Monday, December 7, 2015

Mariana Spirit of Design

Away from the glitzy and party end of the Gold Coast is a lovely area to the north called Paradise Point. The shopping precinct consists of a couple of blocks with boutique shops and cafes. 

A newcomer to the strip and not yet 12 mths old is the gorgeous Mariana Spirit of Design. The lady behind the store is Gold Coast local Karen Collins and she started the store to showcase the Mariana brand of jewellery she stocks.

She came across the jewellery on a trip to Israel. She now travels regularly sourcing the best pieces to suit her thriving Australian and New Zealand market.

The fitout design was Karen's idea and she is very happy that it has come up exactly how she imagined it. The white interior and illuminated display voids work extremely well to highlight the jewellery and the stones and Swarovski crystals sparkle and pop with colour.

Karen has also added homewares to her shop which helps attract another layer of customers. In the future she may even branch into home decorating.

There are lots of beautiful things to look at all through the store and the displays show the great eye of Karen and her staff.

The fresh coastal vibe prevails through out the store. With much to look at don't hurry, slow your pace and enjoy this gem in a beautiful part of the Gold Coast.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Market Room Logan Hyperdome

The new food precinct at the Hyperdome has been open for a few months now. I love these types of retail zones. Many large centres are constructing these precincts as their draw cards. The common format is a mix of fresh food grocers, bakers, some dine in cafes and usually a florist as well. 

The dine in cafes nicely compliment the after hours trading and cinemas and the fresh food satisfies our primal urge to forage and gather food for our family. I think the "choosing and gathering" elements are what is at the heart of the success of many of these food precincts.

The Hyperdome draws on a full spectrum of socio economics from the surrounding areas. The addition of the Market Room has added a choice that previously wasn't available. Whilst budget conscious shoppers can still go to the multiple supermarkets, the Market Room could be seen as offering a more upmarket option or to satisfy that special occasion when you do want to select from a more upmarket range.

Won Ton Ton is located at the original end that joins the centre and near the exit door is a simple donut store.

Not all sites filled at the initial opening but the centre has used food themed space fillers and created an area for cooking demonstrations and presentations.

The food hall is has a dark ceiling and utilizes lots of specialty lighting which nicely highlights the produce.

I hope Market Room does well as I think it was a much needed lift to the Hyderdome. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Tres Noosa

I came across this shop recently on a trip to Noosa. It's located in Noosa Junction.

The shop stocks homeware, decor, clothing and features lots of shells and driftwood accented by sea blue/ azure, but the first thing that caught my eye was the beach sand all around the floor.

It's really cool and seems to be well controlled despite my experience with beach sand. I always get my sand from one end of the holiday apartment to the next including in the bedsheets- yuck. Combined with the concrete polished floor the feel is au natural. 

The thing I loved most about this shop was that the fitout was pretty much done all by the owner. That always gets big brownie points in my book. You can tell she is creative and arty and such simple but clever ideas have turned ordinary into eye catching and fantastic. The counter is such an example. The threaded driftwood and shells create a new look for the trestle table.

What most people would consider beach flotsam she has collected and used to create atmosphere for no cost.  How many times have we all seen washed up coconuts? But in mass they look great. 

More driftwood and leaves have been incorporated into display for back drops and display platforms.
Top marks to an innovative retailer!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


I love the serendipity that comes with taking a new route and exploring different areas.
Discovering Stalled cafe at Albion was one of those moments for me. It was off my usual path, but looked so lovely I had to go back to see it properly.

Stalled is in Collingwood St, which is semi industrial with a large park at the end. The cafe is located in the front section of an industrial shed. However it's the clever changes which set it apart from the other sheds in the street. The set back framed glass front and the pot plants give a welcoming look.

Inside the eclectic mix of tables and chairs against the simple counter and shelves really make you feel at home. The plants spilling over the shelves soften the look and show they are well cared for which also indicates the type of service you can expect.

It was the thought to retain the existing industrial touches that I liked. I love the suspended shackle and chain and the reo frame that climbing plants are being trained up.

At the other side of the cafe is this nice brick wall and pot belly stove. It's a simple but effective fitout and the owners have plans to remove the back wall and open up more of the shed.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Brisbane Airport

In the fast paced speed that airport live is lived it's very easy to under appreciate the fantastic screen effect on the Brisbane Domestic Airport carpark.

Depicting the river, if you happen to look up when the breeze is blowing you'll see the 117 000 panels fluttering creating an amazing ripple effect like wind across water.

Watching the panels always reminds me of the simple yet effective Taubmans paint display at Designex last year.

This clever screening method offers urban art, ventilation from vehicle fumes, natural light and weather protection all in one. 
Spend a moment to stop in the hustle and watch the ripples on this vertical pond.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Cool Stuff

Ok, back into the swing of things after months of being busy with lots of projects.
Here's a rundown of some of the things that have caught my eye lately.

My favourite produce store- Capalaba Produce with their very clever sugar cane Minions.
Complete with bum crack- you can't help but smile as you drive past.

The Aesop tester bottles at the shopfront. Well "tested" I'm sure. Love the interaction right at the shopfront zone.

Thermal fitting pads at Rebel Sport. Yes, it's pretty obvious I don't shop at sports stores too often. They've probably been around for ages, but I thought they were interesting!

The cute little VW coffee Combi at South Bank.

These amazing industrial skip planter boxes at a St Lucia apartment complex. Wow! I wonder if they've used foam to fill the bottom half to keep the weight down?

The amazing florist at Westfield Carindale near the Woolworths. It has the most incredible large headed roses of all colours and smells devine as you walk past.

And just across from the florist is the butcher that specializes in all types of jerky.

With this list of cool stuff wrapped up I will endeavour to post more regularly in these cooler months, instead of leaving it till Summer.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Frenchies Cafe

I am a big fan of my local area on Brisbane's Bayside. Apart for a few years enjoying the trappings of inner city living, I have happily spent my life here. The cool bay breezes are a huge attraction and the fact that it's just a lovely destination, as the weekend crowds will verify.

As a child growing up here it always seemed that there were never enough other kids to play with. Which was slightly true. Wynnum was predominantly an "older" populated area. But over the years times have changed. New young blood has come into the area, or children now grown have moved back with their families. The empty local strip shops are slowly starting to fill again and it's very exciting. One of those exciting new shops is Frenchies Cafe.

Take your time here as owners Kieran and Joanna Jefferies have done a beautiful job with their fitout with some of the most clever parts are DIY. The back feature wall which leads out to a cosy dining room has been upholstered in preloved jeans patches.

The sewing was done by Kieran's mum using their old jeans and when they'd used up all they had, then more were purchased from op shops.

As you've probably guessed the name is in honour of French bull dogs. Kieran and Joanna have 3- Penny, Ella and Bin and their names are featured on the "doggie" menu. Too cute.

The amazing dog biscuits are made locally and have the Frenchies stamp embossed on them.

Given the popularity of dining with the fur children now a days there are even welcome packs of dog biscuits handed out to first time doggie visitors. Joanna is going through 300 of these biscuits a week!

The human food is also receiving great reviews and some of the "trial it and see" items have become best sellers.

Check out these incredible tables. They are custom made by resident artist next door Trevor Platt. Kieran and Joanna used copies of the iconic Wynnum Herald paper which was printed just blocks away for many many years. Trevor did the fantastic montage effect and sealed it with a very durable epoxy.

The back room is intimate and again features the great denim patch work on the chairs, as well as the beautiful reading nook.

More clever seating is provided down the walkway between tenancies.

And if you as crazy about french bull dogs as Joanna, there are more items you can purchase around this theme, including signed first edition print run of "The scariest dog on the street" by Bulimba author Joanna Golden. Of course it's a story about a French bull dog- her own in fact.

Frenchies is helping to breath fresh life into Wynnum and the crowds, especially on the weekend are showing they all agree.