Melbourne furniture maker Jardan has opened its first interstate flagship. The thoughtfully renovated building on Oxford Street was home to Ariel Booksellers for more than 30 years, but its new occupant is already feeling very much at home.
“There’s been a really great community vibe here already,” says director and designer Nick Garnham. “The neighbours have been dropping by to check in on us while we’ve been building, making us feel very welcome.”
Jardan’s furniture is handcrafted in Melbourne from native woods and textiles from some of the world’s finest producers. Patagonian throws and Italian wool cushions combine with the company’s signature modernist-inspired sofas, chairs and tables to create spaces that are comfortable and approachable.
“Our furniture is designed for the Australian lifestyle,” says Garnham. “It alludes to our outdoorsy culture and is built to last a lifetime.”
The company also works with local artists and craftspeople to stock the store with trinkets and artworks that complement the furniture. Wood-carved T-shirts by sculptor Toby Pola and photographs of Australian landscapes by Kane Alexander complete the store’s inventory.
Although the space’s redesign remains sympathetic to the building’s Art Deco roots, inspiration is found in the work of some of Sydney’s most influential art-world families. “[Well-known interior designer] Marion Hall Best ran a store with her daughter not too far from here, so it’s cool to reference her work in the store’s design,” Garnham says. “We’ve taken our cues from the work of Brett Whiteley and the Olsen family Dinosaur Designs."
A gigantic skylight drenches the entire three floors of the store in light. Subtle pastels of blue, pink and green colour the walls and the magnificent new staircase. Designed by architect Iva Foschia, the space provides a context for the company’s products that feels more like a home than a showroom.
Upstairs, a lounge room looks onto a sunny vista outside to create a Whiteley-esque scene. A palm tree brushes against the window and white sails dot the emerald harbour in the distance. “I love the view from this spot,” says Garnham, leaning against a sideboard. “It couldn’t be anywhere else in the world.”