As winter descends, our focus turns to the home, with sumptuous interiors taking the edge off the cooler nights. Woolen throws are retrieved from armoires and there’s nothing more satisfying that settling into a deep plush velvet-covered armchair and resting one’s feet on an ottoman. After months of entertaining outdoors on the terrace, it’s time to reflect on the interior, finding inspiration from the destinations recommended. And although a couple, are strictly speaking outside the Toorak boundary, they’re well worth the few additional moments it takes to get there.

1. Brownlow Interior Design

Rear 617 Malvern Road, Toorak –Ph: 9826 0062

Although Barb Brownlow established Brownlow Interior Design 30 years ago, this sumptuously furnished store, facing Mathoura Road, appeared seven years ago, when Barb’s daughter Alexandra joined the business. With loyal clientele from nearby, as well as from the country, the store’s attraction includes many fine European fabrics and one-off items sourced from around the world. Soft furnishings from Caravane from Paris can be found, together with Japanese vases and an extensive range of Chinese ceramic altar birds. There’s a temptation to pick up and touch objects, such as the real bamboo handled cutlery.

2. Graeme Brown Antiques

591-593 Malvern Road, Toorak – Ph: 9827 6303

Operating for 50 years, Graeme Brown Antiques is now run by Graeme’s sons, with Justin at the helm of the Toorak address. Venture past the antiques, some of which were purchased in the United Kingdom and Scotland by Justin’s late father, and you’ll discover endless wooden timber chests will every possible knob and handle. Brown and his team also make some of the furniture on display in the showroom. Those with a fondness for unusual items will take time to pause at the 1870s carved walnut-framed four-panelled screen, hand-painted on leather and with a price tag of $12,500 (includes GST).

3. Manon Bis

568 Malvern Road, Hawksburn – Ph: 9521 1866

There’s a distinctive French ambience upon entering Manon Bis. Offering an eclectic selection of homewares, the store features a delightful combination of vintage and new items, with everything from a farm-style table found in country Victoria to a chest of drawers from France dating back a couple of hundred years. Pivotal to this highly curated homewares collection are the hand-painted linen cushions depicting the work of the late French artist Haby Bonomo, of scenery painted in both France and in Argentina. Maison Louis Marie candles line the store’s rustic shelves, as do sepia photographs placed on linen tea towels.

4. Plane Tree Farm

564 Malvern Road, Hawksburn – Ph: 9529 2551

If you are searching for fine bed and table linen, you need not look much further than Plane Tree Farm, retailing some of the world’s finest linen for over 30 years. Some of the fabrics are sourced from France, Italy and Belgium, with the fine woollen blankets and throws coming from closer to home, New Zealand. Laundry baskets can also be found, with all the other items that make a house a truly fine home. One of the more unusual items at Plane Tree Farm is the Japanese-style pendant lights. But instead of being made from paper, they are covered in a sheer linen to add a translucent glow in any bedroom.

5. Suzie Stanford

Furniture & Lighting Designer – Ph: 0403 920 450

Suzie Stanford can turn her artistic hands to virtually any item found within a home. From lighting to her distinctive tapestry furniture, her one-off designs have graced the showroom at Liberty in London and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. She now has clients all over the world, adding a sense of the bespoke to any interior. Referring to herself as an ‘upcycler’, Stanford regularly receives items, including tapestries, from all around the globe and gives these an entirely new life.

6. L’Interior

Shop 10/501 Toorak Road, Toorak – Ph: 9827 1901

Designer Nadia Aber-Griffith has established a reputation in the design world for her finely conceived interiors, working along side many esteemed architects. From high-end residential projects to commercial hotels, her studies in Paris certainly come through in her delivery of classical French interiors within a Melbourne context. Offering everything from building to decorating services, the results are timeless and elegant interiors that go well beyond passing fads.

7. Andrew Frost

62D Heyington Place, Toorak –Ph: 0415 552 632

Interior designer Andrew Frost specialises in both residential and commercial design, from traditional through to contemporary. Trained in the United States and with decades of experience Down Under, he operates from his Toorak studio, servicing clients across Melbourne. Frost enjoys mixing contemporary with classic pieces to create a sophisticated and timeless elegance, often with a slight edge. Customised furniture, built-in cabinetry, re-upholstery, restoration work and window treatments are also available.

8. South Pacific Fabrics

456 High Street, Prahran – Ph: 9521 3044

South Pacific Fabrics is a drawcard for interior designers who appreciate a point of difference. Stocking some of the finest, and often unusual textiles, wall coverings, trims and accessories, South Pacific is a treasure-trove of international companies and names associated with fashion’s haute couture, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier. There’s fabric from Hermes and also Rubelli, both from Paris and the wonderful whimsical wallpaper designers from Timorous Beasties in the United Kingdom. These top-end designers will transform a home into something truly magical.

9. Westbury Textiles

503 High Street, Prahran – Ph: 9529 6211

Operating since 1986, Westbury Textiles has established a reputation for its exceptional woven and printed fabrics, with showrooms located in a number of countries. Sourced from the world’s finest mills, the extensive range of fabrics includes virtually every type of linen, many of which are sourced from Belgium: glazed linen, printed and striped linen, together with washed and antique linens. You’ll also find in the racks an extensive range of woollen fabrics, velvets and also those difficult to find outdoor fabrics, catering to Australian’s love of the outdoors.

10. Tigger Hall Design

610 High Street, Prahran East –Ph: 9510 2255

Designer Tigger Hall needs no introduction to the interior design world. Her richly decorated store in High Street is well trodden by leading interior designers keen to find that just perfect fabric, wallpaper or rug. Tigger, who was the force behind ‘Como by Design’ held at Como House, offers an exquisite selection of fabrics, from prints and plains to sumptuous velvets, some striped, others embossed. Wallcoverings from Blithfield, Jean Monro, Kit Miles and Tyle Hall can also be found here, the latter having a subtle oriental aesthetic.

Images courtesy Brownlow Interior Design, Plane Tree Farm & South Pacific Fabrics

Although Barb Brownlow established Brownlow Interior Design 30 years ago, this sumptuously furnished store, facing Mathoura Road, appeared seven years ago, when Barb’s daughter Alexandra joined the business

If you are searching for fine bed and table linen, you need not look much further than Plane Tree Farm, retailing some of the world’s finest linen for over 30 years.


South Pacific Fabrics is a drawcard for interior designers who appreciate a point of difference. Stocking some of the finest, and often unusual textiles, wall coverings, trims and accessories, South Pacific is a treasure-trove of international companies and names associated with fashion’s haute couture, including the likes of Jean Paul Gaultier.

Lifestyle & Design

Be the first in the know

Receive the latest Kay & Burton property news delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe now No thanks!