Today we’d like to introduce you to Anna and Wayne, the founders behind furniture and homewares stores Curious Grace.
Being a supporter of the shop small campaign, we thought it was only fitting to profile the husband and wife duo behind the ah-mazing brand. Plus we have an unhealthy obsession with homewares and will get any chance to talk about them!
With Anna’s background in furniture design and many years experience as a photographic stylist, it’s no fluke the stores are styled to perfection. Wayne, with his technical background, takes care of the business management and administration. A partnership that’s clearly working!
We caught up with Anna to find out more about their story and to get her top tips for interior decorating for the year ahead.
Related article: Ultimate Melbourne shopping guide: Where to shop for the home in Melbourne
Related article: How to style your dining table (when it’s not being eaten at!)
Tell us about Curious Grace and how you got started.
“We started over 3 years ago selling original vintage industrial pieces, art, homewares and gifts, along with our Karpenter Vintage furniture range and licensed Grant Featherston chairs — they were designed in the 1950s and are still made in Melbourne!
“Curious Grace is really an evolution of ideas and we continue to develop as new ideas and directions inspire us,” says Anna.
How would you say Curious Grace has evolved since you started?
“When we started, it was a quirky mix but reflected our own personal style and beliefs.
“Since then we have broadened our range of beautiful timber furniture, wall art, homewares and linen.
“Our style is possibly more developed and even clearer now.”
All of your pieces are so beautiful, many with a Scandinavian design, does that reflect your personal style?
“Thank you. Yes, it definitely does have a Scandi-inspired influence which we both love.
“It will always, most likely, peek through in some way or another as Scandinavian form and design is simply timeless.
“At the same time we aren’t purists and like to mix pieces of different design senses.
“I make all the buying decisions on a day to day basis. All ranges are trialled and have to tick a number of boxes for it to be ranged.
“I’m relieved to have Wayne there to tame me at certain times, when I have some wild ‘Alice in Wonderland’ inspired crazy buying moments!” laughs Anna.
“At the end of the day, the look and feel of the brand and its content is fully generated by both of us.”
It’s great to see you supporting many Australian makers and designers, who are some of the upcoming talents you are working with?
“It’s important to us that we continue to support Australian makers, designers and artists.
“Ruby Pilven is an amazing ceramic maker and we have her latest range of vases in store.
“Val Butterworth of The Mod Collective exclusively stocks her lighting with us and she has some amazing prototypes we photographed recently.
“We also are excited about having a very local supply of beautiful new artworks in our recently opened Clifton Hill store.
“The store is situated on the ground floor of an old industrial building in Clifton Hill and we have two floors of talented neighbouring artists’ studios. Another reason we wanted to house Curious Grace in that location.”
What do you look for when selecting pieces for your stores?
“It’s something that is essentially intrinsic to us and our brand and hard to really describe as a process.
What is your favourite product in store right now?
“It’s hard to restrict it to just one! Hmmm… Probably, though, it would be our new Ethnicraft Nordic Oak Sideboard, our French leather safari chairs, and our camel grey merino sheepskins.”
[That’s cheating but given their huge range we’ll allow it! 😉 ]
Can you tell us three design trends you’re predicting for the year ahead?
“Palette wise, more subdued tones.
“And I’m still loving the mix of copper, brass and gold and deco influence that’s been coming through and I think this will continue along with lots of marble and leather.
“It’s refreshing and a little bit luxe!”
What are three sources of design inspiration for you?
“I have many blogs and mags I try to get time to read.
“It’s tricky maintaining that research time while managing my side of the business and travelling nationally and overseas searching for new items!
“I would say Pinterest and design blogs are a great way to stay in touch globally, but we both try to stay across the local mags as we really appreciate them and their Australian content.”
What goals do you have for Curious Grace in the future?
“More stores, lots of staff loving working for us, continuing to stock great products while inspiring creativity in artists and makers who work with us and most importantly, our clients happy and keen to keep coming back.
“With some yet to be revealed little things here and there… to keep us all on our toes!”
If you’re in search of new furniture, homewares, art or even a special Christmas gift, it’s worth your time to check out Curious Grace. Their Yarraville and Clifton Hill stores are open 7 days or you can shop online at curiousgrace.com.au