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March 11, 2020
Commerce

Soda Objects is a warehouse full of beautiful things in West Croydon

Strong desire for unique furniture and homewares has seen the awesome Soda Objects outgrow its sub-lease inside a vintage clothing shop and launch its own suburban storefront.

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  • Words: Jess Bassano & Josh Fanning
  • Pictures: Sam McLaren

In a former machining shop eight minutes north west of the city sits a thoughtfully curated selection of mid-century modern objects, art and local design.

Among the items that hove into view as we cross the threshold at Soda Objects in West Croydon are the modernist lounges by Saporiti Italy, a set of classic chrome and timber Cesca chairs, a couple of white high-top stools from Sebel’s postmodern ‘Vista’ range, and the most perfect black leather panther we’ve ever seen (image #5 above).

Remarks

Soda Objects
1 Rosetta Street, West Croydon 5008
Wed–Sun: 11am ’til 5pm

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This article features as part of CityMag’s commitment to ‘helping good things grow’ in South Australia. If you know of a great business or initiative that’s truly world-class, please get in touch.

The collector of these items is Sam McLaren, who – it turns out – never meant to open such a specific furniture store as this.

To us, Soda Objects jumped up out of our Instagram feed – thanks to glowing endorsements from designers we know and like such as Claire Markwick-Smith, James Brown and Anthony Gagliardi – with images of objects that made it look like the famed people and interiors magazine, Apartamento had moved to town.

This city has been crying out for some unique design inspiration, away from the carte-blandness of the Millennial aesthetic, and we believe Soda just might be it.

When furniture becomes art and the art is of furniture

 

Sam launched Soda Objects in December 2018 after growing the business inside his wife’s vintage clothing boutique, Pineapple Vintage. Sam tells CityMag he purposefully kept a low profile early on as demand for his modernist furniture collection meant he couldn’t afford to tell too many people, for fear he wouldn’t have the stock to keep up.

“This used to be a side project that I just ran on the weekends, but now I’m doing it full-time,” says Sam.

“It came about because I kept being dragged along to go vintage shopping. Through that I started looking at furniture and I began to get a bit of an eye for a certain style, which happened to be modernist.”

Sam began collecting furniture when he was still working in the corporate world. As his collection grew, so did his connections and network in the furniture scene locally and thus, he needed his own space to grow his fledgling business.

He shares with us his journey in furniture and how he used to buy and sell replica pieces before learning about the significant impact replica furniture has on the sustainability of the local designer-maker industry.

“Early on, I allowed myself to buy replicas ­ – it made it a little easier for me to stock certain styles – but I think now that we’ve got a bit of a stock base, we have the ability to spend a little bit more money and we don’t need to buy replicas as much anymore,” he says.

As evidence of Soda Objects’ commitment to authentic design, Sam now stocks and works closely with Adelaide designer-makers Remmington Matters and Luke Makris and together the team has built a unique business model that’s able to pivot between residential and commercial customers and satisfy both small and large commissions.

Top: Armchair by Luke Makris. Bottom: Artwork by Remington Matters

 

Key to Soda Objects’ popularity has been its conscious move towards a more considerate retailing philosophy.

“I feel it’s really important the word ‘sustainable’ is treated not just for the sustainability of the environment but also the sustainability of art and design,” says Sam.

“People need to be able to express themselves and make things, and just because something has been newly made doesn’t mean it’s not sustainable.

“It’s about how the thing was made,” he says.

Rest assured, everything at Soda Objects is built to last. And as we save our own hard-earned dollars, you can bet the satisfaction of putting one of these objets d’art in our home will feel very hygge indeed.

Sam McLaren leaning in the doorway of his shop – Soda Objects. This photo: Jess Bassano. Branding and signage by Anthony Gagliardi

Pineapple Vintage sits directly across from Soda Objects on Rosetta Street, giving you twice the reason to visit West Croydon this weekend

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