Best kitchen and tableware shops in Australia
Author: Georgia Bean and Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Andrew Finlayson, Courtesy of Dinosaur Designs
Shelley Simpson and James Kirton's porcelain dinnerware graces the tables of some of Australia's most stylish households, and it's not hard to see why. Their handcrafted creations, which range from bowls and plates to jugs and carafes, tea and coffee vessels, vases and cookware, are as delicate as they come, in colours ranging from the edgy (yellow, duck-egg blue, orange) to the neutral (white, black, grey). At their Woollahra showroom you'll find all their classics, as well as placemats and table-runners from New York designer Sandy Chilewich and artisan wooden chopping boards from Philadelphia brand Oil Often. There's also a Melbourne store at 181 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy.
What to buy The pretty (and extremely versatile) "Pebble" bowls are a great place to start your Mud portfolio.
Country Road's on-trend homeware collection holds broad appeal and has done since it launched 26 years ago. The tableware offering is concise; the autumn-winter range is a study in modern minimalism in muted tones of pink, mint and dusty yellow mixed with marble, light-oak and brass accents. Look for serving platters, chopping boards, cutlery and linen - new items are dropped into the collection each month.
What to buy The Toast stemware, particularly the Champagne flute, is a great shape. The "Cumulus" tumbler is the perfect all-rounder. 1800 801 911
The arrival of this mid-market American brand was a boon for homeware enthusiasts. The versatile label was created 12 years ago to offer stylish and affordable pieces for inner-city dwellers. While the furniture range is extensive, West Elm also does good lines in kitchen and tabletop pieces, especially bar accessories, table linen, cutlery, dinnerware and servingware. West Elm has stores in Sydney's Bondi Junction and Melbourne's Chapel Street, and is set to open in Chatswood Chase in August, and in Chadstone at the end of the year.
What to buy Check out the copper bar tools or brass Twig cutlery. 1800 239 516
What's not to love about a brand that has carried us through from our first shared apartment to kitting out our kids' rooms with the most on-trend Swedish design? You might not immediately think of Ikea for tableware, but they do a great line in funky everyday pieces. Dinnerware range 365+, which has long been a bestseller, is now available in a selection of soft pastel colours and the matching cookware is worth a look, too. And it's all very keenly priced.
What to buy The "Vattentät" stainless-steel kettle with whistle is a steal at $15. We also like the Arv dinnerware range.
Australian innovator Dinosaur Designs constantly explores new shapes and colour opportunities with its signature resin pieces. A visit to any of the stores is met with an explosion of wild colour combinations, and the new collection Seed Pod is no exception. For the first time, brass and silver have been incorporated into the homewares range, including incense-holders and the Seed Pod dish. The coloured resin salad bowl and salad servers are as Australian as a pavlova at a barbecue and the perfect gift for overseas friends.
What to buy The salad bowl and servers are must-haves.
It might be jewellery that springs to mind when it comes to this luxury Danish brand but Georg Jensen also stocks striking kitchen items and timeless keepsakes for the table. Notable designers include Arne Jacobsen and more recently Ilse Crawford. Vases, pitchers, bowls, cutlery and salad servers have "perfect wedding or birthday gift" written all over them.
What to buy Ilse Crawford's small bowl and candle-holder are top of our list. Oh, and Arne Jacobsen's 1950s matte steel servers.
Domayne is a homewares powerhouse and its offerings span everything from entry-level essentials to upmarket luxe. Take their exclusive dinnerware line with Royal Doulton, for example, or their collaboration with Robert Gordon, which includes pastel-dipped plates and bowls and a barista-inspired range of little milk bottles, jugs and espresso cups modelled on takeaway coffee vessels. Their house-designed lines offer top-end choices, too: cake stands in metallic silver, black and gold; coloured glass carafes; boldly patterned plates inspired by Africa; and gold lattice trays perfect for happy hour.
What to buy Royal Doulton's Mode dinnerware adapts seamlessly to midweek supper or a dinner party.
BEST ONLINE BOUTIQUES
We've got a soft spot for online shopping, too. If you can't get to the bricks and mortar stores of West Elm and Safari Living you can buy their excellent range of products on the web. Look to West Elm for fun dinnerware, linen and cooking utensils with affordable price-tags to boot. Safari Living, on the other hand, is your go-to for all the big designer brands: Missoni, Marimekko and Tom Dixon among them. Melbourne-based Bonnie & Neil is your destination for gorgeous handpainted table fabrics, and bright and bold ceramics, while French favourite Merci is a trove of chic diningware, from enamel plates to striped linen table napkins and vintage cutlery. The tabletop department at Leif delivers the likes of handcrafted trivets, coasters, servingware and trays in all manner of kooky shapes, colours and designs.