Designer Spotlight Zephyr and Stone
Tell us a bit about your background, where you are from, and how you got started?
We were born in Poland and lived in Melbourne most of our lives. Before we started working together, we were both investing in property, renovating, and designing homes in our early 20's and this progressed to building and developing our own projects with our husbands (who have both become builders as a second career). For years we worked individually from each other but followed similar paths, Ania living on the Gold Coast and Kasia in Melbourne. When Kasia moved to the Gold Coast two years ago, we were both ready and excited to start something new; building on what we were already doing individually. We started Zephyr and Stone almost immediately and haven't looked back.
How would you describe your design style?
We love a range of styles, but generally each home we design features clean lines, neutral palettes and we maintain a consistent colour scheme throughout to ensure cohesiveness between rooms and spaces. We always maximize storage to ensure functionality and create harmony in colours and finishes to achieve that uncomplicated, easy-living feel. Good space planning and abundant natural light are essentials as we want our homes to feel like a sanctuary and an escape from the everyday busyness of life. We ensure rooms are well proportioned and try and create zones within large spaces so that rooms can multi-task. We’re all about smart design.
What are some trends you currently have your eye on?
A return to warm hues, natural finishes and colour palettes, is definitely on the rise. We’re seeing more emphasis on minimal and seamless design, with appliances and everyday items being increasingly integrated or hidden away to create uncluttered spaces. We believe the ethos of quality over quantity will continue to gain ground over the coming years, as we as individuals more consciously consider the cost on the environment of excessive purchasing of short-term furniture and pieces, and will instead increasingly choose – custom, considered and treasured pieces for our homes.
When beginning to renovate a space, do you plan the design based on a pre-conceived vision of how you plan to furnish it? Or do you have a different process?
We always pre-conceive and select furnishings as part of the renovation design process to ensure good flow in rooms and spaces. This ensures the dimensions and location of our renovated spaces are correct for the pieces we intend to fill them with. We don’t necessarily choose the exact piece for the space, however, we will always have considered the dimensions and general finishes of all major pieces during the design and planning stage.
What is the must-have feature that you would recommend someone have in their space if budget wasn’t a factor?
An oversized kitchen island bench is at the top of our list. It’s such a highly utilized area in a modern kitchen and home and when well designed will host a variety of activities from homework and study, to family dinners and entertaining. Even in a busy household where everyone has different schedules, the kitchen is the space where individuals generally congregate and spend time together, and when it’s well thought-out it will encourage gathering even more so.
What are three home accessories every house must have?
A comfortable couch, living potted plants and soft furnishings such as linen, cushions, and throws to add layers.
Scandinavian design has been very popular with its clean lines, neutral tones, and minimalist approach. How do you balance the room aesthetic so that it’s warm and neutral, yet truly Scandinavian in its design roots?
It's a delicate balance to ensure a Scandinavian designed home exudes warmth whilst retaining the clean lines and paired back aesthetic that Scandi homes are renowned for. Incorporating natural finishes such as timber is our favourite way to add warmth and texture. Timber is utilized not only for flooring but also decoratively, for furniture or as cladding on walls or ceilings. This adds warmth, texture and creates beautiful clean lines, all important elements to add to the largely white and muted Scandi palette. Scandinavians design their homes to let in as much natural light as possible. We love to include sheer curtains to windows to add texture and softness, whilst providing beautiful filtered light and maintaining a light and airy feel. When selecting furniture, we look for well-made pieces that work in harmony with the rest of the space. When your key pieces are in place, start incorporating textiles such as sheepskins, rugs, and throws. These materials add layers of texture and a feeling of warmth, both important considerations in a minimal home.
Where do you love to shop for interior pieces?
Much of our shopping is done online, but we also love to window shop as much as the next person! We love to source local or Australian brands where possible and when we hit the pavement, you'll usually find us at James Street in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane.
Will the Scandinavian design be here in the next few years or will it eventually evolve into something else? Will we see a shift in trends?
Trends continually shift in home design as they do with Fashion and Art. We don't believe Scandinavian design is going anywhere, as it embraces natural finishes and elements including light, space and purposeful design; all fundamental in a home that feels good to live in. Scandinavian design may change and evolve; however, the style will remain popular amongst many for its neutral and light aesthetic that is calming for the soul.
Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can share with us?
Absolutely! We currently have four exciting designs beginning construction in the coming weeks. Two homes are being designed to showcase Coastal Style in two unique ways - our #Coastal2Ways project. The third will feature Resort style finishes, whilst the last will once again favour Scandinavian Style that proved popular in our last project. We share regular behind the scenes snippets of what we’re working on in our stories and provide design, styling and property tips and tricks through social media and our monthly newsletter. The best place to connect with us is on Instagram at @zephyr_and_stone or by subscribing to our monthly newsletter over on our website.