The rise and rise of the homewares market.

The Shelley Panton Store
Image source: The Design Files

When I first came to Australia over twelve years ago, the range of homewares available was limited and unvarying.

Our close to proximity to Asia meant that a lot on offer was inspired by Thai and Balinese designs, especially as these were and still are popular holiday destinations for Australians.

After coming from London, it felt there was a limited number of stores to shop for things for the home. Established stores like Freedom, Domayne and Harvey Norman were the main contenders with a smattering of independents who really did not offer anything different. I also felt that sometime they charged a lot for products that were not very good quality and, that they really did not need to address this, as there was no real competition.

The two main department stores, David Jones and Myers, really focused more on fashion and beauty, so stocked only a limited amount of homewares and furniture.

The last ten years has seen a real change, the arrival of oversea brands such as Ikea and West Elm has really help kick start a homewares boom. And let me tell you it is really booming…. BANG!!!

And now Zara Home and H&M have also landed on our far flung shores, offering their homewares range too.

For someone who loves homewares and interior design, this is great news. It has meant that the local retailers have had to up their game.

Fuelling this fire, are the plethora of reality TV shows focusing on home improvements. Everyone has aspirations now to have a beautiful home and why shouldn’t they??


Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 2.13.53 PM
Image source: Kmart

One of the biggest changes I have seen is within the large variety stores. Target, Kmart and Big W have really embraced the homewares market with open arms, realising just what a money earner it is.

When I first moved here, the choice these stores offered were drab and uninspiring. Don’t get me wrong if you was looking for good value basics such as crockery, bedding and bath towels then it was fine, but beyond that…..

How things change. All of these retailers have woken up, they are looking at the trends and are stocking what is popular.

Image source: Target

They are also really good value for money.
In a city like Sydney, where the house prices are becoming extortionate, this often does not leave much of a budget for decorating. So these retailers offer a great stating point, especially for young people looking to put their stamp on their first home.

Ok so the quality might not always be up to scratch, the marble may only be faux but for the most part the products are fine.
I have a few pieces from Target in my home, including some of their Hyacinth baskets, which are just great!!

So next time you are in the market for a few new things for your home, don’t dismiss these locals on past performances, check them out, you may be surprised.

What’s your favourite place to shop for homewares, would love to hear about it.


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