WE’RE A MULTINATIONAL TEAM OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS AND ARCHITECTS BASED IN SYDNEY. WITH STAFF ORIGINATING FROM ARGENTINA, JAPAN, BRAZIL, LEBANON, THE UK, CHINA, FRANCE, SWITZERLAND, HUNGARY, NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST, OUR CULTURAL BACKGROUNDS AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE BOTH LOCALLY AND ABROAD INFUSE THE STUDIO WITH ILLUSTRIOUS INSIGHTS AND FINELY TUNED EXPERTISE.
Yasmine Ghoniem’s star is on the ascent. The Sydney-based interior designer and founder of YSG is blowing up the city’s preponderance for safe white-box luxury with her colour-fuelled, experimental aesthetic.
Born to an Egyptian father and Australian mother, Yasmine’s projects are birthed from a nomadic childhood that provided the wellspring for her visionary flair given her formative years were spent living between Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Sydney. Lauded for her instinctual approach to design and adventurous palette-plays, Yasmine ironically almost missed her calling given her professional background abroad in dance and music. Despite completing interior design studies in America, intrepid instinct brought her to Sydney to pursue a career in music in her twenties. Leaving ample live gig mileage behind her, in 2013 she co-founded the internationally recognised and multi award-winning Sydney-based studio, Amber Road, with landscape architect Katy Svalbe. Not surprisingly, staging and storytelling elements were key informants of her visionary MO given the atmospheric potency of all her projects, and remain so to this day. In the span of just six years, it won and/or was shortlisted for over 40 design accolades, bolstering its reputation as one of Australia’s most directional and respected design studios.
Fuelled by her eagerness to consolidate her design strengths and offer new architectural builds and renovations, Yasmine established YSG (Yasmine Saleh Ghoniem) in 2020 as a multi-disciplinary initiative combining Architecture, Interiors and Curation for a holistic design experience. Since launching, YSG has received numerous awards including Designer of the Year at the 2021 Interior Design Excellence Awards, Best Residential Design, Best Residential Decoration and Best of NSW state at the 2020 Australian Interior Design Awards, and in 2022, featured in the European Architectural Digest’s definitive AD100 list recognising the most influential interior designers, architects and designers world-wide.
Despite his preference for a wetsuit over tailored attire, Tom plays the role of key contract negotiator, budget balancer, project ‘mover’ and all-round office manager with utmost tenacity. A lifelong surfer from the rural seaside town of Penzance, Cornwall, with grandparents, parents, uncles, and aunties all being potters, Tom’s love for natural stone and ceramics was inevitable. From a young age he was drawn to organic materials and his hometown’s mining history which led to geological studies.
For 20 years he traversed the globe in consultancy rules combining the fields of geology and civil infrastructure. Work took him from the shores of Africa’s south coast undertaking marine surveys in an overcrowded tugboat to keeping the brumbies company in the Australian alps as lead field geologist for the Snowy Hydro 2.0 project, plus living in local villages mapping the upper mountains of Vitu Levu, Fiji. A career change beckoned on the cusp of 2021 when Tom jumped ship to work at YSG. Now permanently based in Sydney, the pirate in him had hoped for additional downtime to hit the waves, but his vested interest in the business keeps his focus firmly ashore from nine to five.
As YSG’s in-house registered architect, Fernanda’s investigative and pragmatic approach to creating built environments reflects her unique sense of rational playfulness. Her plans are tethered to a highly coherent aesthetic that above all else considers the emotive potency of interior design during concept stage to ensure the two are mutually aligned at the completion of every build.
Throughout her career, Fernanda has worked with leading architects and designers on projects straddling Rio de Janeiro, Dubai, Beijing and Sydney, where she was based at HASSELL in a senior architect role for 11 years. Spanning almost 20 years of design experience, her diverse range of project sectors include: heritage plus adaptive re-use, civic, residential (both small and large-scale mixed use), commercial and retail – equipping Fernanda with extensive master planning, tender processing and site management expertise.
Marketing and PR Manager
Having worked in the communications arena for over 10 years as both a writer for Wallpaper* magazine (a global authority on all facets of design) and as a strategic marketing consultant, content writer and publicist for individual clients, Dimity is our resident wordsmith, project pitcher and branding expert, connecting YSG to the world on a global axis.
She honed her critical eye whilst completing a Masters degree at the Courtauld Institute, London. Loathe to part with her Saturday night clubbing sessions in the infamous mid-nineties, she crossed the Atlantic to work a winter gallery internship in New York. Falling deeply under the city’s spell, she arrived back in Oz some five years later to manage exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, after working within the blue chip commercial gallery sector in Manhattan.
Senior Interior Designer
An academic Arts and Communications background plus an Interior Architecture degree equips Emiko with the ability to resolve project challenges via unconventional and innovative thinking. She’s a conceptual dreamer of spaces where the dimensions of life (work, play, travel, rest) collide in spectacular ways, yet are bound by a graceful minimalism. Emiko developed her foundational skills at HASSELL, Perth, prior to embarking for Tokyo where she joined WeWork devising flexible co-working interiors in addition to mastering the art of vigorously slurping ramen. Having immersed herself in Japan’s architectural principles, she views design as a mechanism that can affect human behaviour with a desired outcome, bringing to YSG and element of restraint to balance its elegantly radical hutzpah.
Senior Interior Designer
Architecture graduate, Silvina, is an artisan in the craft of spatial design consideration who thrives on master planning. As a mood activator, the concept of immersion plays a crucial role in her designs, with natural and artificial light plus notions of comfort strongly influencing her creative process. Since completing studies in her native Argentina, she has worked extensively around the globe, unleashing her vibrant eclecticism within the interiors of the Westin Hotel, Fiji and the W Hotel in Puta Mita, Mexico, amongst countless other hotels and resorts. In addition, Silvina has worked on myriad civic, commercial and hospitality projects citing her innate ability to build strong relationships with key project stakeholders and contractors plus her capacity to lead a design team as her key strengths.
Senior Architect – Reg. No 11842 NSW
Valeria’s practice is hands-on, embracing nimble digital 3D designs for heritage renovations and new builds including luxury multi-residential developments through to wielding tools to craft marble furniture and lighting pieces in her spare time. She developed her passion for raw materials whilst based in Barcelona with the Pritzker Prize-winning firm RCR Architects. There, she worked on a subterranean home in Menorca inspired by Dolmen caves and residential pavilions nestled amongst Dubai’s sand dunes, honing her sculptural approach to design that considers natural light and the emotive use of shadow. Valeria grew up in Switzerland and completed a Masters in Architecture in Perth which included an academic exchange to Milano where her obsession with pasta and tiramisu was born. Since crossing the Nullabor to join us, she continues to single handedly prop up Sydney’s Italian restaurant scene.
Senior Interior Designer
Born and raised in Lebanon, Aya’s visual diet comprised mainly of war-torn buildings juxtaposed against modern architectural gems. Her mother is an interior architect, so Aya’s childhood was spent creating high octane drawings in her bedroom with pencils she snuck from her home studio and playing amongst concrete sites during inspections. This served her well as prior to joining YSG she worked within a prominent Sydney architectural firm’s project management team honing her negotiation skills. Integral to Aya’s creative output is conceiving contextually sensitive spaces that evoke sensory awakenings. She lives and breathes design, savouring punchy graphics through to trawling her fave fashion feeds. Her other house of worship is the sport’s arena. Aya’s wired to pro tennis matches, so we avoid giving her deadlines during Wimbledon finals!
Senior Interior Designer
Laura rises to all aspects of her role with vigour – from concept design and development documentation to briefing, client and stakeholder engagement. As a lover or ‘surprising beauty,’ she’s a visual dreamer, seeking inspiration from unusual resources. She conceives environments that activate sensory appeal, avoiding the cliché of overcomplicating them in the process. Having worked for several years at Tom Mark Henry prior to joining YSG, Laura possesses significant experience both interstate and overseas designing across the residential, retail and hospitality sectors with projects ranging from workplace through to hotel design. She brings to the studio a calming essence coupled with a highly resolved theoretical approach to design outcomes – a perspective she instils amongst the Interior Architecture students she tutors at UNSW.
Senior Interior Designer
From a young age it was evident Megan would become an interior designer as she was constantly re-arranging the family home. Raised in the central west of NSW, her love of the rural landscape continues to inspire her ongoing intrigue with textural elements sympathetic to their surroundings yet complimented by unexpected additions. Megan’s cloud-watching pastime coupled with her love of all things that glitter manifests in her fascination with captivating shapes and compositions plus tonal pairings. Prior to joining YSG she worked at Sydney’s Bates Smart, honing her integration of interior and architectural design across hospitality and residential projects. Detail driven and highly personable, Megan has mastered the art of negotiation with heritage and local council through to contractors to ensure building schedules are managed seamlessly.
With experience in both the commercial and high-end residential sectors of interior design spanning Sydney to Saudi, Alana’s interest in architectural detailing combined with her love of painting and the creation of ceramic vessels plus lighting informs her artistic inclination. Textural depth and tonal inflections seep into every space she transforms. Studies at Germany’s prestigious Bauhaus Dessau in 2017 instilled in Alana a passionate belief that interiors are designed to be experienced and deeply felt rather than merely seen. Prior to executing her highly resolved 3D modelling and documentation skills, all project components are rigorously explored and reviewed to ensure the delivery of contextually sensitive design.
Renjie is our tech wiz, distilling abstract concepts and literally layers of palette selections on desktops into exceptional plans and precisely proportioned, detail driven renders. With several years’ experience working on hospitality, retail and residential projects, his AutoCAD and Revit skills are highly resolved, as is his flair for 3D modelling. Having honed his documentation skills at Anthony Cirocco Design and Paul Kelly Design prior to joining YSG, Renjie brings his acute organisational skills and exacting eye to every project. An avid fan of architectural photography and film, his 3D concepts are cued by cinematic perceptions of light and shadow, enabling clients to fully envisage their YSG spaces with palpable flair.
A fusion of influences ripple through Erica’s work given her avid interest in the arts – from painting and drawing to pottery and music – bolstered via her studies of graphic design and visual art. Her painterly command of colour and texture plus her pragmatic preoccupation with constructing space on canvas and paper led her to pursue interior studies. Interestingly, she thrives more creatively in design, responding to briefs and deadlines. She’s our details gal with a knack for documentation – from drawing to modelling – with talent to boot for creating customised joinery and furniture. Outside the studio, Erica’s your go-to for a road map of the city’s best whisky and wine bars, though we highly recommend negotiating an invite to her dining table as she navigates the kitchen with impressive prowess. With a bottle of red in hand, you’re guaranteed to skip the queue.
Senior Interior Designer
Immersing herself overseas for several years, Lucy worked for the Danish architectural firm, Dorte Mandrup (renowned for pushing the boundaries of form and materiality), and undertook environmental design studies at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio, Switzerland before completing her Masters of Architecture in Australia. She then honed her skills with Kerry Hill Architects before consolidating her solo identity through interior projects. Motivated by the lifecycle and environmental impact of design led to explorations with natural materials to create objects and furniture plus experimentations with lighting. At YSG, Lucy continues to draw inspiration from nature. She balances her deep connection with the ocean and love of rock climbing with enviable roller disco skills plus impressive taekwondo black belt credentials. We don’t mess with her – ever!
Having grown up on the coast, Lachie’s constant source of inspiration is his multi-sensorial engagement with nature, notably how textures, scents and hues influence his wild imagination. He’s an ‘amper upper’ drawn to evocative colour and pattern pairings who credits his Bachelor of Economics/Bachelor of Arts (Politics) studies – prior to commencing his Interior Architecture (honours) degree – for shaping his discerning sense of judgement. Classically trained in piano for 15 years, his love of playing and performing highly influences his design approach, enabling him to compose spaces that reflect an exquisitely tuned experiential potency. Lachie’s unofficial studio title is ‘Vibe Technician’ given that his Energizer-like batteries keep us all pumped, yet equally, zen. We’re still waiting for him to bust some moves, ideally in black vinyl pants given they led him to victory in his Yr 4 performance to Groove is in the Heart.
Shameera’s nomadic upbringing and exposure to radically different cultures flows through her creative language. Under the wings of her landscape architect parents, her childhood was spent in India, Bahrain and predominantly Dubai before arriving in Sydney with her family in 2015. Immersed in the arts in all its forms from a young age, her design rationale is informed by creative expression, in particular exploring how to make spaces hold intrinsic meaning. Foremost, they must stir the soul. Having completed a Bachelor of Interior Architecture, she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Architecture whilst juggling her serious addiction to mystery and psychological thriller novels – something we actively encourage to keep the mystique flowing through her work.