Unrivalled Interiors

5 mins with Jacquie and Joel Steward

Jacquie and Joel Steward create timeless handmade stone furniture through their business, Unrivalled Interiors.

How did the two of you meet?

Jacquie: Through mutual friends in Newcastle. We had a brief meeting at his home one night, but it wasn’t until a couple of months later that we got to know each other properly. Joel was meant to move to Sydney the week after the festival but changed his mind and moved to Newcastle instead. I always joke that it was because he met me.

Are you both from Newcastle?

Joel: Jacquie is originally from Armidale. She spent a year in New York, then moved to Newcastle for university. She’s been in Newcastle for 10 years. I’m from Dubbo and also moved here for university. It’s been home for eight years now.

Unrivalled Interiors

How did you dream up Unrivalled Interiors?

Joel: After buying our first home together, we started curating our space. Jac had seen pieces of furniture being passed down from her grandparents to her parents and loved the idea of having pieces that would last beyond one generation. We didn’t want to rush and took our time choosing things we really loved. We were drawn to natural stone and Jac acquired some really beautiful vintage pieces, but we noticed a gap in the market for Australian-made stone furniture. I’ve worked with nearly every trade and am hands-on, so I started to make some pieces, and the rest is history.

What materials do you use?

Jacquie: Travertine, marble and onyx – all natural stones from around the world. Travertine is imperfectly perfect, marble has so many unique features and onyx is transparent and vibrant. Our mantra is bringing the outdoors, indoors. We believe there’s nothing more beautiful than what nature has to offer.

There’s nothing more beautiful than what nature has to offer

What’s the process for creating each custom-made piece?

Joel: Custom-made pieces are a process of learning about the client’s needs, functionalities and aesthetics. We love collaborating with customers to create designs with them and choose particular stones to fit into their space.

What does the future hold?

Jacquie: We’re hoping to continue to work with the values and ethos of our small business, no matter our growth. We’d love to open a shopfront so customers can see our products in the flesh – photos sometimes don’t do them justice!

Unrivalled Interiors
Unrivalled Interiors
PHOTOGRAPHY | DEAR FIORE PHOTOGRAPHY
WORDS | TIFFANY PILCHER

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