This packed-to-the-rafters corner store has earned a reputation for being at the forefront of new trends and introducing emerging brands. Owner Felicity Rulikowski, a former stylist, has an astute eye for sourcing edgy yet chic items for the home and table, as well as combining well-known brands with one-off pieces such as Japanese ceramics with Indian copper pieces.
What to buy Tom Dixon's "Eclectic" salt and pepper grinders and colourful Dibbern glassware. Safari Living, 579 High St, East Prahran, Vic, (03) 9510 4500
Turner and Lane
The wittily mismatched merchandising displays in the Turner and Lane stores are often inspired by a new cookbook, product or colour combination. Owners Susi Lane and Libby Turner's three shops may include home accessories and colourful jewellery alongside elegantly engraved RM Hall Evora cutlery, linen by Melbourne's Bonnie and Neil, and Laguiole cutlery - Turner and Lane's philosophy is all about surrounding yourself with things you love.
What to buy It has to be ceramics and glassware by Dutch brand Pols Potten. Turner and Lane, 1391 Malvern Rd, Malvern, (03) 9821 0012; 179 Domain Rd, South Yarra, Vic, (03) 9820 0654; 99 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park, Vic, (03) 9686 6015
Izzi & Popo
More a treasure trove of vintage European pieces and collectables than a mere second-hand store, to step inside Izzi & Popo is to be transported back in time to a small village in Europe. Husband and wife duo Bernadette Wyer and Harry Filman stock carefully procured items for the home from markets and antique dealers throughout Europe. Treasures might include French wicker baskets, a ceramic wash basin from Belgium, traditional dinner sets from grand old hotels and Hungarian bed linen.
What to buy Belgian cut-crystal wine glasses. Izzi & Popo, 258 Ferrars St, South Melbourne, Vic, (03) 9696 1771
Chic, timeless fashion from Europe, exquisite designer homewares and high-end fragrance products combine to make Manon Bis a dreamy escape into a world where luxury is within reach. Owner Hilary Gwillim has a fabulous eye for seeking out unique tabletop items such as softly sculpted pieces by English ceramic company Brickett Davda and brightly coloured Italian glassware by NasonMoretti.
What to buy A vase by Belgian glassware designer Henry Dean. Manon Bis, 568 Malvern Rd, Hawksburn, Vic, (03) 9521 1866
With a vibrant assortment of cookware and homeware primarily from Italy, Spain and Mexico, Market Import has been injecting colour into our kitchens and dining rooms for more than 20 years. Wicker products, recycled coloured glassware, Italian ceramics and brightly painted tableware are among the highlights.
What to buy Candy-coloured table linen, Mexican glassware and Italian Anticco Doccia white porcelain dinnerware. Market Import, 19 Morey St, Armadale, Vic, (03) 9500 0764 (there are also stores in Sydney and Adelaide)
Love unique handmade ceramics? Potier is the place for you. Owner Judith Buckeridge is dedicated to showcasing the works of an extensive range of talented Australian potters, ranging from delicate pieces by Kerrie Lightbody, utilitarian work by Gregory Bonasera and lamps by Szilvia Gyorgy.
What to buy Mel Robson porcelain bowls. Potier, 29 Mills St, Albert Park, Vic, (03) 9645 7158
Coote & Co
This pocket-sized showroom in Armadale's historic Kings Arcade is the creation of Charlotte Coote, daughter of late interior designer John Coote. It was after living in Ireland and managing her father's business that Charlotte opened this boutique in Melbourne and shared her knowledge and passion for homewares, especially Irish bed linen and her father's line of porcelain plates and teacups and saucers.
What to buy Each piece of earthenware by French company Astier de Villatte is individually handmade from black terracotta, making them unique in their imperfections. Coote & Co, shop 7 Kings Arcade, 974-978 High St, Armadale, Vic, (03) 9090 7344
Need something to eat after all that shopping? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Melbourne.