Flip through any current Australian interior design magazine, and you will be sure to see the work of Nat Spadavecchia and her thriving styling and photography business, The Palm Co. On top of capturing the beauty of homes across the country, Nat and her team also run in-person workshops and online courses, sharing the expertise accumulated over her decade-long career creating interior imagery. The Palm Co’s signature look is calm, peaceful and flooded with natural light. Unsurprisingly, Nat’s home is a serene oasis filled with organic textures, clean lines and harnessed sunshine.
The multi-hyphenate creative lives with her husband Zach, a builder, and their young son Leeroy, who was born in mid-2022. Apollo and Chino, the Shitzu toy poodles, round out the household. Their sandstone cottage is located in a small village that sits halfway between Sydney and Wollongong, on the fringes of a national park and a ten-minute drive to the sea. The property is Nat and Zach’s first home, which they purchased at the end of 2021 after renting in the area and falling in love with its rural meets coastal feel. “It’s the best of both worlds,” says Nat.
The cottage’s cohesive, soothing look and feel is a testament to Nat’s design skills, Zach’s building expertise and the couple’s tenacity. Tucked behind a white picket fence, the stone-clad front half of the petite cottage dates back to the 1920s, while the back half is a recent extension. When the couple purchased the cottage, they thought an easy cosmetic refresh and updating the kitchen and bathrooms were on the cards. The heavy rains of early 2022 revealed otherwise. “The whole ceiling in the back half flooded in and collapsed. That’s how we discovered the extension, which was done really badly 12 years ago, was completely termite-ridden,” Nat explains. “We basically knocked it back to the slab, and our quick updates very quickly turned into a massive renovation.”
Pregnant with Leeroy at the time, Nat and Zach were entertaining the idea of giving up on the home and starting fresh elsewhere, but the couple pressed on and temporarily moved into Nat’s parent's house during the construction. Zach worked around the clock to finish the build, and the family, including newborn Leeroy, returned to the cottage in August 2022.
Sunlight streams through skylights, and moments of walnut timber, patinated brass, and deep forest green adds depth to the neutral, pared-back scheme. “We mixed the warm minimalism of Japandi with elements of a traditional cottage look, and it's turned into its own style,” Nat shares. “I wanted to keep it quite true to the original house while giving it a modern touch.” Cottage-style doors, timber panelling, and old-world curtain rods and light switches bring the past into the present and complement the original sandstone walls. “I think one of the main things I have learnt over the years is that, when it comes to how a space feels, it's often the smallest details that count,” Nat explains.
With an eye for aesthetics, Nat understands the value of reducing visual clutter in smaller spaces to maintain a sense of organisation and calm. With a young child, two dogs, and the Palm Co studio in the cottage’s converted garage, Nat relies heavily on beautiful storage. She uses The Dharma Door Small Sona Square baskets “in the studio to hide all my ugly hard drives, in my kitchen to store all the ugly bits for our coffee machine, and in the laundry to hide our pegs.” The Seafarer Basket, one of her favourite styles, holds Leeroy’s collection of soft toys, and Jute Laundry Baskets are used daily. “I also take Dharma Door baskets to my shoots because they work across a range of different styles and beautiful spaces,” Nat adds.
Through The Palm Co, Nat is exposed to masses of architectural and interior inspiration. She could photograph a sprawling coastal retreat one day and a minimal modern city apartment the next. “I shoot so many different houses and love so many different styles. But for my own family home, I love a really cosy feeling and homes with character,” says the driven creative. It’s safe to say that Nat and Zach have created exactly that for their young family.
1. Laina Laundry Basket 2. Small Square Jute Basket - Short 3. Large Round Jute Basket 4. Small Rectangle Jute Basket 5. Pata Large Palm Fibre Tray 6. Lahari Jute Floor Runner Bone 7. Large Seafarer Basket 8. Large Sona Rectangle Basket 9. Small Sona Square Basket Duo 10. Small Seafarer Basket 11. Small Square Jute Basket - Short
@the.palm.co | www.thepalmco.com.au | Written by Jessica Bellef | Images by The Palm Co
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