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22nd September, 2014
Lucy Feagins
Monday 22nd September 2014


Products from Sydney based online store SHELF/LIFE. Photo - Luisa Brimble. Styling - Jess Ibbett & Jasmin Wong.


Products from Sydney based online store SHELF/LIFE. Photo - Luisa Brimble. Styling - Jess Ibbett & Jasmin Wong.


Products from Sydney based online store SHELF/LIFE. Photo - Luisa Brimble. Styling - Jess Ibbett & Jasmin Wong.

Sydney based husband and wife team Jessica and Brendan Ibbett are the pair behind SHELF/LIFE, a much loved homewares, accessories and gift shop which first opened its doors in Surry Hills 2009, and has since morphed into a exclusively online offering.  This year, SHELF/LIFE turns 5, and their coming of age has been celebrated, in part, by the launch of a brand new website! Featuring photography by talented Sydney based photographer Luisa Brimble, the new site beautifully showcases the restrained and slightly rustic, minimal aesthetic SHELF/LIFE has become well known for.

Jess and Brendan came to retail in a roundabout way.  After originally studying Interior Architecture and working as a designer for a few years, Jess found herself craving a different lifestyle.  'I took some time off to travel and re-energise after putting in too many late nights at work, and I just couldn’t shake this idea of opening a little shop' says Jess.  With a lot of encouragement and help from Brendan, a year later, her dream became a reality, with the opening of SHELF/LIFE's first bricks and mortar store in Surry Hills in 2009.  Mid last year the pair shifted their focus to online, and have spent the past twelve months growing their online store.

Jess has a passion for hand-crafted ceramics, so naturally these feature heavily within SHELF/LIFE'S product range, complemented by a beautiful edit of handcrafted homewares, stationery and other accessories. 'I am drawn to the story of a product, which is why I particularly love anything made with natural materials or by hand' Jess explains.   'There is something special about a hand-crafted functional object over something mass-produced; the way it connects the maker with the user, and the satisfaction that comes with using a handmade object for everyday tasks'.

In addition to the recent launch of their new website, SHELF/LIFE are now offering a personalised design service, which will provide clients with an accessible and simple option for styling or re-decorating their homes. Very soon they will also be releasing their very own range of handcrafted homewares... watch this space!


Tableware products from SHELF/LIFE. Food supplied by The Floury Baker!  Photo - Luisa Brimble. Styling - Jess Ibbett & Jasmin Wong.


Tableware products from SHELF/LIFE. Food supplied by The Floury Baker.  Photo - Luisa Brimble. Styling - Jess Ibbett & Jasmin Wong.

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email