Danish design brand (and Sydney cult favourite) Hay has put down roots in Melbourne, opening an eclectic new store on the corner of Napier and Johnston streets in Fitzroy.

Founded in Denmark in 2002, Hay arrived in Australia in 2015 with a Sydney flagship in partnership with Cult Design. After expanding to a bigger Darlinghurst location in early 2022, its
authentic Danish furniture and affordable, offbeat gifts have arrived in Melbourne.

“Opening the Melbourne store felt natural – it probably would’ve been open earlier if not for Covid,” Cult Design founder Richard Munao tells Broadsheet. “We were able to find a fantastic space in Fitzroy … it was a nice blank canvas we could work with.”

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Wrapping the exterior is a vibrant geometric mural by local artist Jasmine Mansbridge, while inside you’ll feel like you’re stepping into someone’s (extremely tasteful) open-plan apartment. Shop bold blue sofas by Doshi Levien; quirky, colourful vases by designers such as Ingrid Aspen and Wang & Soderstrom; and all sorts of smart textiles and glassware. But the best part about Hay is that you can find bespoke designer furniture and accessories without breaking the bank.

“The whole notion of beautiful design at an affordable price is one of the things we’re known for,” Munao says. “When we opened the Sydney store, we wanted to … show that you can buy good quality products at good pricing, and you don’t have to buy replicas.”

As he recently told Broadsheet, “You can obviously buy things a lot cheaper than what’s at Hay, but the idea was to show you that you don’t necessarily have to go to the very top end of town to find original quality design.”

Other new releases you’ll find here include curvy Bruno Rey chairs, nifty portable lamps by Studio 0405, and a wide range of sleek outdoor furniture from Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Another feature of the store’s fresh design is a custom retail counter made using predominately recycled materials by plastic-recycling company Defy Design.

The 160-square-metre layout took inspiration from Hay’s Copenhagen flagship, while also adding a touch of Melbourne. And the launch comes at the same time as Hay celebrates its milestone 20th anniversary – which it’s also marking with the release of a book in collaboration with creative-arts publisher Phaidon. Featuring essays, interviews with top designers and hundreds of images, it showcases the brand’s best designs.

“When you go to Copenhagen, that whole experience of walking through the store … we were trying to create [that here],” says Munao. “But our view has always been to also look at the local market and make sure that the experience is more local.”

Hay Shop Melbourne
176 Johnston Street, Fitzroy

Mon to Fri 10am–6pm
Sat & Sun 10am–5pm