Gift shopping can be challenging, especially when you don’t know where to look. Luckily Sydney is brimming with gift shops to suit even the fussiest of tastes. Offering everything from candles and homewares to designer accessories and even cheeky novelty books and games, these stores make your task a whole lot easier. What’s even handier about these local favourites, is that they have no minimum spend on card purchases.
With an upbeat playlist to soundtrack your browsing and friendly staff at the ready to offer their assistance, Abode Homewares and Gifts fits nicely into its trendy, stress-free Hall Street surroundings. The store is helpfully split into several sections; at the entrance you’ll find a large area dedicated to homewares and jewellery, and towards the back of the store, quirky stationery and beautiful coffee-table books line the walls. But make sure you check out the back for a treasure trove of children’s toys, books and clothes, which will sort you out for those last-minute baby showers and kids’ birthday parties.
Stem is a haven for design lovers. The Balmain gift shop features homewares, fashion and accessories by the likes of Marimekko, Elk, Alex Monroe and Normann Copenhagen. Each product has been carefully selected based on its aesthetic value and innovation. Clean lines and modern shapes are a focus and they favour quality materials like ceramic, stainless steel and mouth-blown glass. The fitout is chic and minimalist. You could easily while away an afternoon and leave with a larger-than-intended haul.
Sorry Thanks I Love You has gifts for any message you wish to express. What began as an online store is now a permanent fixture in the GPO building in Martin Place. The store’s beautiful setting and sleek aesthetic reflects its wares, which are sourced from local and international designers and producers like Lucy Folk, Dinosaur Designs, Iwai Japanese Whisky and Bruny Island Cheese Co. You won’t find novelty gifts or gimmicks here, but you may be lucky enough to receive a complimentary tasting of tea or craft beer when you visit their store.
Putney locals have been frequenting Reverie since it opened almost ten years ago. The gifts and homewares boutique is an emporium of trinkets and features local and international brands such as Pierre Cardin, Koh Living and Dartington Crystal. Although the space is small, there’s ample stock to rifle through as you chat with the owner, Viviane. Jewellery and handbags make up a sizeable portion of the goods on display, but you’ll also find a large selection of men’s accessories and children’s books and toys.
Newtown is known for its quirky shops, and Octopus Design on King Street is no exception. The sister store of Paddington’s Opus Design has been a local favourite for last-minute gifts with a difference since 2002. The stock is always changing but you’re sure to find an impressive selection of books, games and gadgets you never knew you needed. Bold colours and cheeky slogans feature on everything from mugs and T-shirts to candles and there’s no shortage of pop culture references. If you can’t bear to shop without your four-legged friend, you don’t have to – the store is proudly pet friendly.
Crows Nest has made a name for itself over the years as something of a shopping hub, thanks to long-term institutions like Giftica, which has been a valuable source of gifts since 2001. The staff are all about service with a smile, and are friendly without being overly attentive, allowing us to browse freely. Alongside fragrant candles and soaps, there’s a sizeable selection of silk and wool scarves and shawls, as well as plenty of gift ideas for children. Whatever you choose, they’ll offer complimentary gift-wrapping.
Ironically, Found Homewares and Gifts isn’t so easy to find. The humble gift shop is tucked away in an arcade in Lane Cove’s shopping village, a secret shared by locals in the know. You’ll know you’ve found it when you come across a selection of colourful children’s beanies by Aussie brand Toshi flanking the doorway. They’ve got an impressive kids’ range inside the store, where you’ll find adorable, tiny Hunter boots and brightly coloured tulle tutus. Of course, adults are just as well catered for, with homewares, fashion and accessories by much loved labels like Stitch and Hide, Cloth and Co and LyndalT on display.
A passion for Aussie design is what originally spurred the owners of Urban Oasis to open up shop, and it’s what keeps the Pyrmont gift store thriving over ten years later. The store’s dedication to local up and coming designers like Prene, Inoko and MA Dainty means that shoppers can expect consistently high quality stock created with sustainable materials and a whole lot of love. Fashion and accessories make up the bulk of the products, but children’s toys, homewares and books round out the store’s supply.