Kiitos, Barwon Heads.  Photos by Sean Fennessy

Kiitos products and owner Maria Malakellis – wearing Marimekko of course!  Photos by Sean Fennessy

Many of you have noticed (and kindly clicked!) the eyecatching Marimekko-filled advertisement bouncing up and down that right hand ad column over the last year or so.  Maria Malakellis, who owns boutique lifestyle store Kiitos in Barwon Heads has been a great supporter of TDF for a long time now – I thought it was about time I returned the favour!

Maria opened Kiitos in December 2009. After a trip to Helsinki a few years prior, she had fallen in love with Marimekko, and knew the shop would have a strong focus on the iconic Finnish brand.  These days Marimekko’s colourful textiles, homewares and clothing share the space with other Scandinavian brands such as Design House Stockholm and Iittala, as well as contemporary pieces by local designers such as Marc Pascal and Me & Amber.

I was convinced Maria must have come from a design background before opening her stunning store… but she surprised me.  ‘Don’t laugh but my background is fish and chips…!’ she confided!  Maria says that when she was young, her family always had great modern fish and chip shops in Barwon Heads, Queenscliff and Portarlington, and she grew up serving behind the counter.  Of course, she always had a leaning towards design – ‘my sister and I would pore over every design magazine we could lay our hands on as teenagers’ she says.  After her family sold the last fish shop, Maria took 6 years off, spent some time in real estate (selling Docklands apartments off the plan!), but was eventually drawn back to the beach.   When this site in Barwon Heads became vacant, Maria could immediately see the potential of the semi-industrial space.  It had once been an old garage, and in previous lives has served as a pinball parlour and a Greek restaurant.  ‘This is by far the best reincarnation I think’ says Maria!

Maria’s colour-filled store in Barwon Heads is SO worth a visit next time you feel like heading out of town for the day.  Located about an hour and half from Melbourne, it’s the perfect day trip. (Of course, for the homebodies out there, there’s always the online store!)

Maria would love to offer one lucky Design Files reader a beautiful prize to warm up your bedroom this winter!

Kiitos Giveaway – 1 x Marimekko Unikko Doona cover plus pillowcases and cushions.

Kiitos Giveaway -

- 1 x Marimekko Unikko doona cover, any size – valued at $229.00 (QS)
- 2 x Unikko pillowcases – valued at $34.00 each
- 2 x Unikko 50cm x 50cm cushions with feather and down inserts – $70.00 each

Total prize valued at $437.00!

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post today Thursday June 16th, before 10.00pm Melbourne time. A winner will be drawn at random and contacted by email tomorrow.  Giveaway open to Australian residents only.

*UPDATE – A winner has been drawn!  Comment #423 is the lucky number – congratulations Kiri B and thanks to everyone for all your lovely comments!

THANKS so much Maria!  Huge thanks also to Sean Fennessy who took these stunning photos of the shop!

Kiitos
Shop 2 5-7 Bridge Rd
Barwon Heads
3223 Victoria

ph. 03 5254 1835

Open 10.00am – 5.00pm everyday except closed on Wednesdays (winter only).

Kiitos, Barwon Heads.  Photo by Sean Fennessy