Creating The Mantel Store

I’ve had so many lovely questions about the fit-out from delightfully interested customers who want to know exactly where I got everything from. So, I thought I’d write a long-winded explanation about the whole renovating process! If you just want to know where I bought the shelving, then skip to the bottom!

When I walked into the space that would become The Mantel Store, I knew it was the one. The building was gorgeous and heritage from the outside while the interior had beautiful arches and a great courtyard; it was the perfect canvas!

As is the way with property that you fall in love with, the hurdles emerged almost immediately, from chasing up the agent to organise inspections, to putting in offers that were never communicated to the landlord and a myriad of other nightmares. It all seemed too hard and I was ready to give up and look elsewhere.

However, through a twist of fate and a little research by my dad, it was revealed that the landlord Mel, happened to be a relative of our very close family friend. 

We got in direct contact and met Mel and her partner Chris onsite and realised that it was meant to be after all!

Once the contract was sorted, it was time to start the renovating process – although the classic grey was perfect for an upmarket nail salon, I was aiming for warmth and golden tones to best display the homewares that I wanted to stock. So I set about trying to bring my mood boards to life while working within a tight budget.

The priority was to make the flooring even for safety which meant the removal of the platform, which had been in the pedicure room. It was by far the biggest expense and not particularly exciting in terms of design however it had to be done.

When it came to the design for the rest of the store, I decided a ply ceiling was the way to go for a modern, natural look that was affordable. The new ceiling also had the added bonus of hiding the holes created by all the task lighting and old air-conditioning unit in the manicure room.

I then needed shelving and did a lot of research online looking for cheap units on Gumtree however decided the mismatched, second-hand retro look wasn’t quite right.

I then discovered Like Butter online and booked an appointment at their Kensington workshop. I met with Jem who was fantastic and I asked him to make my counter to the specifications I wanted and he also custom sized the shelving unit to sit perfectly in the window.

I then went and bought dowel and rope from Bunnings so I could hang the stunning blankets that I wanted to display from Slowdown Studio.

The big blue pendant lights I found through Space furniture. I love the brand Kartell and didn’t want a total boho Byron Bay look so the plastic bright lights were the perfect fit – and they were 40% off!

The two lights above the counter I found through one of my favourite websites, Finnish Design Shop – I have a deep affection for terracotta, a harking back to my love of Mexico (and possibly because I grew up in the 90s!).

Bringing the shop to life was a team effort (thanks mum, dad) and the whole project was completed in around six weeks! There have been many teething issues but I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to put my dream in motion and thank you to all the lovely Ripponlea locals who have come in and bought something or even just come in for a chat, it means the world! Also thanks to the army of friends and family who have a suspicious amount of birthdays to buy for…

There are still some finishing touches I want to put into the shop that may have to wait, but overall the response has been positively complimentary! 


Paint colours – Interior: Coconut Syrup by Accent

  Arches: Peach Tango by Accent

Counter + flat packed shelving + display boxes – Like Butter

Electrician – Eady Electrical: 0474 177 056 (Matt)

Builder (custom shelving, ply ceiling) – Kris Barclay: 0413 726 061

Sofas – Grandfather’s Axe

Counter pendants – New Works (stockist: Finnish Design Shop)

Large blue pendants – Kartell (stockist: Space furniture)

Flooring works – Canopy Fitouts

Madeline Prince