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Melbourne, Australia

Originally opened in August 1912, this grand dame of Melbourne’s upmarket Armadale has seen life as a 1200 seat cinema, then a Vaudeville playhouse, a toy factory, auction house, and even an indoor ski school complete with a ski slope.

Fast forward 107 years and the curtains have once again been raised, this time on Melbourne’s newest luxury furniture store, James Said.

Spanning 1400 square meters over two levels, the heritage property has undergone a complete interior renovation. Revealing distinctive period details previously concealed for decades, the space now offers an open plan interactive interior design studio, sample and fabrics libraries, VIP consultation rooms, a luxury accessories store and wine bar.

All fitted lighting and furniture used throughout the store and wine bar afford guests a tangible, full-scale experience where the 20 styled settings immerse the shopper in the potential for their own home. All pieces can be purchased instore at the touch screen sales bars and dispatched directly to the customers’ home.

A sensitive approach to the refurbishment celebrates the original architectural gestures – delicately playing them against introduced, contemporary moments with floating partitions and clean beam work. The result is an airy, light-filled home-retail experience unrivalled in Australia; one that grounds each versatile display within their own smaller setting – bringing a more relatable, human scale to the vast venue.

Black stained timber floors across all levels were used to tie the areas together, linked by a grand staircase that leads from the luxury accessories and wine bar up to the main showroom floor and interior design studio.