I'm a freelance writer who lives on the Bellarine Peninsula. I enjoy finding new things to see and do in the beautiful area that I live in.
Published July 31st 2012
Don't you love visiting homes where there is a specific décor theme running throughout the house? Like the minimalist approach where stark white walls are offset by bright red furniture? Or when grandma florals and distressed paint jobs mingle together to form a shabby chic kind of look? I personally love oriental-themed houses. For some reason, the mixture of vibrant colours, intricate fabric designs and pretty yet practical furniture appeals to my tastes.
Luckily, I live close enough to a fabulous store, KYO, which caters for all of this and more. Located just as you enter Ocean Grove, KYO has Australia's largest range of authentic Asian, Moroccan and Argentinean homewares, furniture, and outdoor items. These pieces are all imported specially for the store, and also include textiles, jewellery and general giftware. Best of all, the prices are wholesale (even though the store is open to the general public), which means that you can pick up some amazing finds for a fraction of what you would spend at a high-end retailer.
Some colourful glass lightshades and lanterns
Spread over the space of two large buildings, KYO has a vast selection of items available for sale. On entering the main building, the first thing you see is an impressive collection of costume jewellery from all over the world, as well as small gift items like fans, decorative glass bottles, and assorted little trinkets. The next room houses an extensive range of Moroccan products, including brightly painted ceramic plates, vases and tangine pots, vibrant coloured-glass lights, and lanterns. On the other side of the room are traditional Moroccan tiles, door knobs and hooks which provide an interesting and bright alternative to your usual interior decorating selections.
Further on, you will see a selection of glass and ceramic vases, vintage mah-jong and checkers sets, traditional Chinese and Japanese figurines and a vast array of other Asian knickknacks to help brighten up and decorate your home. If you're interested in the Hindu gods, there are plenty of statues and wall-hangings available, featuring lovely gold detailing. Some of the items are new, and some are vintage, but all are in excellent condition and you may find an unexpected treasure.
Some Hindu god and goddess artworks
The next room is a dedicated textiles room, and while there is a wide range represented, the main fabric seems to be traditional kimono fabric from Japan. Available in swatches, the cloths are vibrant in colour and design and would appeal to any dressmaker. There are also bags, cloth shoes, cushions and clothing available for purchase.
There are plenty of pretty textiles at KYO
Located between the two large buildings (and at the front before you enter KYO), are plenty of items to cater for the outdoor areas of your home. Amongst the Buddha statues, fountains and outdoor screens are a selection of traditional Japanese fishing floats and anchors, Japanese-style stone pagodas, antique bells, water pots and rain-chains. There is also an extensive selection of iron and stone statues. These are all displayed outdoors, so you'll have to hope for a rain-free day in order to truly appreciate and admire the selection.
Part of the outdoor area
The second building, while not as pretty inside as the first, features a vast selection of traditional Japanese and Chinese furniture. This includes drawer units, large wardrobes and, my personal favourite, vintage lockers from Japanese bathhouses. While most of this furniture is pre-loved, it is also very original, so you're unlikely to find anything similar in someone else's home. This building also features wall clocks, vintage Asian number plates and signs, artworks and other furniture.
Some of the traditional Oriental furniture on sale
KYO is a veritable treasure trove of traditional Chinese, Japanese, Moroccan, Indian and Argentinean items. The staff are extremely friendly and helpful, the prices are great, and with up to twenty containers of merchandise arriving throughout the year, there is always something new to discover on the shop floor. Even if you're not interested in buying anything, it's well worth visiting KYO, just to see the amazing items available for sale from around the world.