European style inspires this Greg Natale designed Sydney home
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European style inspires this Greg Natale designed Sydney home

French flair and a little femininity inform this harbourside home by award winning designer Greg Natale

By Robyn Willis
Wed, Oct 26, 2022 11:17amGrey Clock 3 min

In design circles, curves are often considered a gesture towards femininity. For designer Greg Natale, however, they are so much more. Moving beyond sharp angles and straight lines is an expression of movement and energy, while introducing a sculptural element to interior spaces.

Curves are an unexpected find in this penthouse apartment on one of the piers at Sydney’s Walsh Bay that features in Natale’s latest book, The Layered Interior. Once an industrial site characterised by practical, elongated ‘fingers’ jutting into the harbour, the piers were restored and repurposed in the 1990s, with a select few being converted into residences enjoying exclusive views of the waterways.

More than 25 years on from the conversion, Natale says the owners of this residence wanted a sophisticated, hotel-like experience that made best use of the space while being unapologetically warm and curvaceous.

“They wanted something that felt super light, really modern and very European,” he says. “She was looking at France (for inspiration), but modern French.”

The first obvious issue was the placement of the staircase, which was sitting in the middle of the two-storey void. Natale moved it to the side, to allow for better planning of the living area and to soften the edges of the solid white balustrade so that the staircase almost vanishes against the wall.

The penthouse needed to accommodate the owners and their two sons, who were living at home while completing university. The lower ground would provide accommodation for the young adults, along with a study and bathroom, while the open plan living area would be the centrepiece. While the curves are evident in their sons’ rooms, oak joinery and an integrated bedhead lends a slightly more masculine feel to the spaces.

Entry is via a formal reception area, with a deliberately lower ceiling to increase the sense of drama as guests step over the marble threshold and into the double height living space.

“The marble threshold is there to create a sense of arrival,” he says. “We have played with marble portals a lot – it’s a recurring theme.”

The dining room and kitchen continue the curved theme and are finished in the same refined palette of white walls, carrara marble and oak chevron floors along with the smallest touch of brass. While the house is furnished in tones of gold, grey and soft pink – including a spectacular circular rug from Natale’s range for Designer Rugs in the living room – he says it’s a surprisingly flexible space.

“The space is so neutral, someone could come in with their own furniture and put their stamp on it,” Natale says.

Upstairs, the drama continues with a master bedroom suite incorporating an open plan ensuite. Natale admits a bath and double vanity without walls is not everyone’s cup of tea.

“You have the master suite with an open bathroom for that hotel look,” he says. “I am not a fan of those kinds of hotels but the owner wanted that big open space and it’s amazing the sense of space you get with open bathrooms.

“You can create more interesting spaces.”

Natale also played with the ceiling shapes – another recurring theme in his work – to gently create zones and direct flow in the space.

“If a clean ceiling works, that’s fine, but having a white, boring, plain ceiling is not a considered space,” he says. “You should really look at the ceiling like a fifth wall.”

Indeed, every small aspect of this home has been considered to create the simplicity and sophistication the clients were seeking. But making everything look this clean takes enormous effort – and skill. The building was completely stripped back and replanned.

“It’s a highly detailed apartment, even though it looks very simple,” Natale says. “There are small details, like a brass strip along the shadowline between the skirting and the rest of the wall. We want everything to be considered – including the aircon.”

Pictures: Anson Smart

The Layered Interior, $110 published by Rizzoli. Order a copy here

See more stories like this in the first edition of Kanebridge Quarterly, out now



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Booming demand for wellness tourism shows no slowing, with travel related to health and well-being projected to have reached $1 trillion last year and to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit based in Miami.

Curated wellness travel programs are especially sought-after, specifically holistic treatments focused on longevity. Affluent travellers not only are making time to hit the gym while gallivanting across the globe, they’re also seeking destinations that specifically cater to their wellness goals, including treatments aimed at living longer.

“I believe Covid did put a spotlight on self-care and well-being,” says Penny Kriel, corporate director of spa and wellness at Salamander Collection, a group of luxury properties in places like Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. But Kriel says today’s spas are more holistic, encouraging folks to understand the wellness concept and incorporate it into their lifestyle more frequently.

“With the evolution of treatment products and technology, spas have been able to enhance their offerings and appeal to more travellers,” Kriel says.

While some growth is connected to the variety of treatments available, results and the digital world are also contributing to the wellness boom.

“The efficacy and benefits of these treatments continue to drive bookings and interest, especially with the support of social media, influencers, and celebrity endorsements,” Kriel says.

While genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a diet free of processed foods, sufficient sleep, and human connection play essential roles in living well and longer, experts believe in holistic therapies to help manage stress, boost immunity, and ultimately influence length and quality of life.

Anti Ageing and Beyond

“For years, people have been coming to spas, booking treatments, and gaining advice on how to turn the clock back with anti ageing and corrective skin treatments,” Kriel says. However, today’s treatments are far more innovative.

On Marinella Beach in Porto Rotondo, on the Italian island of Sardinia, guests at the five-star Abi d’Oru Hotel & Spa can experience the resort’s one-of-a-kind “longevity treatment,” a unique antiaging facial using one of the island’s native grapes: Cannonau. The world’s first declared “Blue Zone”—one of five designated areas where people live longer than average, some into their 100s—Sardinia produces this robust red wine varietal, the most widely planted on the island.

Known as Garnacha in Spain and Grenache in France, Cannonau supposedly contains two to three times more antioxidants than other red-wine grapes. By incorporating Cannonau, Abi Spa says its unique 50-minute longevity session increases collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin.

Maintaining a youthful appearance is just one facet of longevity treatments, which range from stress-reduction sessions like massage to nutritional support and sleep programs, Kriel says. Some retreats also offer medical services such as IV infusions and joint injections.

Keeping with the trend, Kriel is expanding Salamander Collection’s existing spa services, such as detox wraps and lymphatic drainage, to include dedicated “Wellness Rooms,” new vegan and vegetarian menu items, and well-being workshops. “Sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness will be a big focus for integration in 2024,” she says.

Data-Driven Wellness

Skyler Stillings, an exercise physiologist at Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort—an adults-only wellness centre in Lanai, Hawaii—says guests were drawn to the social aspect when the spa opened in November 2021.

“We saw a huge need for human connection,” she recalls. But over the past few years, what’s paramount has shifted. “Longevity is trending much more right now.”

Human connection is a central draw for guests at Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Billionaire co-founder of tech company Oracle Larry Ellison and physician and scientist Dr. David Angus co-founded Sensei. After the death of a mutual close friend, the duo teamed up to create longevity-based wellness retreats to nurture preventative care and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the Lanai location, the brand established Sensei Porcupine Creek in Greater Palm Springs, California, in November 2022.

Sensei has a data-driven approach. The team performs a series of assessments to obtain a clearer picture of a guest’s health, making wellness recommendations based on the findings. While Sensei analyses that data to curate a personalised plan, Stillings says it’s up to the guests which path they choose.

Sensei’s core three-day retreat is a “Guided Wellness Experience.” For spa treatments, each guest checks into their own “Spa Hale,” a private 1,000-square-foot bungalow furnished with an infrared sauna, a steam shower, a soaking tub, and plunge pools. The latest therapies include Sarga Bodywalking—a barefoot myofascial release massage, and “Four Hands in Harmony,” a massage with two therapists working in tandem. Sensei Guides provide take-home plans so guests can continue their wellness journeys after the spa.

Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Sanctuaries for Longevity

Headquartered in Switzerland with hotels and on-site spas across the globe, Aman Resorts features an integrative approach, combining traditional remedies with modern medicine’s advanced technologies. Tucked behind the doors of the storied Crown Building in Midtown Manhattan, Banya Spa House at Aman New York—the brand’s flagship spa in the Western Hemisphere—is a 25,000-square-foot, three-floor urban oasis.

Yuki Kiyono, global head of health and wellness development at Aman, says the centre provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Aman’s customisable “Immersion Programs” consist of a three- or five-day immersion. “The programs encompass treatments and experiences that touch every significant aspect to create a path for longevity, from meditation and mindfulness to nutrition and movement,” Kiyono explains.

Banya Spa House at Aman New York.
Robert Rieger

The spa’s “Tei-An Wellness Solution” features 90- to 150-minute sessions using massage, cryotherapy, and Vitamin IV infusions. Acupuncture is also on offer.

“With its rich history of Chinese Medicine, modern research, and the introduction of sophisticated electro-acupuncture medicine, acupuncture has been proven to assist with problems and increase performance,” Kiyono says.

Resetting the Mind and Body

Beyond longevity, “healthspan”—the number of years a person can live in good health free of chronic disease—is the cornerstone of Mountain Trek Health Reset Retreat’s program in British Columbia, Canada.

Kirk Shave, president and program director, and his team employ a holistic approach, using lifestyles in long-living Blue Zones as a point of reference.

“We improve our daily lifestyle habits, so we live vitally as long as we’re meant to live,” Shave says of the retreat. He built the program from an anthropological stance, referencing humans as farmers, hunters, and gatherers based on their eating and sleeping patterns. Food includes vegetable-centric meals sans alcohol, sugar, bread, or dairy.

Guests wake at dawn each day and have access to sunrise yoga, several hours of “flow” or slow hiking, spa treatments, forest bathing, calming crystal singing-bowl and sound therapy sessions, and classes on stress reduction—one of Mountain Trek’s primary goals. The program motivates people to spend much of their time in nature because it’s been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to inflammation and disease when elevated for extended periods.

While most guests aren’t aware of how immersive Mountain Trek’s program is when they arrive, they leave the resort revitalized after the structured, one-week program. Set in the Kootenays overlooking its eponymous river, the resort and adventure promise what Shave calls a “visceral experience of transformation.”

“They’re interested in coming to be in nature,” Shave says of the guests. “They hit a wall in their life and slipped backwards, so they know they need a reset.”

Banya Spa House at Aman New York provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.
Robert Rieger

This article first appeared in the Winter 2024 issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury.

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