Writer, recycled/vintage, style & fashion: www.vintagedressingroom.com . Find out more about what makes me tick, I also write poetry, share inspirations, art and photography, on personal blog: (www.birdoflight.wordpress.com)
Published August 29th 2012
Stylish or thrifty shopping surprises at Woolloongabba
The Wooloongabba district in Brisbane's inner-east is most famously home to the Gabba sporting complex, which is approaching its 115th year. Tradition however does not stop there. It is also much-loved by locals for its' quirky, offbeat establishments - ranging from a fine assortment of eateries and cool cafes to also offering a smorgasbord of antique houses, retro or retro-inspired boutiques, and second-hand furniture emporiums and warehouses, all of which somewhat proliferate the area.
So whether you are scouting for a piece of history such as an objet d'art or a furniture item for the home, patio, or creative studio space - why not consider a visit to the precinct?
Alternatively you may simply feel like an escape from the sights of the city, away from its hustle and bustle, and desire to surround yourself with the charms of the heritage listed buildings, to stroll their surrounding pavements which will inevitably lead you to the doors and shop fronts of the specialised second-hand merchants and antiques dealers.
Urban Antiques specialise in "in early English, oriental, furniture and other eclectic items"
A quick list of the above is available through a Google search, but I believe that it is always most exciting to discover an area by foot, and to explore the region in person. You will come upon numerous shops, but if you keep walking you will suddenly come across the Urban Antiques retail warehouse, at 28 Wellington Road, which cradles the corner and is merely a stones throw from Vulture and Stanley Streets. I assure you it offers multiple options against the sea of second hand goods and antiques retailers which set the tone of this funky and up-and-coming Eastern suburb of Brisbane.
Restored or retro, as Urban Antiques will tell you, specialise "in early English, oriental, furniture and other eclectic items".
Once inside take your time - these emporiums of other worldly ornaments and furnishings do not dictate that one runs about in the hectic fashion that these days appears to be at times, de rigueur .
Maybe you wish to find something original or decadent to decorate or revamp your home with? When it comes to finding a fabulously trendy French provincial, Parisian style, or Art Deco piece - be it a cabinet, desk, dumb waiter, trunk or chest,baby grand piano, functional dining or sitting room suite - you will find it in wood (silky oak, maple, mahogany, velvet or other plush satin or tapestry, modern steel or aluminium, or retro vinyl, to name just a few). Or you may be in need of replacing a lounge settee or simply aspire to inject a pop of colour into a room through either an ottoman, or a tapestry, or likely hope to add an element of refinery, elegance or drama to a space, be it a lounge area or dressing room, by means of a chaise - I urge you to scour the walls and floors of Urban Antiques, in search of that special piece!
These pieces among other finds will reveal carvings, furnishings including opulent upholsteries and other classic materials, such as marble and leather. When the right piece is found, it is sure to entice with a promise to to deliver homely appeal, or to pack a punch with a 'wow' glamour factor, either way banishing that empty corner.
However, be warned, you may not decide upon your first visit to the store. My partner and myself rummaged the shop on several occasions before we made up our mind. We had been in search of a cabinet in which we could display and store our collection of glassware. The piece had to be functional but add a je ne sais pas factor to our Living Room and Dining areas. We wanted it to give a nod to our existing furniture, but at the same time able to stand on its own as a unique, decorative piece of interest.
Don't be discouraged or alarmed If you are not interested in big furniture pieces or are sticking to a tighter budget - there's also a fine array of veritable nic nacs to be found - but as in the case of all items they come and go, so you have eyes like a hawk to catch them. Urban Antiques has a Blog which will lists new sale items, so if you sign up there you can be the first to know if your dream item arrives in store.
At Urban Antiques we found not just one, but two pieces, that tickled our fancy - or rather ticked all of our checklist boxes, both in terms of functionality and taste, while fitting into our also somewhat conservative home decorating budget. In comparison to modern pieces we decided that the quality and value was comparable, if not better, than buying new, as some of these ranged from poorly made, or designed, (or both) to overpriced and fit nicely into our agreed budget.
Firstly, we purchased a standing tall display cabinet for glassware and crystal, which features an internal light, as well as a carved roof and with good fortune seems to be a perfect match for our existing dining suite, which hails from England (and has already been around the world twice in its roughly 60 years, which includes a sabbatical in New Orleans).
On the same day and visit, we decided upon also a charming little bookcase in deep mahogany, from the 1920's, which sits atop a pair of the most glorious little legs, curvaceous and truly befitting of a delicate handmade item such as this. At home now, its' currently use is to shelve the stoutest crystal glasses, but it is soon to provide the home for the Wedgewood.
As satisfied customers, my partner and I would both vouch that the cost outlaid was negligible in relation to value for money, aesthetics and sheer visual joy. Part of our nightly ritual is now to turn on the lights of the cabinet which throw a warm glow now across the living space.
The Gabba's walkable areas are bound for expansion if the council's urban renewal plans are anything to go by, however due to a considerable amount of consternation and other plausible financial considerations of Council the timing and delivery is still unsure.
What we can be sure of however, is that given time this area is set to become one of the most favored and treasured parts of Brisbane - perhaps somewhat comparative to the cosmopolitan suburb of West End, and vibrant areas around South Bank, but undoubtedly with a unique, and historic ambient of its own.
Beautiful Table in Solid Wood - Sold at Urban Antques