Brighton exudes a certain casualness, whether it’s the salt air from the bay and the beach, or simply the way the suburb as evolved as a beachside destination since Victorian times. As with the dress code, those living bayside tend to steer away from overly fussy or heavy interiors - with a lightness expressed at every turn.

1. Austin Design Associates

3/3 Male Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 8800

Interior designer, Fiona Austin, director of Austin Design, captures the essence of how those living in Brighton and its environs, like to live - relaxed, informal and drawn to low maintenance interiors. Austin’s recent book Beaumaris Modern captures not only her skills in interior design, but also her love of 1950s modernist architecture, some of which can be found in Brighton, as well as in the nearby bayside suburbs.

2. Hamish & Grace

29 Carpenter Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 7414

Not being on the main shopping strip, but just off Church Street, allows Hamish & Grace to be a little left of centre with its range of homewares. Offering items such as the well-known Mud porcelain to lesser-known designs such as lights and china by ‘Have you met Miss Jones?’ there’s bound to be something that catches your attention. Here, you will also find rustic vintage spools and unusual artifacts that will add a rich patina to any home.

3. The New Cocoon

1/310 New Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 8800

As winter approaches, thoughts of cocooning set in. So there’s an instant attraction to The New Cocoon. The chill is instantly removed upon entering the store which offers the entire gamut of design services; everything from interior design advice, furniture and homewares together with property styling for those either wanting a new look, or moving to a new house.

4. Bungalow Trading

149 Martin Street, Brighton – Ph: 9596 1393

The work of local artists is interspersed with furniture and homewares at Bungalow Trading. Linen sheets, ceramic planters, crockery and velvet-covered armchairs can all be found here. Australian company Fox and Ramona’s ceramics are popular according to sales staff, as are the range of scented candles and glassware on offer. The acrylic wine glasses are perfect for outdoor entertaining, particularly for those who have small children, removing the fear of broken glass.

5. Norsu

47 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 5775

Scandinavian design sits well with those living in Brighton and the nearby bayside suburbs. Clean lines and pale timbers respond to the uncluttered and relaxed interiors favoured by many. Norsu offers an extensive range of Scandinavian furniture and homewares collections, with some products also made locally. ‘By Lassen’ is popular with locals, along with the sumptuous range of pale pink velvet-covered dining chairs. Pale greys and soft pink ottomans complement the ranges.

6. Urban Home Republic

95-97 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9593 3914

It’s difficult to know where to start at Urban Home Republic. The double-fronted store is lined with floor-to-ceiling shelves of bed linen, sheets, towels and everything else in the soft furnishings department. It offers a range of colours in popular soft hues, as well as more of the unexpected combinations. The window display on the day of visiting included a teal velvet quilted bed cover accompanied by golden mustard-coloured sheets and pillows. As well as offering a range of labels, its own label ‘Home Republic’ can be found here.

7. Handworks Nouveau Paperie

80 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9593 1286

Handworks, as with its namesake, features a number of handmade products amongst the many items displayed. The Cristina Re mugs, each one sold in a delightful gold-rimmed box, is as tempting as the Koine leather stationary on offer. The large leather-bound diaries, perfect for a visitor’s book, would sit perfectly on a console in a front drawing room. The store’s ‘Glasshouse’ fragrances leave a lingering reminder after one has left the store.

8. The Beanery

69 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 8666

Established 35 years ago, the Beanery is a landmark on the Church Street shopping strip. Selling top-end coffee machines and accessories from Milanese company Rocket (the Beanery’s highest seller) and Swiss machines by Jura, one can find the very finest for all things related to the art of coffee making. The tampers used to crush the coffee beans are works of art in their own right. Popular are the retro designs offered by Rocket, selling for up to $3,000. And for those who appreciate the 1950s, there’s a range of aluminium coffee percolators. Not surprisingly, Milan is considered to be the centre of the coffee universe!

9. Country Road

42 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 5596

Homewares and kitchen accessories made from timber feature strongly in Country Road’s current collection. Oversized timber chopping blocks sit closely with timber trays and breadboards. These complement the extensive collections of plush towels, bath sheets and everything else that one would want for the home. Even simple bathroom accessories are considered, with marble soap dispenser and toothbrush holders. This season, the hues extend from grey and charcoal to soft pinks and rust and of course, black, a staple in Melbourne!

10. Minimax

10 Church Street, Brighton – Ph: 9592 4533

Arranged like a market, but with homewares rather than food, Minimax offers literally everything one could want for the home. Those with a penchant for high design will gravitate to the extensive range of Alessi products on the shelves, including Michael Graves ‘Whistling Kettle’, an iconic design from 1985 and closer to home, Australian artist Abi Alice’s steel bowl for Alessi is also displayed. Those having fish on the menu will be impressed with the large selection of ‘fishy’ painted plates and accessories available, including a whimsical water jug in the shape of a fish with an open mouth!

Image courtesy of Austin Design Associates & Hamish & Grace.

Interior designer, Fiona Austin, director of Austin Design, captures the essence of how those living in Brighton and its environs, like to live - relaxed, informal and drawn to low maintenance interiors.

Not being on the main shopping strip, but just off Church Street, allows Hamish & Grace to be a little left of centre with its range of homewares.


Lifestyle & Design

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