‘Since I can remember I’ve been obsessed by objects and furniture,’ Ma House’s Ben Mooney says.
‘When I was a kid, my mum was a bit witchy and would say old things were magic. I thought anything old was like 800 years old. I’m 32 now and still feel the magic of a good find.’
His talent for finding these magic pieces shines through in his own Collingwood apartment, but Ben admits he was feeling a bit squishy at home with all his ‘collections’.
‘A lot of people don’t believe me but I’m kind of a minimalist hoarder. If I could a have a house with 500 rooms those rooms would be minimally furnished. But that’s pretty much why I started Ma House Supply Store,’ he adds.
Ben’s new store serves as a shoppable extension of his own home. He describes it as ‘antique store that also stocks contemporary pieces’, offering a ‘mixed bag’ of eras and materials.
‘I think objects have some kind of weird energy with each other, [like the animated objects in] Beauty And The Beast, and I’m sure a ’70s Murano ashtray would love to meet a Nicole Lawrence shelf!’
The Johnson Street space serves as a perfect backdrop for the eclectic range. The old building’s beautiful patina walls, pressed tin ceilings and raw bricks were ‘such a good foundation’ for Ben and his friends to restore. Whilst the street-facing spaces are white and light-filled, the rear of the store feels warm and cosy, with the ‘blue room’ and kitchen spaces designed to give off a more moody atmosphere.
Some of the newer objects at Ma House Supply Store range from the fruit and veg-style candles by Nonnas Grocer, to books from In Form Library. These pieces complement Ben’s retro furniture finds, which he updates weekly – so there’s always something new to uncover!
All the items in the store are ones that generate an emotive ‘spark’ for Ben when he spots them, or an ‘internal feeling that’s like “oh that’s nice” or “that’s weird”’, he says. ‘The hope is that someone else has this special feeling when they come in.’
Visit Ma House Supply Store on 54 Johnston Street, Collingwood.
Ma House Supply Store
Open Tuesday – Sunday
12pm – 6pm