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The Brief.

Antimicrobial upholstery is now more important than ever when considering fabric for hospitality projects. This factor didn’t escape Fretard Design when scheming for the design of INSTEA’s flagship store in Victoria.

Fretard Design is a Melbourne-based, multi-disciplinary practice that creates authentic, effective interior and graphic design solutions, with a highly personalised client experience.

The brief for INSTEA’s first Australian store was for Benjamin Fretard to create an Australian aesthetic for the Malaysian brand. INSTEA positions itself as a sophisticated and upmarket offering in the bubble tea market. Fretard drew inspiration from their crafted individuality to design a space that fuses a refined retail experience and a functional café setting.

INSTEA cafe Melbourne, antimicrobial upholstery

Located in a narrow two-storey shopfront on busy Swanston Street, Fretard designed an engaging retail space on the lower level. Meanwhile, the upper level offers a calm retreat and dine-in space, layered in hues of green fabrics and wall treatments.

Built in bench seating offers customers a place to sit, and a uniquely different experience to what they might normally expect from a bubble tea store.

INSTEA cafe fitout, Fretard Design

Fretard designed the space to be reflective of the luxury INSTEA strives for, and to attract the type of customer searching for an immersive and upmarket tea experience.

Materialised Product – Antimicrobial Upholstery

Being familiar and satisfied with our Vista faux leather from his past few projects, Vista Kelp was an easy and natural selection by Fretard for INSTEA.

The Vista range offers a huge variety of colours and exceptional durability for hospitality spaces. Featuring the PreFixx® protective finish it is engineered to meet the stringent requirements of hospital, contract and institutional settings. The finish contains antimicrobial agents to protect the upholstery by providing resistance to the growth of many types of bacteria and other microbes.

INSTEA cafe fitout

The Result

INSTEA were really happy with Ben’s selection and the colour fit perfectly with the other colours and finishes around.

What is Ben excited about for 2021 and your next project?

“I have a few projects in at the moment including a nice Mediterranean deli café and pizza shop. There are a few more INSTEA’s coming too so 2021 is going to be a busy year,” says Ben. And we say cheers to that!


The Team & Credits

Interior Design: Fretard Design
Photographer: James Park
Materialised Team: VIC