Here's a warehouse full of designer treasures and, while eco-conscious Australian-made furniture takes centrestage, the tabletop offerings are no second thought. There's rustic handcrafted crockery by Melbourne ceramicist Shelley Panton, handmade Tasmanian copper cooking utensils, vintage and handpainted table linens and more Falcon enamelware than you can poke a stick at. While you're there, why not pick up a sustainable blond timber dining table to spread it all out on?
What to buy Bonnie and Neil screenprinted oat linen tablecloths are a sure-fire way to brighten up your dining table. Koskela, 1/85 Dunning Ave, Rosebery, NSW, (02) 9280 0999
Ici et Là
The first thing you notice at this Francophile favourite is the abundance of stripes. They're everywhere - strewn across cushion covers, down director's chairs, on espadrilles and across duffel bags. The next is the stunning collection of antique furnishings shipped over especially from France, the bright beach towels, beautiful bric-à-brac, and rolls of vibrant canvas fabric. For the kitchen and table, though, you'll find an ever-changing supply of vintage terrine dishes, linen tea towels and occasional pieces of antique French dinnerware.
What to buy The stonewashed striped linen aprons are as chic as they come. Ici et Là, 7 Nickson St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 8399 1173
The Bay Tree
A long-time Woollahra institution, The Bay Tree is an emporium of kitchen and tabletop gems, old and new. Their blockbuster collection (more than 12,500 pieces strong) includes Georgian-inspired glassware, pottery from New Zealand ceramicist Tony Sly and rustic French timber boards, peppered among antique china, vintage cooking moulds, silver cutlery and enamelware. There's fun, too, in the shelves dedicated to melamine plates and cups, brightly coloured tea towels and popping paper napkins in just about every shade and pattern under the sun.
What to buy Lusting over Laguiole? They've got the famed French cutlery in liberal supply. The Bay Tree, 40 Queen St, Woollahra, NSW, (02) 9328 1101
The first international outpost of the American megastore, Bondi's Williams-Sonoma offers everything from cold-pressed juicers to French porcelain. There's an entire section dedicated to Le Creuset, a wall for all your knives and other kitchen gadgetry, and shelves of sparkling glassware, crockery, cookware, bakeware and napery, ranging from the basic to the downright fancy. To top it all off, they also offer a small but sound selection of comestibles and a cooking school. Williams-Sonoma is opening a branch in Chatswood Chase in August and in Chadstone at the end of the year.
What to buy The mustard-yellow Quince range in the Le Creuset section is exclusive to Williams-Sonoma stores. Williams-Sonoma, 466 Oxford St, Bondi Junction, NSW, (02) 8973 5800
Chef and the Cook
As the name suggests, this kitchen and dining mecca is for every kind of food-lover, with a collection ranging from heavy-duty commercial kitchenware to products for the home. They've got almost every type of knife you can think of, from all the leading brands (Victorinox and Shun, among them), plus professional-grade cookware and bakeware, and kitchen equipment from the big-name likes of Tefal and KitchenAid. Table-wise it's all about Pillivuyt porcelain, Riedel glass and plates, bowls, platters and servingware in all sizes, shapes and forms.
What to buy Hand-forged from top-quality steel in a small factory in Niigata, Japan, the Tojiro knives are a favourite among chefs and home cooks alike. Chef and the Cook, 28-32 Mallet St, Camperdown, NSW, 1300 961 496
This pint-sized homewares haven offers tabletop goodness by the eyeful: earthy bowls, plates and carafes by South African ceramics studio Wonki Ware are piled high among the likes of horn and shell salad servers, silver and bone or mother-of-pearl cutlery, recycled French-oak breadboards and pretty silver-plated trays, lassi cups and tiered cake stands from India. Tablecloths are a specialty - there's a whole wall dedicated to them. Extending to five metres, they cover the spectrum of natural shades in linen from white to granite grey and greens, with napkins and table-runners to mix and match.
What to buy Pressed metal platters from Jaipur, India, are just the ticket for entertaining. White Home, 142 Edgecliff Rd, Woollahra, NSW, (02) 9387 4344
The Country Trader
The Country Trader is the type of place where you wouldn't want to make sudden arm movements. The 2000-square-metre room is a treasure trove of precious homewares and furnishings, both vintage and contemporary: French white china dinner sets, vintage glass jars, cabinets displaying silver-plated Champagne buckets, 19th-century pewter pitchers from Germany, and shelf after shelf of crystal glassware. Owner Geoffrey Clark's collection is arguably the finest and most expansive in the country and, while it doesn't come cheap, it doesn't come much better than this.
What to buy More like what not to buy. We can't go past the old-world charm of the early French china pieces. The Country Trader, 197 Young St, Waterloo, NSW, (02) 9698 4661
Top3 by Design
When it comes to all things design-driven - you know, bottle-openers that look like small people and toothpick holders that resemble hedgehogs - Top3 by Design leads the way. That Alessi teabag scoop you've been swooning over? They've got it. Ditto those Danish Stelton cotton bread bags you've been eyeing up, Marimekko "Unikko" paper napkins and that clever Scandi-designed cake server you've dreamed of whipping out at your next dinner party. Can't make it to any of their Sydney or Melbourne outposts? The extensive online store will have you covered.
What to buy The Normann Copenhagen "NM Krenit" salad bowl and servers are a win. Top3 by Design, 168 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest, NSW, 1300 867 333; shop GA08, gallery level, Moore Park Supa Centre, cnr Todman Ave & South Dowling sts, Kensington, NSW.
Kiwi brand Citta Design is best known for its popping colours and fun graphic designs and, much to the delight of Sydney fans, it's got a shiny new Surry Hills concept store in which to show it all off. The large, bright room plays host to all kinds of kitchen and dining goodness, ranging from the laid-back to the refined: chunky wooden boards, soft-coloured stoneware, artsy ceramic dinnerware, lead-free crystalline stemware, and boldly printed tea towels, napkins and placemats among the highlights. A welcome addition to the 'hood.
What to buy With gentle tones inspired by the "sea, sky and moon", Citta Design's stoneware collection is a favourite in our book. Citta Design, 493 Bourke St, Surry Hills, NSW, (02) 9360 7904
Pure and General
This interior-lovers' favourite, housed in a charming old Victorian butcher's shop in Sydney's inner west, is a whimsical composition of homewares from around the globe collected piece-by-piece by owner Linda Gregoriou. On the tabletop front it's all about handmade French "Cotta" ceramics, Japanese enamel cookware, mouth-blown Moroccan green glassware and Côte Bastide linens from the south of France. It's open to the public Friday to Sunday and by appointment Monday to Thursday.
What to buy The two-tone French enamelware is hard to look past. Pure and General, 38 Swanson St, Erskineville, NSW.
Ondene is all about simple, pared-back sophistication - art, furniture and homewares with clean lines, soft colours and an organic edge. At their airy Double Bay store you'll spot linen table cloths, runners and napkins from Italian brand Society, mouth-blown glassware from Belgian glazier Henry Dean, ceramic magic from Italian artists Rina Menardi and Paola Paronetto and artisan baskets hand-woven out of recycled paper from Paris-based design firm Best Before. And you'll be tempted to pick up some of their sleek Christophe Delcourt-designed furniture for the dining room, too.
What to buy Society's soft frayed linen napkins are as beautiful to touch as they are to look at. Ondene, 12 Transvaal Ave, Double Bay, NSW, (02) 9362 1734
Mark and Louella Tuckey have taken their combined passions for furniture-interior design and creation and turned them into a homeware heaven. The Newport showroom in Sydney's Northern Beaches is a vast, inviting space that makes you want to live right there. Tuckey's recycled and sustainable timber signature pieces extend from furniture to the tabletop with equally clean-lined, and sizeable, hand-turned oak dinner plates, centrepiece bowls, small salt and pepper bowls, utensil pots and chopping boards. There are select designers' wares in-store too: rough-hewn, glossy-finished ceramics by Melbourne artist Kris Coad and pristinely matt-finished Anne Ronjat crockery; and glass lab beakers - from 250ml to use as water glasses and up to five litres, which make a cracking showpiece with a display of flora in it.
What to buy Colourful felt placemats by Nomades make the perfect foil for Tuckey's sublime timber creations. Mark Tuckey, 303 Barrenjoey Rd, Newport, NSW, (02) 9997 4222
Dirty Janes Emporium
Looking for an antique china tea set, an old-school silver-plated drinks tray or a set of vintage cake moulds and cookie cutters? It's not exactly in Sydney, but Dirty Janes Emporium in Bowral - the antiques shopping capital of NSW - is bound to have it all. American and European antique furnishings are the main draw, but if you're looking to bring a touch of vintage fun to the tabletop or kitchen counter, venture behind the main shop to the antique market area where more than 60 different stalls offer an ever-changing plethora of pre-loved shopping greatness.
What to buy The china tea sets, dinnerware and platters are the go. Dirty Janes Emporium, 391 Bong Bong St, Bowral, NSW, (02) 4861 3231
Need something to eat after all that shopping? Check out our list of the best restaurants in Sydney.