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Read This Before Buying ANY Furniture!


Hello again, thanks for coming back for more great furniture buying advice. We’re furniture designers, then manufactures and lastly, we sell it. Its been that way for 20 years for me and over 50 years for my dad and similar for his dad. Thats over 120 years of combined experience spread over 7 decades. We have developed 10 or so furniture ranges over the years and our website currently reflects the modern styles people want today. We’ll share our experience and dispense it here for free periodically because things are changing rapidly in the furniture game, you need to be armed with up-to-date knowledge and our advice could save you from costly mistakes. *The summaries below are formed from my own shopping and professional experiences and stories from my customers. The “throw away” furniture being offered today has lowered people’s sights, forced by the lack of quality, choice and value in retail furniture. There is no ‘trend’ in our furniture and there never has been. It’s not seasonal but rather generational. Keep it simple, keep it timber, keep it timeless…


For quite some time now, you might have noticed something happening to the furniture market in Australia. As the furniture manufacturing sector continues to shrink in SA and Australia, the retailers are using some pretty dirty tricks to make you believe your furniture is Australian made when in actual fact most of the work has been done overseas by unskilled hands with substandard materials. We are thriving in this climate because our standard of work, choices and exclusive designs are far beyond anything that can be offered by an importer/retailer. We can make almost anything just for you right here in our Adelaide factory, the price will be more but the value is 100 times greater. We make furniture you feel good about guaranteed.

“A VICTORIAN COMPANY” who is it….?

If your retail sales assistant can’t or won’t name the company that has made their furniture, high chance its an imported piece of furniture. “A company in Victoria” is a common reply to a common question.. and it actually works, seems most people I have spoken to accepted it as a reasonable scenario and asked no more… With most major furniture manufacturers moving off shore, and bringing it back in to retail, its likely these “Victorian Companies” are just furniture importers while potential customers might be coerced into believing it’s made in Aus. Let’s not forget something only has to be assembled here to claim made in Australia. If you cant see the factory, then you don’t know where it’s made and what its made from, you could be told anything and they rely on peoples lack of knowledge…

FAST FOOD FURNITURE (that isn’t very fast)

The quality of imported furniture continues to fall, meaning the value of imported furniture is not there for the end user. ALL the value in imported furniture belongs to the retailer as it’s purchased cheap and sold for many times it’s actual value. Retailing imported, flat pack furniture is a great way of getting rich quick off the back of throw away furniture. The home maker centres around town have become nothing more than junk food corners for furniture, all selling the same version of the same inferior product. We can make a dining table within one week of you selecting the timbers, slightly cheaper tables from OS might take 16 weeks, when it finally does arrive you might not even like it or more probable it has splits and cracks and is unfit for use.

I have sold 3 or 4 tables this year to customers who were burnt by big name retailers with terrible quality (cracks in tables being the most common complaint) they were on their 2nd and 3rd table and eventually achieved a full refund, came to see us to have a table hand made. I was pretty shocked by the high prices of these poor quality tables! DIRTY TRICKS: One retailer actually had a sign on their table saying “Tasmanian Oak has natural splits and cracks” NO, IT ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT! Splits and cracks in timber mean poor quality materials, nothing more nothing less.

Other retailers are selling imported furniture but USING THE CHOOSE SA LOGO all over their shop front. This logo and campaign has been hijacked by retailers selling imported furniture, just another SA company with majority of turn over heading overseas, thats not CHOOSE SA and that’s why we refuse to utilise the logo and campaign. Another dirty trick I have seen recently is one particular (and quite popular) retailer use the words American Oak ‘veneers’ to describe a plastic laminate or melamine. Timber veneers are exactly that, real timber they’re  NOT a plastic melamine or vinyl wrap. BIG DIFFERENCE none the less, a dirty trick used to confuse…

This is a pretty quick overview of the perils of the modern day furniture market, Im positive there’s plenty more to go on about here but I’ll come back to it another day and add more hot tips right here in this post called “Read This Before Buying ANY Furniture” Cheers!

Hope this helped you, any questions just send them through a contact form on this website and I’ll get back to you asap!

Matt Mabarrack -diploma furniture design & cert III furniture maker

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NEW Media Units for 2018

Next year, one of our plans is to put the entertainment value back into entertainment units and what better way than with booze! Cocktail cabinets are regaining popularity so we’re going to elaborate on that by meshing two forms of entertaining together in one grand piece of furniture.

So, when we say “new media units” we actually mean pretty old… We designed the concept of these units nearly 14 years ago when standard definition 40″ plasma TV’s were up around $5k, some of our clients had that money but not all so it never really took off (we are ahead of our time most of the time, its been like that for decades). These new units are completely designed around mounting a jumbo monitor to the wall or the unit itself. Bulky AV components seem to be disappearing too as home servers take over and they’re usually found in a cupboard somewhere. Free standing units or wall mounted cabinets can be crafted in a myriad of designs incorporating internal and external LED lighting, mirrors, cocktail cabinets, storage, shelving, mirrors etc. The choice of dimensions, options, upgrades, timbers and paints make for almost infinite combinations. Modern and timeless and with more and more interest being shown, these concepts are finally ready for their time in the sun… #newfurniture2018 Continue reading NEW Media Units for 2018

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5 Common Design Flaws in Dining Tables…

Hi thanks for popping in… You made it to this page because you’re a very astute buyer who does their homework and you’ve probably been thinking about upgrading your dining table. Anyone can come to our website and see the table designs we offer today (forget materials for a minute, we’re looking at design) and we offer only those designs for very good reasons. This article will highlight the main issues plaguing table design in the retail market that sales talk won’t mention, take a look at some examples of poor table design we found to help illustrate… Enjoy!


TABLE STABILITY IS PARAMOUNT: Decades of our own R&D in reference to table stress, strength and stability shows through simple physics that a table top needs a minimum footprint under it’s centre of gravity. Should this footprint be too small in proportion to the top, stability is jeopardised. Some places call these designs modern and stylish, we say bad design, unsightly and impractical and above all DANGEROUS! You only need the wrong guest to put some weight in the right spot and the table will flip. The other big point with these poor designs is a thing called ‘whip’ so imagine 6 people all cutting a steak at the same time -these designs will ensure table wobble to the highest degree and wine glasses will no doubt spill their precious contents.  Continue reading 5 Common Design Flaws in Dining Tables…

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The World’s Best Value Dining Chairs? We think so…

Take a quick tour of our chair making process!

High skill is used in crafting our fully dowelled chair frames, they are designed for maximum comfort and engineered to last many decades coming with our famous Mabarrack lifetime warranty.

Some locally made chairs use mortise and tenon joints which we discovered many years ago aren’t fit for the stresses of dining chair application, while some local frame makers just glue and screw frames together. Price driven, mass produced imported chairs from a retailer are not made for extended comfort but rather a price point, they’ll come with a limited 12 month and most fail within 5 years of high use.

Our dining chair range has evolved over 40 years of R&D into dining chair ergonomics, high frame strength and low weight. We now specialise in fully upholstered dining chairs as they offer the most comfort, limit the amount of timber in your setting and our frames can be re-upholstered over and over for decades to come.

Our premium foams sets create an incredibly comfortable, unsurpassed extended dining experience and our several exclusive sewing patterns allow your imagination to run wild with colours, textures and combos. Overlocking and top stitching come as standard and there is literally thousands of fabrics available included in the price of each chair. As usual, at Mabarrack Furniture it’s quality from start to finish.

We are qualified enough to believe our dining chairs are simply the best value dining chair in Australia full stop. We’d love you to come on down to the factory and take a seat so you can be the judge!! Continue reading The World’s Best Value Dining Chairs? We think so…

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Australian Defence Force: 1st Armoured Regiment Display Cabinet

The Australian Defence Force has commissioned Mabarrack Furniture to design and craft a new installation at the Edinburgh Defence Precinct.

A flag that is very important to the 1st Armoured Regiment is on the way from Darwin and we’re making a new home for it here in Adelaide.

Here’s some preliminary design work and photos, the unit is mostly glass so its appears quite skeletal in the early stages of production.

This is one we are very proud to be crafting, more pics to come! Continue reading Australian Defence Force: 1st Armoured Regiment Display Cabinet

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Deal of the Week: Media Unit

$3427 value, both pieces ONLY $1550 pick up!!

One off unique 3 drawer tv unit, Tasmanian Blackwood veneers and clear Aus Oak drawer boxes on full ext roller runners.

1650 x 500d x 400h Void is 155mm high.

Huge void for multiple components. Drawers suit DVD storage.

Additional Blackwood bench at 1650 x 450d x 490h can compliment the media unit or be used elsewhere in the house.

Total length 3300mm

First in best dressed. No EFTPOS. Continue reading Deal of the Week: Media Unit