WHETHER YOU’RE settling in to your first bachelor pad, furnishing your space in a share house or taking the plunge with your partner, creating a space that feels distinctly yours is one of the most rewarding things you can do. And if you can afford it, avoiding big box stores and identikit flat-pack furniture for something more sustainable, ethical and well-made will pay dividends in the long-run, ensuring not only that whatever you buy won’t end up in landfill in 2 years time, but as an heirloom piece that’ll grow in character as the years go on.
Knowing where to start, with both online stores and boutique designers seemingly everywhere, is half the battle. So we’ve put together an introductory list of Aussie-based designers and manufacturers catering to every budget and aesthetic so you can live life well-furnished, no matter your digs.
Koala sprung into the consciousness of Aussie millennials as the revolutionary thinkers delivering insanely comfortable mattresses in insanely small boxes. Since then, however, they’ve emerged into a fully-fledged Aussie furniture juggernaut, expanding their range not just to a huge variety of mattresses and bed bases for different budgets, but furniture for the entire house founded on the ethos of clever features and clean design that has a distinctly modern Australian aesthetic. Case in point: the brand’s new Beauty sofa bed, which might be the cleanest-looking and most innovative on the market.
Temple & Webster
Temple & Webster has essentially become for the home what The Iconic has become for Aussie wardrobes, now stocking everything from homewares to kitchen appliances. What the store has always been renowned for, however, is its sleek yet affordable core range of furniture, designed to cater for the budgets of younger buyers without skimping on quality or aesthetics.
Jardan has quickly become one of Australia’s most desirable upper-end furniture makers since it developed from a simple upholstery manufacturer at the turn of the century. Now acclaimed for the relaxed and playful nature of its pieces, Jardan fuses clean lines with organic curves and sculptural touches to perfectly meld both retro and modern sensibilities. Every piece is made locally in Melbourne, too.
A unique proposition in Aussie furniture, Holy Funk isn’t’ strictly a designer, but instead works with a curated range of celebrated designers and manufacturers to sell high quality furniture ranging from the Scandi-inspired to the industrial under its own name. Dark woods, metals and deep colours are Holy Funk’s signature aesthetic, but they also make clean pieces for more coastal-inspired surrounds. No matter your preference, however, everything they sell is made from high-quality, sustainably-sourced timber.
Having furnished the homes of Australia’s upper crust for decades, Coco Republic is well and truly a fixture in some of the nation’s finest homes and widely available thanks to its nationwide network of showrooms and cafes. Refined luxury is and always will be the mantra of Coco Republic, with pieces designed to fit effortlessly in everything from opulent country piles to clean coastal properties (and everything in between).
Renowned for its stony, classical aesthetic, En Gold has expanded beyond its specialty range of sculptural marble and stone furniture and now offers everything from rugs to homewares and storage solutions. The brand has never lost sight of its key DNA though, incorporating the timeless elegance of stone wherever it can and employing a skilled team of artisans in the Philippines to create sustainable jobs in underdeveloped communities.
Mast is a collective of five different designers and studios from across Brisbane to make some of the city’s most design-forward furniture. Designing and manufacturing their entire range locally, they’re a favourite among Australia’s art and design buffs, having penned pieces for the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the NGV, and even the Australian Embassy in Washington DC—however, their permanent range of tables, beds and seating is both timeless and distinctive.
A forward-thinking Aussie brand that applies its progressive ethos to everything from its design language to its ethical code, Reddie applies a versatile, modern aesthetic with a distinctive twist to its furniture. Where the brand is revolutionary, however, is in the control it has over its production process from the raw materials to the showroom floor, putting together its very own production team in Indonesia to ensure every one of its pieces is made with as much kindness to people and planet as possible and working almost exclusively with recycled and reclaimed materials.
Having established themselves as one of Melbourne’s favourite furniture makers since its founding in 2012, RJ is unique not for its modern, luxurious aesthetic, but the sheer amount of different pieces it now offers without compromising on quality. Their online store stocks a huge range of both local and international designers across the furniture and lifestyle space, but the RJ Living collection that started it all is as strong as ever, still designed by the company’s own team in Melbourne and perfectly fitting the modern Australian design language that remains enduringly popular.