Design for a Sea Change: WhitePepper Homewares


With so many Australians now choosing a ‘sea change’ (abandoning city living to live by the sea), what were once sleepy seaside and tourist towns are now bubbling with culture, new creative talent and interior design stores.  This has led us to the beach town of Caloundra, Australia where we discovered ‘Whitepepper Homewares‘, a delightful store packed with colourful, modern furniture and accessories – all of which you will want to take home.

From the moment you enter the store you are filled with a happy, sunny vibe – much like the town itself. Colourful cushions with bird patterns, tropical leaf prints (read about this trend here), geometric, chevron and painterly watercolor floral designs are grouped together by color and arranged with vintage curiosities and accessories.  Colourful exposed bulb wire pendant shades are suspended from the ceiling and streamlined and retro inspired indoor and outdoor furniture pieces are neatly arranged on the shop floor. It’s the perfect mix of old and new!

Immersed within the rainbow of accessories I chatted with store owner Karen Jordan about what makes her tick, where she finds design inspiration in Australia and what has people coming back to her store. Design has clearly been in her blood from a very young age and we are so happy she has located her chic home-wares store by the seaside. You can read the interview below.


Image above: Design Lovers Blog Interview with Karen Jordan, Owner of WhitePepper Homewares

Q. Tell me about your background. What age did you feel design was your passion?

A.   At the age of four I received a cubby house from Santa – it was the best gift ever! Over the next seven to eight years that cubby was painted inside and out a zillion times, new curtains, cushions, furniture I made from whatever I could find. My Mum gave me the freedom to do the same in my bedroom, [thanks Mum] so I would say forever! I have always been passionate about design and beautiful things.
Q. Describe your personal design style / design aesthetic?
A. I don’t really have an aesthetic style that I stick too, it’s constantly changing. I love classic designs with a modern twist, love vintage pieces mixed in with something on trend. Texture, fabrics, flowers, comfort, books, metal and marble, all mixed together- maybe boho? but not too messy, definitely not messy.

Q. If we walked into your home what would we be surprised to see?

A. Not a lot of bright colours, [the store is so beautiful and colourful, quite the opposite to home] I’ve used mainly dark muddy colours, our home is full of light and I love the way that the darkness really grounds everything. We’re just in the middle of painting our exterior really, really dark, muddy grey (nearly black) and I’m loving how everything else, especially plants, just pop against the dark colour.  

Q. How does design in Sunshine Coast / Queensland compare with the design in other cities in Australia?
A. I believe that the Sunshine Coast is bubbling with some beautiful design elements. There are so many very talented people living here, we are lucky to be a destination that many people want to live, so with them they bring a wealth of culture and talent.


Q. What is about White Pepper, that your customers like?
A. Primarily the stock (I hope)! The store does have a lovely feel about it, it’s a funny old building that had lots of issues [leaky roof, no running water] but I love it.  To me it feels like a larger version of my “cubby house”. I want everyone to feel good when they’re here, whether they are a customer or a browser. Of course I’m here to make money, but I can honestly say that I just absolutely love my job, and all the wonderful bits and bobs that go with it. Its a wonderful happy place.
Q. What are you looking forward to in the future?
A. Personally- travelling more with my lovely family. Professionally – expanding my little business, not into some mega mess, but maybe another location or two, who knows?
Q. Give five resources you turn to for design inspiration.
1. I absolutely love wandering around cities just looking, some many inspiring buildings and people – I love that butterfly in the stomach moment, when you see something amazing. Locally I love love love Melbourne!
2. British designer Abigail Ahearn- she is amazing, would love to attend one of her design classes in London.
3. Magazines- I have a serious addiction, cannot stop buying them. Have stacks of them everywhere, read them front to back and I never throw them out!
4. Sounds terribly soppy but, my hubby. He designs/builds amazing swimming pools and outdoor spaces – he is very creative.
5. World trade shows- the last few years I have been lucky to attend some overseas fairs, its inspiring to see the up and coming.


Visit Whitepepper Homewares, 138 Bulcock Street, Caloundra  QLD 4551, Australia.  Phone: +61 (0) 488 440 626

Want more of Design Destinations in Australia? Read:

Brisbane Design Destination: Alfred & Constance

Brisbane Design Destination: Black & Spiro

Brisbane Design Destination: Magnolia Interiors

Brisbane Design Destination: Kova Lifestyle


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Jill Brandenburg is a Freelance Interiors Writer & Stylist and Co-Editor of Design Lovers Blog.
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3 Responses to “Design for a Sea Change: WhitePepper Homewares”
  1.' James says:

    I just loved the decorative stuff at Whitepepper Homewares. I really appreciate her choice of collections, aesthetics and her choice of other decorative stuff.

    • Jill says:

      Hi James – thanks for your comments. Could’t agree with you more. Such a wonderfully curated shop filled with cheerful products.

  2.' Nancy says:

    Great Post. I Just love your collection and decorative stuff. Thanks for sharing this great idea.

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