When it comes to TV horticulturalist, interior designer and eco-conscious warrior Jamie Durie’s latest foray into furniture, the phrase ‘grass roots’ has multiple applications.
Collaborating with established high-quality brand Natuzzi Italia, Jamie has designed the stunning Amber collection to reflect his values as an homage not only to his Australian heritage, but to the landscape itself, honouring eco-sustainability, nature’s harmonious balance and of course, natural beauty.
Jamie’s vision of a fusion of nature and the home is brought to life by world-class expert craftsmanship for a brand which has prided itself on authentic Italian quality for nearly 60 years.
As Jamie puts it, his personal grass roots were ‘on powdered milk and red dirt[…] This was a way of bringing the true Australia into a very sophisticated environment, and bringing the outside in’.
The grains of timber purposefully resemble the shifting sands of the Simpson Desert, with grooves creating an interplay of light and shadow to ensure that each piece is utterly unique and reflects the natural hills blown by the wind.
A stylistic contrast emerges between the playful energy of nature and the perfection of geometry, between the transient beauty of an ever-altering pattern and the sturdy, reliable stability of the piece in your home.
As in nature ever-moving, much will change around this piece – children may grow, relationships develop, careers change – but as in nature, the security of the landscape, in this case, your family’s landscape of the home – is a comforting and consistent staple.
Beyond an Australian outback aesthetic, Jamie’s inspiration is driven by environmental consciousness, an aspect which informs his approach to all his work, but which is particularly significant in this collection’s collaborative process, as Natuzzi Italia have long been an ethical company with a demonstrated commitment to eco-sustainability.
For example, their joinery only uses wood from renewable forests. Jamie and Natuzzi Italia are also both strong advocates of the philosophy that honouring nature returns its value to you, that recognising and respecting nature’s beauty brings a harmony to the surroundings of your home is essential for emotional wellbeing and mental clarity.
In addition to the obvious gay cliché of interior design flair and pride in ‘feathering the nest’, this collection also appeals on a more personal note, as Jamie has long been a friend of the LGBTIQ community, its concerns and needs.
His own early roots stretch as a dancer at the Mardi Gras for many years of his youth, as well as working on the West End, until more recently working closely with the AIDS trust and raising awareness of HIV throughout a documentary and campaign in Africa.
Many are planting the flag of allyship now it’s currently fashionable, but Jamie was trend-setting and supporting the community with a long-standing relationship before it was socially acceptable in the mainstream. His commitment to our community has matured into his passion for designing, his care for wellbeing now manifesting in our own living-rooms and bedrooms.
As part of this impassioned care, Jamie and Natuzzi Italia have striven to ensure that the furniture is high-quality without being high-end; the goal of harmonious living and nature in the home is an accessible, not elitist one.
But cost represents investment, while ‘expensive’ implies a lack of value, Natuzzi Italia’s furniture is worth (at least!) what it costs.
In a society and age of mass consumerism, consumption and instant gratification, where cheap décor fashions can be reduced to the trends of the month (literally, the case of 2016’s obsession with ‘The Pineapple’), Natuzzi Italia’s Amber Collection by Jamie Durie offers an investment in both ‘value’ (monetary) and ‘values’ (social and ethical).
The furniture provides an opportunity to reflect not only on taste, but on what truly matters in your space, what’s lasting. The investment in quality Italian craftsmanship reflects an investment in the tranquillity and permanence of your own surroundings and familial landscape – planting the roots firmly and deeply in your own home.
The Amber Collection for Natuzzi Italia by Jamie Durie is available nationally and exclusively at Natuzzi Italia stores, including at 37 Commercial Road, Newstead, Brisbane. Visit Natuzzi.com.au to find your nearest Natuzzi Italia store.