The events of the last two years have made us deeply appreciative of our living spaces, especially in the role they play in creating a sense of solace and serenity indoors. Whether you live in an apartment, terrace or share house, something as simple as a new candle or set of cheese knives lovingly made from recycled tools can help make a house feel like home. To help you find interior design items that spark joy, here’s our guide to the best new lifestyle stores in Sydney.
Nash & Banks
This eco-friendly online marketplace recently opened a flagship store in Avalon Beach. It sells sustainably made vegan beauty products, organic cotton garments and minimal waste homewares. And each product adheres to at least one of Nash & Banks’s core values: ethical, sustainable, minimal waste, vegan, upcycled, giving back, organic and artisan. While the online marketplace features more than 3500 products, the store’s shelves are stocked with a “rolling curation” of only a handful of them. Some products are exclusively available in-store.
Ethics and sustainability are the focus for Elms founder Rebecca Elms, who opened her flagship boutique in Surry Hills late last year. Inside you’ll find a hand-picked range of homewares, books and children’s products designed for those interested in enduring and unique items over disposable trends. It sells printed bed linen by Castle, candles and home fragrances by Black Blaze, coloured-glass candlesticks from Sydney brand House of Nunu, and soy-wax candles by Posie. “We have done the hard work for you,” says Rebecca Elms. “We know where our products were made, by who and what they are made from.”
Sorry Thanks I Love You
This 300-square-metre space is the “culmination of years of reckless experimentation” for owners Caroline Ball and Ant White. Since launching Sorry Thanks I Love You online in 2013, the duo has run several pop-ups, including one on Westfield’s fourth floor and another in the GPO building in Martin Place, before landing the lower-ground spot. The amphitheatre-shaped space includes a cafe with a tight food and drink menu comprising Single O coffee, Botanical Signature tea and Loco Love’s vegan, spice-infused chocolates.
Beyond the cafe is a wonderland of fashion, accessories, homewares and gourmet food. There are candles by Astier de Villatte, which Ball explains are “handmade in a warehouse on the fringes of Paris”; new jewellery by Momoko Hatano, made from recycled silver and vintage pearls; and cheese knives shaped from recycled tools by Dog Boy, who also works as a vet. “We plan to change the display every week,” says Ball. “So there’ll always be new things to see.”
The Embassy is a beautiful Paddington perfumery dedicated to native Australian botanicals. After 25 years working as a commercial lawyer, owner Craig Andrade decided to sniff out a career change and enrolled at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in France. He spent several years studying the art of perfume making, then in 2017 founded The Raconteur, a Sydney fragrance brand specialising in natural botanical perfumes using Australian native plant extracts. “The goal was to celebrate the rich botanical diversity of our landscape and help to bring new fragrant oils to market,” he says. In-store, you can shop candles, fragrances and skincare, or book a workshop in the world of scent. “It’s a complete sensorial experience,” says Andrade.