Monsoon Living relocates and restores a heritage building in Newcastle

Home beautiful: Tash Ireland in the newly restored King Street premise of her boutique Monsoon Living. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers
Home beautiful: Tash Ireland in the newly restored King Street premise of her boutique Monsoon Living. Picture: Max Mason-Hubers

TASH Ireland was living in Hong Kong and nutting out her plans for a homewares store when mother nature inspired her business name. 

“There was a storm in a typhoon outside and it was crazy and I was thinking of the comfort of creating a nest in a wild storm,” she recalls.

“The word typhoon has a negative connotation but monsoon represents a lot of positives, in India the rainy season in agricultural terms is a new chapter.”

It’s been 14 years since Ms Ireland returned to Australia and started Monsoon Living, which was initially based in Pokolbin before moving to a tiny wedge of retail space in King Street, Newcastle, in 2016.

On February 14, the business shifted across the road to 174 King Street, a larger retail space that Ms Ireland spent five months refurbishing with careful respect of the heritage building dating back to the late 1800s.

Old floor boards have made way for polished concrete floors, original brickwork highlighted and a rear feature wall made from from brass and glass doors that originally belonged to the NSW State Theatre. 

“I love walking into the new space. I’m proud of the way the build has come together,” she says. 

The daughter of antique dealers with a visual design diploma and a TV production background, Ms Ireland’s love for classic, interesting but fundamentally timeless pieces is reflected in the shop’s range of homewares.

“I am quite sentimental, I like things with stories, whether it’s the candlemaker or chairmaker, there are companies with beautiful histories and stories and they are classic things and things that you fall in love with,” she says.

Her small but thoughtfully curated furniture and homeware range includes Persian rugs, Indian architectural pieces, European chairs, lights and linen, and architectural pieces.

Ms Ireland says inner-city Newcastle is “getting better and better” and she has long been a fan of the King Street shopping strip.

“Between us, House of Elliot, Hunter Valley Design and High Swan Dive, it’s become a nice area for home and lifestyle pieces,” she notes.