One of Newcastle’s most iconic retailers closes its doors
Lovers of home furnishings and interior design will no doubt have visited House of Elliott in Perkins Street, Newcastle, at some stage in its 11 year history.
Owner Tina Elliott built her career in the interiors world, bringing her unapologetic love of all things not associated with trends, interior magazines or renovating programs to the city. Now, it is with much sadness that Tina’s self described style of ‘no style in particular’ has closed its doors, and Tina is returning to the UK.
Whilst there maybe a collective sigh of sadness from Tina’s friends and faithful shoppers, for Tina, it’s the right time to close out her career,
“I’ve had my business for 35 years and I’ve lived in Newcastle for 26 of those.
"My kids are all grown up now and can make their own decisions. I’ve still got family and lots of friends in the UK, I’ve been back an awful lot over the years, my kids spent 3 years of their life there so I still have big connections.
“I want to experience other things, so it’s all good stuff. Australia's a fabulous country, but it’s not my country and I need to go home.
“As for the business, it was just time. It’s been a lifestyle choice, rather than everything that happened.”
That ‘everything’ Tina refers to is the challenges she faced during her 11 years at her Perkins Street residence/retail space.
“It’s been a fun journey, I caught the end of retail when it was fun, but there have been a lot of challenges. The biggest for me was when retail went online, which didn’t affect sales, it affected people’s attitude."
“When I first opened people weren’t exposed to images all the time, so when they came into the store they would be like ‘I love this’ and you’d feel that energy, but when you look at beautiful homes all the time, you become desensitized, and it becomes more like ‘how much is that’ ‘what’s that’, ‘can I take a picture’. There’s no joy, and this was pre-Covid.
“If anything, Covid brought the joy back, we were only allowed to open by appointment and people were so grateful to be out.
“The big impact Covid had for businesses like mine was lack of supply, that mid range of product either isn’t available or it’s really expensive, so the whole industry has changed. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.”
“Adding to this was this street being shut for 5 years, due to the light rail and building construction, and nobody told us it was going to be closed. We had to move because you couldn’t hear yourself talk,
“My truck would get turned away and I would have to pay to get it redelivered, which is why we relocated to The Station. It was the lack of acknowledgement which broke my heart, I would have appreciated an apology. But, that was a long time ago, then we had Covid, which put everything back in perspective,
Following Covid, Tina never returned to full time hours, instead turning her attention to client-based work and design,
“I was at the end of my career so it was a way of relaxing down and focusing on the people who are important, which worked out well for me.
So what is the next phase looking like for Tina?
“I don’t have any plans at this stage. I am heading back to the UK and I plan to spend some time traveling and relaxing, then I’ll see what happens.
“Generally it’s been a really nice journey, but it’s time to go, time to move to the next stage.”
With Tina exiting her Perkins Street address it does now mean the 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom property is up for sale. The iconic building would be a dream purchase for the right person with Tina saying she hopes it goes to someone who loves it as much as what she does.
“It’s going to be hard to leave, I wish I could pick it up and take it with me. It’s been such a fun house, I love it, but it’s time to let someone else do that.”