When Tait outgrew its Johnston Street showroom in 2016, it didn’t move very far. The flagship on Smith Street, designed by Mark Simpson and Damien Mulvihill of DesignOffice, is only a short walk from Tait’s original home.
Husband and wife team Gordon and Susan Tait established their eponymous brand in 1992. Their sleek outdoor furniture – manufactured in Thornbury – is designed to withstand any weather conditions. Their pieces are simple, smart and often playful (think burnt-orange powder-coated bar carts, and a Pick N’ Mix series featuring table and bench legs in vibrant geometric shapes).
DesignOffice’s fit-out references a variety of Australian outdoor living contexts, with lounges and sofas placed on timber decking or grey brick paving. Greenery has been placed strategically throughout the showroom to create dappled light with leafy shadows, and you’ll spot a requisite Australian barbeque in the middle of the store as soon as you enter. The walls have been painted in green, blue and yellow to reflect the Australian landscape – trees, the sea and the sun.
The use of custom joinery and fixtures echoes Tait’s craftsmanship and focus on details. And while the timber decks won’t grey off as they would outside, there’s a sense of light and airiness as you move through the various zones of the showroom.