While on maternity leave, Melbourne-based interior designer Steffanie Ball decided to refurnish her house. The majority of pieces she picked up were vintage, and she soon realised she’d purchased more than she could fit in her home. So, she began En Gold, an Instagram page to sell all the pre-loved treasures she couldn’t re-home herself.
In time, Ball rejigged the brand to focus on pieces she designs herself.
“There were beautiful pieces available at the high-end of the market, but that’s not attainable for everyone,” Ball tells Broadsheet. “I thought, why can’t everyone have that? Why do they have to buy something that’s 30-years-old in order to have design-driven furniture?”
Together with her husband, Matt, Ball has produced a line of striking yet timeless tables and plinths – the kind of pieces you invest in and keep forever – as well as stocking a small range of homewares and objects by Australian ceramicists and artists.
Marble and stone are the focal point for the majority of Ball’s designs, the result of a childhood fascination with rocks and geodes.
“I’ve always loved natural stone,” she says. “It was an organic progression when I started to design, because a lot of the vintage pieces I liked were [made of] natural marble and stone. And with these kinds of materials, they’re just so beautiful on their own that you don’t need to over-design them. It’s more about experimenting with the shape and form; the materials themselves are where the beauty is.”
Ball’s sculptural, eye-catching pieces do double duty as works of art and functional home furnishings. Striking coffee tables are made from polished white stone and feature a layered step design, while marble plinths in pink, gold or honed marble can be used to feature other art objects, or act as centrepieces on their own.
Everything on the site retails for between $30 and $1500 – vases painted with Picasso-esque brushstrokes begin at $157, prints range from $30 to $159, while coffee tables made from travertine and fossilized stone cost $850 and $800 respectively. While you can find mass-produced stone furniture for less, limited-run or one-off pieces in these kinds of materials often run into the many thousands of dollars.
Due to the nature of working with materials such as travertine, onyx, marble and granite, each piece has a unique “fingerprint” – the form might be similar, but the vein and texture will always be different. Ball sources the stone from Italy, the Philippines, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and China, and the pieces are crafted by stonemasons in Melbourne, Sydney, China and the Philippines.
Pieces from the main collection are made in small quantity, and Ball has also released limited-edition designs using offcut and repurposed stone.
“We want to keep things exclusive and not saturated,” she says.