15 Minutes with Natalie Dufton of Pony Design Co.

28th April 2023 / Market Updates Tips & Advice

A coffee with Natalie Dufton, Owner of Sydney based Interior Design firm Pony Design Co. Check out to see them and their amazing work!
Our Sydney Partner Jamie Keay, caught up with the ever impressive Natalie Dufton for coffee recently and got to have a really interesting chat covering work and non work subjects, thanks so much for your time Natalie and here’s how it played out:

What was your first job?
In Design, I worked for an Architectural firm based on the Central Coast call Neometro Architects but my first actual job was labouring for my Dad’s construction company, and a waitress for a catering company.

Why ‘Pony’?
I always loved horses growing up in rural Central Coast and it just seemed to work with my brand, the freedom that it conjures up. It sounded good and it looked right when I wrote it down and is punchy.

Also it was generic enough that it means that my business can keep evolving into other areas if the opportunity arises, without sounding like we are too specialised in Interiors.

What advice do you have for someone starting out?
You get out, what you put in.
Once you get into a role, work hard, be enthusiastic, ask questions but only after you have tried to work out the answer for yourself to offer suggestions.
Remember your name is your Reputation.

What are the key traits you look for when hiring staff?
People that are curious and inquisitive. People that are genuine and embody Pony’s values.
Someone that is open about who they are – this is important when you run a small business. You want your staff to love what they do.
I also look for candidates that have dynamic minds.

Favourite Food

Your idea of fun is?
Being in nature, being with animals. Spending time with friends and family

Industry gripes?
People that take themselves too seriously – you have to be able to have fun with it, enjoy this privilege we have to design spaces.

Photo: Pony Design Co.

What do you love about your Job?
The variety! The opportunity to learn something new everyday, things are constantly changing and there will never be an end.
We get to work with amazing people. Also you get to physically experience the years of hard work that you have put in!

In one word how would be describe you?

What’s been the biggest change in the industry during your career?
Pinterest….. It used to be a lot harder to put together a beautiful concept board!

Your hang-out place of choice?
Camperdown Park in Newtown.

What’s your favourite project that you have designed?
Probably has to be Acre Restaurant in Camperdown, I did this when Pony was just starting out (a one-woman-band) and it really help put us on the map.

What’s your favourite space or building?
Too many on the list…. but the most recent one is “Desa Potato Head” in Seminyak, Bali. The whole building and ethos is based on complete sustainability and re-use and they have some incredible immersive experiences on offer in addition to their hospitality offering.

If you could only bring one Book, one Album and one luxury item to a deserted island for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Album: Mr Beast by Mogwai
Book: George Orwell 1984
Luxury item: my signature scent-Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille (but a vegan dupe)

If you had to put one thing into Room 101 and it be cast away for ever, what would it be?
Animal Cruelty

Finish this Sentence ‘If I had my time again I would…”
…not sweat the small stuff!”

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