On The Journal this week, we speak to the maker behind one of your most requested pieces of storage, the Kōyō Shelving Unit. Byron Bay craftsman Marty Purcell, from The Purc Shop talks about the process of working in collaboration with Imprint House founder Natalie Walton to bring the timeless yet high-functioning design to life.  

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Q: Tell us about Purc Shop, how it all began…

A: I’ve loved making furniture for most of my adult life, and started doing it in a dusty corner of my old man’s tile warehouse in Sydney, long before it was ever a business.

As I started to make more pieces for family and friends, I rented a tiny shed in an old Wool factory in Ultimo Sydney, which eventually became a small custom furniture studio called, Purc Studio.

Today, The Purc Shop (est. 2015) is based in Byron Bay, and we sustainably make timber furniture to order (both custom pieces and those from our range), that is functional, built to last and easy on the eye.


Q: What was the process like making the Kōyō Shelves?

A: Making a small batch of Koyo Shelves was a dream for us. The simple, timeless design by Natalie Walton is right up our alley, so it was all about getting the joinery as simple as possible, and focusing on getting the best out of the timber, so that the design comes to life.


Q: Why did you opt for Victorian Ash? What are the benefits of this material?

Vic Ash is sustainably grown in Australia and has the most beautiful, light colour, making it our preferred timber at The Purc Shop. We love using the same timber over and over again, because you get to know it so well, and when you’re working with a natural material, this expertise becomes so important to making the most of its beauty and flaws.


Q: Do you have any installation advice for the shelves?

Our advice, is to get help! You’ll need at least 2 people to install the Koyo. And an even better option is to get a professional to do it for you. 

If you’re feeling up for the challenge, our first tip is to use M12 Galvanised thread rod.. 

When we do installs, we in-bed steel rods into the wall to hang floating shelves, and prefer to use threaded rod for this process which you can find at any hardware store. 

Our second tip comes once you’ve determined your location and marked where the rods will go in the wall as well as on the unit itself… We recommend you drill snug holes in the wall to fit the rods, and then drill oversized holes in the Koyo. This oversized hole will help a lot when it comes to aligning the Koyo when installing. 

These two tips make it heaps easier to just slide the unit on!