It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, we are surrounded by furniture. Whether it’s in the living room, bedroom, a meeting room or at a local cafe, we rely on the tables, chairs and incidental pieces to support almost everything we do.
But how many of us make a deliberate effort to buy something locally made when we replace a bed or lamp? How many of us even know where to start looking for something made by a local furniture maker?
The local furniture industry contributes more than $27 billion the economy and employs 100,000 people. The local products also bear the character of the land from which they come. The Australian Furniture Association (AFA) says Australia’s indigenous timbers “lend themselves to innovative and enduring designs, uniquely distinct from the masses of generically produced furniture”.
While some items from overseas are cheap and readily available, Australia’s furniture makers produce everything from handmade, one-of-a-kind armchairs to kitchen tables in every imaginable size, shape and material. And they are easier to find than you think.
To celebrate the local industry, the AFA will host the inaugural Australian International Furniture Exhibition in Melbourne in July. The event will showcase the very best of Australian furniture design and manufacturing trends.
The festival of furniture will comprise three distinct elements. The exhibition will feature a series of showcase rooms comprising of modern Australian furnishings, a show-stopping precinct filled with 2014 Australian Furniture Industry Awards’ nominated pieces and a Modern Icons Gallery.
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