Scandinavian furniture emporium Fred International has reopened its Rosebery showroom following an extensive redesign that reimagines the space as two hundred square metres of Scandinavian living in the heart of Sydney. Renowned as one of Australia’s premiere distributors of Scandinavian furniture, lighting and homewares, Fred International’s Michael Liira (Founder) and Melissa Walker (Managing Director) sought the help of interior stylist Simone Haag and interior designer Angela Harry to transform the space.
In embracing the design principles of form and function, Haag and Harry set out to create a space that evoked the warmth of a Scandinavian home rather than the traditional furniture showroom experience. “The space consists of a series of large-scale dioramas, each telling their own story,” says Haag. “Segmenting the space in this way allows us to communicate numerous design stories while retaining a sense of clarity and calm. It’s also a beautiful way to demonstrate how different brands and differing materials can work together.”
As Liira explains, ‘Fred’ is his love of Scandinavian design personified, so happily ‘Fred’ now has a home that can transport you to Stockholm, Copenhagen or any of your favourite Scandinavian destinations. “We genuinely live and breathe Scandinavian design and culture,” he says. “While nothing can compare to walking the streets of Stockholm, we think our new showroom is the next best thing for Australia’s design community.” A growing collection of objet d’art and curios give the furniture and lighting a sense of purpose, belonging, and create a feeling of coming home, while clever domestic visual cues such as a traditional Swedish fireplace, a staircase, and a cosy living room setting complete the experience.
“Naturally, our priority was to showcase Fred International’s beautiful curation of furniture, and in doing so our choice of materiality was critical. Each piece has it own unique finish, so it was important that our choices enhanced the furniture, rather than overshadowing it,” says Harry. “The materials are honest, yet refined, embodying light and shade, and paying close attention to detail, such as the hand-pressed clay bricks that frame the fireplace,” adds Haag. “The resulting palette is simple and paired back, but it’s far from stark.”
Fred International’s headquarters are housed in the same space, with workstations now visible behind a magnificently detailed timber and glazing paneled wall. “By opening up the back-of-house, the Fred International team adds an important human presence to this very domestic setting,” notes Haag.
Coinciding with the showroom’s reopening is the launch of a new website and the addition of three new brands to the Fred International stable: Friends & Founders, Fogia and Lightwork. These brands, along with Secto Design, by Lassen, Swedese, Lindholdt Studio and Rubn Lighting, will also be on show later this year when Fred International exhibits at Melbourne’s DENFAIR. “What we love most about the space is that it can continue to evolve,” says Walker. “With new pieces continually arriving, a fresh coat of paint to one diorama is all it will take to breathe new life into the space, ensuring we honour each design.”
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