Inside the Curated Mid-Century Home of En Gold's Steffanie Ball
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we head to the home of Steffanie Ball, an interior architect and furniture designer who specializes in marble and stone.
Mid-Century Modern Design is having a moment, and if you’re looking to introduce the style into your space, best call Steffanie Ball. The interior architect is the creator of En Gold, which began as a vintage home décor house sourcing mid-century wares, and now offers an original range of mason-made, sustainably sourced, bespoke travertine furniture. Ball launched her business on Instagram in 2018 where bi-weekly drops of authentic Breuer chairs, marble tables and wares hailing from Italy, Spain and beyond would sell out in minutes. Now, a fully-fledged e-commerce juggernaut, Steffanie’s architectural eye remains her greatest asset.
Wandering around her home in Williamstown—which she shares with husband Matt and one-and-a-half-year-old daughter Daisy Mae—feels like spending the day at the museum. Here, her self-designed plinths display spherical stone sculptures and Roman column lamps. Steffanie’s formal training in design touches every corner of the space—pieces by Den Holm and Bobby Clark punctuate the space, while back-issues of Architectural Digest and vintage prints create an interplay between the old and the renewed. Olive and Terracotta accents give depth to the neutral colour scheme of sandstone and slate and the result is chic, contemporary, and seductively sleek.
Hi Stef! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I make natural stone marble furniture and source vintage furniture pieces that I sell through my business, En Gold.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
The act of “making” is very much ingrained in the person that I am. I am the kind of person that will see something and think “I can do that…!”
I am very much a ‘doer’, sometimes with success and sometimes without but the attempt to create it always there. Creativity has always been at the core of who I am, mixed with determination.
When did you start your business? And can you tell us a bit about your journey from working in interiors to owning your own vintage furniture business and creating your line—you have such a polished eye!
Thank you! I started En Gold whilst I was on maternity leave with my first baby, Daisy. I was so used to working on projects and being creative in my career in Interior Architecture and Design that when I had Daisy that part of me couldn’t stop. I started selling all of the furniture in my home and sourcing unique pieces to redecorate.
It just snowballed from there. I started selling pieces that I would find that I didn’t have the room for and I was having a blast styling and photographing. When I made the decision to leave my career and try to make En Gold work full-time I jumped in head first.
I would spend every spare minute of the day driving all over town sourcing, then emptying my entire living room to shoot and put everything back in again... all whist I had a newborn baby on my hip!
My husband Matt was working full-time and spending all of his spare time helping me, doing the deliveries. The whole journey has been a very personal one, every prop I style with is from my own personal collection.
When I started, we were living in a tiny two bedroom beachside cottage and every single corner and hallway was used to stack furniture up to the ceiling. It was pretty chaotic!
Now, a year and a half later, later we haven’t really slowed down but the business has definitely progressed. Over time I learnt what works, what doesn’t and along this journey we discovered a love for natural stone and marble which lead to our first range of furniture of natural stone and marble plinths.
We have also just moved the business from our home and into our first showroom/studio and we are currently brewing baby number two!
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
My creative process usually starts with a conversation. I like to sound my ideas off someone. In my past career this was usually with my coworkers or clients, these days it’s usually Matt and I chatting through ideas and designs.
I’ll then sit down and draw them out either by hand or on the computer, I’ll do research and source creative inspiration. Then, I put my final design together in a design packet and send it off for manufacturing.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to grow your creative business?
One of the main strategies I used for En Gold happened to be accidental!
In the beginning I was finding it really difficult managing customer enquiries and sales when I would upload new product everyday or as it would come in, so Matt had suggested that I compile all of my sourced pieces into two weekly collection drops that I would upload on the set days and times.
This decision came purely from a need for time management but ultimately helped us grow our audience and streamline our Instagram sales process.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to start their own business and go out on their own?
Drawing from my journey and experience, I would say don’t overthink it. Go with your gut and if you are onto a good thing your business will progress and grow organically. In a way it will tell you which decision to make next and what it needs to get to the next step.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived in your home?
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I wanted it to be clean, selective, textural and a reflection of the En Gold aesthetic, which is a true representation of my own personal taste and style.
Tell us about your bedroom.
Well with a toddler, business and another baby on the way our bedroom is dedicated to rest and as much of it as we can get! We don’t have a TV in our room and try not to use our phones in bed. I like to keep our room restful and calm.
What are your favourite pieces in your home?
Our big plush vintage cream modular sofa, our set of Marcel Breuer Wassily chairs, our big textured travertine dining tables and our En Gold plinths.
Which is your favourite room in the house?
Our living room. We spend a lot of time as a family together on our sofa and the morning sunlight is amazing. It’s a very happy room.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
1. Create a space that makes you happy by being selective.
2. Invest in classic, good quality pieces.
3. Don’t over complicate it! There is a perfect balance of ‘just enough’ to fill your space.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up you want to talk about?
As I mentioned, are very excited to be releasing our first range of natural stone and marble plinths. The stones have been sourced from quarries around the world and constructed using high quality craftsmanship.
Although this is the first step into manufacturing for us, we already have plans for the future to expand our range. We are also thrilled to have moved into our own showroom and studio space. We hope to have a launch event soon and will be posting all the details to our Instagram when we are ready!