With a background in the stone-cutting industry, the Anastasijevic family has recently expanded into interior design by creating Mermeta Design & Furniture, combining their expertise in natural materials, like marble, granite, quartz, onyx and travertine, with modern home decor. We met with Rade Antanasijevic in front of their new showroom.

During a project, is it hard to harmonize the views of the architect, the designer and the workers? Do you find it challenging since good communication and team synchronization are the keys to success for a design studio?

We all work as a team, from initial idea to realization. Experience has taught us to constantly complement each other and to facilitate the work of the group. Sometimes what the idea imagined by the designer/architect cannot be implemented, that's when the installers help us making ideas more concrete. Therefore, communication is an essential element in our line of work.

Do projects represent something that can be moulded for the future, or each one individually represents something new and different, which is your favourite approach?

Diversity in business is why we have been doing it for so many years. Just as there are no two same people in this world, there are no two same projects. Each is different and each is a challenge in itself, and this is the charm of our industry.

Is there a project that you would highlight as the greatest career challenge?

Well, if I could single out one project, then it would definitely be our Mermeta showroom in the West65 luxury neighbourhood in which we have poured all our knowledge and efforts.

When it comes to a family business, is working with your loved ones a relief or the opposite?

Working at a family business is somewhat facilitating and a stumbling block. On one side, you have everything in place to build a successful business and on the other, the responsibility to not let anyone down. It's a mediation that requires great communication and professionalism.

You opened recently your showroom/lounge in a high-end side of Belgrade, West65. Does your clientele pertain to the elite or you're trying to make your services affordable for the average population in Serbia?

We strive to be inclusive, aiming for diversity and quality. Everyone will find something for their budget and taste, plus our experts will be delighted to guide the clientele in the choice. The concept of a 'showroom' is based on a warm family atmosphere to enable us to showcase what we do best.

We would single you out as someone who, in terms of marble and granite, offers top-notch quality in our region. Do you follow the global trends in your specialism and how open are your clients to adapt your suggestions and ideas, do they entrust you with creative freedom?

Keeping track of the trends and industry fairs is vital for our line of work. We must always increase our knowledge and understand the direction of the market so that we can constantly improve our offer. With regard to clients, they are quite open to suggestions and new ideas. Being a seasoned interior design studio we gained the trust of our clientele over the years, but obviously there are always clients that have their own ideas and we are happy to bring them to reality.

Lastly, do you focus on aesthetics or functionality?

Actually both, we are in a business where functionality is paramount and we live in a time where it all comes down to aesthetics. Our projects need to be aesthetically pleasing but extremely functional.