Furniture is an absolute deal-breaker for any room in your home. Mismatch it to the colour scheme or the shape of the room and you’ll end have a house that you may as well demolish, only to start from scratch. The items you furnish your home with can also, potentially, stay with you for a lifetime, so investing in pieces that are going to see you through to the end is paramount every time you go shopping.
So rather than head to everyone’s favourite flatpack furniture paradise, next time you’re redecorating or looking for that last piece to put in your living room, think about buying something of genuine value. Better yet, think closer to home and invest in Australian furniture.
Buying from an independent furniture retailer will usually guarantee you or items that are handcrafted and made from solid materials, especially in the case of wooden furniture. You may have to pay for the premium, but you’ll reap the rewards in no time at all.
But just which Australian furniture brands should you be looking out for? Wonder no longer, as we’ve done the hard work for you and put together this definitive guide of the brands you should be adding to your shopping list.
Melbourne-based Tait was founded by a husband and wife team in 1992. Their vision was to create a range of outdoor furniture that would not only be able to withstand the varying and harsh climates Australia has to throw at us, but to look good while doing so. A fair amount of Tait's furniture employs a ventilated design to not only keep you cool while you sit down, but to help prevent it from holding water.
Dutch for 'sister,' Zuster was founded by, and subsequently run by sisters Wilhelmina McCarroll and Fleur Sibbel. Despite the Dutch name, Zuster’s manufacturing is based in Australia and managed by third sister Katrina Myers and father Meyer Sibbel. The family business began three generations ago in Holland, then migrated to our shores.
All Zuster furniture is handcrafted, with intricate bespoke detailing integrated into many of the designs. Expect to find a wide range of furniture within the Zuster collections, including beds, armchairs, dining tables, storage cabinets and more.
Ross Gardam is an Australian furniture and lighting company established in 2007. Each product is hand-crafted in Melbourne by local artisans, using a mixture of traditional craft techniques and high-end manufacturing technology. The result is a collection of elegant and accessible products designed for a contemporary audience - all beautiful, simple solutions to complex design problems. Ross Gardam is also known for incorporating sustainable design principles and efficient material use into his products.
Zaneti may have an Italian sounding name – and there's a good reason for that, it's Italian designed – but it's a wholly Australian furniture company committed to producing fun and colourful outdoor furniture. Not just to be a brand confined to the home (although, Zaneti's chairs and tables would look perfect around a pool) but its furniture is also well-suited to hospitality venues from cafes to bars to hotels.
Mark Tuckey the business has been 25 years in the making when Mark Tuckey, the man, started out with $200, a blue F-100 truck and some recycled timber picked up from building sites. His wife Louella came on board in 2005, marrying her background in furniture and interior design to the business Mark had already built. Together they rebranded as Mark Tuckey in 2006, and currently has a store in Melbourne and a Byron Bay location opening soon.
Timber dominates the Mark Tuckey collections, which cater for practically every room in the house save from the kitchen.
For more than 20 years, Jardan has been producing beautiful, well-made furniture in Melbourne. Each piece is custom made to exacting standards by a team of experienced craftspeople, headed up by brothers Nick and Mike Garnham. The dynamic company takes a collaborative approach to design that involves minimal machinery, exceptional precision, and sustainable sourcing and treatment of materials.
Endorsed with the Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) label since 2007, all Jardan pieces are accredited to the GECA Level A, the highest achievable standard.
Taking the French word for 'design', Dessein Furniture was founded in 2012 by Michele Chow, in response to rising demand for contemporary, uniquely styled, Australian-designed timber furniture. Dessein operates by a set of four guiding principles: Australian design, affordable quality, customer choice and sustainability. For its first collection, Dessein brought together Sydney-based craftsmen Jon Goulder and Adam Goodrum, and Melbourne-based industrial designer Justin Hutchinson, setting the brand well on the way towards its goal of becoming a strong platform for Australian designers.
If contemporary, on-trend furniture is what you're after, then you really should be checking out Nau. Nau is a luxury furniture brand that falls under the umbrella of Cult, a company that specialises in bringing thoughtfully designed pieces of furniture and lighting to Australia and New Zealand. The entire team of designers has been hand-picked from Australia, and all of whom share a curious and spirited attitude towards furniture design.
Seating and tables make up the bulk of Nau's collections, but it is also a place from where you can source a new bed or some pendant lighting.
ACT-based design studio SKEEHAN was founded in 2011 to serve customers from start to finish. If you have a specific idea for a piece of furniture you want in your home, SKEEHAN will be all too happy to work with you to make it a reality.
Of course, if you want something a bit quicker, the design studio has a core range of products available to purchase instead, should you wish. All products in all collections are impeccably crafted and entirely functional in their approach. The Nave armchair, for example, makes use of a simple frame design, with leather of fabric upholstery, making them suitable for practically any scenario.