Style Meets Sustainability In Armadillo’s New Melbourne Showroom

After 14 years in business, beloved Australian rug brand Armadillo has just opened their first Melbourne retail showroom. The business is all about turning your home into your sanctuary, and the new Fitzroy destination reflects the B-Corp company’s purpose-lead ethos in more ways than one.

Founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst engaged Studio Goss to help transform the warehouse building, bringing in sustainable features like solar panels and rainwater tanks to the heritage building.

The space now channels the same experience as if you were visiting a bespoke tailor, inviting customers to get up close and personal with their handcrafted collection of premium jute, wool and pure silk rugs!

Christina Karras
Supported by Armadillo

Armadillo’s serene new showroom at 102 Charles Street, Fitzroy! Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The Fitzroy space is Armadillo’s first showroom in Melbourne! Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Armadillo founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst worked with Studio Gross on the design. Twentytwentyone Hotaru Buoy Pendant Light from Space, Menu Afteroom Bar Chair, showroom plants/pots sourced by Florian Wild. Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The site is grand in scale and steeped in industrial heritage. Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

The showroom reimagines the traditional model for rug retailing and instead takes its cues from the experience of a bespoke tailor by incorporating rails of garment-sized samples that allow clients a close-up look at the rug designs and materials. Left: Toogood Roly-Poly chair from District, Fredericia Locus bowl from Cult. Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

It also has an Endorsed Sustainable Design Assessment from the City of Yarra thanks to its solar panels, rainwater tanks and opt-in to GreenPower. Mojave Cashew Rug by Armadillo, De Sede DS-600 sofa from Domo, Hex table by Bari Ziperstein from Criteria, E15 Backenzahn stool from Living Edge, Marset High Line light sculpture from Mobilia. Styling – Joseph Gardner. Photo – Sharyn Cairns

Christina Karras
23rd of March 2023

Armadillo are best known for their meticulously handcrafted rugs, made by artisans in India that weave their expertise into each and every piece. But behind the business is a driving force to ‘make a difference’, that stretches beyond their collections.

For Armadillo founders Jodie Fried and Sally Pottharst, social and environmental responsibility has been at the heart of their brand since its inception. It’s this approach that pushed them to become the first B-Corp certified rug brand in Australia – and why sustainability was such a big part of designing their first Melbourne showroom.

Located inside a warehouse in Fitzroy, the new space is the result of an 18-month long renovation, designed by Studio Goss.

‘Because the building has a heritage overlay, we wanted to ensure that each alteration or addition was made with sensitivity to the history of the space,’ Jodie says. ‘In the end, David was able to strike a really beautiful balance between retaining the original fabric of the building and upgrading the shell to contemporary standards.’

‘But incorporating rainwater collection with the 100-year-old down pipes and box gutters was a complex task, to say the least!’ Sally adds.

Luckily, they had the council’s support to bring in new solar panels that power the showroom, along with GreenPower. The interiors also beautifully reflect Armadillo’s refined aesthetic, thanks to a mix of handmade tiles, oak and natural cork that nod to the building’s industrial roots.

Their thoughtful layout takes cues from the ‘experience of a bespoke tailor’, featuring rails of garment-sized samples that allow clients to get up close with their intricate designs and materials in the light-filled location!

‘We’ve always loved the idea of being able to provide the same bespoke experience to people shopping for their own homes as we do for industry clients,’ Jodie explains. Their Melbourne destination joins an impressive line-up of retail spaces in Sydney, Brisbane, Los Angeles and most recently San Francisco – and the duo says they have some ‘very special launches’ coming up soon!

Visit Armadillo’s new Melbourne showroom at 102 Charles St, Fitzroy, Monday to Saturday with no appointment necessary. Find out more here.

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