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Empire Vintage Shop Tour

March 10, 2010

Let’s take a vacation together, shall we? I say we all jump on our virtual plane and jet down to Melbourne, Australia to visit the shop of designer Lynda Gardener, whom I’ve talked about on decor8 before. Gardener is a creative genius and not shy in her decorating approach by any means — she is a bold, confident lady who displays remarkable talent and vision.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

In her shop, Empire Vintage, her finds are lovingly curated and artfully displayed in a way that inspires creative ideas. Just to walk through is an experience whether you actually purchase something or not. Shopping at Empire Vintage seems to be quite an  experience and to me, that is what a store should do — transport, inspire and if those things are successful then sales are part of the deal because then one wants to bring home a treasure to remind them of that special experience. From early rustic to French country and vintage industrial, this gem has a little something for everyone.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

As you look through these images, shot by the talented Jillian Leiboff of Jillian Leiboff Photography, try to be in the moment and imagine walking through this shop — what would you touch? How do you imagine this shop smelling? Like patchouli or lavender or perhaps vanilla and honey? Or perhaps you can smell orange blossoms? Imagine the music that you hear… is it French pop? A favorite soundtrack? Classical? I think that it’s good to pause as you are reading your favorite blogs to take in the images that you see, study them, and even put yourself into those images in order to fully experience them.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

It’s nice to slip out of your “zone” for a moment to enjoy some time for yourself to meditate, reflect and relax and that is exactly what a beautiful retail experience can do — take you away to faraway places without the jet lag! Ah, escapism.

What do you see that you like? :) I love the vintage English eiderdowns, the bunting, linen pillows, antique books, white bone china and the colorful bracelets – I would like the blue and yellow ones, please!

Shop address: 63 Cardigan Place Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.

(photos: Jillian Leiboff of Jillian Leiboff Photography)


  • Reply Amanda March 10, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I have that exact globe. My grandfather gave it to me when I was a kid and its in my china cabinet. Its a little bit broken as the plastic was brittle so it came off its axle but I still love it. I’m fairly sure it has the USSR on it and other countries that have changed.
    .-= Amanda´s last blog ..Introducing BeadPile =-.

  • Reply Liss March 10, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    whoa, Im in shop heaven. this shop is just amazing!!! love it all
    .-= Liss´s last blog ..Thursday Giveaway =-.

  • Reply Liss March 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    and I just noticed its in Melbourne, I’m going to visit it this weekend!
    .-= Liss´s last blog ..Thursday Giveaway =-.

  • Reply Danielle March 10, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    Gorgeous, I’ve been meaning to go for years – you’ve inspired me to make it happen. Will add it to my next adventure via Chapel Street Bazaar and Acland St…
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..The baby in the grass =-.

  • Reply Diana L March 10, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Liss, have fun on you visit. I wanna come along. Not gonna happen tho… I’ll just have to dream. Love the baubles and beads. The utensil holder is sweet also. Heavy sigh… dreaming now…
    .-= Diana L´s last blog ..Blue Sea Glass Tear Drop Pendant =-.

  • Reply megmanionsilliker March 10, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    oh i want to shop there this minute!! awesome.
    .-= megmanionsilliker´s last blog ..a lime slice – [randomness] =-.

  • Reply MsUnreliable March 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

    I haven’t been to Melbourne in almost a year, which is pathetic given it’s only a 1.5 hour flight away, so I think you’ve just given me the tiny push I needed to book some flights!

    xx Kit

  • Reply the domestic fringe March 10, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Looks wonderful – all of it! I want to shop there.
    .-= the domestic fringe´s last blog ..Call me Velma =-.

  • Reply Cookie Cutter March 10, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    This shop is such a treasure trove! Everything seems to have so much character and to tell a story. I can imagine myself in there, wanting so many things, but aware that I have limited funds in my pocket, I’ll be painfully short-listing items :p
    .-= Cookie Cutter´s last blog ..Calm & Natural – Nutte =-.

  • Reply Alex March 10, 2010 at 10:39 pm

    AMAZING! Thanks so much for posting this… I love love love it!

  • Reply Annie March 10, 2010 at 11:50 pm

    Yikes – I want to go immediately!!!!
    .-= Annie´s last blog ..Pretty much perfect… =-.

  • Reply Kaylen March 11, 2010 at 12:16 am

    Oh my gosh. If I was walking down the street and saw that storefront, I would just die. Seriously. I want EVERYTHING in that store! Thank you for sharing!
    .-= Kaylen´s last blog ..Only Four Months to Go! =-.

  • Reply ashlina March 11, 2010 at 12:40 am

    absolutely love the photos of this store. i think i might need to go there!
    .-= ashlina´s last blog ..secret of domestic bliss #6…must add jewels =-.

  • Reply Silke Schmidt March 11, 2010 at 1:20 am

    I love stores like this, they are great and I could spend hours in there. Have you ever been to Dittmas in Hannover. Its great and you need hours in there. Unfortunately I forgot the streetname, but i think it is in Linden.
    Have a nice day,
    .-= Silke Schmidt´s last blog ..*NEU* Blue Hippie…. =-.

  • Reply Frau Mayer March 11, 2010 at 1:45 am

    The globe! It’s absolutely amazing…
    Thanks for the tour, Holly.
    .-= Frau Mayer´s last blog ..Real Living – an extra copy for sale plus new arrivals =-.

  • Reply Janine March 11, 2010 at 3:40 am

    Oh my, I would love to visit there! All that treasure… I want, I need!!
    xJanine (former BYW student)
    .-= Janine´s last blog ..Wild and Wonderful Paint =-.

  • Reply Sara March 11, 2010 at 3:56 am

    Amazing :)

  • Reply Cosy Home Blog March 11, 2010 at 4:22 am

    The shop looks lovely, thanks for the virtual tour! I’ve always fancied one of those fortune telling hand things….
    .-= Cosy Home Blog´s last blog ..Personalised handmade house name sign =-.

  • Reply Elizabeth March 11, 2010 at 4:27 am

    Lovely! Given the smattering of old books lying here and there, I imagine this shop smelling like a library…I just love the smell of books. Is that weird? Thanks for the posting this peek!

  • Reply Alison Gibbs March 11, 2010 at 4:48 am

    Ooh just the incentive I need to drive for just over an hour and head onto this gorgeous shop. Empire Vintage here I come
    .-= Alison Gibbs´s last blog ..WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE =-.

  • Reply paula March 11, 2010 at 6:43 am

    how beautiful! i live in argentina and this looks like our “Mercado de pulgas” (flee market) in Palermo! You would loooove this place, a big shed full of treasures. i have some great pictures to publish if you want. ill post them in my blog. i think these kind of objects have a deep soul, that speak for themselves. nice article!

  • Reply juliette March 11, 2010 at 6:58 am

    what a great tour! yet another reason to want to go to Oz…

    seriously though, it looks just like the storefront of a little shop where I used to live called The Empire Emporium It had just a bit of everything, just like this one. happy memories! =)
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Miniature Worlds: Handcrafting for little people =-.

  • Reply Mel Design Heaven March 11, 2010 at 8:04 am

    Definitely putting this on the list of places to visit next time I am home. Thanks holly!
    .-= Mel Design Heaven´s last blog ..Dining room love =-.

  • Reply Jessica Zee March 11, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I’d never thought of that before, Holly, to really “browse” and immerse myself in a shop as I visit online. You’re right, though, with great photos and a gorgeous location like this, it’s pretty easy to pretend, and it makes the shop that much more charming.
    .-= Jessica Zee´s last blog ..Reference Books: What are your favorites? =-.

  • Reply Lizzie March 11, 2010 at 9:49 am

    Wow this shop looks amazing, I love the way everything looks lived in and inviting, like you could pick things up and enjoy them because its not a ‘precious’ shop! I wish I could get my online shop to look that inviting! How inspiring.
    .-= Lizzie´s last blog ..Bargain hunting! =-.

  • Reply Jen March 11, 2010 at 10:46 am

    That shop is so lovely. I have a thing for owls and tennis rackets; I know random, but pleasing.

    Thank you for sharing.


  • Reply laura trevey March 11, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I could spend hours upon hours in there…
    .-= laura trevey´s last blog ..Giveaway – Alexia Admor Dress =-.

  • Reply monica from hola!design March 11, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    what an awesome shop!!! there’s something so appealing about vintage shops! I’d love to go to this one!

  • Reply Glenda Childers March 11, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Thanks for the little holiday! Love love the white cup and saucer sets.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente March 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Gorgeous…I would LOVE to have an hour or two in there! :)
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..the little things: black & lace =-.

  • Reply Christina Diaz March 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Wow, this place looks like so much fun! I just have to go to Australia! I love it!
    .-= Christina Diaz´s last blog ..Out and About =-.

  • Reply katrina March 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    that place is just like heaven. :)
    .-= katrina´s last blog ..Mr. Rabbit Sir Giveaway @ Thompson Family-Life =-.

  • Reply Jolette March 11, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Jillian sure knows a thing or two about styling a good photo! Love the white letters on the wall (some word that ends in -ge) and the little owls.
    .-= Jolette´s last blog ..Turning on the charm =-.

  • Reply James Swan March 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Few things are as lovely as layers of memory-prodding merchandise. Love the layers and the merchandise in this lovely trip down memory-lane.

  • Reply Penny Patten March 11, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Looks like a wonderful shop!
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..Alice and Wonderland costume video =-.

  • Reply Lindsay March 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    I just recently went browsing around some of my local stores… so nice to get out and enjoy a little adventure every now and then! This store is absolutely enchanting! Thank you for the sneak peek!!


  • Reply Meg March 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Ah! treasures!! Looks great! I wish I was there right now!!
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Bear boots Holder =-.

  • Reply Emma March 11, 2010 at 6:24 pm

    Love love LOVE Empire Vintage – you’re right Holly, shopping there IS an experience. Great to see some great Melbournian talent getting a plug! You should come to Australia Holly (namely Melbourne) to visit our amazing city ;)
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ New Singer Baby } =-.

  • Reply holly March 11, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    OH I would consider a trip down under to see EMPIRE VINTAGE…Loving it.
    Love the porcelain hand….the union jack banner….the books, the birdcage, the textures, colors, letters, layers, sporty touches, oodles of yumminess….THANKS for the loveliness….Made my day.
    .-= holly´s last blog ..FUN TO BE ALIVE Vintage Book 1950s =-.

  • Reply lovestuffs March 16, 2010 at 8:14 am

    love it all !!
    it’s very amazing place…

  • Reply Erin April 9, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Beautiful shop! I believe it warrants a trip from the US to Melbourne!

  • Reply zaira June 22, 2011 at 3:26 am

    I love this blog it is so inspirational!

  • Reply Blog adsl September 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    Beautiful pictures… i love this ;)

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