This website uses cookies to improve your experience navigating our site. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

OK, I understand

The Fabulous New Store And Apartment From Colour Queen Chela Edmunds!

Stays

Chela Edmunds is an absolute creative force to be reckoned with. You might recognise Chela and her gorgeous daughter Ocean from our family story in February, but if you’ve been paying attention to Victoria’s creative scene over the last decade, you’ll no doubt have delighted in one of Chela’s many wonderful creative ventures.

Today, the founder of Takeawei Ceramics shows us around her latest project – a sunny new retail space on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy, and the apartment above that she’s completely made over, for short term accomodation!

1st April, 2021

The sunny new Takeawei store on Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, in Melbourne! Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Chela with her gorgeous daughter ocean, and Rowena Martininch, who painted the mural on the side of the store. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Iconic Takeawei-style vases and salad bowls! Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

A selection of Takeawei ceramics. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Textiles from Society of Wanderers alongside Takeawei ceramics. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Chela reused the shelving from her previous store on Brunswick Street in the new Gertrude Street space. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Bright pops of colour are kinda Chela’s thing. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

A selection of mugs, bowls, and vases from Takeawei. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

The small but mighty Takeawei store. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Above the shop is an apartment that Chela rents out! Green Featherston modular sofa sourced by Mood Objects. Rowena Martinich paintings. Upholstered FUN chairs by Dowel Jones. Ceramics by Takeawei. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Chela in Gertrude’s Apartment. Green Featherston modular sofa sourced by Mood Objects. Rowena Martinich paintings. Lighting by Takeawei. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

The pocket-sized apartment is the perfect landing pad for a city stay! Green Featherston modular sofa sourced by Mood Objects. Rowena Martinich paintings. Upholstered FUN chairs by Dowel Jones. Fridge by Smeg. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

The breakfast nook. Thimble stools by Dowel Jones. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Gertrude’s Apartment kitchenette. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Looking out over Gertrude Street. Chub side table by Jack Fearon for Curated Spaces. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Chub side table by Jack Fearon for Curated Spaces. Float bed frame by Jack Fearon for Curated Spaces. Bed linen by Society of Wanderers. Painting by Rowena Martinich. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

The store exterior, with a fabulous mural painted by Rowena Martinich. Photo – Amelia Stanwix.

Sally Tabart
Thursday 1st April 2021

‘I wanted a warm welcoming space and imagined this was an artist’s apartment.’ Chela Edmunds. 

After a difficult retail year in 2020, Chela Edmunds of Takeawei Ceramics was exhausted. ‘I thought, why am I paying all this rent for a retail space when we are mainly selling online now?’ she recalls. The lease was up on her Brunswick Street store, and Torquay-based Chela thought it might be easier to pack it in and move the business 100% online. But, with so many shuttered stores due to COVID, Melbourne was feeling like a bit of a ghost town, and Chela didn’t want to give up just yet. ‘I felt a sense of responsibility to not just be another empty shop front if I could help it’, she says. ‘I took a walk on Gertrude Street and it really inspired me to be involved in the street, and Melbourne’.

Chela secured a new lease on a double-story corner building, with a narrow downstairs retail area and a little apartment upstairs, overlooking Gertrude Street. The building itself has quite an important history – it was once the Koori Information Centre, established in the early 1980s to meet a rising groundswell of community interest in Indigenous issues. Later, Aboriginal artist Lin Onus produced a popular series of comic books and t-shirts with distinctive artistic designs here!

For Chela, the narrow space with its sweet little upstairs apartment was the perfect place for new beginnings – both for her ceramics business and for the broader Melbourne community. ‘The apartment upstairs seemed like the perfect opportunity to give people a space to get out for a night or two, go see a gig, have dinner, and just enjoy themselves while supporting the area and businesses’, she says.

She’s added the Chela Edmunds creative stamp to the place, and transformed the modest spaces into a bright, colourful creative haven!

What was the process of fitting out the shop and apartment spaces like? 

Necessity really is the mother of all invention. I went in with big ideas for downstairs [shop] shelving, but was quickly brought back to earth due to cost. I ended up using paint and changing necessary things like lighting, electrical, the floor, and reusing shelving from the previous shop.

We have a great corner spot on Young and Gertrude Streets. To make the most of passing traffic we commissioned artist Rowena Martinich to paint a mural on the outside wall. It is everything I hoped for – vibrant, joyful, just what we all need right now.

Upstairs, I wanted a space that was simple, functional and vibrant, showcasing some designers I love [including artworks by Rowena Martinich, furniture by Dowel Jones and Jack Edward Fearon for Curated Spaces]. We gutted the shower but left everything else as-is, so this was what informed the furnishings. I wanted to lighten the space and, true to my style, add a mix of colour pops, texture and some natural materials. My sister Kalu Edmunds of Mood Objects was a great sounding board for styling and I also worked with her to source second-hand furniture, including the original lime green Featherston. It’s a real focal point!

Did you have any key references or inspirations for the apartment?

I wanted a warm welcoming space and imagined this was an artist’s apartment. Simple, but filled with interest and energy invested into the pieces.

I thought about a flow from the kitchen to the bedroom going from stronger colours in the kitchen to vibrant in the lounge area and softer in the bedroom.

In terms of an overall look, I just go with what I like and try to keep paring back to a smaller palette as I can get carried away with colour! There were also functional considerations, the small space and comfort for guests. I think working with great designers and objects makes it really easy!

How did all the upheavals of 2020 affect your work? 

We were lucky that for most of it we could work remotely and send online orders. I feel like our customers really rallied around and supported us during that time and I am really grateful for that.

I found it really stressful at first having staff and that responsibility, but I also found that it brought our team closer together because that’s what tough times do. We talked about what was going on, and we adapted. I’m really glad that as a business we had a strong web presence.

We are now focusing more on lighting which has been really popular this past year, and I’m looking forward to introducing more homewares to the shop. I’m getting back to my textile roots and I recently designed a blanket with Geelong Textiles that will be launching this winter.

Book a stay at Chela’s Gertrude st Apartment here!

Takeawei Ceramics

Monday – Saturday, 11am – 5pm
Sunday 11am – 4pm
Closed public holidays

120 Gertrude Street
Fitzroy, Victoria

This Week

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Ceramicist Jess Choi On Feeling The Fear, But Doing It Anyway!

The Korean-born, Melbourne based ceramicist shares how she turned her side hobby into her full time gig!

Studio Visit

Amazingly Colourful Abstract Art By Amalia Keefer

The self-taught Queensland-based painter creates palettes from everyday household moments and then transforms them into gentle, fluid artwor...

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

This Week

Architecture

An Architect + Interior Designer’s Coastal Home, Grounded In Nature

This Sydney family home is like a private treehouse by the beach, with views at every turn, and unexpected interiors.
Christina Karras

Stays

Escape To This Magical Tiny Home In The Gold Coast Hinterlands

Step inside an adorable, off-grid getaway on a farm, with 'no distractions', limited phone reception and a wood-fired hot tub.
Christina Karras

Gardens

A Sensitively Built Coastal Garden, Designed To Look ‘Untouched’

The Garden Social carefully designed a garden, built into waterfront sand dunes on NSW's South Coast, where the serene seascape beyond takes...
Christina Karras

Shopping

Say Hello To Your New Favourite Summer Shoes With This FRANKiE4 Giveaway!

Everything you need to know for your chance to win one of five pairs of shoes (of your choice!) from Australian label FRANKiE4!

News

See Ethiopian-Norwegian Artist Olana Janfa's Colourful, Debut Solo Show!

The Melbourne-based painter’s first solo show is opening tonight, exploring themes of language, race and status in his playful works.
Christina Karras

Interiors

The Central Coast Home Of The Block Alumni Kyal + Kara

The Australian coastal meets Mediterranean family home of former The Block stars Kyal and Kara Demmrich, on the NSW Central Coast.
Amelia Barnes
  9 hours ago

Sustainable Homes

‘Future Ready’: Inside One Of Melbourne’s Newest Sustainable Developments

Mirvac are hoping to encourage sustainable living with their innovative 'future ready' display home in Melbourne's inner west.
Christina Karras

Interiors

A 1915 Horse Stables Turned Family Home In The Adelaide Hills

SpaceCraft transformed a circa 1915 horse stable into a family’s elevated version of a traditional farmhouse in the Adelaide Hills.

Creative People

Meet The Small Melbourne Brand Reinventing The Humble Gumboot

From a humble farm in South Gippsland, Merry People has grown from a grassroots start-up, to a successful brand sold across the globe!
Christina Karras
  17 hours ago

News

New Melbourne Brand Saule Have Created The Dreamiest Robes, Just In Time For Summer

Local creative Sally Tabart has designed the ultimate robe for the home, beach and beyond – and it’s all made here in Melbourne!
Christina Karras

Architecture

A Floating House Entangled In Brush Box Trees On North Stradbroke Island

The tree canopy takes precedence over ocean views in this holiday home for three families, designed by Conrad Gargett architects.

News

The Melbourne Label Making Stylish Kids' Wetsuits That Grow On Trees

Fants make kids’ wetsuits from natural rubber that look good and do good.
Sponsored

Interiors

How To Turn Home Inspiration Into Reality, With Style Sourcebook

This free web-based mood board tool is the perfect place to refine your interior design vision. We show you how it's done!

Homes

A Tiny Slice Of Japan Inside A Pink Darlinghurst Terrace

Ceramicist Laura Butler shares her 1890s Darlinghurst pink terrace, renovated by Trias in accordance with Japanese design principles.

Architecture

A Contemporary Brunswick Addition That Contorts Out Of Sight

A major Brunswick home extension by Lisa Breeze Architect takes its cues from the surrounding neighbourhood and its Edwardian facade.

Similar Stories

Studio Visit

Ceramicist Jess Choi On Feeling The Fear, But Doing It Anyway!

The Korean-born, Melbourne based ceramicist shares how she turned her side hobby into her full time gig!

Studio Visit

Amazingly Colourful Abstract Art By Amalia Keefer

The self-taught Queensland-based painter transforms everyday household moments into gentle, fluid artworks.

Family

An Honest Conversation On Single Parenting By Choice + Donor Conception With Takeawei Ceramics Founder, Chela Edmunds

Chela Edmunds of Takeawei ceramics shares her story of becoming a mother to 18-month-old Ocean via sperm donor and IVF.

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 bea@thedesignfiles.net