Koskela is like a theme park for interior design geeks. Every Koskela piece has been designed and made in Australia under the careful watch of owners Russel Koskela and Sasha Titckosky, and the size and layout of the store means that shoppers can run wild through a playground of bright, colourful arrangements – from fantasy garden sheds to kids’ bedroom designs.
The new flagship store is situated inside Alexandria’s heritage Woolstores buildings, near the Grounds and Salt Meats Cheese. The showroom showcases interior design and office wares from luxury labels like Scandinavian brand Muuto and eye-popping colours from ’60s-style British designers Established and Sons.
Owner Ross Longmuir is passionate about creating sustainable furniture that’s built to last. So when you come to rest a cup on one of his coffee tables, you’ll know it was crafted from top-notch Australian hardwoods, like spotted gum that’s grown in South Queensland. If the nutty brown bookshelves, angled beds and drawer units are not to your liking, customers can chat to Longmuir about custom-built designs. Planet also stocks vintage Japanese ceramics, silk and velvet cushions and organic cotton towels.
Seek out the unassuming modern gifts and homewares store on Regent Street, and you’ll be rewarded with affordable treats for the home. Owner Karin Huchatz named her store ‘DEA’ meaning ‘pleasing the delicate eye area’, and she sure knows how to pick out a well-made Italian cooking pot or envy-inducing willow tea tray from Japan. Take the copper-plated candles by Tom Dixon or the Uashmama washable bags that can be used to pot plants or tidy up knickknacks. There are handmade mugs from local ceramicist It’s a Public Holiday, glass teapots from Kinto and camp-side enamelware by Falcon.
You’ll find the Design Twins storeroom at the back of Precinct 75. It’s styled like an interiors magazine photo shoot: speckled artworks by Danielle Cross are displayed on the walls, marbled cups and plates by Milly Dent are stacked on counters and there are weatherproof leopard-print cushions tucked into corners, by company Into the Fold. Owners Bailey and Lindsay say 90 per cent of the homewares in store are Australian made, and they favour industrial materials and fabrics such as copper, ceramic and steel.
Scandinavian designed furniture is the name of the game here at the Modern Furniture Store. The light-filled corner store is often busy with first-time homeowners looking to get that clean-lined, functional-but-fun look in their apartments. The store has partnered with Finnish brand Marimekko, so there are affordable and colourful items in store like cushion covers, tea towels and oven mits, all under $50. For those looking to make a fast impression, there are Bristol desk lamps and Darcy table lamps for around $100, and big-ticket items include beech wood three-seater sofas, minimalist writers’ desks and ottomans.
Storeowner Leah Taylor launched the Minimalist as an online boutique in 2011, drawing on her experience working in a small interior design practice. She tells us that her interpretation of minimalism isn’t about living with less, but opting for smarter designs that serve both function and beauty. The store, found near the rear entrance to Reuben Hills, includes collaborative pieces produced with local makers, such as art prints, which retail from $20 each.
The Society Inc used to have a boutique in Paddington; now the store can now be found at Precinct 75 in St Peters in a space that’s twice the size of the previous shop. The store is filled with eclectic antiques and oddities as well as new pieces of furniture and homewares sourced by or produced by Sibella Court. Stacked in the corner are rustic, bleached shutters from Java and there indigo-dyed throws brought back from the western gulf of Africa.
Top 3 by Design is so packed to the rafters with furniture, bathroom and kitchen accessories that it’d be easy to lose track of what it was that you wanted when you first stepped inside. Take a list, or a budget, and allow yourself a little wiggle room for those last-minute additions to the shopping cart – we’re thinking of the clever Blunt umbrellas that won’t turn inside out in a storm, or the frosted Mariskooli bowls, ideal for dinner parties.