Since I was a kid I've had a love for interior decorating. Working for home and lifestyle magazines meant that some days I got to browse shops and homewares websites for the latest decorating products, and enjoy seeing different decorating styles in Australian homes.
Friends sometimes ask me for decorating advice or suggest that I should help decorate their own house. I feel pretty under qualified for this kind of task! I think your place should be a collection of pieces that make your house feel like your home – not someone else's! That's not to say that if you enlist the help of an interior designer they won't be worth every dollar! An interior designer understands the rules of interior design and has the talent, experience and qualifications to visualise what pieces, textures and colour will look great in your home.
In April we bought our first home together in lovely Boyne Island (over the road from where we had been renting for a year and a half in fact!). It has been fun finding some new pieces for our (more permanent) home! So, like us, if you're going to diy, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite places to find pieces for our home... and they're all small businesses in Australia (that's not to say that I don't love shopping at IKEA!).
GARZIE + MAY
Garzie + May is a small business run by two mum's with small children – good on them! They're based on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, but ship within Australia and to NZ, the US and the UK. They sell beautiful, bedding, cushions, candles and beach throws. The quilt on our bed above is their Boho Palm Kantha quilt.
Kawaiian Lion is based in the northern beaches of Sydney (where I spent the first 24 years of my life!). The lifestyle label infuses a love for texture, light, the sea, surf, vintage-folk, the lion muse and the island of kauai. They sell cushions, bed linen, wall paper, wall art, tees, bags and accessories.
I've purchased a few of their cushions for my own home and love them!
Arrow Divine is an Australian business which started out selling jewellery and have now expanded to sell vintage clothing and home pieces with a beachy boho feel. The great thing is that the pieces are unique, have stood the test of time and in purchasing you're reusing – that's a good enough excuse! We have a couple of wooden and woven serving platters and bowls from Arrow Divine in our home.
HOME ON DARLEY
Home on Darley is a family owned and run business on Sydney's northern beaches – on Darley Street in fact! They sell homewares, furniture and manchester for any room in your house! We purchased a Moroccan style round metal coffee table from Home on Darley during a trip to Sydney earlier this year and I love it in our home! They sell mostly from their shop but also selected products can be purchased online.
Armchair Collective is another Northern Beaches based business (and also on Darley Street!), so if you're visiting Sydney, I recommend a little drive up the coast to visit this shop. It is a cafe and homewares and furniture shop by Mona Vale beach. They sell one-of-a-kind restored designer armchairs, colourful cushions, custom lamp shades and all things interior. They also offer an interior design consultation.
I have picked up a few unique pieces from Armchair Collective over the years to add to our home. You can enjoy a meal in the cafe (the food and coffee is delicious!) and enjoy browsing their shop while you wait.
Format. Framing is a Melbourne based business delivering gallery quality, archival printing and handmade framing to Australia. They have been making frames in their Melbourne workshop for over 30 years, and now anyone can online order their own print to be framed and delivered straight to your door... the process is so simple! You simply upload a digital file of the artwork or photograph you want framed, select a size and frame and they print, frame and deliver. Below is a print I had framed a few months ago.
...and a few things on my wish list...
AU FAIT LIVING
Au Fait Living is a Queensland based business offering a versatile range of rattan furniture, gorgeous homewares and lifestyle treasures. They embrace pieces that suit a range of on trend styling, from beautiful boho to classic country to coastal chic. I have my eye on this little Crochet Cowrie shell basket and Black Stitch Cushion Cover.
Naturally Cane is an Australian business that works with sustainable, renewable, natural materials combined with wrought iron, aluminum, stainless steel and timber to produce a range of traditional and contemporary furniture for every room and situation. I have my eye on a beautiful tropical style cane bed head!
For the sake of full disclosure I'll be honest and say that I also love to shop at Kmart, Target, Big W and Spotlight. Since moving away from Sydney and living regionally it has been a little harder to get my hands on pretty homewares as we don't have the stores that I had access to in Sydney up here. But occasionally I find something at these stores that looks great and is very affordable! You have to be pretty selective but if you keep an eye on their catalogues there are some good pieces that pop up now and then.
I have purchased crockery, serving ware, ceramic kitchen storage, garden pots and lighting from Kmart; bedding and homewares from Target; bedding and kitchen ware from Big W and rugs and woven baskets from Spotlight, bedding from target. Keep your eye out! It's worth it for the savings!