In Swedish, Fred means peace. It’s also the name that Michael Liira chose for his business in 2007, bringing the best of Scandinavian homewares design to Australia. Here, Liira says, Fred means “a bloke, a nice guy, trying to make an honest living by bringing a little bit of joy to your lovely home”.
The company’s new showroom, recently opened at The Cannery on Dunning Avenue in Rosebery, is the perfect mixture of both translations – a peaceful space full of original, minimal design, intelligently curated and honestly purveyed. “We are driven by authentic, original design and what we personally fall in love with,” Liira says of the business.
What started as his private obsession has turned into a booming operation. Fred International represents a total of 11 brands, from the iconic Karl Andersson (a family-owned firm founded in 1898) and Swedese, to conceptual furniture company Mitab and lighting by Ruben. “All of our partners work with the best and brightest architects and product designers, so each year they are regularly launching fresh, innovative and timeless products.”
This particularly Scandinavian quality – which merges ingenuity with simplicity – is translated seamlessly into Fred’s new showroom space. The light-filled, airy space, designed by Dana Tomic Hughes of Yellowtrace, acts as a blank canvas for the furniture, homewares and lighting. A neutral colour palette of whitewashed walls and polished concrete floors provides a clean contrast to the pops of colour from a Swedese sofa or the ‘Montmartre’ chair and table by Mitab. Artwork by I Need Nice Things completes the space.
“Rosebery has really emerged as the new creative hub in Sydney,” says Liira. “It’s such a nice fit for Fred to be surrounded by design, great food, coffee and fashion.” Located literally right next to Kitchen by Mike and the Koskela compound, Fred seems to have found the perfect home.
Fred international ships Australia-wide.