Baker & Shuhandler is a landmark store on Beaufort Street,
run by Highgate local, Sam Shuhandler.
The store commissions exclusive furniture and accessories not found elsewhere in Australia with opulent pieces ranging from elegant French to contemporary Hamptons.
Although qualified as an aircraft engineer, Sam soon found himself attracted to the design industry.
“I’ve always been a traveller. I travelled the world as a young engineer taking in design influences from everywhere I went. I was lucky to meet a boutique hotel owner in my travels who recognised my love of interior design. The upshot was I soon found myself designing and decorating boutique hotels across Europe.”
Sam moved to Perth sixteen years ago to start a family. He soon found himself back in the design business – working to decorate display homes in Perth.
In 2007, he opened Baker & Shuhandler after identifying a gap in the market for European opulent furniture across Perth, and has now taken the reins as the store grows in popularity and success.
“Back when we opened the store, I was influenced by traditional French baroque and moved to more contemporary baroque pieces. Over past few years we have embraced the Hollywood Regency style as it has emerged as one of the key influencers in interior design - Hollywood for the glamour, Regency for the classical Regency pieces incorporated into the designs,” Mr Shuhandler said.
The Hollywood Regency style emerged through the work of interior designers, such as Dorothy Draper, Elsie de Wolfe, and William (Billy) Haines, who were hired to transform the homes of film stars in Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s through to 1960s.
“It has risen in popularity because it doesn’t matter what size your home and budget, there are elements that anyone can incorporate in their home to achieve this luxurious look.”
Sam has a personal style that he describes as both maximalist and an eclecticist.
“My pad has always featured a mix of my own stuff with modern classics and Louis XVI chairs and a dollop of rococo, so I fully support design that has a dash of opulence and a soupçon of decoration,” he said.
“As living rooms have become more relaxed places for lounging, we have less need for formal sofas and more love for a versatile padded zone that lets us sprawl out however we like. This type of furniture, dressed in elegant light blue grey upholstery, invites one to lie down with a plush throw and a good book or game.
Mr Shuhandler is continuously on the lookout for new trends by going to major trade fairs and sourcing independent suppliers in France, Italy and America.
“The most popular styles at the moment are the American Hampton, Hollywood Glamour, New York Loft, and Parisian Apartment,” he concluded.