The Japanese are renowned for creating modern and innovative products using traditional techniques: porcelain vases resembling paper bags, wacky stationery, and accessories featuring hand-blown glass ornaments.
Monolab brings this spirit to the top of Toorak Road. Owners Sonia Zhang and Ian Jin were born in China and discovered Japanese crafts while studying in Japan. As they explored different places they realised each region brings something special to the table.
Monolab stocks porcelain by Arita, glassware from Tokyo; metal from Takaoka; and furoshiki (traditional Japanese wrapping) from Kyoto. Each collection has a story.
The space is neat, organised and light. All its pieces are perfectly placed, so the store has a feeling of symmetry and peace, with ornaments hanging and plenty of space to roam around. As you do, you can read about the history of each collection and where it comes from.
One of our favourites: “Established in 1922, Kotodo Takahashi Corporation has been creating handmade tea canisters for over 90 years. Wrapped in traditional washi paper, the soft textures and patterns help to bring a feeling of warmth.”
Monolab makes buying gifts easy and its pieces can lift any room in your house, but be aware: this sort of quality comes with a price tag.