Australian furniture in the driver’s seat at Stylecraft

By Penny Craswell

Australian design is on the rise. Even though we will always have a soft spot for the classics from Denmark or Italy, growing numbers of Australian interior designers and consumers are seeing the value of supporting Australian designers, and Australian retailers are responding to this shift, investing more money in manufacturing collections by local talent.

Blue by Keith Melbourne at Stylecraft
Blue by Keith Melbourne at Stylecraft

Stylecraft is one of those retailers. As reported earlier in the year for Melbourne Indesign, the brand, originally an importer of product from Europe, now has an impressive number of collections created in conjunction with Australian designers. Melbourne-based designer Keith Melbourne is one. A former aerospace and automotive engineer, Keith prefers to work with Australian manufacturers, allowing him to be more involved in the process of production. This approach can be seen in his Blue collection for Stylecraft, a sofa, armchair and ottoman built on the foundations of an environmentally-certified timber and foam shell.

Melbourne-based designer Helen Kontouris brings her international experience working with brands like Alessi and De Padova to her work. Softscape is a modular lounge available with a series of elements such as tables, integrated lighting, power, coat stands and planter boxes. There is a beauty in the juxtaposition of textiles, timber and glass, while the flexibility inherent in the product means it can work in contract or residential settings.

Meanwhile, Sydney-based designer Greg Natale brings to furniture design his experience and expertise in interior design for houses, apartments, restaurants and retail environments. His work is recognisable thanks to bold colour and patterns, and his new sofa and armchair Chest for Stylecraft features an almost geometric form that is softened by detailing in a retro 1950s throwback.

Why is Australian design so popular? Is it helpful to talk about an Australian style of design? And, for the designers, what are the differences between working in Australia versus working with international brands? All these topics will be discussed when I speak to Keith, Helen and Greg at my blog launch, to be held at Stylecraft’s Sydney showroom this week. A big thank you to Stylecraft for hosting the event.

More on these products at Stylecraft.

Cell table by Keith Melbourne for Stylecraft
Cell table by Keith Melbourne


Softscape by Helen Kontouris for Stylecraft
Softscape modular lounge by Helen Kontouris
Softscape by Helen Kontouris for Stylecraft
One segment of Softscape by Helen Kontouris
Chest by Greg Natale for Stylecraft
Chest armchairs by Greg Natale
Chest by Greg Natale for Stylecraft
Chest collection of sofa and armchairs by Greg Natale

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