Technically, it’s supposed to be “blue and green should never be seen”… But, however, you…
This week on Home Stories it’s a sequel as Ashley and Cass revisit photographer Nathan Harradine-Hale at his new digs and discover that less is more for this extroverted introvert.
You know how people say the sequels are never as good as the original? Or that follow up albums are not as good as the first effort? Even though I’m sure we can think of cases where our favourite movie or original music was equalled by the follow up effort, there must be some truth to that sentiment.
For this story, I invite you to be the critic. Let me know if you like ‘Nathan’s Home Stories Part II: The Isolation’ more or less than the original ‘Nathan’s Home Stories: The Share House’ back in 2019.
When Nathan gave me a call a few weeks ago, he sounded really excited. Mind you, Nathan is the kind of guy that sounds excited when he describes folding clothes, but this was different. So Cass and I accepted his invite to visit at his new apartment in Lyneham.
Nathan was already hanging out the front door when we arrived with his usual enthusiastic hellos and the unmistakable moustache that puts Freddie Mercury to shame.
Before long, we were in a supremely neat, minimalist and stylish apartment filled with the mixed aroma of fresh tea and incense, while the moody new ambient album by Tych played on the record player.
For those of you who may be hazy about the original story, Nathan lived in a share house up until recently, with a group of fine creative individuals. The house was a blend of many tastes, but they worked together really well in home full of rich décor.
However, there came a moment recently in his life when he realised that he wanted to be in a home of his own—with less noise, with less interaction and more ‘him’. And by ‘him’ I mean minimal and uniform yet soulful.
When you look at Nathan’s apartment through Cass’ photos, it is surprising how pared back the décor is for someone so expressive in his personal and professional life. Nathan loves company and social interaction and, aside from his day office work, is a photographic freelancer who captures life’s moments for weddings, corporate clients and social projects.
He explained that being an introverted extrovert, he loves the quietness and balance that a simple home brings to his life. I noted that the visual style he uses in his projects is very organised with a simple yet muted colour palate—something very much reflected in his home.
Nathan didn’t take much with him from the share house, which gave him an opportunity to start fresh—that is, aside from the decorative branch hanging in the loungeroom above the dining table. It’s an important branch, so let me explain its meaning via a classic movie technique of a flashback.
Nathan was driving with his dad and, drove past a fallen branch on the side of the road which really caught his eye. They kept driving for a while during which Nathan could not get its aesthetic appeal out of his head, until he called out: ‘Dad we need to go back to get that branch!’.
They did and then had to hold the branch hanging halfway out the car window from Sutton to Gungahlin. The branch has gone everywhere with Nathan since. That simple branch represents Nathan’s love for nature’s aesthetic and how less can be so much more. End flashback.
In this time where the world is beginning to question the need for excess, it’s nice to see Nathan so proud and excited about how his homely expression of ‘less’ is so much more ‘him’. The branch, the record player, the matched furniture are all simple things that make his life less complicated.
I do get the feeling that this sequel is not the last part of ‘Nathan’s Home Story’ and there is more to come as his life takes new turns. I’m keen to see how he maintains this simplicity with that change and how excited he will be about whatever is next.
Well, what do you think of all that? How many stars do I get out of five? Please be kind. After all, it is a sequel.
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Read all of Ashley’s Home Stories series here.
Photography: Cass Atkinson