Lots of people who come to visit us here in our old limestone farmhouse ask where I got all our furniture, homewares and various vintage this-or-that scattered throughout the house. A milk pail in the pantry, my Queen Anne dresser that acts as our TV unit, flour sack cushions on the couch, milk bottles I use as vases, old apple crates – they all make up a collection I’ve been unknowingly curating for years. When we lived in our little cottage in Murrindindi my favourite haunt was the Yarra Glen antiques shops, when we were in Gippsland I spent weekends discovering gems like The Tyabb Packing House and The Vintage Shed at Tyabb (where a lot of bits and bobs for our wedding were purchased). I would be up at 5am to hit the Camberwell Market of a Sunday morning when I lived in Melbourne. But when it came to vintage treasure troves within Melbourne open during the week I was a bit lost. Then I spied Lost Ark on an episode of The Block a few weeks ago. I knew I’d be spending a week in Melbourne soon so quickly jotted down the name, got googling and discovered it is literally around the corner from my sister’s house! Fate, I tell you. Fellow vintage lover Amy met me at Lost Ark, my favourite little blonde boy in tow, and we dove straight down the rabbit hole…
Oh… My… Goodness…
We just honestly didn’t know which way to look, so much vintage goodness! Lost Ark is literally jam-packed to the rafters with all sorts of furniture, homewares, rustic beauties and industrial gems. We wandered around oohing and aahing, gasping and cooing. A lot of “Come look at THIS!” and “Oh you HAVE to get that!” Suitcases galore, glass apothecary jars, chairs of all shapes and sizes, lighting fixtures and gorgeous vintage children’s toys – it was some sort of Emma’s-died-and-gone-to-vintage-heaven moment.
Lost Ark is run by two guys passionate about vintage and antique pieces – the passion is obvious as soon as you walk in. Not only do Michael and James have a fabulous collection of goods on offer, but they can restore a favourite piece which might need a little TLC. On the day we were visiting they were busily working away in their workshop, putting finishing touches on a few restorations. They were super kind and let Monty choose some matchbox cars from their collection. Lucky boy.
Personally I had my eye on a few benches that would go perfectly on the wide verandah’s of the farmhouse, alas my car wouldn’t fit them in to cart back to South Australia, but that mint green one pictured below was calling my name. Also some gorgeous trunks and chests caught my eye, an old iron rusted child’s bed which would make a charming garden gate and those beautiful rocking horses.
If you’re like me, you’ll try and make your home look anything but a picture straight out of an Ikea catalogue. I definitely love the Swedish megastore for select things, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want to buy the whole store. They certainly don’t make things like they used to, most of the furniture and homewares we buy from large department stores will end up in landfill, buying from a vintage warehouse or second-hand dealer ensures those pieces of yesteryear have another home for another generation. I love that. And you can’t beat old-fashioned craftmanship. What makes our home a home is the personally chosen vintage pieces, all which have a story behind them and are one-of-a-kind. If you’re looking for those unique details like I always am, Lost Ark is a brilliant starting point. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…you may end up lost down the rabbit hole like we were! This place is definitely on my ‘must-visit-when-in-Melbourne’ list now.
Lost Ark Antiques & Collectables can be found at 294-296 Kororoit Creek Road, Williamstown. They also have a Facebook page where you can see all their latest restorations and vintage finds.