Interior Design

Interview | Hegi Design

Hegi Design House is a Gerringong based minimalistic furniture studio creating beautifully articulated and handcrafted pieces. This husband and wife duo are inspired by sustainability and offering a sense of connection and a holistic approach with all their handcrafted pieces. We had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Nelli Hegi and discussed their new collaboration, inspiration and day to day operations.

Hegi Design House is a Gerringong based minimalistic furniture studio creating beautifully articulated and handcrafted pieces. This husband and wife duo are inspired by sustainability and offering a sense of connection and a holistic approach with all their handcrafted pieces. We had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Nelli Hegi and discussed their new collaboration with Pietro Franceschini, inspiration and day to day operations.

Tell our readers a little bit about yourself. Have you always been involved in the design industry?

Hegi Design House was founded in 2020, by us, Nelli and Juri Hegi – we’re a couple. We design together, and all our pieces are handmade in Gerringong, on the South Coast of NSW and our passion is creating sculptural minimalist pieces sustainably and with intention.

Juri, and I were born in Kazakhstan and grew up in Germany. In 2013 I was offered an 8-month internship in Australia, and here we are almost 10 years later running a business we’re both so proud of, and with the most wonderful team supporting us in the workshop.

Juri is largely self-taught in metal work, and our family’s hands-on approach informs our craftsmanship. While our path into the profession has been non-traditional (I’m not a professional product designer, nor is Juri a professional welder, but he is a professional joiner), our work is refined, resolved and unique.

We both love designing and developing new designs and that’s where our journey began 2 years ago.

What does your average day to day look like?

My day (Nelli) looks very different to Juri’s.

My average day involves, lots of planning from social media content to new opportunities, logistic planning in between mindset training, meditation and creative work for example sketch an idea I had over night! On other days, I may get to work on tasks I don’t like so much, like accounting! ha

Juri’s day starts with team meeting, and organising everything what is missing in the workshop, delegating work, and making sure everyone does know what is to do.

Juri is working on new challenging projects where he must develop and engineer the design from scratch and the team is focusing on our collection pieces meanwhile.

Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

Inspiration is everywhere, we sometimes are too busy noticing it!

We get inspired by forms, architecture, nature, fashion designers. What we want to achieve through our work is character, and at the same time classical which can survive time and fashion. We do that through forms, references and materials. Experimenting with unusual materials and combinations.

Congratulations on your latest launch of the Hegi x Pietro Franceschini Collection! The collection is bursting with bold form and colour, incredible craftsmanship and attention to detail. What was the inspiration behind the collection?

The Urania collection features three key pieces: the ‘Collo’ daybed, ‘Lavinia’ desk and the ‘Waldo’ chair, each offering a playful, fresh and instantly recognisable profile that is both gentle and solid. The modularity of the pieces was inspired by the classic ‘DS-600’ sofa by De Sede, with the idea being that, although upholstered, the pieces would appear as if made of stone. Luxuriously adorned with Rubelli velvet and offered in an array of customised finishes, the sculptural range is an exploration of sensuality with a hint of masculine form, where art and furniture intertwine.  

The Bling Bling collection, designed by Pietro and made by us, was inspired by Olympus, the majestic home of the twelve gods of Greek Mythology. Using luxury DEDAR wool boucle combining it with Victorian Ash hardwood!

Bling Bling Chair - Hegi X Pietro Franceschini

Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

Visually, my favourite is the WALDO chair and the BLING BLING Siamese. Honestly, the more I think the harder is the decision. These designs are so much more than just furniture.They’re iconic, statement pieces created to be felt, experienced, and remembered for years to come. Envisioning them in beautiful architectural homes. Homeowners that focus on values and along-lasting vision for their furniture, furniture that’ll be passed down to future generations and forever connected to their family story.

Urania WALDO Chair - Hegi X Pietro Franceschini

We love the sustainability aspect to your business. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?

The fast fashion industry has supported a culture of devaluing well-made, thoughtfully purchased furniture in favour of disposable, seasonal pieces which have a limited lifespan. We believe that furniture should have a meaning and sentimental significance and we want our customers to invest in their own HEGI piece because they feel connected to not only the aesthetic of the piece, but the story behind it. With this in mind, we aim to be transparent with our community and as sustainability is a journey not a destination, we are continually looking for ways to improve our practices.

We will do all we can to continue to help contribute to a more ecologically sustainable world for this generation and those to follow.

Just like you, we love and respect nature and the materials it provides, which is why we’ve partnered with Ecologi to reduce our carbon footprint and plant more trees. When customers place an order, we plant 25 trees in customers name in a location of their choice. They will be able to check in on the growth of your trees and see just how much of a difference is made when you buy well.

Maintaining a connection to the timber we’re entrusted with, and the forest that provided it is a big deal to us. That’s why we only use PEFC-certified timber that’s sourced responsibly and sustainably, ensuring our precious forests are protected for years to come.

From the office to the workshop, we’re always looking for ways to reduce waste and dispose of unavoidable waste responsibly.

We try to consider each step of the process equally in regards to our internal practises and their ecological impacts. When it comes to sending our pieces, we are working towards sending all of our parcels in 100% recyclable blankets, bubble wrapping that is biodegradable, sourced and made in Australia, removing ourselves from daily single use plastic as much as possible. We are working towards a recycled/recyclable packaging for design furniture.

What is next for Hegi Design?

Oh so many ideas are brainstormed at the moment!

Firstly, we will show case the new pieces are ARMADILLO showroom, so please feel free to come around and visit, furthermore, we will focus on educational content and publish our very first online course by end of this year and of course we will work on the next collection too, and you can be part of it, as we will work on the SPHERE COLLECTION. We really would like to open our very first showroom by next year, so that’s kind of very exciting!

Where can our readers connect with you and purchase your beautiful pieces?

There are two ways either on our website, and or connect with us directly via email