Lucy Feagins
Lucy Feagins
3rd of November 2011
Melbourne's newest retail concept - Franque.  Photos by Shannon McGrath.

Melbourne's newest retail offering is Franque*, a super gorgeous new furniture and interiors showroom in St Kilda.  It's a brilliant concept - a beautiful 1930's apartment suite in a residential building overlooking Port Phillip Bay has been transformed into a private retail showroom, filled with hand picked antiques from Europe.  Alongside these pieces is an impressive collection of Australian art by collectable artists including Tim Jones, Sarah Faulkner, Sally Ross, Bruce Armstrong and Robert Jack.

Hmmm, a furniture / art retail showroom in a residential setting.... that sounds familiar!  This must be a new trend in retail, I'm thinking!?  I'm sure we'll be seeing a lot more of this concept from other retailers in the year ahead.

Franque has been a labour of love for Sarah Hook, who has spent the last year planning this special project, and travelling to France and Belgium to fill 3 containers of furniture for her showroom.  Sarah spent many years running Melbourne's gorgeous and immensely popular Manon shops before launching her own venture. 'After leaving Manon I started to import antiques - all of which sold out nearly before they landed!' she says.  'Now I have started up this showroom where I can merchandise my furniture beautifully, and display my other love... fine art'.

Franque is open mainly by appointment, and Sarah also has plans to host private dinners and 'meet the artist' events here.  Better schedule a visit tout de suite, Francophiles!

Franque Suite 5, 326 Beaconsfield Parade St Kilda, VIC Open Thursdays 12.00pm - 5.00pm or by appointment
*I am not quite sure how you pronounce Franque but I hope it's something like 'Franc', the wedding planner from Father of the Bride, which was my favourite film of all time when I was about 9.
Beautiful pieces on show at Franque - including Sarah's favourite pair of hand carved 18th Century angels from Normandy! 'They have an extraordinary presence' she says. Photos by Shannon McGrath.

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