Precinct The se­cret joys of James Street in Bris­bane’s For­ti­tude Val­ley



IT WASN’T that many years ago that James Street in Bris­bane’s For­ti­tude Val­ley was a drab in­dus­trial area in­hab­ited by car yards, crum­bling build­ings and va­cant stretches of land. To­day, this tree-lined in­ner-city street is flanked by con­tem­po­rary ar­chi­tec­ture en­cased in vines – and well-fre­quented bars and eater­ies spill out onto the sun-soaked foot­paths, pro­vid­ing the back­drop to what is ar­guably Bris­bane’s hippest shop­ping and en­ter­tain­ment hub.

STOP 1 | Kova Life­style

It may be a lit­tle hard to spot – but once you track it down to­wards the top of James Street, Kova Life­style is a hid­den trea­sure. Owner Bianca De Luca care­fully picks hand­made and unique pieces for her store, and you’ll find pre­cious items such as an­tique locks and stitched cot­ton quilts from In­dia or de­light­ful hand-cut greet­ing cards from the UK. Home­grown busi­nesses and ar­ti­sans are well rep­re­sented, too, with an en­tire wall of the store ded­i­cated to the beau­ti­ful ce­ram­ics of

Mud Aus­tralia. While you’re there, be sure to check out the stun­ning jun­gle print wall be­hind the ce­ram­ics. We were also taken by their ’70s-style ‘Gal­axy’ ce­ramic bowls (top left).

Must-haves: ‘Cin­derblock’ cush­ion in Chalk/Cof­fee, $99; en­graved cop­per jug, $96

(both top left).

Open: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm;

Sun, 10am-4pm.

Visit: 23 James St, (07) 3257 7055.

Book­mark: ko­val­ STOP 2 | St Barts Jasmine Smith and her busi­ness part­ner, Leanne Pearce, owned a suc­cess­ful busi­ness sup­ply­ing art to high-end in­ter­na­tional ho­tels – but when the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis hit in 2008, things took an un­for­tu­nate turn. “We had a great team of cre­ative peo­ple and wanted to con­tinue work­ing to­gether,” says Jasmine. From this, St Barts was born. The first store opened on the Gold Coast in 2010, and James Street fol­lowed a year later. Now, both stores are flour­ish­ing thanks to Jasmine’s Car­ib­bean-in­flu­enced sense of style and her abil­ity to forge re­la­tion­ships with sup­pli­ers and crafts­peo­ple glob­ally. Those with a yearn­ing to live like In­dia Hicks can book an in-house styling ses­sion.

Must-haves: Two-tone tree-root stools, $590 each (top cen­tre); mir­ror pan­els, $1250 each (left).

Open: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm;

Sun, 10.30am-4pm.

Visit: 6/31 James St,

(07) 3257 7166.


STOP 3 | Jo­ce­lyn’s Pro­vi­sions Earn­ing it­self a Bris­bane-wide rep­u­ta­tion, Jo­ce­lyn’s Pro­vi­sions cre­ate de­li­cious home-baked goods and out­right stun­ning cakes. “Our reg­u­lar cus­tomers have started ask­ing us to do their wed­ding cakes, so that has been re­ally lovely,” says gen­eral man­ager Rosie Con­way. The tim­ber shelves are heav­ily laden with rus­tic loaves and the cake counter must be one of the pret­ti­est around (op­po­site top right). Jo­ce­lyn’s Pro­vi­sions also of­fers an out­stand­ing se­lec­tion of savoury tarts, bis­cuits, jams, rel­ishes and choco­lates to take home and savour.

Must-haves: Choco­late sour cream cake, $40; salted caramel tart, $7.50; a wide as­sort­ment of cup­cake-style but­ter cakes, $5 each.

Open: Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm;

Sat, 7am-4pm; Sun, 9am-3pm. Visit: 46 James St, (07) 3852 3799.

Book­mark: jo­ce­lyn­spro­vi­sions. STOP 4 | French & English In its pre­vi­ous in­car­na­tions, French & English’s im­pres­sive 600-square-me­tre show­room was an in­dus­trial-heavy car yard and a Myer ware­house. To­day, the store’s Euro­pean-style fur­ni­ture jux­ta­poses bril­liantly against its util­i­tar­ian back­drop. Stud­ded vel­vet chairs sit on chipped con­crete floors and vast chan­de­liers hang from ex­posed cor­ru­gated iron ceil­ings. French & English also of­fer a fur­ni­ture hire ser­vice for open homes and photo shoots, and stock an ex­quis­ite range of Côte Noire can­dles and faux flow­ers im­ported di­rectly from France.

Must-haves: Côte Noire ‘Rose Bou­quet’ per­fumed flow­ers,

$99 (top left); ‘Sus­sex’ tub chair, from $895; ‘Ex­eter’ 3-seater sofa, $2595; ‘Ox­ford’ round cof­fee ta­ble, $599 (all top cen­tre).

Open: Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm;

Sun, 9.30am-4pm.

Visit: 27 Doggett St,

(07) 3252 8998.

Book­mark: fren­chan­denglish. STOP 5 | The Mod­ern Fur­ni­ture Store Orig­i­nally a mod­er­ately sized store on Arthur Street, The Mod­ern Fur­ni­ture Store has re­cently ex­panded into an old two-storey char­ac­ter build­ing on the cor­ner of James Street. While you’re mar­vel­ling at the well-crafted and beau­ti­ful Dan­ish fur­ni­ture, don’t for­get to check out what they’ve done to the space. You’ll find wood pan­elled walls and ceil­ings, an enor­mous sky­light and a plant nurs­ery nes­tled be­tween the two build­ings. Ev­ery­thing is well ex­e­cuted

– the fur­ni­ture is au­then­tic and the Euro­pean home­wares are from the likes of Marimekko. Lovers of mid-cen­tury de­sign will be bowled over.

Must-haves: Wheel-thrown stoneware ce­ram­ics by Bris­bane artist Anna Markey, $36-$120 each (top right).

Open: Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm; Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 10am-4pm.

Visit: 69-71 James St,

(07) 3254 3885.

Book­mark: the­mod­

2 Stud­ded iron pot, $250 (top); tim­ber bowl in Black, $210, both St Barts.




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