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Interior Styling with Nickolas Gurtler

Nickolas Gurtler has always been passionate about design. From his career in luxury fashion with positions at Chanel, Gucci and Tiffany & Co, Nickolas travelled the world, fully immersed in the world of luxury and design. After graduating from the prestigious Billy Blue College of Design, and working in the industry on a range of residential and commercial projects, Gurtler launched his namesake boutique design practice Nickolas Gurtler Interior Design (NGID) in 2014. The studio has grown and evolved to become one of Perth’s go-to brands for luxury interior design.

In 2017, NGID expanded to become a bi-coastal business, offering the signature NGID design aesthetic to clients in Melbourne and Sydney. In 2018, Nickolas Gurtler Interior Design was named one “Australia’s leading interior designers” by Habitus Living.

A passionate creator of contemporary, glamorous and liveable spaces that are combined with sophisticated yet playful decorative layering, Gurtler has developed a strong signature style with his bold international aesthetic for which he is sought after. Making waves in the industry with his signature style and innovative concepts, Nickolas’ work has been featured by prestigious publications across the globe from Australia all the way to China, Italy and Russia.

Splitting his time between Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, Nickolas continues to be personally involved in all projects with the belief that every design should be singular, exclusive and made-to-measure is central to Nickolas’ philosophy.

1. What key investments should you consider in creating a stylish home?

Quality finishes are a must for a stylish home. When you’re visiting a home that has seen an investment into beautiful and luxurious finishes you can instantly feel the sophistication level has been elevated. It’s about embracing luxurious materials and not being afraid to see them patina or tarnish over time. Beautiful finishes cost a bit more but are worth it when you get to experience them each day.

2. How does bespoke design enhance the liveability of your forever home?

When it’s your forever home, you have the luxury of designing it to exactly meet your needs. We love these projects because we get to express the personality and style of the client in such a pure way without the thought of resale appeal hanging over our heads. When we meet with clients we ask a myriad of questions about how they like to live their life so that we can tailor the space for their ultimate living experience. Questions like how do you like to get dressed in the morning often leads to custom solutions in the way the bathroom is designed to flow into the wardrobe, or how shoes are stored etc. The home is our sanctuary, so custom tailoring it to suit is a must in my eye. The very word Bespoke comes from tailoring garments to fit a body, and bespoke interiors are an extension of that philosophy. Ultimately, when you have guests over to your home you want it to speak about who you are. You are how you live.

3. How do you create a timeless home while still embracing contemporary design?

Not getting caught up in trends. It’s something that hiring a designer can really help with because what you see on a blog, or in a magazine was conceived by a designer many months or years past. Excellent design is timeless, the Eames chair designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller was designed in 1956, and is still as contemporary today as it was then, and I believe it’s the same with good interior design and architecture. Being able to identify classic pieces, or finishes that aren’t going to express a time period too easily is a skill you pick up the more research you do, and the more projects you complete.

4. What key considerations should be made when selecting colours and finishes?

Beauty and quality. Durability is of course important, but all things age no matter what a sales brochure tells you. Nothing lasts forever, and if you’re going to prevent yourself enjoying the beauty of silk upholstery, or the beauty of oak floors for fear of them becoming damaged then I think you’re doing yourself a disservice. The patina that arises from living in a home tells your story. When it comes to colour, it’s quite personal. I think keeping a colour palette throughout the home cohesive is important as it creates smooth transitions between spaces. Keeping in mind the mood or atmosphere you’re wanting to experience in each space is key to making the colour selections accurate.

5. How can you use intelligent design to create flexible and multipurpose spaces?

This is something we pride ourselves on at NGID. Keeping in mind the different ways you can use spaces is important during the design phase, as is not being too focused on one particular activity. For example we are currently working on a space for a client that will serve as a relaxed TV space as well as an entertaining space by way of clever joinery. Hiding the television behind concertina style doors and a variety of seating options for example allows the space to either be somewhere comfortable to relax and watch films, or sit with friends and share cocktails. Also, a designer will be able to help you deduce new ways that you can utilise spaces that you might not have thought of.

6. What do you believe are the social and economic forces currently shaping Australian homes and what impact will they have in the future?

Bolder, more opulent and glamorous interiors are becoming an expectation due to a largely wealthy group of ‘downsizers’ who have managed to make exceptional returns on their properties with the market exploding in recent years. I also think there’s a gap in the market that is slowly being filled for smaller, opulent homes. The ‘downsizer’ market has lived the last part of their life in large homes with a high level of finish, and now are looking for something smaller with equal or greater interiors than what they were in, but there aren’t many options. I’m seeing a lot of excellent developers like GurnerTM working on glamorous and sophisticated townhouses and apartments with interior designers part of the equation from the start which is producing some beautiful properties that are getting snapped up very quickly, and I predict more to come in this new bracket of property. I also think we are seeing a greater acceptance of more progressive ways of life which is influencing Australian homes, and I think that we will see that trend continue for years to come.

7. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Travel. I’ve been lucky enough to see so much of the world and my desire to experience and see more never is sated. Being in a different city and experiencing the differences between cultures when it comes to how they live has been something that has fuelled my creativity and allowed me to explore a lot more as a creative. Film and set design has also been an indirect source of inspiration too. Fashion is a big part of my background and will always continue to be a source of inspiration I think. In a lot of ways, fashion, art, architecture and interiors are connected and feed of one another in a strangely symbiotic way and immersing myself in all of those areas is part of my daily routine.

8. What has been your favourite project and why?

That’s a tough question. Some highlights would be our Coolbinia Project; the clients were so fantastic and have become close friends. I think the relationship produced a result much better than any of us could have hoped for. Our Fremantle apartment was also a special one because of the beautiful architecture and history of the building that we had to work with. The result was a fusion of contemporary architecture and playful decoration. Our Applecross Residence was also fantastic, and it has been fantastic to see if featured in Belle Magazine as well as republished by a variety of design blogs around the world.