Pip Newell On Building The Curated Spaces World, On TDF Talks

There’s no doubt about it, Pip Newell is a mover and a shaker. She started her vintage furniture re-sale platform in 2017 with 120 followers and no real plans for its growth. Oh, how things have changed.

Today, Curated Spaces boasts over 130,000 followers (including *ahem* Ariana Grande!) and sellers all around the country. Pip’s business has grown up in the last few years, moving from Instagram to a website, and partnering with local makers such as Jack and Mark Fearon and Cosset Ceramics to diversify the brand’s vintage furniture offering with unique, handmade pieces. In the years since its humble launch Curated Spaces has become a distinct aesthetic, a discrete universe with its own look and feel.

In this episode of TDF Talks, our managing editor Sally Tabart talks to Pip about leading the next wave of vintage furniture dealers, levelling up her business and tips for creating the best room vibes possible (duh!).

Sasha Gattermayr
Supported by Printful

Photo – Pip Newell.

Photo – Pip Newell.

Photo – Pip Newell.

Photo – Amy Woodward for The Design Files.

Sasha Gattermayr
6th of August 2021

A few years ago, modular Featherston couches started popping up all over Instagram in technicolour hues of lavender purple and bright orange. Soon after that, it was Wassily armchairs and travertine dining tables sitting in rooms adorned with sheep-skin throws, pleated lampshades and smoked glass coffee tables with ‘80s chrome detailing. Arguably, this retro-resurgence can be attributed in large part to a single Melbourne Instagram account.

Pip Newell was still at university when she accidentally started Curated Spaces after re-selling some dining chairs to a local Facebook group with great success.

While she was getting by on a mish-mash of nannying and hospitality jobs on the side of a photography degree, the online world heralded a new age for vintage furniture. Algorithms were actively pushing design content, and as a result, grids were filled with inspiration pics of iconic ‘70s interiors alongside pieces of shoppable vintage furniture. Instagram accounts had became both the moodboard and the store, and the direct-to-consumer marketplace became home to a vibrant and well-stocked community of secondhand sellers operating on a first-comment-first-dibs basis.

Leading the charge was Pip. From her sharehouse in Northcote she hunted the internet for kernels of furniture goodness and ugly ducklings that others had overlooked, to style, shoot and re-sell. Her excellent eye, superhuman strength and dedication to vintage aesthetics fuelled the account’s growth, which is now a national online store serviced by a network of dealers and local creatives across the country.

In this podcast episode, Pip guides TDF’s managing editor (and her old housemate!), Sally Tabart, through the past, present and future of Curated Spaces. It’s a good ‘un!

This episode of TDF Talks was brought to you by Printful. Printful allows you to create and sell custom printed products online, from art and clothing to accessories, stationery, homewares and more. All from your own online store!

Right now, you can also participate in Printful’s Ecommerce Prodigy contest — build your online store from scratch using their online tools, and you could win up to AUD$3000. Find out more here.

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