Feature Interview

Nic & Taylor of Dunlin Home

Paddington, NSW, Australia

Sophie Sisko

In today’s disposable culture of fleeting trends, it is reassuring to encounter those who strive to bring quality to the consumer market. Having respect for the integrity of an object and its origin is what Dunlin Home pride themselves on.

Speaking with founder of Dunlin Home, Nicholas Barber was a real affirmation that this devotion to craftsmanship and care can still be found if you look in the right places.

Nicholas with his wife and business partner, Taylor, in their newly opened Paddington, Sydney showroom.

“Dunlin is simple – we strive to sell really beautiful homewares, lighting and furniture that we either source from around the world or develop ourselves. What it comes down to is, we would never sell one hundred chairs, we’d always just aim to sell the most beautiful version of one.”

-Nicholas Barber, Dunlin Home

You don’t have to look for very long to see the refined elegance of the Dunlin Home collection. The sophisticated taste of Nic and his wife Taylor McGuire Barber, who operate Dunlin Home together, is unmistakable. They both have a deep fascination with the story behind an item and their aspiration to share that with other people is what brings Dunlin Home to life. From the artisan’s hands to Dunlin Home, that story is not only shared but treasured.

Dunlin Home Paddington showroom - Stanley hammered pendants by Original BTC. Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

Dunlin Home Paddington showroom - Campaign Safari chair and Jute rug by NODI Rugs.

The inspiration for Dunlin Home blossomed over a decade ago when Nic, working as an architect on a project in Panama at the time, noticed how many wonderful products were not reaching the Australian market. Having curated so many of these pieces through his work, he began exploring this idea with the artisans and suppliers to create Dunlin Home. Ten years later, and Nic speaks of his trusted relationships with all his suppliers, some of whom he has worked with since the very start.

Throughout that time Dunlin Home have captivated their audience with their sincere commitment to quality design. Their range of furniture, lighting and homewares is a collection of “pieces that are so well crafted that they can last forever” as Nic describes. This honest appreciation for excellence has also formulated long-lasting relationships with his customers, and the many architects and designers who trust the Dunlin brand.

Examples of Dunlin's period correct lighting range - Mount St. offset wall light. Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

Examples of Dunlin's period correct lighting range - Bunker Bulkhead fitting both by Davey Lighting.

Nic states that “designing for timelessness, not just for the moment” is Dunlin’s technique when it comes to developing a product line. Nic refers to flipping through old design magazines and admiring pieces that appear they could simply travel through time to belong in any environment because they are timeless. He uses this idea as motivation to accomplish such longevity in the Dunlin Home collection.

This approach to design is successful for several reasons beyond creating a beautiful thing to look at. When something is built to last with reliable materials it can be enjoyed for years, even decades as opposed to its flimsy alternative that will end up in land fill. The selected materials come from sustainable and ethical sources to ensure the artisans and the environment are being looked after. Nic and Taylor travel around the world to visit their suppliers and better understand the story behind each product. These are the ongoing efforts that earn Dunlin Home the great compliment of receiving return business from their customers.

Selection of French linens with J'Jute baskets in the Dunlin showroom. Nic and Taylor spent two weeks in India with the family who manufacture the Jute baskets learning about their history and passion for Jute. Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

The ethos that shapes Dunlin Home is a desire to collect beauty in its purest form and bring it to the Australian market. The opening their new showroom in Paddington, Sydney is certainly a culmination of this work, and offers the opportunity for people to come in and appreciate the tactility of the products.

Transforming a window-front segment of what was once an iconic Sydney bar, this light-filled location provides the perfect ambiance to showcase Dunlin Home. “It had this really wonderful energy about it” describes Nic. When redesigning the space, it was important to utilize the building’s quirks, even maintaining areas of mouldings that belonged to the old bar. Nic’s addition of the arches creates a backdrop for the front of the store and compliments the deco façade of the building.

Entering the Dunlin show room today you will see clean white walls detailed with historic cornices that act as a stunning backdrop to showcase the Dunlin range. A place where Nic and Taylor welcome guests to visit and discover the tales of Dunlin Home.

Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

Photographed by Pablo Veiga.

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