Designstuff, by Danish-born Christina Fedders, is stocked with beautiful furniture and homewares from all over the world.
It may be difficult to believe now, but when Fedders first started the business five years ago – heavily pregnant and working out of the granny flat in her backyard – the clean lines, elegance and simplicity of Scandinavian furniture weren’t anywhere near as easy to find in Australia as they are now.
With a background in the fashion industry, and travelling regularly, it was a niche Fedders felt primed to fill. “I always tended to pick up homewares when I went past Europe on a business trip,” she says. After going on maternity leave she decided to do something to bring that European style a little bit closer.
In the years since, Designstuff has grown from a backyard project to an online business to finally, earlier this year, a light-filled showroom in St Kilda.
“We probably looked for six to eight months to find the right place,” says Fedders. In the end it was the natural light that clinched the deal. “It’s not big, but it’s got five-and-a-half-metre glass windows on two sides.”
The pastel-hued space is by interior designer Angela Harry. “It’s quite elegant but it’s down to earth at the same time,” Fedders says. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously. And we’re not afraid to play with colour.”
It’s filled with everything from plants, bathroom items and artworks to lamps, throw blankets and children’s toys. Everything that makes it into the shop is carefully hand-picked.
“Every product we buy has to have a purpose,” says Fedders. “We put a lot of emphasis on the function of a product. It’s not just another vase or another pot.”
While the showroom has an overall Scandinavian aesthetic, Fedders also supports local makers – such as Melbourne-based design studio Middle of Nowhere, and Sydney’s Zakkia, which makes homewares using natural materials and raw finishes – as well as other international creatives. Contemporary, stackable mouth-blown glasses are from Copenhagen-based Ferm Living. An oak-and-brass lamp from Spanish lighting company Marset is portable and rechargeable.
“Most of what we sell in some way will, we think, enhance your life,” Fedders says. “There has to be a story behind it too.”
3–5 St Kilda Road, St Kilda
(03) 8598 9700
Mon to Fri 9am–5pm