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boyandgirlco at The Hamlet

Wendy Johnson

Who would think to make a desk out of a bunch of bulky wooden stereo speakers circa ‘a long time ago’? boyandgirlco.

There’s no stopping Anita and Carlo Krikowa, the creators behind this local brand. And so it was that one day, when rummaging through the stuff for sale at The Green Shed in Mitchell, this couple stumbled across a heap of speakers. ‘Hmmm. What could we do with them?’ they asked each other.

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Anita said they started playing around, stacking the speakers at The Green in different ways, until the idea was formed. The speakers could form the base of a desk.

The couple bought the speakers and, once back in their massive, 485-square metre warehouse in Mitchell, created the base and then made the top and sides with discarded wooden pallets, their ‘signature stock’ for creating furniture and other household and decorative items.

Today, the desk takes pride of place in boyandgirlco’s retail space at The Hamlet in Braddon. The wall behind the desk was created by remnants of pallets from standard or custom pieces of furniture designed and made by boyandgirlco. Anita says it took about five hours to piece the wall together and the painting underneath is a bright blue to bring the sky from the outside in.

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At The Hamlet, boyandgirlco’s retail shop is small and cosy, set up more or less like a warm and welcoming living room.

Pieces change as things sell. On my first visit I saw a one-off coffee table at the front, made with remnants from pallets stacked to form the two legs (each leg a different design) and a glass top. A dining table was positioned in the centre of the shop and at the back were perched a range of pieces, including several Light Boxes, which come in a range of sizes and colours. These pieces, although part of boyandgirlco’s ever-growing standard range, can be produced in a range of sizes and colours. They brighten any space and can be used to store bits and bobs.

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On the back wall also hangs a range of colourful urban planter boxes, which can also be modified to suit any space, and are perfect for hanging on a fence or balcony.

On the opposite wall are original pieces of art by artist ‘Bookie’, who produces her pieces on pallets, recycled timbers and other non-traditional canvas. The pieces aren’t framed and are hung ‘as is’—a simple, honest way to let the art speak for itself.

While many think that The Hamlet, on Lonsdale Street, is just an eclectic collection of food vans, it’s not. It is home to a growing number of unique retail outlets.

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boyandgirlco’s shop is at the front facing the food area. Other shops include Kin Gallery, where industrial and jewellery designers create their work on site, Wildwood, owned by independent local fashion designer Sara Wurcker, Skeehan Studio (commercial furniture, lighting and product design) and Wink Co (delicate, feminine jewellery).

And aside from The Hamlet, boyandgirlco are super busy on other projects, including, a recent fitout of The Fix: Cold Pressed Juice, which has just opened in Fyshwick, a custom storage solution for Smitten Hairdressing, and an outdoor area for Little Oink at Cook Shops.   boyandgirlco also made more than 100 individual pieces of furniture for this year’s Canberra Multicultural Fringe Festival.

The Hamlet, 16 Lonsdale Street, Braddon. Boyandgirlco is open at their new retail shop Thursday to Sunday or by appointment.

All photographs by Celia Hevesi.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson graduated with a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, a few decades ago. She’s been living in Australia since 1995, having fallen in love with eucalypt trees and kangaroos. Wendy is passionate about Canberra and all the nation’s capital has to offer. She loves to write (about everything and anything) and owns her own pr and advertising business. More about the Author

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