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An Impeccably Styled Showroom For Vintage Furniture Opens In Essendon

Shopping

This time two years ago, Leah Holt would have laughed in her own face if she’d even dared to imagine running her own vintage furniture business.

After spending 10 years working as a project manager in the higher education sector (a career she’s been in since the age of 17!), the founder of LH Design Hub found herself selling high quality secondhand furniture at the beginning of 2020 as a pandemic passion project.

Recently, she’s opened the doors to a gorgeous new showroom and studio space in Essendon, Victoria. Bringing it all together was certainly a labour of love – but the results are spectacular!

6th December, 2021

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Branding and Design – Becki Kenworthy. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Floral arrangement by Honesty Flora. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

(On side table) Lemon Ewer vase by Soft Edge Studio. Photography – Jess Kneebone. Styling and Art Direction – Leah Holt.

Sally Tabart
Monday 6th December 2021

Although Leah Holt, founder of LH Design Hub, has only really been in the secondhand furniture selling game for the last couple of years, she’s always had a passion for treasure hunting.

As a kid, Leah would scour local op shops for clothes that were unique and different to what everyone else was wearing. ‘It was a large part of defining myself in those early teenage years and still to this day’, she reflects. Flash forward 10 years and Leah has turned her eye to the world of vintage and secondhand objects and furniture. ‘I love the art of storytelling with objects and furniture, and believe each piece should have an impact in a room’, she says.

Leah looks for items with unique character and a sense of warmth that will bring depth to a space, specialising in one-off, timeless pieces that are inspired by natural forms. They’re the kind of pieces that she’d want for her own home (which we featured on TDF earlier in the year), or in those of her friends and family – rarely will you ever see something in her store that she wouldn’t own herself!

The fresh new LH Design Hub space is layered and refined, and a true showcase of Leah’s intuitive eye. Although initially she was looking for a warehouse space for storage, she instantly fell in love with this Essendon shop front when she stumbled across it, with its stained glass windows, exposed brick and ornate ceilings. With the help of her partner, Oliver, and her family, over the last couple of months Leah has embarked upon the massive task of transforming the space for her needs. ‘The roof was leaking in areas, the entire back area had no flooring (literally just dirt!), and the walls were painted pink and black in areas’, she said. She and Ollie did all the painting themselves, and had a builder come in to lay flooring in the back areas, which is now used for storage. They also ripped out an old rusty sink and had a new one installed, and switched the lights for a beautiful art deco set she found on Gumtree.

The LH Design Hub Studio will be open by appointment to clients who want to work with Leah on sourcing specific pieces, or for customers who want to see pieces in person before purchasing. It’s also available to hire for photoshoots, meetings and workshops.  ‘It will constantly be changing depending on what pieces I source, which is part of the fun!’, she says.

Leah still works part time in the higher education sector while running LH Design Hub, and has learned to find balance between her different professional and creative pursuits. ‘I was so focused on one career path, one trajectory, I couldn’t see the world beyond it’, she says. ‘That’s what LH Design Hub has given me more than anything – perspective to see the world/my future different and recognise that your career or creative journey doesn’t have to be one thing or another. You can do both!’ Words to live by!

LH Design Hub
Open by appointment
5-7 Keilor Road, Essendon North
Melbourne, Victoria

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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