The Design files Open House 2017

Today I visited the Design files Open House in Melbourne a temporary pop up shopping showcase of local design – a feast for the eyes!

Open this Saturday and Sunday  10am – 5pm

Collingwood Arts Precincts* (former Collingwood TAFE Campus)
35 Johnston Street

Photos Jason Grant

now open – newrybar merchants

Recently whilst in Byron Bay I had a little preview of Newrybar Merchants just before it opened. Its a special place, an awesome retail space.

Newrybar Merchants is a collective of some of local creative artisans and curators of fine goods who are passionate about what they do. Honouring the space and the essence of the Byron Bay Hinterland, Newrybar Merchants enables customers to experience rustic charm effortlessly blended with sophistication within a beautiful and unique retail space.

The charming 1890s dwelling that houses the Newrybar Merchants is nestled in the historic town of Newrybar, 15 minutes drive from the beaches of Byron Bay. The dream for creators Zane Grier from Driftlab and Todd Miller from Zieglerbuild, a designer and builder from Brisbane, was to co-create a collaborative concept store that was to bring like minded people with a passion for what they do together in a way that compliments the old world charm of the village.

Head in to see wares from Sibella Court, Driftlab, Shannon Fricke, Jai Javiseck, Beautiflora a florist, artist – Diana Miller, as well as a great leather maker Wolf & Maiden, Tigmi Trading which sells beautiful and unique berber rugs, artefacts and art from Morocco and around the globe will all be sharing this space which is being transformed into a destination design hub. Harvest Cafe  ( just across the road) are also opening a permanent coffee cart out the front.

Newrybar Merchants will provide an exciting addition to the already bustling village of Newrybar which features the popular Harvest Café & Deli and Driftlab. It will be sure to become a destination for those seeking a unique retail experience in one of the most beautiful parts of the world.

Newrybar Merchants is located at 19 Old Pacific Highway, NSW (the site of the old Antique store) over the road from Harvest Café. Opening Hours: 9am – 5pm Monday – Sunday.

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MJG shop small

As an interior stylist working across styling shoots for books, brands and magazines, along with private residential clients, it’s my job to hunt out new and exciting places to shop, especially among the smaller shops.

I love small shops, independent retailers opening businesses that reflect their style and personality.  These stores are often the hidden gems that I love to uncover. Small stores offer a personal touch and a refined edit, I have many of these stores in my black book to hit when required. I find they are often more specific, local and often have hard to find one of a kind items.

Discovering new exciting places to shop is one of the fun aspects of what I do, whether it’s via Instagram or word of mouth, I’m always on the hunt,finding new stores that offer a new shopping experience.

I’m excited to be involved with this year’s Shop Small movement, founded by American Express. In support of all the amazing things that small businesses do for us, the Shop Small Movement encourages people to go out there and give local small businesses what they need the most – more customers.

Did you know? At participating small businesses across the country throughout November, American Express Card Members will receive $10 credit when they spend $20 or more, up to ten times during the month.

Here I’m sharing some of my favourite small stores that I visit often. There are always more small stores to discover, so take a look at some of my favourite small businesses on my personal Shop Small map


Scout House

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One of my most favourite Melbourne stores, and a small store not lacking in personality. Head here to find homewares, lighting, gifts, furniture and more. A mixture of new and vintage, there is something here for everyone. When owner Orlando opened his store, I visited shortly after and we have become best of friends. He and his staff not only offer an excellent selection but also friendly service. If you’re looking for something for your home or a gift this is the place to head.




Tait offer one of the best locally made (made in Melbourne) collection of predominately outdoor furniture. Collaborating with a number of other local designers their collection is simple, modern and inspiring. Head here to sort out your outdoor space, big or small.

The Society Inc.


Super stylist and my friend Sibella Court’s store alike to other, is filled with one of a kind hand-picked items all for the home. She has an eye like no other (take a look at her books for inspiration) Her large warehouse style shop space is always packed with items large and small including artworks, hardware, furniture homewards and more, all with a found, natural point of view.

Design Farm 

designFARM Front

A small independent retailer but big on design, Perth’s premiere design hub for furniture, homewares, lighting and more. Located in the Perth CBD, Design Farm offers Western Australia’s leading range of design brands for the home.



The original Paddington gift shop, having recently moved to a bigger and better building, it’s a big small store and a family run business since 1968. It’s the perfect store to go for gifts, books, homewares, cards , furniture and homewares, with over 2 levels it’s a huge, big store filled with wonderful things.

Small Spaces



A small store by name, focusing on living in small spaces, owner Sarhs’ store is light, bright and white, with a hand-picked edit of art, furniture and other decor items all designed for modest sized living.

Flamingo Merchant

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A Bondi favourite, owner Elvie offers a colourful mix of fashion and home decor items sourced by herself from near and far. Head into this store to be transported somewhere else.

Safari Living


A small store with big brands, head here for a carefully curated edit of top brands such as Missoni Home, Tom Dixon, Muuto, Marrimekko and more. Offering a large collection in a small space this is the perfect store to furnish your home or find that perfect gift.

Eco Gardens Bondi


It’s no secret I love plants especially indoors plants. I love supporting local small businesses and Eco Garden Bondi offer a great election of plants, pots and gardening items. I pop in often sourcing plants here for clients, shoots and our home.

Dea Store 


The Dea Store offers a carefully curated selection of homewares with a strong focus on table ware. Head here for interesting ceramics, glassware and all kinds of things for your table.

Chee Soon & Fitzgerald 



The original Surry Hills design store now located in the even cooler Redfern. Head here for a mix of old and new. With design classics like Marimekko and Iitala, along with an extensive fabric selection loads of gifts and homewares.

Head into these stores today! I would love to hear about your favourite small interior store too – feel free to tag me and #ShopSmallAU on Instagram !


Click here to see my Shop Small Map and some of my favourite Small stores


opus paddington

Opus Paddington is that iconic green boutique that first opened its doors on Paddington’s Oxford Street way back in 1968. 47 years later, the brand is Australia’s biggest lifestyle store offering an eclectic mix of homewares, gifts and lifestyle items sourced by its expert team from around the world.

The entrepreneurial Tourgelis family has been at the helm of OPUS for over four decades, through the retail booms and the tough times (including Paddington’s recent struggles). They continue to move forward – team OPUS opening its brand new refurbished Paddington store The heritage building has been modernized inside across three spacious floors, while still retaining the traditional Paddington heritage of the exterior. With more space comes an even larger selection of premium lifestyle products and collections, head in store to find all kinds of gifts, furniture, homewards and books – including mine!

Opus 354 Oxford St Paddington

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MJG 7 bedroom decorating tips

Winter is here and the bedroom is the perfect place for a little seasonal update. I prefer to keep things simple when decorating a bedroom. Once you have the basics sorted, such as bed, bedside table, storage and lighting its time to get decorating…

Here are my simple tips when decorating in the bedroom especially in winter…

1. inject colour – Add a little or a lot. Im a big fan of introducing colour into the home, currently I’m loving pastel shades of mint or ocean sea foams – updating your bedlinen instantly updates the look and feel of your bedroom – its as simple as that!

2. play with pattern and texture – pattern and texture add visual interest to any room – why not add a statement blanket to add personality to your bed.

3. display – your bed side table is the perfect canvas for a little display – but don’t forget all your essentials. A tray is the perfect answer to contain all your things and makes for the framework for a bedside vignette.

4. add layers – the colder months make for the prefect time to add blankets, cushions and throw practical and easy on the eye too. Layer it up!

5. Keep it personal – Your bedroom should be your sanctuary for rest and relaxation, so surround yourself with things that make you smile, a collection of things that mean something to you. Fresh flowers beside the bed always makes me smile.

6. Splurge – its ok to splurge on quality bed linen (really!) I’m a big fan of natural materials such as cotton and linen, I love how they feel against the skin.

7. Try it on – just as you would when shopping for clothes, check the colour of the bedlinen against your skin – sometimes bed linen is the only thing that you are wearing and it should make you look and feel great!

Sponsored post for Country Road styled by MJG shot on location

Photography Jacqui Turk

All items (bed linen, blanket, cushions, cup, candles and timber tray, vase  and timber boxes) featured are all available now from Country Road in store and online so you can shop the look now



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flamingo merchant bondi


One of my favourite local small businesses is Flamingo Merchant A colourful store  filled with a collection of fashions and items for the home. The store feels like a collection of colours, patterns and texture with touches of tropical and tribal vibes.

Flamingo Merchant Shop 1 284 Bondi Road Bondi Follow them on Instagram here

Photography Mr Jason Grant

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“12” great sofas


Apologies up front as I could only narrow it down to 13 – the feature is “12 great ” and I usually prefer odd over even and 13 is unlucky for some  but hey!

This week I have hunted out 13 (whoops!) great sofas that are fun, comfortable, classic or retro there’s something for every taste and budget. Sourced mainly from here in Australia with a few friends from The USA.

Click on the links below for more details . What’s the most important thing in a Sofa for me? Hands down comfort! I love sofa time at home.

1 The Quadrant Soft sofa is super cool ( and I have a few pieces at home that i love!) from Koskela

2 Bank Sofa from Bludot Australia or Bludot USA is streamlined and super sexy in velvet  3 The super comfortable Banjo Sofa from MCM House

IMG_72324 Modern yet comfortable The Wilfred Sofa from Jardan is a future classic  5 Inject colour and pattern with this bold and bright the Boss Sofa from Arthur G


6 Colourful and cool in my favourite shade the Knoppard Sofa from Ikea 7 Retro styling Jazz sofa from Oz Design


8 Classic low and square The Felix Sofa from King Furniture 9 Shapley and cool The Jonathan Adler Arden Sofa from Coco Republic


10 Simple and no fuss The Signature Sofa Freedom 11 Americana The Livingston Sofa West Elm Australia or West Elm USA

Image-112 Tan leather is sexy! as is the Klassik Sofa from Great Dane Furniture 13 Old fashion yet modern The Scout Sofa from Scout House