Natalie Wood, Clovelly, NSW
Images by Terence Chin
Words by Matt Lennon
I feel incredibly lucky to glimpse inside the homes of some of our favourite creatives from around the world each week on the IN BED Journal, and in doing so, feel even luckier to have the opportunity to share a part of their unique stories with you. Often, we’re connecting with people whose work or journey has resonated with us in someway, meeting them for the first time as we put a Journal piece together. However, there’s the odd occasion where we’ve seen the subject’s story unfold in a more intimate way, such is the case with this week’s feature on design director, Natalie Wood.
I first met Natalie as the face behind much loved brand Something Else. I was new to Sydney and through a series of happy accidents and mutual friends ended up moving into the spare bedroom of her incredible home in Clovelly. I’m sure Nat would say it was what the universe had planned for us, and it certainly felt that way. After four years of cohabitation, countless dinners, sunset swims and our favorite pastime watching lighting strike over stormy seas from the safety of our lounge, Nat fell pregnant with her beautiful Son Louie and my room became his. Shooting this feature with photographer Terence Chin, also an old friend of Nat’s, felt like a full circle moment and quite fittingly as Terence snapped away clouds gathered, rain began to fall, one more storm rolled in over the ocean.
“I live on the cliff overlooking Gordons Bay, Clovelly and out to Wedding Cake Island. Having lived here for almost 9 years now, not a day goes by where I don’t pinch myself and deeply appreciate, respect and admire these vast ocean views. I think what I love the most is that color of the water, tides, textures and light all change according to the weather and the moon. It's an incredible view to wake up every day and I know I am super blessed to have this in my life.”
An IN BED 100% linen robe in khaki hangs in Natalie’s bedroom amongst crystals, plants and other curio.
“I feel like a bedroom is such a sacred space. It’s where I sleep, meditate, read, chill, dress and hold all my most personal possessions. I think it’s also a space that needs to emanate a very calm clean energy. No clutter. Everything needs to have its place and not be too visually overloaded. That’s also why I tend to gravitate to white with only small accents of colors. I also love to have plants around because nothing beats nature.”
“I have two pieces of art above my bed - a drawing by Todd James and a special embroidery by a talented friend Tim Moore. I have a polaroid or two of my son and some love hearts he’s made. I love to be surrounded by crystals - big chunks of rose quartz, quartz and lots of candles - my favourite is Rose by Diptyque.”
“Everything in my house is here because there’s some connection or meaning. Whether a friend made it, I picked it up on my many travels and it reminds me of a time and place, it’s a designer I love, or of course it has a practical purpose which is the ultimate. My house has over the years become much more paired back. And that feels more freeing now, like the energy can flow and makes space for new things to come in. Pieces with a personality are important to me. I tend to have an eye for the unique and slightly eccentric I don’t buy much anymore because I don’t need anything. An object really has to take my breath away these days.”
“I’m surrounded by the most stunning landscape and swimming spots. On a sunny day, a swim off the rocks at Gordon’s Bay is hard to beat. Then I do love the coastal walk around to Bronte to my all time favourite rock pool there. Foodwise there’s Three Blue Ducks and Iggy’s Bakery just around the corner which is dangerous because Iggy’s croissants on a Friday are heavenly. Having all this salty nature on your doorstep - I could not think of a better way to live.”
I’m surrounded by the most stunning landscape and swimming spots. On a sunny day, a swim off the rocks at Gordon’s Bay is hard to beat.
Natalie has been a leading-light in the Australian fashion industry for decades and continues to forge her own path as an inspirational leader and champion of female empowerment in the workplace.
“Being part of the Australian fashion industry has been a wonderful journey filled with so many vast experiences. I consider myself to be ridiculously lucky for all the opportunities I’ve had. I’ve bounced from having my own brands for the first 20 years such as Sample and Something Else. Then I went on to gain such incredible experience with some of Australia’s top fashion retailers like Veronika Maine and Country Road. I’ve met so many incredible people along the way, and many that become lifelong friends. My biggest lesson has been around working in an environment that has the right mix of super smart, kind, creative and genuine people. Over the last couple of years I've had the opportunity to bring another brand to life, Wolfgang Scout, built around a philosophy of interwoven connections; to people, place and the natural environment. I’m really fortunate to now be working in the Camilla business that has supported my growth as a leader of a large team and member of the exec team. It's a brand that is forever expanding and growing. Also of great importance to me is it’s strong representation of female leadership and empowerment.”
“[In terms of my creative process] I work a lot on instinct. I love getting into a brand and understanding the customer - listening, watching and absorbing everything that makes that brand hum. And learning over the years not to make it personal. I definitely feel like I’ve learnt to let creativity flow and my evolution has really come from trusting the process and importantly integrating meditation into my practise. This takes the chaos out of creativity and allows it to be a very present practise.”
Louie’s bed is dressed in a flat sheet, fitted sheet, pillow slips and duvet in khaki, shop his set here.
“Simply put - life with Louie and as a mother is the best. I won't lie, it’s also hard being a working single mum and trying to juggle so many things, and thinking you can be a wonder woman is honestly just madness. Realising you have to let a few things drop is the first key to success. You’ll go crazy thinking you can be perfect at it all.”
Simply put - life with Louie and as a mother is the best.
“I think the most important thing for me is having a strong loving relationship with him. I do have to remind myself to try not to get distracted from that - letting the house be a bit messy and spend that time with him is way more important. Making sure he is ‘seen’, and that we have serious quality time. They say they grow up fast - so I feel like every moment is so precious.”
I love a full life. It’s also important to me to balance the busy with some solo down time.
I love a full life. It’s also important to me to balance the busy with some solo down time. I really learnt a lot about the value of friendships last year, and making time to connect with friends is a major priority. They are your sanity, joy, laughter and growth. Life is nothing without those connections. So a regular weekend is def full to the brim of swims, exercise, coffee’s, laughs, connections, good food, some art or arthouse film culture, more swims and more friends. For the rest of the year I’m looking forward to more of the good stuff - dancing, connections, love, friendship and doing all those things on my bucket list - next up is getting my motorbike license.