Unearth Brisbane’s hottest homewares trail in a day
Don’t exceed your baggage allowance with another pink frangipani sarong or a bunch of snow globes that don’t even make the cut on nanna’s mantelpiece.
Rather, let me (Nikki from building and interiors blog Nooks & Cranny) guide you on an enjoyable day exploring Brisbane, with serious opportunities to snap-up lavish homewares – guaranteed to earn you the status of ‘best present giver’ this holiday.
So, rearrange your luggage and ensure you can squeeze in the likes of handmade silk cushion slips, antique wine glasses and scented bohemian candles. Oh my!
Home to cute Queenslanders and professional couples with two kids and a dog (if that helps paint the picture), Paddington has oodles of cafes, restaurants and one-off homeware stores.
08.00am // The day is young
Treat yourself to a hot brekkie (with free two-hour parking) at Chelsea Bistro in the Barracks cultural hub. The perfect quiet nook to refine today’s itinerary.
09.15am // Pure
Within the same precinct, this quirky shop front is jam-packed with colourful furniture, soft furnishings and trinkets bound to catch a stylish eye. Step inside for oodles of fresh fragrant flowers, sparkling bling and baby gifts for tiny tots.
9.30am // Blake & Taylor
Paddington’s piece-de-resistance is a quick five-minute drive and park away. Once the original butcher, and now a 1890’s renovated homestead, Blake & Taylor screams elegance and sophistication in grey and white.
These days the shop dices up meaty gems of a different kind, including recycled and new furniture, homewares, leather goodies and clothing, all coated in country charm.
10.00am // Paddington Antique Centre
Drive a few, or stroll 30 minutes, up trendy Latrobe Terrace and discover thrifting utopia with over 50 antique dealers squished under the one roof at Paddington Antique Centre.
Rummage for lights of every shape, size and colour; commission a custom fabric lampshade; or plan next weekend’s dress-up party in an old retro vintage dress. Super fun!
10.45am // Du Monde
Literally next door is the perfect gift and homewares abode with a touch of masculinity, where the walls are lined in ornaments you can picture in a floor-to-ceiling library. You’ll also spot perfumes from some of the oldest perfumeries in France, and silver Australian designer jewellery to suit all tastes.
FORTITUDE VALLEY / JAMES STREET PRECINCTS
Jump in the car, bypassing the CBD, and within 15 minutes you’ll be launching yourself into trendy Fortitude Valley – lined with bustling bars and nightclubs; and the uber-exclusive James Street shopping precinct for high-end retail therapy at its best.
11.30am // St Barts
Anchor the car and picture yourself stepping off a superyacht on the warm Caribbean Coast, wearing a white sarong draped in silver and turquoise jewellery. Swan into this beautiful homely space, created with clean white walls and VJ shelving and showcasing bohemian luxe goodies every woman would die to feature in her home (or beach house by the sea).
12.00pm // Kova Lifestyle
Looking for an urban, youthful feel? Pop (literally) across the precinct and meet Kova Lifestyle’s owner Bianca de Luca and be amazed at her distinct colourful flair and knack for seriously cool and edgy homewares. Pick up local ceramic pieces (oh so cute), think practical with a washable eco-mat, and indulge in her linen range after dozing on the cozy bed on display out back (no really, no sleeping, sorry).
Need to replenish your engines? Stop for a quick and delish bite to eat at the James Street Markets with healthy snacks, fresh fruit, sandwiches and wraps galore on offer. And it’s ready, set, keep motoring…
1.00pm // Magnolia Interiors
Pop up the road on foot to immerse yourself in cozy textiles, high-end fashion, and rustic furniture where you’ll need to walk at least twice around the shop to see the versatile range. There’s shells, country timber stools and tables, and colourful throws and cushions, to name a few. Be warned: you’re highly likely you’ll walk away with a purchase (or 10) here.
1:30pm // Matt Blatt
Step inside this edgy urban warehouse for a punch-in-face of striking colours, diagonally adjacent from Magnolia. Stroll through high-end replica dining room displays, racks of fun cushion slips, and quirky ornaments such as a life-size horse and Aztec cow horns every teenage girl must have on her wall.
1:45pm // European Design
If creating a chic home in the Hamptons is your cuppa’ tea then you’ve struck gold with this warehouse opposite – full of cow hides, chunky timber settings and ornate white crockery. Picture yourself wrapped up in a classical four-post bed with a tiered hanging chandelier, white and floral french provincial linen and a crackling fireplace. Agh, bliss.
2:00pm // Ambience Store
Conveniently in the same strip of shops, Ambience Store promote every piece of furniture in their urban warehouse is handcrafted (usually with sustainable rattan). If you’re not pushed for time, order a custom upholstered outdoor setting (with delivery) or whisk away right now with a woven floor rug (as on Jennifer Hawkin’s Instagram) or striped cushion, made on site.
2:30pm // Black & Spiro
Before making tracks to Brisbane’s southside, you MUST make the essential detour (five minutes max.) to Black & Spiro, home to my favourite designer Anna Spiro. See if you can pick her bold trophy fabrics she cleverly coordinates like a magician with at least another five popping bold colours. Pick up her coffee table book Absolutely Beautiful Things, which will make the perfect gift for someone wanting to spruce up their home.
Finish the day in antique heaven strolling through the industrial sheds filled with goodies and trendy cafes in Brisbane’s Wolloongabba precinct.
3:30pm // Woolloongabba Antique Centre
Don’t be alarmed if the thought of Brisbane’s largest antique store daunts, as you can always take 10 minutes out in a booth at the ‘50s-style cafe. Then just put one foot in front of the other and in no time you’ll be gathering old milk bottles, unique buttons and even funky lamps you can add some DIY flair to yourself. Keep an open mind.
You’ve certainly earned one last treat, so feet up, and enjoy the afternoon next door at The Crosstown Eating House. (The Sticky Pork Ribs and vintage bar lined in compressed tin are well worth it.)