We love Melbourne creative scene deeply. You can find independent stores at every corners, next to some great cafes to take a break in between. We lived north side for several years, and like the left and right banks in Paris, once you've chosen your side, there is no coming back! Naturally, all our favourite stores are located north side in our favourite neighborhoods: Collingwood, Fitzroy and Preston.
1. Mud Australia
Fitzroy was lucky to welcome the first shop of the now famous Australian porcelain tableware brand almost three decades ago. Each beautiful piece is made in their Sydney factory by a team of talented ceramicists and artisans. The store located on the buzzing Gertrude Street and designed by Design Office, is absolutely gorgeous. The colourful pieces are beautifully displayed and the glaze catches the light elegantly. The options to create your dream dinner set are endless.
Must-have: The Large Pebble Bowl, to serve your most delicious salad.
Mud Australia, 181 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Image: Mud Australia
In the back streets of Collingwood, you'll find Cibi, a lovely Japanese cafe coupled with a homewares store where you'll discover many items carefully sourced by the owners in Japan. Have a nourishing traditional Japanese breakfast before discovering their homewares selection, cooking accessories such as incredible Japanese cooking knives and ceramic rice cooker, delicate glassware as well as some groceries (the yuzu miso is a must-try.). Right next door is the Plant Society to satisfy all your plant needs.
Must-have: A branded denim apron, made in Okayama, to cook in style.
Cibi, 33/39 Keele St, Collingwood VIC 3066
3. Modern Times
On the busy Smith St, you'll find Modern Times and their eclectic selection of vintage European pieces of design alongside some contemporary Australian artworks and ceramics. The result is a sophisticated ensemble, that looks like a cutting-edge gallery that nevertheless feels like home. You won't regret pushing the door of this incredible store, always at the forefront, to discover the latest Australian artists' works. The store is large and bright and gives an ample space to each piece for the visitor to appreciate them.
must-have: a blow glass piece by Amanda Dziedzic
Modern Times, 311 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Image: Melbourne Design Week 2021
Down the road, Tait will help you furnish your gardens, patios and terraces with stylish and colourful pieces designed to endure the harsh Australian climate. It's so inspiring to discover how to make the most of your garden and how you can enjoy it on a whole new level thanks to Tait's products. The store has been designed by Design Office, and is filled with light, creating a beautiful atmosphere that makes you want to have to sit on a sunlounge and drink a martini alfresco.
must-have: the Trace Drinks Trolley in your favourite powder coat colour.
Tait, 209 – 211 Smith Street, Fitzroy VIC 3065
5. The Hub General Store
The business end of Gertrude and Smith St is Cambridge Street where you can find the lovely redbrick facade of the Hub General Store. First of all, they offer fresh scones and freshly brewed tea or cordial every week-end for you to enjoy while visiting the store. What a treat. The first part of the store is dedicated to books covering a large array of subjects: cooking, design, architecture, lifestyle etc... In the second part, you'll discover a variety of vintage and utilitarian homewares to decorate and take care of your home. The soundtrack is always well chosen to set the mood.
Must-have: A Seljak Blanket or a Stansborough throw to warm you up in Winter.
The Hub General Store, 36 Cambridge Street, Collingwood VIC 3066
Image: the Loop
6. Pinky's store
If you need a dose of colour to brighten your day and lift up the mood, visit Pinky's Store and soak all the joy you can. Pinky's Store is the mutual project of designer Emily Green and stylist Beckie Littler. Together, they have selected a large variety of beautiful products from jewellery, puzzles and postcards to candle holders, bath towels and skincare products to treat yourself and the ones you love.
Must-have: A couple of Studio Arhoj's little ceramic ghosts for your kids room or to keep on display in your living room.
Pinky's Store, 28 Gilbert Road, Preston VIC 3072, Australia