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Tait's New Flagship Showroom

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Tait are ICONIC Melbourne designers and makers synonymous with easy, chic and practical outdoor living. Moving from more humble digs around the corner on Johnston Street, Tait has found a new home for their Melbourne flagship in an expansive corner store on Smith Street, Fitzroy.

In collaboration with Damien Mulvihill and Mark Simpson of DesignOffice, Tait have stripped back the space (which once operated as a bank) to create a harmony of raw, industrial materials balanced by natural, environmentally friendly elements.

8th September, 2017

Tait designs and manufactures their outdoor furniture at their factory in Melbourne. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Gordon Tait’s passion for metal crafting is reflected in the store’s fixtures. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

‘Zoned’ sections, such as this dedicated plant area, makes for a varied browsing experience. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

DesignOffice used a palette of almost 20 colours in the design of the Tait store. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The new Tait flagship store looks onto bustling Smith Street. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The first Tait flagship store; well earned after 25 years of operation in Melbourne! Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The custom timber counters are made by joiner John Beckwith. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

DesignOffice created a space that blurs the lines between living and retail. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

They combined raw, unrefined materials with natural elements to create a balanced feeling in store. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

The new Tait flagship store is light-filled and airy, bringing the outdoors inside. Photo – Sean Fennessy.

Sally Tabart
Friday 8th September 2017

Aligning with Tait’s philosophy for outdoor living, it was important for the furniture brand’s new flagship store to reflect the outside, inside. Tait brought DesignOffice onboard to make it all happen, and the firm worked with the natural, exterior elements to inform the showroom interiors. ‘We wanted to avoid the standard clichés and evoke the emotion of being outdoors with light and greenery, as well as materiality and topography,’ explains Damien Mulvihill of DesignOffice.

Embodying this concept, full-scale vertical screens depict scenes of the great outdoors, and a palette of almost 20 paint colours have been used.  The varying shades of blues and greens are intended to evoke an emotive response and keep eyes moving through the space. Meanwhile, the location’s vast glass frontage has been utilised to make the most of sun at different points of the day, with beams streaming through north-facing windows, and plants carefully hung to filter pools of dappled light from the west. It’s really pretty dreamy!

Every element of the Tait store has been considered with the customer in mind, with the retail experience literally built into the store. A series of stand-alone timber counters custom-made by joiner John Beckwith allow customers and retail staff to interact naturally, whereas a ‘zoned’ approach to Tait products invites people to browse through areas (including a dedicated plant-filled space) with ease.

Having designed and crafted all their furniture in Melbourne for the last 25 years, Tait have certainly earned a flagship as fine as this, reflecting the quality and influence of their work. Tait’s Creative Director, Susan Tait, agrees, ‘It’s our first major flagship store, designed to showcase our entire range of products and bring our ethos of “A Life Outside” into full, living colour,’ she says. Congrats guys!

Visit the new Tait flagship store at 209 – 211 Smith Street in Fitzroy, Melbourne. 

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