Studio Tour and Q&A with Nat Spadavecchia from The Palm Co.
We love speaking to inspirational members of the design community and who better than Nat Spadavecchia, founder and creative talent behind influential styling and photography studio The Palm Co. Having recently renovated her studio space – which features our JWDA Table Lamp, Porta Table Lamp, Torso Portable Table Lamp and Carrie Portable Table Lamp - we had plenty to talk about.
As well as being a functional studio, Nat has styled it with her classically minimal and light aesthetic, thereby creating an interior that is a real joy to experience. Here is what Nat had to say when we caught up with her recently.
Your new studio space is incredible, could you describe it for us?
Our studio is a multipurpose space, with a home office up one end, and a guest bed up the other. From the exterior, it looks like a modern, farmhouse style studio with a black exterior to contrast the Japandi, minimal light interiors. We have used a light whitewash oak veneer for all the joinery, and grey marble handles to contrast (another favourite finish in the space!), and soft linen curtains from the ceiling to floor to finish it all off. It was specifically designed to be light and textural, with ambient lighting to create a calming and relaxed space.
Did it take long for you to come up with a design and did you enjoy the process?
I always love selecting the finishes and fixtures for a space, it’s my favourite part of the design process! I had a very clear idea in my head of what I wanted the space to look like based on the end use, so the actual design process didn't take long at all. By the time I had pulled together my mood board, been out to all the suppliers and seen all the samples in person, and then finalized all the finishes I would say it took about 3 weeks.
The design process for clients can be longer as you need to establish what their end vision is. The actual construction, once it was underway was quite quick as it wasn’t a big space and we had ordered all our materials in advance to avoid time delays. Our main house was a much bigger project than we initially planned, so we wanted this space to be as smooth sailing to build as possible!
How important do you think lighting is when styling a space?
Lighting makes the biggest difference to a space and how it makes you feel! I always opt for feature lighting in a room over downlights. I prefer the softer ambient lighting that pendant lights and wall lights create, over the harsher downlight option. Of course, for practicality we always have down-lights alongside our feature lighting.
How would you describe your personal style?
Minimal, textured, neutral. I have always loved the minimal aesthetic of the Japandi style. My style has evolved over the years; however, those three core elements have always remained the same.
How did you become involved in interior styling and photography?
I started my career as a graphic designer, it was there that I learnt a lot about photography. I then decided to study a short course in photography and really loved it! It wasn’t until I was working in the interiors industry and began styling and photographing homes, that I found what I really loved doing. I enjoy every element of both styling homes and photographing them and feel the two skillsets really complement each other.
When I started ‘The Palm Co’, I had planned to continue down the interior design path, however I quickly found that the photography and styling was where I was meant to be - although I still do a select few interior design projects on the side. It was then time to design our own home and I am so happy with how it has all turned out. It’s a mix of traditional meets Japandi. I spent many hours making every decision - the downfall of having access to so many beautiful products to choose from!
You run workshops for budding interior photographers - do you have any top tips for anyone interested in a photography/styling career?
Yes, I do! Sharing my knowledge is one of my favourite things to do in my business. It’s rewarding working with our creatives and seeing the satisfaction on their faces when things start to come together, and they feel proud of their images.
My main tip would be that practice make perfect and that we all start somewhere! I think people get disheartened when they don’t instantly pick something up. Social media can make it look like someone just picks up a camera and overnight they become a professional. It takes time to establish your style and train your eye, however it is worth it in the end! Photography and Styling when done right makes your client feel so proud of their work, and you feel so proud of yours. It is a genuinely rewarding and fun career.
Finally, are there any other Lighterior lights on your wish list?
Your team has curated such a stunning collection of lights it is hard to pick! They would all be gorgeous in any home. I think my favourite lights which I would love to include in our next build would be the Gamma Pendant light - I loveeee the green colour! Also, the Terra Dome Pendant Light in the Vanilla Bean and Ash combo - this combination is a great timeless staple. I also love the Cone Wall lights - these have always caught my eye - such a stunning, minimal design.
To find out more about Nat’s workshops and photography resources, or just to view some of her studio’s incredible projects, explore The Palm Co here.