New Life into Historic Home

August 1, 2016

New Life into Historic Home

Walking into Karen Jordan’s interior and homewares store in Bulcock Street, Caloundra, provokes a sense of déjà vu for locals, who remember the iconic Comino’s Drapery store at the top end of town.

For most four-year-olds, playing house involves throwing a sheet over a few pushed-together chairs and hosting imaginary tea parties for their favourite stuffed toys. But even as a young child, Karen Jordan was all about the beautiful and would make curtains for her cubby house and paint its petite walls.

Karen Jordan

We’ve been in Caloundra for 26 years, and in our first week in town, I walked into this shop and said to my hubby, ‘If I ever have a shop, this is the one I want’.”

As Karen grew up, that translated into furnishing her bedrooms and eventually creating a beautiful abode in which to live.

Having returned from the Paris Trade Fair earlier in the year, where Karen was privy to the upcoming trend projections in all things interiors for the next five years, she also visited Italy, England and Spain to purchase unique homewares and collections to sell in her Caloundra store.

Karen began her wholesaling business with her sister, travelling overseas and buying homewares, but when she moved away Karen was left with an abundance of stock.

“I started with a few pop up shops around the Coast in Noosa, Peregian and Pelican waters to get rid of the product. I thought I’d give it six months in Caloundra – I loved it and then it grew,” she says.

Whitepepper Homewares operated out of a shopfront in Bulcock Street for four years, before Karen needed a bigger space – the ideal location being the former Comino’s Drapery.

“I was looking for about 12 months, but I have to have a connection with a place, I can’t walk into a brand new shop and feel okay,” she says.

Karen Jordan

“I looked around and was chatting to one of the real estate agents in town who said Mrs Comino was thinking of selling, but was waiting until she found the right person to come in.

“I’d been in the shop loads of times, but introduced myself to her and we had a chat and she allowed me to take over the space.”

As fate would have it, Karen had a special connection to the Comino’s historic shopfront.

“We’ve been in Caloundra for 26 years, and in our first week in town, I walked into this shop and said to my hubby, ‘If I ever have a shop, this is the one I want’, and back then I hadn’t even thought about having a shop.

“It’s funny how it all comes around. I love the history of it.”

We’ve been in Caloundra for 26 years, and in our first week in town, I walked into this shop and said to my hubby, ‘If I ever have a shop, this is the one I want’.”

The Comino family has a history steeped in the Caloundra community, having owned and operated a string of businesses at the top end of Bulcock Street for around 70 years.

To commemorate this, Karen kept the original Comino’s Drapery signage above the door, as a reminder of its origin.

“I’m a bit of a sentimentalist, I thought you can’t take it down, it’s been there forever, I just like to keep it there,” she says, casting her eye upwards.

With pastel-coloured prints and intricately-designed shelves adorning the freshly painted white walls, a Palm Springs-inspired bedroom display in the centre of the room, and contemporary vignettes in the windows, new life has been breathed into this historic ‘home’ for future generations to enjoy.

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