Natasha Rocca Devine of The Interiors NRD
Natasha Rocca Devine is a multi-award winning Interior Designer and Staging Specialist. In 2020 alone, her company The Interiors NRD, which specialises in interior design staging, styling and project management, won numerous prestigious awards worldwide.
Awards have included:
- BUILD | 2020 HOME & GARDEN AWARDS – BEST BESPOKE INTERIOR DESIGN & STAGING SPECIALISTS – IRELAND
- EU BUSINESS | IRISH ENTERPRISE AWARDS 2020 – BEST INTERIOR DESIGN STAGING SPECIALIST
- CORPORATE AMERICA TODAY | ANNUAL AWARDS 2020 – BEST FOR INTERIOR STAGING
- LUX LIFE MAGAZINE AWARD 2020 – MOST OUTSTANDING HOME STAGING & STYLING STUDIO – IRELAND
When Natasha isn’t designing, styling and managing corporate and residential projects, or creating and publishing her online show ‘Staging & Styling‘, you’ll find both Natasha Rocca Devine, and her wordsmith talent, encouraged by her Masters in Journalism, gracing the covers and pages of national and international publications, and her published books ‘Awareness: Creating Your Own Balance In Life’ and ‘The Industry’. The former is based on her miraculous recovery from a coma at the tender age of nineteen, and the reason for her lust for life.
But that’s not all because Natasha has been creating and designing the Natasha Rocca Devine Lifestyle Brand. Recently launched, ‘The Secret Garden Candle” was created with Ireland’s leading perfumer Lucy Hagerty of Kinsale based La Bougie. It’s a beautifully luxurious candle inspired by Irish design, nature and sustainable living. And the best part is, it’s the first of a set!
It’s an absolute pleasure to feature Natasha Rocca Devine in our Irish Design Q&A Series, and I bet, after you read more about this award-winning Creative, you’ll have to agree, Natasha Rocca Devine is an inspiration for design driven creatives.
Q&A with Natasha Rocca Devine
1. When did you realise your gift for Interior Design?
I have always been creative, even from a young age I would sketch and started writing short stories and would be involved in creative projects. So, I knew my career would be in design or the creative arts.
While my family are entrepreneurs involved in tiling, property and media, all of these things have definitely influenced my career choices. I saw how hard they worked and so I wanted to study to learn my own skills to ensure I had options in my career and I was determined to work hard and do the same.
For studies, I wanted to open up my skills past design, so I have a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Politics in University College Dublin. After this I completed a Masters in Journalism & Media Communications in Griffith College Dublin. Followed by a second Masters in Interior Architecture in KLC School of Design, London. Among with design courses in Milan, Boston and Los Angeles too.
Once I studied design, it cemented my passion even further, which I have continued – along with writing and editorials, ever since.
2. What was the inspiration to set up The Interiors NRD?
I always worked for other inspiring people and companies in various cities, all of which motivated me to do the same. In these jobs, I worked in design, editorials, media and online, which assisted my skills and confidence to work for myself. Particularly in Los Angeles, I learnt the skill of how to stage houses to sell while working as an Estate Agent and Designer.
After a few years in Los Angeles, I decided I wanted to come home and bring my passion and skills back to Ireland.
Initially I began consulting and eventually decided to set up a studio to bring all my skills and passions together to work on larger projects.
So, I specialise in staging to sell, showhome design and styling which combines my skills. My main goals are to ensure my design will allow to sell the property at a higher price and a faster pace of sale. All of which I have been fortunate enough to achieve with a minimum 10-25% of sales increase in each of my projects, and also to win awards from these too.
In conjunction with this I write and guest speak for magazines, editorials and work with wonderful design brands on campaigns, radio and digital shows. Along with being involved in philanthropy for various charities, as often as possible, something which is close to my heart.
3. What has been your favourite design project to date?
My ‘Great Gatsby – Art Deco Project’ by Robswall by Hollybrook with agents Knight Frank Ireland is my favourite. It was inspired by F Scott Fitzgerald’s book and movie combined with an Art Deco theme.
I had a superb team from Hollybrook Homes who brought my project to life!
I used Art Deco wallpapers from Cole & Son, combined with furniture, art and accessories from all around the world, particularly with sustainable design in mind.
Blending the romance of these iconic historic styles, with more contemporary finishes; drawing on that feeling of Hollybrook luxury and bringing it forwards into the modern era was my goal.
For this project, I have been nominated and won various awards for and it remains my favourite to date.
4. What’s the most important design mistake you’ve learnt from?
Planning is key. Planning in terms of budgets, contracts and design overall. It is very important to have all contracts in place including the schedules, fees and design plans from the outset.
Once you have prepared from the beginning, expectations for all are managed and there is a less likely chance things can go wrong. If and when they do, everything is managed in an efficient manner and there are solutions set in place so things always keep moving forward without conflict or too much stress or financial loss.
5. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and we all have different tastes but in your opinion what’s the most cringe-worthy design mistake you’ve noticed people making in recent years?
I think everyone has their own style and I do not like to dismiss people’s individuality.
Yet, I do not like the styles of; pine kitchens, oversized leather sofas which take up so much space, too many statement designs crowding in one space, or any spaced filled with unnecessary clutter.
Less is more and statements can be made with details in design in a more impactful way.
6. Fads aside, what do you think has been the best interior design style in recent years?
I believe there is cycle in design with past showing up with a modern style throughout the world.
With this in mind, Mid-Century Modern is my top choice and a style I often apply to my work. I like the ideas of combining new and old, vintage and contemporary, bringing the past into the present in a unique way. It allows for more character along with less pressure on investing in only new things or having a style outdated in the past. Balance is key.
7. Considering, in most cases, you get what you pay for when it comes to quality. Which room in your home, should you spend the most money on?
Particularly now with lockdown, I believe the entertainments living – dining (kitchen) room is / are the most important room(s) to invest in.
Most people have combined kitchen, dining or kitchen / living rooms, yet, if not, invest in the entertainment rooms as they bring either families or friends together for meals and more.
Also, ensure they allow space for multipurpose use, to entertain and relax together dining, talking, watching television, or to bring computers or books if required for work or relaxation for different friends or family members alike.
8. What’s the most important piece of furniture in your home, apart from your bed and sofa.
Tables for both dining and office / study are very important more than ever as with lockdown lots of people work from home and dining at home (and not in restaurants). So, ensuring these are up to date, comfortable and stylish is key.
Yet, outside of these functional choices, bookshelves are a great investment. I adore books and as a staging specialist adding in accessories such as pots, photography alike can be such a superb and stylish addition to any home. Or can feature as a gallery wall in a hall, study, living room or bedroom.
9. Where in the world do you feel is the most interior design forward?
I believe every city has their own design magic and it depends on your style. Ireland has an innate character rich in culture and history, which no country compares to.
Outside of this, I studied in London and love that London has an eclectic mix of markets, high-street, high end and boutique, which is also close to home to travel and order from. So, it is always showing me different styles, trends and ways to push my limits as a designer.
10. What’s your No.1 tip for those trying to stage their own home?
Find Your Focus – Decide on where you want to focus on in your home. I will often look for the top 3 USP’s (Unique Selling Points) yet, this applies to all design projects. For designing, decide what the main focus areas are. E.g. a home office? Multipurpose bedroom/playroom? Garage conversion? And so on. Then look at the key areas in your home, which has a USP style.
Ultimately, keep it simple when you choose your areas to invest in:
- If there is a superb view, invest in emphasising the window features. Or if you and your family spend time in one or two rooms, then keep focused on designing these rooms and accessories in others (rather than all rooms) to keep costs minimal.
- If there is access to a garden then invest in plants and outdoor seating to have an outdoor space, which is ideal during lockdown.
- If you have spare rooms, adjust this into a home office/playroom/exercise area, which is key for use during lockdown.
11. What’s your best piece of advice to budding Interior Designers?
Be true to yourself. Research courses, jobs career goals and paths to get to where you wish to go. I believe everyone has their own path. Always follow what is best for you. For designers, study and work with someone in the industry who you admire, know and / or respect.
If you work hard, everything will work itself out. Most importantly, surround yourself with those who support you, as creative jobs, especially if self-employed, can be challenging at times so it is important to have a great support network around you.
12. If you could project manage the interior design of any person, past or present – whom would it be and why?
Princess Diana – I am always fascinated by her strength, humility combined with an element of shyness. Princess Diana always appeared to me as a lady who was wonderful in terms of her style, character, humanity and her love of family. With lots of news and shows coming up in recent months, I would like to have spent time with her one on one and to work with her on her designs to get to know the real Diana.
13. What’s the next big thing for Natasha Rocca Devine and The Interiors NRD?
I am amidst launching my candle ‘The Secret Garden’ while writing editorials along with some Christmas competitions with 7th Heaven Irish jewellery brand and The Gloss Magazines.
With lockdown in flux, my staging and design projects have all been withheld I am waiting to move forward in December and the New Year where hopefully things open up as I love being on site.
In the meantime, I am working on ‘The Secret Garden’ 2021 scent with La Bougie, which I will launch by next summer…
As an artist at heart, I try to always keep busy challenging myself with study, collaborations and projects so my work and projects always remain progressive.
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