Iconic New Zealand made designer furniture brand Apartmento is back, sitting side-by-side with Consignment, a stylish and affordable selection of gently loved furnishings and homewares.
When it comes to offices, shared space is something of a buzzword, but we don’t often hear of it in terms of retail. However, Apartmento/Consignment in Newmarket proves it to be an alluring way of showcasing gems for our homes. The spacious store seamlessly marries the much-loved quality and uber-style of Apartmento with the timelessness and luxury of pre-loved pieces from Consignment. It’s an inviting treasure trove of art, homewares, furniture, and — oh — did we mention the coffee?
The idea came about when Melissa Bowman and Wendy Francis-Ching were chatting over a glass of wine. “We’ve known each other for years, we met when I was a client of Apartmento about 15 years ago,” says Wendy. ”We’d been thinking of business ideas for a while.”
“Last year my husband Stuart and I sold our Meluka brand to Danske Mobler and Apartmento had only been available on-line for 12 months,” says Melissa. “I had taken some time out but was ready to get back to work. We realised that sharing a showroom with Consignment was a great fit for both brands and as soon as we saw this space knew it would be perfect. While we’ll certainly have the Apartmento design classics in store, we’re also very excited to soon be releasing a suite of brand new Apartmento products along with a new website.”
“We came up with Consignment because we know, as people, we constantly like to redesign our spaces so it seemed like a no-brainer to offer a space to on-sell investment pieces at competitive prices,” Wendy says. “We’re a first port of call for interior designers, people with a keen eye for style, those looking to furnish their beach house, or people with great taste but a restricted budget.”
The proverbial icing on the cake is the coffee. Orca is Wendy’s partner Chris’ coffee brand and a very important section of the store. Customers are encouraged to grab a coffee and wander around, sit for a while or even have a meeting. Coincidentally, Chris was once a partner in a furnishing accessories business (The Front Room) but had to give it away when he suffered toxic poisoning from the resin. He moved into coffee and was one of the founders of the well-known GoCoffeeGo in the Blind Institute before taking on Orca and setting up shop in Consigment/Apartmento.
The goal is not only to be a showroom/gallery, but to act as a social hub too. “We had Christophe el Truento put together our soundtrack, which is very funky,” says Chris. “It makes it a bit like a sober nightclub.” A nightclub with works from artist Rebecca Wallis, and her husband — also an artist — Ross Lewis, currently adorning the walls ticking the gallery box.
“In addition we’ll have regular little pop-ups for emerging artists, jewellery designers and other artisans,” says Wendy.
Consignment/Apartmento is a unique and completely new retail offering where design conscious customers can get their fill of a wide range of new and/or gently loved classics. The team warmly invite you to stop by for a visit, browse, and enjoy the finest espresso.
Words: Jenna Moore
2 Railway Street, Newmarket, Auckland
www.consignmentfurniture.co.nz | www.apartmento.co.nz