A treasure trove spilling with pieces owner Kathrin Bruce has travelled the globe to carefully source, Water Tiger is a decor stylist’s heaven. Every crevice of this beautiful Sydney showroom is filled with rare finds imbued with story and soul, the kind of pieces that elevate any wedding reception when blended with hired decor, or make the perfect focal pieces for your home.
It’s our go-to for one of a kind objects - clay beaded chandeliers suspended over a tribal inspired table, oversized vintage cheese boards, petrified wood platters, gilded vintage bowls, white turkish urns at a ceremony entrance spilling with blooms, woven baskets to hold knit throws for winter weddings, antique doors embellished with celestial accents for our dream bohemian homes.
We spent the day combing through the Water Tiger boutique, to get a glimpse into the world of sourcing artisanal pieces through Kathrin’s eyes…
(interview under gallery)
Where did the Water Tiger story begin?
I started importing in 2001, I had just returned from living in Asia and wanted to get into something I loved, I had lots of contacts so started with 5 pieces of furniture from China and sold them in 2 weeks... I felt like I was onto something.
When you’re exposed to market places spilling with artisanal pieces, how do you narrow down exactly what makes the cut for your boutique?
I need to search through massive warehouses when I travel, the only way to decide on something if it stops me when i am walking through the spaces. If it catches my eye then it is worth a second look. I then have to decide its commercial reality, I can love something but will it sell?
One of your most memorable experiences while travelling abroad, shopping for decor…
Haggling with a supplier in the middle of china for some old chairs, the translator then revealed the item was Ming dynasty, over 300 years old, I was stopped in my tracks to think I was able to buy such history, I stopped haggling immediately.
Your key tips for styling a home...
Palette is key, stay with a palette then you can have anything from any style, it will always work.
We lived vicariously through your instagram on your last trip to China, what do you love most about sourcing decor from China?
The history if the pieces, the craftsmanship, the juxtaposition between old china and new china . It is sophisticated and carries stories of great times in every piece.