It should come as no surprise that I’m a frequenter of furniture stores. Primarily, it’s all business. In, out, no messing about. However, on the weekend, it’s leisurely. I love to browse for my own interest and inspiration. Lucky for me, Melbourne is a mecca for leading furniture design. Melbourne hosts hundreds of furniture stores. With so many to choose from, it’s hard to decide where to start. To steer you in the right direction, I’m sharing my favourite Melbourne furnishers.
Update: Having now relocated to Brisbane, I have some exploring to do. Matt Blatt and Ikea are still within easy reach, but I’ve had to bid farewell to Life Interiors and GlobeWest. I look forward to discovering what Brisbane has to offer.
Amongst this list of Melbourne furnishers, there are those I purchase from frequently, seldom and some never at all. I frequently purchase from Life Interiors. Why? Designer furniture at great prices. It’s that simple. They have a great selection of on trend furniture and artworks. They have a simple showroom on Johnson St, Abbotsford. The only downside is that their warehouse is in Sydney. That means, if you see something you like, you’ll have to practice a week of patience whilst it’s delivered. Plan ahead of time and save yourself $$$.
RIP: Matt Blatt
Update: Wow! Furniture stores come and go in Melbourne, but there are some that feel like a permanent fixture. Matt Blatt was one of those. Following store closures nationwide due to COVID-19 restrictions in March 2020, Matt Blatt was sold to Kogan in May. It will now be run as a online only business. We’re devastated to watch the bricks and mortar stores go. We only hope that the same exciting, colour pop range remains available online.
POP! If you’re looking for colour and excitement, Matt has what you need. A simple glimpse through the front window will reveal that this isn’t your average furniture store. A tired and boring room will be brought to life with a single Matt Blatt creation. Try a pine Rhinoceros or a three-quarter size horse with a lamp head. Their best, and most practical offering though, is replica designer furniture. They have a great range of chairs and stools at a fraction of the designer price. Don’t settle for a simple browse of the website. This store is full of fun that must be seen in person. If you’re coming from Life Interiors in Abbotsford, then this is only a five minute drive on Church St, Richmond. With stores in all east coast capitals, there’s no excuse for not visiting Matt Blatt.
Whilst this one might seem redundant, I had to share it because it was beautiful and unique. I’ve only recently discovered that Weylandts single Australian store has closed. Weylandts was situated on a quite leafy street in Abbotsford. You would enter a wide open high ceiling showroom and be immediately struck by large, bold and earthy furniture. The scale of their furniture called for large space. Their showroom provided room for every piece to be viewed in its own right.
The best part, brunch. Weylandts had a built-in cafe. If this is invoking the taste of Swedish meatballs (Ikea), think again. This was a legitimate cafe, up to the measure of Melbourne standard. What brought about its demise? I do not know. I’m sad to see it go but you can still view their range on their South African website. If you like what you see, then look to Uniqwa furniture. They offer similar style and have several Victorian stockists.
Whilst on the topic of Swedish meatballs, I’ll share my thoughts on Ikea. Many property stylists won’t admit to sourcing items from Ikea, however I’m not going to hide it. Can you find the Ikea product in our styling images above? Ikea has a well-defined purpose; the basics. If you’re seeking the basics, it’s the place to go. The image above is an example of our use of Ikea furniture. It illustrates how their neutral furniture can support a modern designer style.
Unlike my other favourites, Ikea is all functional and to be frank, no fun. My tip, get in and get out. Particularly on the weekend. It gets crazy. If you’re a fan of hedge mazes, take the front entrance. Otherwise, do your browsing online from the comfort of home. With list in hand, I’ll often enter through the registers. It’s a short walk to the trolleys and within a minute you’ll be loading flat packs. Don’t waste your time in store, there’s hours of flat pack assembly frustration waiting for you at home.
Interior Secrets is only a recent discovery for me. I was lucky enough to happen upon their location in Southbank and loved what I found. They have a range of simple yet stylish furnishings, which is what I’m looking for as a property stylist.
They manage to deliver high quality and unique furniture at a good price. A great option for the modern consumer as you can find a greater range online and they offer flexible delivery to your door.
GlobeWest is another furnisher that I frequently purchase from. They provide a huge range of designer furniture. Often I find the larger the range, the more I have to filter and search to find what I’m after. GlobeWest seem to have done that filtering for me. I love almost all of what they supply. Their selection is understated, soft, neutral and always on-trend. It provides for a style that is broadly appealing. This is exactly what I’m seeking when styling a property for sale.
Whilst once a discrete industry wholesaler, GlobeWest are making a name for themselves among the general public now. You may have even noticed their appearance on The Block this season. However, strangely they don’t have a retail presence. Don’t despair. Browse their website to find what you’re looking for. After, utilise their stockist locator to find the nearest retailer to source your products. Alternatively, they provide a designer finding tool. This is ideal if you’re furnishing a full home. GlobeWest will connect you with an endorsed stylist who can tailor a selection of GlobeWest furniture to suit your home. The lucky few are connected with The Urbane Property Stylist. We provide turn-key furniture packages sourcing furniture from GlobeWest among a wide portfolio of furnishers we use.
Our hot tip: GlobeWest host the occasional warehouse sale. These sales offer a large discounted selection. To be in the know on their next sale, subscribe to their sale mailing list.
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Emma Tobin, Director and Lead Stylist at The Urbane Property Stylist, holds a B.D. (Interior Design). With over ten years of experience in Interior Design, Landscape Architecture and Property Styling, Emma has earned a reputation for her attention to detail and ability to deliver.