Moving from Potts Point to Miranda turned out to be a career blessing for interior designer Anita Bencic, who found a new audience in the Shire.
Newly married, Anita’s husband was keen to stay beachside, so she made the move to the Shire and set up her luxury homewares store Aqua Gild in nearby Caringbah.
Having worked as a visual merchandiser with brands such as Fendi Casa and Max Mara, Anita combined her experience and love for interiors to set up her own shop.
“Our slogan is ‘local is the new luxury’,” Anita says.
Most of the brands featured in the store are Australian, including Nice Digs, Bling Art, Orchard Street and Theseeke.
“Opening in the Shire has been great,” she says. “People here love to support local brands. I’ve noticed that even if there are two comparable things to buy, they will always go for the Australian brand.”
The Shire is known for its love of coastal and beach chic decor, but Anita says she is offering interiors beyond bleached wood and rattan.
“Our style is more sleek and sophisticated, but still quite relaxed,” she says.
TOP 10 FAVOURITE THINGS
Who: Interior designer/retailer Anita Bencic. Where: Apartment in Miranda with her husband Arinaldo Grubica. Inspiration: Sophisticated and fun. Home is: My family, my everything
Words: Catherine Nikas-Boulos Photos: Adam Yip More: aquagild.com.au
Favourite thing: My mother bought me Bepi three years ago when I lost my dad. She thought it would be a good idea to channel all that love and energy I had for my dad into a puppy. It was excellent therapy — she could not have gotten it more right.
Roberto Cavalli plates: We like to use the good plates and the best linen on ourselves — life is too short to live a dull life. When we have a dinner party on the balcony it’s nice to see all these colourful plates lined up.
Cobra Art Company image: I used to work for Fendi Casa and this was hanging in their office, and I had to have it. We were going to put it in the bedroom because it’s a bit risque, but I thought, “life’s a party” and put it in the living room instead.
Moet & Chandon: We go to all the Moet carnivals and brand events. It’s our favourite thing to drink, and I don’t think you should ever drink cheap champagne — drink sparkling water instead.
Vase: This was meant for the shop, but when it arrived, I thought, “nope, you’re coming home with me”. It’s a struggle not to bring everything I love home.
Nespresso coffee machine: This is a life-giving juice machine. It’s on constant rotation in our house. First thing in the morning I’ll have a piccolo and my husband has a short black.
Versace wallpaper: Even though my husband is a builder, he is really passionate about fashion and design, and I am the one who has to try and tone it down. It’s the Italian in him.
Lamp: I love the colour of this lamp and the details are just so unique. The shells are so delicate and pretty.
Faux fur chairs: Believe it or not, these are our dining chairs. We made a decision not to buy anything until we had moved into this apartment, but when we saw these, we broke the rules.
Black Blaze candles: I love unisex fragrances, I am not into floral and pretty smells. These candles have a spicy and warm scent that is perfect for winter. They’re quite masculine and sexy.