There's no shortage of famous phrases about creatives and their constant need to wander the world in search of inspiration. And in the age of Instagram, we're certainly not hurting for heart-achingly beautiful photos that make us want to do just that. For Zio & Sons founder and creative director Anthony D'Argenzio, pounding the pavement of international cities is part of the job. His agency sources props for and styles stunning photo shoots for brands that range from West Elm to Cartier (take a peek at that otherworldly meadow set design below). While the company has grown dramatically over the past few years, its aesthetic—in his words, "timeless, classic with a modern touch"—remains, and is the impetus for countless enviable projects, including a top secret "experience" in a 100-year-old home that's currently in the works. We dare you not to hit follow by the end of this feature.
The origin story
"I started Zio & Sons by restoring antique and vintage furniture in a small studio on the Bowery in 2010, and the company has since morphed into a creative agency that's based around styling and visual services, but it's constantly evolving.
Zio is the last three letters of my last name, D'Argenzio, and has long been my nickname among friends. Zio also means uncle in Italian. I may be one of the youngest men in my family (and son-less for now), but I come from a long line of woodworkers and makers, so [the name] just made sense."
The perfect apartment
"Our home is constantly changing, and often times it can feel like a chaotic prop house. My favorite things are the navy chesterfield sofa and the open kitchen, which is great for cooking while staying in the conversation. Finding new ways to manage a small space while still living comfortably is key. My advice is to be organized and utilize your wall space!"
the top secret project
"We recently purchased a 100-year-old home in the Upstate town of Hudson, New York, and are currently transforming it into a multifaceted design and travel experience. (I can't share too many details just yet, but it’s the most exciting Zio & Sons project so far.) We are salvaging the original hardwood floors, and it has been quite the endeavor—removing five layers of linoleum to get to the originals. We might paint them gray, rather than refinishing the wood. I’m not afraid to make design decisions during the process. Although picking the perfect paint color is a project of its own."
The Viral Hashtag
"We launched #GatheringsLikeThese one year ago this month. Our goal was to create a tag that our community could contribute to, focusing on everything we love: entertaining, home, and travel. We hosted a small gathering to kick it off, inviting a few our of favorite brands, designers, and magazines. After that event, it felt like the tag kind of went viral. The coolest thing to come from it has been meeting and conversing with inspiring people. I'm always down to meet up with those who inspire me."