Zephyr + Stone - Interior Design Duo & Influencers

Style Sourcebook Profile: Zephyr + Stone

It’s no secret we’ve been fans of interior design duo and influencers Zephyr + Stone for a long time now. From their effortless coastal chic style to their expert knowledge of all things interior design, they really do embody everything we call a Style Maker. For those of you who may not know, Zephyr + Stone is an interior design studio lead by Ania Forster and Kasia Clarke that is based on the Gold Coast. Ania and Kasia are quite the design boss-women. Not only do they run their own interior design studio, but they also speak at a lot of major industry events, post frequently on their coveted design blog and social media channels, and each have their own family and personal life that we can imagine would keep them quite busy. While they really are the jack of all trades, their main area of specialty is in kitchen, bathroom, and laundry design. We took the time to chat to them about how they developed their sense of style, some of their must-haves when it comes to designing a kitchen, how to get the most out of your storage, and how they established and grew their Instagram account (plus lots more).

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by Villa Styling

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by Villa Styling

Tell us how Zephyr + Stone came to be.

We launched Zephyr and Stone approximately four years ago when Kasia moved to the Gold Coast. Kasia and I had been living in different states for approximately 10 years. We were both working for ourselves designing, building, and renovating homes, both for our own projects and clients. We were looking to expand and try something new and decided to join forces. Zephyr and Stone was born within days of us discussing a new business together. 

Where did the name Zephyr + Stone come from?

Kasia came up with the name Zephyr + Stone. We had lots of ideas on what direction our new business might take, so were mindful we needed a name that would be flexible as our business evolved. We felt Zephyr and Stone was a name with which we could build a brand, and that would remain relevant as our business grew and changed.

What does ‘Style’ mean to you?

To us, Style means someone’s identity expressed with design, colour and furnishings. Every individual has their own personal style which is constantly evolving and changing and is influenced by experiences, travel, lifestyle, friends, our environment, and trends. 

When you’re working on a design project, what guides the style for the project?

It’s different for each design project, and usually there’s a number of factors that can dictate the style. Style usually evolves from a single idea or concept which can come from a project’s location, floor plan, special features, a colour or finish. Once we resolve the basic concept or idea, everything that follows is thoughtfully curated to scaffold and balance the original idea and materials.

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by Villa Styling

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co

How would you describe your personal interior style?

Foremost we always endeavor to design quality homes that are neutral, timeless, and have a sense of balance. We like our homes to feel welcoming and uncomplicated, yet sophisticated and contemporary. Designing spaces for optimal flow and to suit the room’s proportions is paramount, as well as always maximising natural light.

You have a signature Zephyr + Stone style. Tell us about how you established this. Is it something that has evolved over time?

Our style has definitely evolved over time and has been influenced by the homes we’ve designed, places we’ve lived and traveled, and all the design ideas we’re exposed to each day. I think our love of neutral homes was born out of necessity, as we’ve developed and sold our own projects and flipped property for over 15 years. Keeping these homes neutral was essential to appeal to the majority of potential buyers or renters. 

We’re also very mindful of all the waste created in the process of building or renovating a home and feel it’s our responsibility as designers to choose colours and finishes that will last beyond current trends and quality finishes that will wear and age well. 

You’ve built up quite the following on Instagram. Do you have any secrets on how to build your Instagram or social media presence?

We absolutely do! We believe the secret to success and growth is to consistently provide value through unique content. We think authenticity is key to long-term success for any social media presence and makes creating new content easy and sustainable because ideas come from your own knowledge, passion, and interests. It’s also vital to build relationships and a network of other social media brands and colleagues and support each other as you grow. Although we’ve definitely drawn branding inspiration and ideas from other social media brands and influencers, we tend to keep our blinkers on and not compare ourselves to anyone else, and instead focus on sharing quality and valuable information that our audience won’t find anywhere else.

View Zephyr + Stone's Classic Coastal Dining Room mood board here

Photographed by Mindi Cooke

What does a typical day in the life of Zephyr + Stone look like?

It’s different every day which is why we love it so much! Kasia and I have our own roles within the business which have evolved based on our strengths and passions. We meet most days in person or via video conference, and together strategize, work through any current projects, and edit concepts and designs. Most days consist of some time in the office, site visits, liaising with our staff (6 interior designers and a projects manager), and then business growth and content creation. When we’re at the end of a project, there’s also days of styling, shooting content, and photography. There’s literally never a dull day! 

If you were designing a kitchen, what advice would you give yourself?

First, incorporate the practical and functional aspects and solutions in a layout that maximises the existing space. Then choose a style, colours, and finishes and design your space ensuring there’s visual balance, especially of depth, colour, and material. Always consider your lifestyle and the experiences you’d like to have in your kitchen, and design solutions to cater to these. 

Who would you say is your biggest inspiration and design muse?

Our biggest inspirations would have to be Mim Design and Kate Walker Design.We admire their ingenuity, attention to detail, and ability to consistently deliver timeless, sophisticated design.

Photographed by Mindi Cooke

Photographed by Mindi Cooke

Mood boards are vital, both for ourselves to critique and develop our own designs, and for sharing ideas and concepts with our clients. They allow us to plan and maximise spaces and try out different ideas before finalising a design.

Zephyr + Stone - Interior Design Duo & Influencers

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co

Photographed by Mindi Cooke

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co

You’re also known for your smart and innovative design tips. What are your top five interior design rules you swear by?

Stick to neutral colours – trends and finishes change over time, but neutral colours remain current and give your project longevity.

Never compromise flow and negative space in a home – the width of a walkway or distance between furniture is as vital as the size and layout of the actual pieces.

Maximise natural light and airflow.

If your floor plan is compromised or your home doesn’t have ‘good bones’ resolve your layout as a priority, rather than spending thousands of dollars to still end up with a compromised home.

Invest in quality over quantity for all the finishes and pieces in your home. Quality pieces can last a lifetime and make your home look and feel luxurious, making it a pleasure to use and live in every day.  

We’ve noticed you use Style Sourcebook mood board tool for some of your projects. What are some of the benefits of using mood boards?

Mood boards are vital, both for ourselves to critique and develop our own designs, and for sharing ideas and concepts with our clients. They allow us to plan and maximise spaces and try out different ideas before finalising a design. 

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co

View Zephyr + Stone's Scandi Master Bedroom mood board here

Who are some of your go-to suppliers when sourcing for your renovations or projects?

For furniture we love GlobeWest! We love their pieces so much we even sell a curated selection of our favourites in our online store and often source them for clients. Their quality is consistent, and their design is contemporary yet timeless. 

Your homes are always so timeless, classic yet still effortlessly on-trend. How do you pull it off?

We always prioritise visual balance and ensure we don’t put too many colours, ‘hero pieces’ or features in one space. Once we finalise the colour palette for a home, we generally implement elements of it in all rooms to ensure seamless connection and harmony between spaces.

We’ve noticed you create a lot of great storage solutions in your homes. Do you have any advice for people who are trying to get the most out of their storage?

When choosing storage for a new home or space, the perfect place to start is by looking through your existing home to decide what storage is lacking and what works well. Consider what areas are always well organised and tidy and replicate these, and then customise storage for items that tend to pile up around the house. Opting for a combination of varied storage solutions like drawers, cupboards and shelving works best for most spaces, and can really transform a home to drastically reduce mess and clutter. You can never really have enough storage, so ensuring there’s an ample allocation is vital.

Are you working on any exciting projects that you’d like to share with us?

We have some exciting partnerships coming up including some custom furniture pieces and products. The design project we’re most excited about is my own new holiday home on South Stradbroke Island which I’m currently designing the floor plan and concept for. We also have a number of other projects and digital project tools that we’ll be releasing over the coming months so #watchthisspace 

Built by Luxbuilt. Photographed by The Palm Co