is so rich and colourful -travel, food, architecture, people, clothes, art, and nature all stimulate my thoughts and designs.

I do like to read magazines and browse through social media, but I don’t look for inspiration in other people’s ideas. I feel as humans we naturally copy things and, to me, this is the very opposite of creativity. I take each project as a blank canvas of inspiration and like to curate each one accordingly.

 

Home Staging is a new and every-expanding industry in the UK & Ireland, how has it changed and developed?

Being based in Ireland and consulting in London, I have noticed an exponential growth in staging and styling particularly in the high-end market. I’ve seen the market progressing particularly with estate agents, who immediately recognise the impact that staging and styling has on their overall sales.

There have always been show homes for larger developments, but home staging is a new concept which I hope to see progress further in the coming years.

 

What should every home have in it?

It is difficult to place, it depends so much on who is using the space. Is it a home for a family, an apartment for a student, or a city studio for an artist? With that said, I think every home should have functional furniture, beautiful lighting, quality bedding, and some relaxing places to sit alone and get lost in books and blankets.

Most importantly, there must be areas for us to dine and collect together at the end of the day.

What has been your most challenging project?

All my projects are both auspicious and challenging in themselves with stress generally due to time and budget constraints. I think one of my most challenging moments was ‘The Interiors NRD’s’ first Irish project last March. I had a short deadline before the property went on the market and there was the extra pressure of press coverage. Within two weeks I liaised with leading Irish agent Owen Reilly, his clients, pieced together a plan, and staged the home all amidst a big snow storm. Fortunately, it was a spectacular property to work with, a striking three-bedroom penthouse located in Dublin’s Grand Canal Dock, facing the famous River Liffey and firmly embedded in the beating heart of Dublin’s history and culture. The final result created a sales increase and was featured in The Irish Times as ‘Less Lad Pad – More City Chic’.

 

Your favourite trend of 2019 so far?

Admittedly I am not a huge trend follower, but I do like the current trends of stylish lighting, rich paint colours, and bespoke wallpaper. Passementerie is a lot of fun too – I love the playful additions of tassels, braids and fringing on cushions and chairs.

 

Any predictions for the future?

I think trends can come and go, but I predict home staging and the art of preparing your home for sale or rental will become the norm. Particularly as the rental and property markets are rising in cities such as Dublin and London which I am naturally aligned with.

 

What is your advice to budding interior stylists trying to break into the industry?

No design journey is the same. I would suggest studying design, styling, or a mixture of both, then apply it to a market that suits your passions and personality. Always invest in people and work against a business plan. Every day you have to take risks, network, build an online presence, and work on your goals – everything else will follow suit…

Natasha is an HSA Member. To find out more about her projects and services, please visit Interiors NRD’s website: www.theinteriorsnrd.com

 

Images: Robswall by Hollybrook

ltiwebHome
Author: ltiwebHome