To Shop - Les Petits Bohèmes

Les Petits Bohèmes is an incredibly beautiful French online store, filled with a magical array of delights. Reminiscent of a flea market of yesteryear, the store is made up of a collection of vintage furniture, eclectic homewares, and unusual finds. Les Petits Bohèmes really is "a world of poetry for children"...

With unique and wonderful creations, Les Petits Bohèmes has something for everyone. Whether you're after a floppy eared rabbit for your wall, a fierce looking bear for your floor or a selection of mysterious knick knacks to fill your shelves, look no further than this delightful store.

24 Jun 2013
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online store

To Shop - Koskela

Created by Russel Koskela and Sasha Titchkosky in 2000, Koskela in Sydney has become an incredible space filled with a carefully curated collection of art and design. Housed in a large industrial warehouse which is also home to the much loved Kitchen By Mike cafe and Megan Morton's The School, Koskela is a place you could lose yourself for a day...

Alongside their collection of adult homewares, they also house an amazing selection of beautifully designed and sourced wares for children. From toys to beds to books and clothes, you could effortlessly build the perfect kids room or buy any child the ideal gift. On top of all of this, Koskela runs some great creative workshops like Festive Felting we featured earlier, as well as producing their own beautiful furniture that is both functional and durable.

We asked Sasha a few questions about what makes their store so amazing...
What is the idea behind Koskela as a space and as a store?
The idea behind Koskela is to showcase great Australian designed and made products for the home. This covers both furniture and homewares - everything from gardening, to kids and special gifts. We compliment our furniture range with products sourced from smaller Australian designer makers or inputted products that have a strong ethical or environmental stance.

Our beautiful building in Rosebery was originally built for Rosella as their Sydney canning plant and is turning100 years old this year. The search for the new space began as we had outgrown our Surry Hills space, our home for nearly eight years. We had started to develop products for Studio, Collection and Junior but had no way of showcasing them or our growing commercial range. Now we have a beautiful 2000m2 light filled space that is finally big enough to do something really spectacular with these products. Our gallery space profiles different artists and craft forms and we have expanded the range of smaller products we carry.

What kind of atmosphere does Koskela aim to create when people enter the store?
We want people to feel excited and welcomed. It's important to us that there's a genuine sense of warmth, coupled with a bit of a sense of 'I can't wait to see what's over here!'.

How do you go about sourcing your amazing children's products?
It was really important to me that we source products that really work with children's imagination and wherever possible provide alternatives to plastic. We have 2 boys and I really found it difficult to find interesting toys that weren't all so prescriptive and completely gender specific. My aim is to have fantastic games, art and craft products, toys and pieces for children's rooms that are fun and designed for children.

Tell us something about Koskela that might surprise people?
A really important part of our company are our social enterprise projects which we undertake with 3 different indigenous communities / artists in Australia. This is a part of the business which I find the most personally fulfilling. The first project we launched in 2010 and is collaboration between Yolngu weavers from Elcho Island Arts and Koskela, the result of which is a lighting range called Yuta Badayala (Yolngu for "new light"). We have now produced over 200 of the pendants and have worked with about 40 different weavers. The idea behind the collaboration was to open up a new market place for the women's work outside the traditional art market, enabling them to further increase their independence and financial security. The lights have now feature in many of our commercial clients offices, including Qantas' new buildings and in private homes. We have loved developing some very close relationships with the artists and their families and getting an insight into the incredible Yolngu culture.

Our other collaboration is called Tili Wiru which is also a collaboration to create a lighting range with the Tjanpi weavers of the central desert. Tjanpi is an incredible organisation that was established by the women of the NPY lands to deal with some of the social issues in these areas. Their lampshades are very different from the Elcho Island works as they are a riot of bright colours with raffia and hand painted beads. A real joy.

Lastly we have collaborated with an incredible artists called Regina Wilson from Peppimenarti in NT to create a range of fabric based products. She has work all over the world in various public and private collections and has a really beautiful style. She is also a weaving but now paints in exacting and beautiful detail her weaving.

We really enjoy this part of our work - we've always wanted Koskela to be about more than making just money and I love that we have found a way to utilise our design skills to address some of the issues that exist in Australia. You can sometimes get overwhelmed by the issues that exist and we don't all have the resources of Bill Gates available to us but it can be just as valid to make a genuine difference to a handful of people.

Do you have any exciting news coming up?
Its all about product development and design for us at the moment. We're really working on some super exciting pieces. At some stage we think that a Melbourne location would make sense but for now its about maximising what we've got and really driving growth so we get the most out of every opportunity. Because we actually produce our own designs, we are able to create and deliver bespoke solutions to our commercial clients who are really appreciating being able to work with a supplier that can manufacture in Australia.

Whether you are a local or planning a visit to Sydney and are a lover of good design, Koskela is an absolute must-see on your to-do list.

85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery NSW 2018
02 9280 0999

21 Jun 2013
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To Shop - Kido Store

Kido has made a name for itself as one of the coolest kids stores in Sydney. Their two beautiful shops, in Clovelly and Surry Hills are filled to the brim with an eclectic mix of treasures waiting to be discovered...

Created by husband and wife team Lauren and Luke, with the inspiration of their young daughters Gia, Dillon and number 3 on the way, Kido is treated as part of the family. A reflection of their own personal style, the store develops and grows as their family does, seeing many exciting products come through the doors.

Lauren and Luke are always on the look out for fresh and new items to fill their shelves, and every visit we make into the store is filled with happy surprises. But don't worry if you don't live in Sydney, Kido also has an equally beautiful online store, making sure you can get your Kido fix anytime. So whether you are after a glitter beaked swan, or neon spotted pillow, you've come to the right place.

We caught up with Lauren to have a chat about what makes Kido so cool...
How did Kido start?
Luke was always interested in starting his own children's range but when we found out we were pregnant for the first time, the idea of a store encompassing all the amazing products we were seeing locally and overseas came about... And a few months later Kido was born. 3 weeks before our baby!!

What makes Kido different from other kids stores?
We are a family business and very hands on, so more often than not you will find us in store helping out, often with our children chatting to the customers children, and occasionally a dog or two peeking out from the stockroom. (We live behind our Clovelly store...)

What kind of atmosphere does Kido aim to create when people enter the store?
Warm and relaxed stores with friendly and personable staff. I love how familiar customers and their kids seem with our staff and the stores. Often I find myself chatting and catching up with people more than working!

What is your favourite thing about bringing together such an amazing range of kids products?
Finding new products and bringing them to the stores. We still get just as excited now as we did when we first started. Opening new deliveries can feel a little bit like Christmas morning!

How do you go about finding all the wonderful brands that you stock?
We stock a wide variety of local and imported brands, that we find through trade shows and on the Internet, through word of mouth and a lot of the time, new products find us.
Do you have any exciting news coming up?
Our clan is expanding and a new little Kido is arriving next week!

Where - Kido Store Clovelly
159 Clovelly Rd Clovelly NSW 2031
02 9045 7720

Where - Kido Store Surry Hills
475 Crown Street NSW 2010
02 9045 7730

14 Jun 2013
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To Shop - Serendipity Paris

This incredible Parisian concept store, dedicated primarily to children, is the perfect combination of vintage and modern design. Filled with an eclectic mix of unique pieces, limited edition objects and exclusive creations from around the world, you'll find it almost impossible to leave Serendipity empty handed...

Created in 2004 by Elisa Bartillat and Laurence Simoncini, Serendipity pioneered the blending of modern and vintage children's design. Staying true to it's original vision, this amazing 200m2 store still boasts an incredible array of designer and contemporary pieces alongside a treasure trove of carefully chosen antique finds.

It's not just children who fall in love with this incredible space, parents too find themselves drawn to this one-of-a-kind boutique and it's amazing collection of wares.

Luckily, for fans around the globe, Serendipity has launched an E-shop, where you can find a selection of their amazing pieces.

81-83 rue du cherche midi
Tel: +33 (0)1 40 46 01 15

All images courtesy of

13 Jun 2013
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To Shop - Ariel Books

Walking into Ariel Books is like walking into a home away from home. Filled to the brim with beautiful books, lovely gifts, and interesting knick knacks, you will spend many hours contently perusing the shelves. Based in Paddington, Sydney, the store has a wonderful relaxed feel, with friendly, knowledgeable staff making a warm and welcoming atmosphere...

Nestled at the back is a children's corner, with an amazing range of books which are tested by the staffs own children. Lovely small tables and a pillow laden couch fill the space, inviting children to happily spend hours in a world of words.

We asked Ariel Books a little bit about themselves and what makes their store so special...
When did Ariel Bookstore open and who started it?
Jane Blanks opened Ariel Booksellers in 1986.

What makes Ariel Bookstore so unique?
Ariel has a really distinctive and easy going ambience. Folks who venture into the store immediately feel the shift. We have an eclectic collection of books and gifts in stock with music from yesteryear always on rotation. Our staff are such great and down to earth individuals who really contribute to the Ariel atmosphere and our customers are just wonderful.

What type of experience do you hope your customers will have in your store?
Customers comment that Ariel feels like a world of its own and we have to agree. We try to create a space of refuge from the world where people can feel comfortable, relaxed and inspired all at the same time. For many Ariel feels like a second home.

How do you go about finding all your wonderful books?
Lots of research, lots of staff and customer input and of course great publishers.
Tell us something about your bookstore that might surprise people?
We love dogs, they are always welcome in the store! We are also open very late and always have been since we first opened.

What does Ariel Bookstore look for in the perfect children's book?
We test drive books with our own children so visuals and an entertaining story always win out. It depends on the age group but a good book needs to have the right combination of illustration and story.

What are Ariel's three favorite kids books in store at the moment?
1. I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. It's got really quaint illustrations and a cute storyline about a bear who is very attached to his missing hat.
2. Flip-O-Saurus by Sara Ball. This one is very popular - it's a large identikit style book where children can create weird and wonderful dinosaurs.
3. I'm in Love with a Big Blue Frog by Leslie Braunstein. A personal favourite at the store, this one is a bright, colourful allegory about tolerance. It also includes a 3 song cd with music by Peter, Paul, and Mary - appealing for the parents too!

42-44 Oxford St, Paddington
Paddington 02 9332 4581

07 Jun 2013
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To Shop - Paper2

Started by graphic designer Margaret Rockliff, Paper2 is a beautiful little store dedicated to all things paper. Nestled in the heart of Sydney's Surry Hills, you will find walls and cabinets filled with an array of paper and stationary collected from all over the globe...

Created out of Margaret's passion for Graphics, Paper2 has become a home away fom home for anyone wanting something a little different.

Stocking a wide range of paper products and accessories from the tranditional to more wacky, Paper2 has a relaxed atmosphere that invites you to spend hours perusing the lovingly sourced knick knacks.

From the beautiful patterned papers and coloured pom poms draping the walls, children will walk into this space to find a treasure trove on offer.

Hand crafted paper toys and vintage tins of wooden stamps wait to paitiently on the shelves.

While drawers of colour and reels of ribbon bring to mind afternoons filled with fun.

There is certainly no lack of inspiration in this wonderful little store, Margret picks all of the objects personally creating an offering that is unique in a market that is over saturated with similar products.

So quickly go and break some pencil leads, so that you can dash down to Paper2 and spend a happy afternoon picking some new ones.

28 May 2013
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To Shop - Kid's Republic

Walking into Kid's Republic Book Store in Beijing, China, is like walking into a giant kaleidoscope of colour. With rainbow walkways flowing in all directions, and plush colour wheel carpets scattering the floors, you are delightfully surrounded in colours that pop as far as the eye can see. One of our favourite parts are the rainbow cubby holes that scatter the walls, creating little spaces for children to read in and let their imaginations run wild. Designed by architects Sako, Children's Republic provides the very best children's books and a relaxing reading environment to escape to.

On the first floor is an activity room, where colourful ribbons and rainbow carpets fill the space. Activities like story-telling and animation shows are held here.

The 100-metre-long colourful ribbon serves various functions as it twists and turns through the space, leading from the hall, up along the stairs and into the book store.

07 May 2013
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