Where to shop for stylish homewares and good design
Whether you prefer a Scandinavian sanctuary, modern industrial space or a minimalist retreat, these Wellington homeware and design stores have all you need to create the home you've always wanted or to find that little extra something. These stores also are the perfect place to find a gift for design-loving friends.
Cnr Blair & Wakefield Streets, Te Aro, Wellington
Small Acorns is a store full of eclectic and colourful treasures, beautiful fabrics, locally-made ceramics and vintage and contemporary design. This is the kind of store that’s so beautiful you’ll want to move in – and it smells heavenly thanks to the Ashley & Co scented candles. Definitely of the ‘more is more’ school of interior design, this is a great place to find a gift or that special something for your own home. Afterwards, take a walk through to adjoining café Squirrel for a locally-roasted coffee and a slice of cake.
35 Ghuznee Street, Te Aro, Wellington
‘The goods you buy should resonate, not disintegrate’ is the mantra of Precinct 35, a homeware, art and furniture store on Ghuznee Street. Owner Prak Sritharan carefully curates the regularly changing offerings and has an excellent eye for good design and handmade ceramics both made locally and sourced from around the world. There’s also an art gallery at the back of the store which shows a regularly changing line-up of contemporary art including painting, photography and sculpture. Every object and artwork at Precinct 35 has a story to tell and are built to last – and they look pretty good, too.
Tea Pea Home
1 Grey Street, Te Aro, Wellington
With two colourful stores bursting with colour, tactile textiles and beautiful objects, it’s hard not to feel a surge of happiness when you walk into Tea Pea Home. The independent homewares brand is owned and run by Meg and Scott McMillan and the couple work hard to bring together a curated collection of independent brands and designs from New Zealand and around the world. Tea Pea Home prides itself on outstanding customer service and will happily help you find the perfect gift or something special for your home.
40 Johnston Street, Te Aro, Wellington
At Cranfields, stunning locally-made ceramics sit alongside designer jewellery from Paris, homewares from Morocco and textiles from Milan. A family-owned store that has been running since 1991, the owners travel the world to carefully handpick each object they stock and will happily tell you the story and provenance behind each piece. Set in an elegant heritage building just off Lambton Quay, Cranfields has a warm and welcoming atmosphere – it’s almost like being welcomed into a family home.
87 Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
A must-visit for all lovers of handmade ceramics, Vessel combines form and function to bring functional, everyday art into your home. Stocking contemporary studio ceramics and domestic ware made by New Zealand artists and small manufacturers, including well-known local ceramicists Paul Melser (whose pottery is used at Loretta eatery on Cuba Street) and Katherine Smyth. There’s also a great range of design objects and other homewares, plus a lovely range of gift cards and wrapping paper.
Orient: Modern Asian Home Store
29b College Street, Te Aro, Wellington
With stunning modern Japanese tableware, to carefully curated art and homewares sourced from across Asia, and a café serving delicious steamed milk bun bao and espresso, Orient: Modern Asian Home Store has something for everyone. The store has a strong focus on sustainability and stocks a range of Japanese ceramics made using broken tableware mixed with new clay. Asian Food Republic goodies are made on-site and make a great gift for the foodie in your life – and buy a reusable Japanese furoshiki wrapping cloth to wrap it in instead of paper.
Brown & Co
253 Wakefield Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Brown & Co is a design-lovers dream. Taxidermy, quirky ornaments and artworks adorn jam-packed shelves giving the store the feel of an obscure museum collection store. When Vogue Living visited they described Brown & Co as “A suave mix of contemporary and mid-century art, design and antiques put together with impeccable style. The edit here offers something for all design lovers.’ This is the kind of place where you could spend hours browsing to find that quirky gift for your hard-to-please designer/architect/collector friend.
82b Victoria Street, Te Aro, Wellington
Trade Aid is an absolute treasure trove, full of objects that not only look good, but are good for humanity. A not-for-profit organisation focusing on fair trade, Trade Aid stocks beautiful homewares, jewellery and furniture made in developing countries from all over the world. The artists and makers who make the products get paid a fair and equitable return for their labours which enables them to work their own way out of poverty without resorting to aid and charity.
2 Plimmers Steps, Te Aro, Wellington
In a hidden-away location, it's not likely you'll stumble across this gem without being in the know. The Vault stocks a range of the best design, homewares, jewellery and accessories made by New Zealand creatives, artists and small artisan manufacturers. The store has a gallery-like layout and is known for excellent customer service. The Vault is located in a stunning 1930s building, you’ll find The Vault at the bottom of the Plimmer Steps, just off Lambton Quay.