One of the great joys of a drive in the country is fossicking around in antique shops, hoping to find a treasure that just might put the finishing touch on your carefully composed 'industrial' interior design, or provide a talking point for your next dinner party with your hipster mates.
You don't have to travel far out of Melbourne to get to the Kinglake West Swap Shop, a treasure chest with an eclectic range of items: antiques, collectables, 'bric-a-brac', building materials, home and office furniture, and oddities that defy categorisation.
Cast iron manual meat mincers, if you want a bit of exercise while preparing dinner.
There are old and vintage homewares, like lights, fans, meat mincers, kitchen tools, crockery, cutlery, books, musical instruments, fireplace tools and much more. For more, ahem, personal needs, you can also pick up the odd hospital bedpan.
Joe and his son Luke, the proprietors, also have cabinets of old toys and knick-knacks. There are lots of vintage advertising signs, as well as some more recent items like sporting banners and signs. 2006 World Cup Rugby banner, anyone? Or, for followers of other sports, you can pick up a Carlton Family Fun Day banner, or a huge Ferrari flag.
If you are renovating and need windows, or guttering, or planks or bathroom sinks and toilets, you will find it here too. Yes, even a kitchen sink or two. They also have furniture and light fittings, including some cool industrial lights that would look fantastic in a modern home.
All the treasures in the Swap Shop are either bought at auctions or from private sellers. If you give them a call, Joe and Luke will come out to you and buy or swap items you have available. Some of the bigger items don't have prices on them because negotiation is a way of life here.
No self-respecting inner city, single-fronted Victorian house would be complete without a set of these in the kitchen.