To enter the awards, call us on: +44 (0)1244 401932

In Profile:
ND Studios

In Profile:

ND Studios

Shortlisted: Residential Market Value Over £20m Award

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024

ND Studios

Name: Natascha Dartnall

Company: ND Studios

Position within company: Director


Tell us a little about your background in design:
My career in Interior Design spans 20 years, in which time I have designed some of the world’s most opulent properties including yachts and listed buildings. I am involved in every aspect of all ND Studios projects from conception to completion and as a result have built long-standing relationships not only with clients but with high-end bespoke contractors, curators, artisans, suppliers, and makers. This is the keystone to our success, but the foundation of my career is my degree in Interior Design and History of art, which brings real depth to the knowledge I have of buildings and interior architecture and ensures the heritage of any property we work on is not only respected but honoured.

How would you describe your personal design style?
My design style can be described as organic and eclectic, with a strong emphasis on natural materials and textures. I love incorporating elements from different cultures and drawing inspiration from my travels and personal memories. Each space I design tells a unique story, blending modern functionality with timeless, artisanal craftsmanship.

Where does your design inspiration come from?
My inspiration comes from everywhere – from the vibrant colours of a Moroccan marketplace to the natural elements of South Africa . Memories of past travels, encounters with different cultures, and even everyday moments spark my creativity and inform my design decisions. Nature, with its endless beauty and diversity, is a constant source of inspiration, influencing everything from colour palettes to material choices.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
In a general sense, design is moving towards greater sustainability, inclusivity, and mindfulness. There’s a growing appreciation for handmade, artisanal craftsmanship, as well as a focus on creating spaces that promote well-being and connection. Technology continues to play a significant role, but there’s a renewed emphasis on balancing innovation with human-centric design principles.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2024 and beyond.

1. Sustainability and Eco-conscious design

2. Cultural fusion and global influences

3. Wellness design

4. Timeless elegance and palettes

5. Digital integration

ND Studios
ND Studios
ND Studios

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?
Trust your instincts and let your personal experiences guide you. Design is not just about aesthetics; it’s about creating meaningful experiences and environments that resonate with people on an emotional level.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?
Awards like these serve as a platform to celebrate innovation, creativity, and excellence in design, inspiring designers to push boundaries and raise the bar.

What projects are you currently working on?
We are working on multiple residential projects at the moment based all over the globe.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?
Each project is completely unique and tells it’s own story it would be impossible to choose a favourite. No matter the scale of the project I love being able to bring the clients personalities to life.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?
The most challenging projects I’ve worked on have involved strict planning permissions with a strict timeline. Balancing the client’s expectations with the planning constraints required creative problem-solving and meticulous planning, but ultimately, it was incredibly fulfilling to see the vision come to life.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?
Natural materials like wood, stone, and textiles are essential to my design process, as are skilled artisans who bring a unique touch to each project. Additionally, digital tools and software streamline the design process and help communicate ideas effectively.

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
My aim is to continue pushing the boundaries of sustainable design while exploring new cultural influences and design methodologies. I also hope to mentor emerging junior designers and contribute to the conversation around ethical and responsible design practices.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?
A brass pen crafted by the skilled hands of a dear friend who is also a gifted joiner, it embodies the beauty of artisanal craftsmanship and the warmth of personal connection. Every time I use it, I’m reminded of the care and creativity that went into its making, making it not just a tool, but a cherished piece of art.

Your favourite holiday destination?
Cape Town holds a special place in my heart. Its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture, and vibrant atmosphere never fail to inspire and rejuvenate me. From the majestic Table Mountain to the bustling markets of the V&A Waterfront, there’s always something new to discover and experience. Whether I’m exploring the city’s rich history, indulging in delicious cuisine, or simply soaking in the breathtaking views of the coastline, Cape Town always leaves me feeling energised and inspired.

ND Studios
ND Studios
ND Studios

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?
The NoMad Hotel, Restaurant, and Bar epitomise the perfect blend of elegance, creativity, and hospitality. Located in the heart of London , the NoMad offers a unique and unforgettable experience for guests. From the meticulously designed interiors, featuring luxurious fabrics and eclectic furnishings, to the innovative cuisine crafted by world -renowned chefs, every aspect of the NoMad exudes sophistication and charm. Whether I’m enjoying a cocktail in the cozy library bar or savouring a multi-course meal in the exquisite dining room, the NoMad never fails to impress and delight.

Your favourite book, film & song?
“The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
“Amélie” directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
“La Vie en Rose” by Edith Piaf

Your favourite food and drink?
There’s something truly satisfying about indulging in a simple yet perfectly cooked steak paired with a glass of fine wine, especially in the beautiful setting of Cape Town. Whether enjoyed at a rustic steakhouse overlooking the ocean or a cozy bistro in t he heart of the city, this classic combination never fails to delight my senses. The rich flavours of the steak, seared to perfection, complemented by the smooth complexity of the wine, create a culinary experience that is both comforting and indulgent, making it a favourite indulgence whenever I’m in Cape Town.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?
Exploring flea markets and artisanal shops, discovering hidden treasures and unique finds.

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
If I weren’t a designer, I would likely be a gallery curator, exploring the intersections of art, design, and society.

Anything else?
I believe that design has the power to transform lives and communities, and I’m committed to using my skills and passion to create spaces that inspire, uplift, and connect people across cultures and generations.

Interior Designer: ND Studios

Photography: Helen Cathcart

ND Studios has been shortlisted for the Residential Market Value Over £20m Award in The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024.

ND Studios
ND Studios

design et al only work with the world’s leading companies in the International Design & Architecture industry.

If you think you have what it takes to compete in The International Design & Architecture Awards, submit your application by following the links below:

Use the links below for more information about the Awards:

The International Design & Architecture Awards 2024
are organised by design et al and sponsored by:

Sylka Carpets
Joseph Giles

Contact Us

If you wish to speak to someone regarding the design awards,

Simply fill in the form below!

    Interested in:

    Alternatively, call us on 0044 (0)1244 401932