Hatted Melbourne chef opens successful interiors business

Located in Melbourne’s well-heeled Middle Park, Bebo Living is the latest venture from celebrated chef Harry Dhanjal who is renowned for his culinary prowess and the success of his hatted restaurant, Atta. “As a chef, I’ve always felt that the design and aesthetics of a restaurant plays a big part in how you present the food. It’s no different with designing a house and selecting fabrics,” says Harry, whose Bebo Living has quickly established itself as one of Melbourne’s most reputable distributors of high-end curtains, blinds, wallpaper and upholstery.

Bebo Living

Harry’s journey from a chef to self-taught designer is an inspiring one with his foray into interior design born out of a COVID-led creative itch. “I was designing my own house and I noticed a gap in the market for personalised service. In this business, people are moving away from showrooms and online but there’s nothing like going to a showroom for a bespoke experience. It’s very different to a DIY job,” says Harry.

Harry with a customer in the Bebo Living showroom
Harry Dhanel with a customer in the Bebo Living showroom

As an all-in-one brand, Bebo Living offers a comprehensive end-to-end service from the first consultation to professional installation and the business is currently working on projects around Melbourne’s Albert Park, Middle Park and Brighton.

“Our focus isn’t on volume. We are about quality, and we want to do fewer projects but produce a high-end product. Also, we focus on sourcing quality materials and embracing local craftmanship,” says Harry who started the company with business partners Brij Patel and Sharry Bara in 2023.

Bebo Living
Bebo Living

As for Bebo Living’s gorgeous showroom, it’s not just a retail space but a two-storey offering that includes curtain and fabric rooms as well as a design space on the ground floor. Upstairs, the rooms are dedicated to exploring interior trends with an ever-changing line-up of fabrics and wallpaper on display. The company sources its textiles and wallpapers from Zepel, Mokum, The Textile Company, James Dunlop and Warwick.

Bebo Living
Fabrics hanging at Bebo Living

One arm of the business that has really taken off is upholstery – Harry thinks it’s because it’s a bit of dying art and it’s hard to find people that do it. “A lot of our clients have furniture that they are emotionally invested in and throwing it away isn’t an option.” He guides them through the fabric selection process thereby bringing treasured family heirlooms back to life.  

Bebo Living
Bebo Living

As for trends, Harry says that people are moving away from safe colours like grey and brown and increasingly embracing patterns, especially florals. “High-end clients are more open to creative fabrics and wallpapers,” says Harry who likes to stay ahead of the trend curve.

Harry Dhanel
Harry Dhanjal in restaurant mode

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