The Vault was started by partners Phoebe Nicol and Jeremy Bowker as an online store for architects, interior architects and other design aficionados. The idea was to bring antiques into the 21st century.
Then in November 2017 the couple expanded into a bricks-and-mortar store in the design district of Rosebery. If you thought antiques were outdated and suitable only for classic homes, the modern space will make you think again. The Vault sells more than antiques ¬– everything from French and Italian furniture to contemporary Australian-made lighting and 1680s Spanish consoles to modern works of art.
The space is a large shop with two main rooms. In the front there are friezes and wooden floorboards. The back has polished concrete floors and big steel-framed glass windows. Its strength is its juxtaposition of clean and contemporary and quirky pieces. The balance the store finds between new and old.
The Vault initially focused on furniture, which the couple says was easier to buy and sell online. But the Rosebery showroom displays a variety of design items mixed with artwork, all of which represent a modern take on antiques.
Pieces are handmade and usually one-off and come via dealers who buy in Europe. The shop also finds its stock at secondhand market and auction houses.