In Conversation With | Zoe Pohlmann of Your Home Designs

June 27, 2024

In Conversation With | Zoe Pohlmann of Your Home Designs

Zoe Pohlmann is the founder and creative director of the building design studio Your Home Designs, based in the beachy Port Stephens region of New South Wales. Teaming up with her fiance, Tyson Mcduff, a builder who runs Fin. Design + Construct, the perfectly matched couple have completed a jaw-dropping nine renovations and new builds for themselves while managing their busy separate client schedule. 

Organica is their latest personal project, designed with care as their forever home. Located in the coastal town of Nelson Bay, two and a half hours north of Sydney, the property was extensively renovated and extended. After two years of construction, it now incorporates the couple’s private residence and a separate studio office for Your Home Designs and its eleven staff. Zoe and Tyson were drawn to the original home because it met many of their wish list priorities: water views, northern aspect, and walkable distance to the dog-friendly Bagnalls Beach, where their old beagle, Duke, loves roaming. 

The three words that directed Zoe’s decisions during the design phase were relaxed, organic, and resort. “We were pretty set on what we wanted,” she says, adding that her ‘must-have’ was a well-designed, open-plan kitchen and, for Tyson, a spacious garage and outdoor spaces. “I honed in on what we loved. It’s about being clear on the style you love and not being swayed by trends.” She sought sustainable products and finishes and increased the property's energy efficiency with a passive design approach and solar panels.

Aligned with this clear creative vision, the finished three-bedroom dwelling is minimal and modern, with natural textures and tones and curved elements bringing abundant warmth and life into the generous spaces. Upstairs, the kitchen, living, and dining space flow onto a balcony, and a row of casement windows captures the breezes from the northeast and the south and keeps the air circulating. When the sunshine hits the sandstone feature wall that rises through the home’s two levels, it glows golden. The surplus of light also dances across the limewashed walls, creating a sense of cocooning earthiness and softening the architectural lines. 

The extensive custom built-in storage across the home enhances the clean-lined look. “That was a big thing for us, as it is for many clients. Everyone wants the space to put things away,” says Zoe. “We thought in detail about where we wanted to store things and made sure it was covered.” The bespoke joinery is complemented by woven storage solutions from The Dharma Door, including the Large Jute Basket tucked under the entryway bench seating and the Jala Basket in the laundry. Says Zoe, “The natural materials used in Dharma Door products work perfectly with the elements of our home, and I love their approach to sustainability and that they are handmade.”   

Handcrafted details subtly elevate the overall look and feel of Organica. Finessed handmade elements are perfectly imperfect and stamp the home with a unique style—the complete opposite of cookie-cutter. “People ask me where can they buy certain elements in our design, but you can’t buy them off the shelf - you’ve got to create them yourself,” says Zoe. For example, the limestone pavers weaving through the landscaping were hand-shaped on site, as was the circular skylight that washes daylight over the bridge linking the home and the Your Home Designs office. 

For ten years, Your Home Designs has worked on residential projects of all sizes and scales. Each outcome reflects the client’s lifestyle and personal taste, with a gorgeous thread of modern coastal style linking many of the projects. People come to Your Home Designs dreaming of a light, bright and natural dwelling. “We also design many family homes,” Zoe explains. “We create beautiful spaces, but I think our ethos is really about making the whole design process fun, stress-free and easy for our clients.” 

Day in and out, Zoe and Tyson create dream homes for others. Turning their personal aspirations and inspirations into a reality has been a ‘pinch me’ experience with a long-lasting effect. “When the build was finished and we settled in, someone told me I had been smiling all week,” Zoe shares. “We’ve lived through so many renovations and finally worked our way up to our dream home, and it's beautiful.” 

Organica showcases the couple’s exceptional work and expertise, but more importantly, it’s their forever home where they will raise their future family. Their journey into parenthood begins soon with the imminent arrival of their firstborn, and the home is primed to comfortably accommodate the family’s wonderful evolution. “We feel very, very lucky and so grateful,” Zoe says.

1. Puspa Wall Hanging Large  2. Aarna Wall Hanging  3. Small Jute Basket Tall Square  4. Seafarer Basket Small  5. Small Jute Tray Basket  6. Mira Basket Small  7. Jala Basket  8. Large Jute Basket  9. Amada Jute Rug  10. Pata Palm Fibre Drinks Tray and Pata Large Palm Fibre Tray | Written by Jessica Bellef | Exterior images courtesy of Muse Photography | Interior images The Palm Co

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