This new Japanese concept store will make you want to redecorate your entire home

New store Monolab showcases traditional Japanese skills and craftsmanship in both products and design

Known for its incredible art scene, Melbourne homes a multitude of artists and designers all offering beautiful pieces for the home.


New to the scene is Monolab, a concept store that intends to pioneer the shopping experience of Japanese cultural enjoyment. The product range is exclusively made in Japan. Products are sourced from the country’s different regions and brought to Australia to share the artist’s passion and personal history. This is what Monolab means to store owners Sonia and Yin; the sharing of stories.

“We wanted to showcase the traditional skills that are centuries old as well as Japanese modern design.” – Co-founder Ian Jin.

The store was designed by Melbourne interior design firm Nexus Designs. The design brief was to create a welcoming retail environment that allows customers to ‘discover’ Japanese culture and craftsmanship. The four main elements of the fitout –form, space, materials and sound – were inspired by the design principles of simplicity, natural and minimal.


The store is divided into three zones, each defined by its journey and products. The first, an ‘active zone’ focuses on traditional gift wrapping techniques and children’s objects. Secondly, a high-end gallery zone for crafted brands and lastly, the third area which encompasses the point-of-sale counter and feature product cube – an acid-etched back-painted black ScaleMirage Rain glass.


Dark silky glass and light golden hues were used to create a monochromatic effect that blends retail excitement with the calm and dignity Japan is known for.

(Credit: Monolab)


Monolab’s collection includes Nambu Cast Ironware, which is made today as it was in the 17th Century, and Arita porcelain that is shaped by ancestral traditions and techniques refined over the centuries.


Introducing the qualities of Monotsukuri, which refers to the intangible qualities of product manufacturing such as craftsmanship and continuous improvement, Monolab aims to preserve traditional Japanese skills while showcasing stunning artisan pieces.

We love to bring new designs and great products to the forefront. Take a look at our trip to Bowral to discover the best shops and hidden gems.

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