"I think I just love beautiful things," Andrea Millar says of her motivations for opening Casa Boheme, her new concept store. "Things that are well made, designed and considered.” After 17 years working as an interiors stylist and writer, Millar wanted to channel her taste-making experience into a retail venture. "I came to a point in my life when I wanted to feel a sense of permanence," Millar tells us. "I felt a huge urge to open a concept store that I could source for."
The boutique, which opened in April, is in an airy, whitewashed building in the heart of Balmain. Millar, a Rozelle resident for almost 20 years, aims to establish Casa Boheme as a key fixture in the local retail landscape. Local artists can exhibit their work for free on the shop's walls and in the warmer months the store will include a courtyard space designed for lingering over complimentary coffee and cake. As well as this, Casa Boheme has an online store that ships internationally. "A 'community' can be many things now," Millar says. "It can be both a mindset as well as a physical place."
With a particular style in mind – clean, modern bohemian – Millar has brought together a variety of labels across fashion, homewares and beauty. “I literally kept post it notes and scrapbooks of labels, brands and products that I hoped to stock in my shop one day," Millar admits.
Some of her favourites are Lulu Yasmine, an Indonesian fashion brand with a fair-trade reputation, and Australian-based Spell Designs. The store also stocks tableware by Bitossi Home, Kate Spade stationery and Cousu de Fil Blanc soaps and candles. What the labels share is the same free-spirited aesthetic. “'Casa' means house in Spanish, and it's my mother tongue … Casa Boheme translates to 'bohemian house', which sits just perfectly with me," Millar says. "I've always felt I've had a bit of a bohemian spirit."
Casa Boheme 4 Montague Street, Balmain Hours Mon to Fri 10am–5:30pm Sat 10am–5pm Sun 11am–4pm