Celebrity Australian interior designer, Thomas Hamel divulges one of his fave Sydney shops for artefacts that will instantly make everything look layered, cultured and civilized. Yes, if he had to send you to one place in Sydney to soften modern architecture, it would always be Orient House.

October 28, 2017

“It is my go-to for furniture, artefacts and interesting items from around the world from Africa , Thailand, Bali and China that arrive all the time,” says the American-born and internationally-renowned designer and tastemaker, Thomas Hamel.  

“I have found enchanting stone Indian window frames, plantation chairs, campaign beds, tribal jewellery, stools, carvings, lanterns, and handcrafted baskets that can be used for plants.” 

Orient House was the first to bring the Malawi chair- used in the worlds best clubs like Scorpios in Mykonos- to Australia many years ago. You’ll find terracotta pots, mounted masks and Eastern torsos like you see in major art galleries around the world, that make everything else look interesting.  

The handpicked pieces are so pure, and yet rugged, with a texture that other people just don’t deal in.  

There are mounted shell necklaces, which Hamel recently used en masse to decorate the tablesetting of a beautiful party he threw at a Los Angeles restaurant hotspot, as well as Atta baskets which often feature in Hamel interiors. There’s also African rattan chairs, Chinese cabinets, Bobo masks, plus tables of all kinds (dining, console, coffee, side, bedside). Plus Punu masks, Mongolian chests, Jaipur mirrors, terracotta pots and urns, Indian columns, traveller’s suitcases, temple jars, porcelain bowls, statuary and tribal artefacts galore.  

The patina of these pieces draws us with a power that the shine of the new doesn’t posses.  

Everything is handmade by artisans using ancient methods making them more desirable than ever before. Why? They are decorative, interesting and a statement that your are educated, well-travelled and interested in the world.  

Much of its made in and for the tropics making it ideal for Australian living. If it weren’t for confidentially agreements, Orient House would be known for having the most prestigious client list in Australia. Perfect for adding warmth. A touch of the Orient. Embellishment. And lots of texture. Three new shipments have just arrived in-store, fresh from India, Thailand and Bali with a container due from China next fortnight.  

Orient House 45 Bridge Road, Glebe, nsw, 2037 (02) 96603895, 

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