Style Counsel With Tres Noosa
A long-lasting memory of dinner on the sand in Mexico inspired Tres Noosa owner Pauline Kouw to create her very own store with sand on the floor. We chat to Pauline to find out how you can get that coastal vibe in your own home.
Très Noosa is known as the store with sand on the floor. What inspired you?
On a trip to Mexico I discovered this cute restaurant on the beach. The bar had sitting hammocks and you might have guessed it, the floor was covered in sand. At that point I had no inclination of starting a business but it always stayed with me. Many years later when I opened my first store all I could think of was sand on the floor.
How have your customers responded?
The reaction of customers has always amused me. In my first shop, the whole floor was covered in sand and it would give customers a little fright and they would let out a shriek out of either surprise or excitement. In my second shop, unfortunately I had to adjust the amount of sand due to council regulations. The sand had to be swept to the sides and I created little islands of sand in which the products were placed so the customers had to walk through a sand-free path. It works out great as we still get great reactions and at the same time we can offer sand-free feet.
Très Noosa is also known for your unique driftwood art and sand products, what inspired you to stock these beautiful pieces?
As a former flight attendant traveling the world, I was always drawn to creations of raw, tropical products by different artists of different cultures and communities. Once my family and I immigrated to Australia and settled in Noosa, I started working with seashells. From selling shells in frames at markets to shell candles in vases, it slowly turned into a call for a store with a proper space to express my driftwood passion. The shop’s interior and displays are covered in driftwood pieces and our driftwood lamps, plus our handmade shell candles in vases. They come in all different colours and sizes; truly a Noosa original.
You are originally from Amsterdam, what is it about Noosa’s style that you love?
We were driving up the coast from Sydney stopping at potential places to start out new life when we arrived in Noosa and drove into Hastings Street. We sat down at Aromas, looked at each other in agreement, walked into Ray White and rented a furnished place. The town just felt right. It had everything we had been looking for: beach, National Park, surf, restaurants. It is just the perfect place. Simply the right style.
What is your best styling tip for people wanting to bring a little bit of Noosa into their home?
Next time you go to the beach, try to look at washed up pieces with a decorative eye. Imagine the shells, driftwood and coconuts to be clean, dried or even cut, framed or painted. You will be surprised how beautiful a piece of driftwood will give a decorative, tropical Noosa touch to your home for free. My favourite is a dried coconut as a centrepiece on an outdoor table or in a large bowl combined with shells and driftwood. You are always welcome to pop in at Très Noosa for any tips or advice.