Natasha Rocca Devine: Interior design specialist and founder of The Interiors NRD. Interview by Aileen Lee
I studied economics and politics in UCD. I followed this with courses in writing, design, acting, fashion, and performance. I am a NRD (nerd), hence my business name. I love to learn.
I completed a masters in journalism at Griffith College Dublin, followed by a second masters in interior design in KLC, London. From there, I worked with Rebecca Weir at Light IQ, London. I was also an architect’s assistant teacher at MASS Art, Boston. Along the way, I wrote two books, based on my recovery from a coma, [following a serious car crash], and fiction as part of a course in Faber Academy, while I was working in publishing.
I moved to LA, where I was a consultant for foundations such as The Climate Reality Project. As I had always worked in writing and design, I got to a point where I knew I needed to specialise in one area, so I became a real estate agent and started staging and designing on the side. I was in LA for three years.
I decided to move home, because my grandmother was really sick. Sadly, she passed away within a few hours of my landing home. Even though it was one of the saddest losses in my life, it also created a fire in me to set up ‘The Interiors NRD’ magazine and design services.
I am Irish-Italian. My great grandfather Egidio restored the Four Courts after the Civil War, and my grandfather Patrick and the Rocca family created a property development and tiling business. My uncle still runs Rocca Marble & Stone. So, I decided this was my time to continue the family tradition of design. The magazine/YouTube has been in action over the last year, and the design services started in January.
I wake up around 6am. I try to do some exercise, but sometimes I am straight onto calls and emails to teams, suppliers, clients etc. I have recently started projects with Knight Frank and others. I also post on social media, update my site, and my online magazine and then it’s meeting clients, estate agents, going on site, staging and designing.
Hanover Quay with Owen Reilly was my first styling project as the Interiors NRD. I had 10 to 12 days amidst a snow storm. The penthouse is the selling point, so I mixed mid- century style with modern for it. I kept the wood upstairs to match and contrast with some of the furniture, keeping that more mid-century. Downstairs was more modern. Painting the wood white downstairs was a time and budget decision. Staging is ‘styling to sell’, so you focus on the unique selling points.
My style is refined, dark, and sleek, with not too many pieces of furniture, just very purposeful with pops of colour and layers of character in accessories and books.
The environment I am in and people influence my work. Music, travel and fashion inspire me, too.
Tradition is coming back: People are bringing back their old furniture, in the mid-century/vintage style. Traditional wallpaper, mustard and green are on trend.
My pet dog, Amore. I rescued him in LA. When I was abroad, he was my family. Pets are very healing, they have a lovely energy.
Louise Kennedy is amazing, an eternally beautiful and classic designer.
I would love to design commercial projects such as an hotel, a chain of cafes or salons/spas.
For anyone staging a home for rental or sale, plan for your budget. Make a spreadsheet to include tabs for budgets and timelines. Take it week-by-week. Write out the list of brands you like, research online before you go to the shops. Get quotes from different trades companies. Work out the logistics per room based on priority. Like all projects, preparation is key.
YouTube: The Interiors NRD