Custom timber coffee tables

The humble coffee table is one of the smaller pieces of furniture you will have in your home but one that can make a huge difference to the aesthetics and function of your space.  It can be a feature of the room or blend in perfectly with your other soft and hard furnishings.  It can be there purely for its looks or function for displaying your precious treasures or storage of toys, magazines and books.  At our home, we have designed our coffee table to fit perfectly within the scale of our couch as we love to use it as a foot rest.  It is hollow with two openings on opposite sides to create spaces for both storage and hiding away items with the added bonus of acting as a cubby for our children. 

Here is a not so great quality image of our coffee table, made from beautiful recycled Messmate timber and finished with danish oil. 

Here are some other examples of custom coffee tables that we have previously designed for clients. 

The Winchelsea coffee table is a contemporary square design with a plinth to lift it off the floor and four openings for storage. The timber that was hand picked for this piece to be rich in sap lines and grain features giving the piece a beautiful character. 

The Connewarree rectangular coffee table was made with some seriously chunky 60mm thick recycled Messmate.  The rectangular legs mirror the top and are slightly angled inwards to form an X like shape. The timber that was hand picked for this piece is a "clean" Messmate with a light tone and a low amount of feature. This was designed as a member of a matched set with the Grove Console

The Duneed box leg coffee table was designed in a matched set to be a miniature of the Winki Pop dining table.   It is light, Scandanavian in aesthetic and timeless. This piece was constructed from recycled Victorian Ash timber and was finished to silky soft with Danish oil.  


Designing truly bespoke pieces of furniture is what we do best!  If you have an idea that you want to see come to life, please contact us here for a quote! 

Alison Collins is the co-owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 


Maintenance of natural oil and wax finished furniture - care of an osmo polyx finished timber

We enjoyed a lovely little "stay-cation" after the craziness of the lead up to Christmas and relished in the pleasures of a Surf Coast holiday that so many pay top dollar to enjoy!  With a little spare time up my sleeve, I finally got around to a job that I have been putting of for over 2 years mainly in the name of science but also to be honest a hint of laziness. As with many of those medical professionals who are themselves terrible patients, we are terrible at maintaining our furniture.  Our beautiful dining table had not received a new coat of oil and wax in over 2.5 years since it was first cured and was looking quite dry, lackluster and right on the edge of no longer being water resistant.  We had just been delivered a new lot of Osmo maintenance kits so I thought that it was well and truly time to try it out! 

This fantastic kit contains 3 cloths, an abrasive pad, 1 litre of wash and care as well as a spray can of clean and protect. Click here to find out more about the Osmo natural oil and wax finish that we use on our timber furniture. You can buy your very own Osmo timber furniture maintenance kit via the link! The products shown here are for use on interior furniture.  For maintenance of exterior furniture, please read out maintenance instructions page. 

I started off by mixing 1 cap full of the wash and care with 1 litre of hot water and washed the surface down. This product has been designed specifically for cleaning timber that has been finished with Osmo so is very gentle and will not harm the surface.    We had been doing a little bit of craft on the table so there was a little bit of glue and crayon as well as some previously unseen squashed avocado which I very gently removed with a scratch free scourer cloth. 

I then dried the surface of the dining table with a clean tea towel to remove as much liquid as possible.   

Once the surface had completely dried, I sprayed the Clean and Protect product from a height of 30cm over one half of the table.  Using a clean cotton rag, I used a circular motion to rub the product in.  I then repeated this last step on the other half of the table. There were a couple of sections that had a bit more wear and some light scratches that had not disappeared with the initially application.  I sprayed the product onto the rag and applied it directly onto the scratched area in the same circular motion. 

The results....

I must say, I was very impressed with the product, it well and truly exceeded my expectations.  It was so easy to apply and glided on easily without drying too quickly.  Because it is in a spray form, it was very easy to achieve a consistent light coverage.  The surface looked instantly revitalized with a regular tone and an enhancement of the grain patterns. The light surface scratches had faded away with only a couple of deep scratches still visible but much less so than before.   A slight matt satin sheen resulted of which it did not have before with the surface feeling silky and not at all sticky. As the product was being applied there was a scent from the aerosol but there was not smell at all after they product had been rubbed in. 

All in all I am very happy with my handy work and proceeded to quickly rejuvenate multiple other items within the house!


The before and after shots...

Here are some before images of an even more abused piece of furniture, our coffee table, that is at perfect toddler destruction height.  There was a heap of scratch marks from where a wooden bowl had been placed that had been constantly pushed back and forward across the surface with the inevitable crumbs, dirt and sand trapped underneath by an over enthusiastic 2 year old. 

And here are the afters... no trick photography, photoshop or any other image enhancement or alterations as 1- the results speak for themselves and 2- I would have no idea how to do it!   


Alison Collins if the co-owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and is in charge of all things other than making furniture. 

Lara from the Junk Map on up-cycling

Lara Knight is passionate about all things recycled, up-cycled and hand crafted. Rather than seeing an old object as it is, she views it as what it could be.  This love affair began in Lara's uni days with a very small budget and a desire to fill her home with treasures.  The Junk Map website celebrates the Junk-style of decorating and lists a large number of salvage yards, recycled building materials and homeware shops where you can go to search for some hidden gems. The directory listings are full of fantastic information such as location, contact info, price range as well as lots of beautiful images.  There are inspirational posts demonstrating what is possible with a little imagination, creativity and handy work and how upcycling can work in the modern day home.  I recently had the privilege to interview Lara about the Junk Map found out her tips and tricks for styling and finding those special pieces you will keep for a lifetime. 

In your words, what is The Junk Map?

The Junk Map is an editorial-style directory for secondhand, salvage and upcycle businesses. We include plenty of photographs to help stylists, designers, renovators and home makers find relevant places to visit.


What is the greatest treasure you have found? 

I’ve moved around a lot and always cull heavily when it’s time to pack. Vintage finds are always the ones I can’t get rid of. A Melbourne shoe factory trolley (bought from Lost Ark 10 years ago) has been the most versatile. It’s had a different use in every house but always looks fabulous and takes care of heaps of storage. I even had a white/recycled timber replica made by Trentham designer Michael Woodberry for my daughter’s room. 


Why is it important to you to reuse and recycle?

We’ve got used to mass-produced goods that are cheaply made and need replacing regularly. I prefer not to waste my money. If something gets to a salvage yard or vintage shop in good condition it’s probably going to last longer than the equivalent new item. When quality of materials and craftsmanship is poor, I’d rather choose durable, well-designed secondhand pieces. When it comes to upcycling the same concept applies. I’m a big fan of locally made homewares that turn sound recycled materials into long-lasting designs.


Why did you start The Junk Map?

When I was a graphic designer my favorite days were art directing photo shoots and discussing locations and props. After nearly 20 years in advertising, the rest of the job was getting boring. I thought stylists had more fun sourcing interesting things but they’re usually pushed for time and bound by similar creative restrictions.

When I became a mother I spent a couple of years planning a career change. I sorted through all my passions and skills and tried to put them into a feasible plan for the next 30 years. My never-used journalism degree was more relevant with the boom of online content. Salvage, vintage and imaginative makers was one of my main interests. And I thought stylists and other creatives would benefit from a visual 'look book' that helped them scout on the run.

So, I started The Junk Map and tested the idea. 2 years later it’s still fun, still growing and I’m learning like crazy!


What are your tips for styling and decorating using reclaimed, re-purposed and up-cycled stuff? 

1. Buy what you absolutely love. It’s fun to buy something because it’s a bargain but the pieces you’ll keep and enjoy forever are the ones you can’t leave a shop without. I’ve bought pieces I couldn’t really afford at the time but if you keep it for most of your life it’s worth the money.

2. Think laterally. When you find something interesting you don’t have to use it for its original purpose. Mount it on the wall; grow plants in it; change the surface and use it in a different room; remove or replace bits. We found an old meat safe with damaged doors but decided not to restore it. The shelving unit went into the laundry for towels and my husband used the aqua-chipped doors to make rustic picture frames.

3. Use colour to tie rooms together. Many collectors have a haphazard array of objects but grouping around one or two favourite colours can give a space coherence. 

4. Have fun. It’s your space and you have a lifetime to arrange it. The minimalist trend banished personality. Now decorators are reintroducing vintage and upcycled pieces to make spaces feel homely and comfortable. Everyone gets bored with stark and 'fashionable' eventually.

5. People often lean towards a particular style of vintage so if you collect around that range things will pull together easily. But, if your taste is more eclectic embrace that too. Whatever makes you feel good day after day is perfect in my book. 


Any tips for how to best attack a salvage yard, vintage shop or OP shop to find the hidden gems?

Allow plenty of time. I love to potter around quietly, with no particular agenda, waiting for things to jump out. Looking for something specific in a secondhand store is often frustrating because you can’t guarantee it’ll be there. The best finds come when you aren’t looking; don’t have the money; don’t have a trailer to get it home; or are renting a tiny apartment with no space! 

My approach is to walk away for a bit, think about it carefully, and if it still really, really draws me buy it and worry about the rest later. Treasures are often gone if you come back another time. 

The other big tip is to drop in regularly. Some days are uneventful and other days you hit the jackpot. Just try to keep what you buy to a manageable level. Those who get badly bitten by the collecting bug rarely recover - they end up on The Junk Map.

Custom outdoor dining table settings

Finally summer has arrive here at the Surf Coast!  Us locals (well speaking for myself at least) have put up with living somewhere that is cold, windy, rainy and just generally unpleasant for most of the year all for those couple of months of bliss when the sun shines, the air smells salty and long balmy evenings are spent down the beach.  At our house, the coming of the sun also means that out comes the Weber and its time for entertaining outdoors.  We love to throw spur of the moment BBQ's and invite what seems like the whole neighborhood.  With a horde of small children and accompanying adults, having an outdoor table setting with flexible bench seating to squish in those couple of extras in here and there is a blessing.


As with every part of you home, it makes such a difference to have an outdoor setting that in customised to your style, space and functional requirements. There are many different aspects to consider when purchasing or designing your outdoor dining table and seating. 



 Firstly, are you limited by space?  You need to have at least 800mm between the table and any walls, fences or vegetation to ensure easy passage and pulling chairs in and out. You also need to work out how many people you want to be seated.  As a rule, 500-600mm needs to be allowed for each person but there are other influencing factors such as type of seating and design.  For more detailed information on how to work out what size table you need, refer to this blog post



Rectangular, square or circular tables all have quite a different feel, look and function.  In an outdoor setting, I am quite partial to a square table as it allows for whole table conversation and works well if you are wanting to have a combination of bench seats and backed seats. 



Conventional bench seats, backed benches or normal seats all need to be considered.  Each has its pro's and con's.  Conventional bench seats create clean lines, can be tucked under the table when not in use and are great for squeezing in lots of people. The down side is that they can be uncomfortable without a back if sitting for a long period.  Individual cushions or a custom made long cushion can help to make the seats more comfortable.   The backed bench seat solves the comfort issue but on the down side cannot be neatly tucked under the table and require all people to maneuver out of the way if the sitter in the middle needs to get out.  The good old chair is great for comfort and ease of exiting but has no flexibility.  I personally love a square table with 2 sides with bench seating and the other 2 with chairs so you and your guests can choose their preferences and the kids can happily all squash together.  



Chunky or Scandinavian inspired, timber legs, metal legs, concrete top, rustic, refined, recycled or new... there are many things to consider in the design.  Do you want the style of your interior and exterior to flow together or do you want to create an outdoor room that has an aesthetic all of its own?  The one design aspect that must be included in all outdoor pieces is the gaps between the planks of timber on the top that enables the water to drain to prevent pooling and damage to the timber. 



The space in which the setting is going to live can also influence the design.  Modern house design often has an alfresco area that is protected from the weather and direct sunlight which enables for more flexibility in the design and the timbers available for use. 



There are quite a number of options for timber that is rated for outdoor use.  These are the hard wearing timbers that are used to build such things such as bridges, piers, fences and power poles and luckily in Australia we have quite a number of natives that fit the bill and are therefore also available reclaimed! 


Red toned outdoor rated timbers


Red Gum

Red Iron 


Brown outdoor rated timbers

Coastal Blackbutt - brown / messmate like 

Yellow Stringly Bark - honey brown

Silvertop ash - honey with flecks of black

Turpentine - brown with a waxy feel

Grey Iron Bark - grey / brown



There are 3 different options for outdoor finishes that we use. Osmo UV protector comes in a clear, a dark honey Oak tone and a red brown Ceder. The tinted finishes last a lot longer between reapplications as they protect the timber more against the harmful UV rays that drys out and bleaches the wood.  To find out more about the natural oil and wax finish that we use, check out this blog post


During the design process, we work with you to consider all of these factors to ensure we get everything just right! Contact us for more information. 


Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

Natural oil and wax finished furniture

Its no secret that we love our timber here at Bombora.  We want the stunning natural character of the timber shine rather than hide it or mask it with stains.  We have trialed a range of different oil and wax finishes over the years to find something that is hard wearing, easy care, great for the environment, non-toxic and produces a very natural finish.  Finally, last year, we discovered Osmo. 

Introducing Osmo....

Osmo is the world leader in natural timber finishes.  Developed and manufactured in Germany, this product was created over 50 years ago by a timber company that were dissatisfied with the lacquers that were available at the time that peeled, cracked and were very difficult to maintain.  Wood absolutely loves this product as with our skin, timber breathes by taking in and releasing moisture.  The natural oils and waxes in the product enables this exchange with the oil penetrating deep into the timber and the wax sitting on top to form an elastic micro-porous surface that protects the timber from moisture and abrasion.


A non-toxic furniture finish

As a society, we are very conscious of what chemicals we are putting into our bodies, onto our bodies and into our environment. It is very important to us and our team that all the products we use in the workshop and on our furniture are non-toxic, food safe and will not be detrimental to our environment.  We feel very secure in the knowledge that the Osmo products are so non-toxic, that they are rated for use in such items as kids toys, playpens, cots and bassinets. The product is based on natural vegetable oils and waxes which as sunflower, soybean and thistle oil and carnauba and cadelilla wax.


Enhancing not hiding woods natural beauty

The Osmo finish enhances the natural beauty of the timber by accentuating the grain and texture of the wood without changing the tone.  One of the most unappealing aspects of a polyurethane finish on timber is that it yellows with age causing timber to become an undesirable shade of orange.   


How hard wearing is an oil and wax finish? 

It is a common belief that a polyurethane finish is more durable than an oil and wax finish and therefore more desirable for high use tables such as in a cafe or restaurant or in homes with young children, but there are several more aspects that need to be considered other than the strength of the barrier. A two pack / polyurethane finish does create a stronger barrier to stains a liquids than an oil and wax finish but when this barrier is broken due to a scratch or over time with wear, the timber is left with no protection. If a liquid then contacts this unprotected timber then it is drawn into the timber and starts to stain the wood, discolors the polyurethane, starts to cause cracking, peeling and flaking.  The other aspect is how easy the surface is to repair if it gets damaged.  With a two pack finish, the whole piece of furniture needs to be sanded back and the finish reapplied.  With Osmo, the surface can be renovated or the product applied to small damaged areas such as a scratch without the whole surface needing to be sanded and refinished. 


Please contact us if you want a full ingredients list as well as the technical specifications.  We sell maintenance kits for furniture finished with Osmo and a range of natural furniture finish to indoor and outdoor furniture.  You can read more about how to maintain your Osmo finished furniture here

The Bombora custom furniture design process

At Bombora, we specialize in designing and building unique, one off pieces of solid timber furniture.  We have developed an ordering system that simplifies the design process whilst maintaining that attention to detail that ensures you get exactly what you want even if you live on the other side of our magnificent country. 


First things first is providing you with a quote.   You can either email your own sketches, images for inspiration or a design brief such as dimensions and functional requirements from which we will provide the costings.  For those local to the Surf Coast and the Geelong areas, we also offer an in home quoting service that is great for those who are not quite sure what their space needs or for those clients wanting inbuilt cabinetry. 



To place your piece on the schedule, we require a 50% deposit.  The invoice will be emailed to you and can be paid via EFT, cheque or cash.  We also accept credit card payments but these incur a 1.75% surcharge. 


Order form questionnaire

The devil is in the details but it is this attention to these little things that results in a stunning piece of furniture that will fit your home perfectly and be that forever piece.  We get you to fill out an online questionnaire to get as many details as possible before designing your piece. For dining tables there is not so many things to conciser for the design but for something like a TV cabinet it is important to consider such aspects as

  • the size of your technology 
  • storage of DVD's, VHS or CD's
  • does your technology require venting
  • do we need to avoid power points or the skirting boards for the design of the back of the unit
  • where do cable holes need to go

...the list goes on.   The other section of the order form establishes your preferences for timber such as the type, tone, recycled or new and levels of character.  On our website we have a section demonstrating our classification levels for levels of tone variance as well as character level. You can find this in our customer service section here.  

Design Drawings

Using the information from the order form, our head designer Luke then generates a drawing and sends through images of several different angles.  You are then able to provide your feedback and change anything that you require.  If you have commissioned an inbuilt piece such as a bookcase, shelving or a timber bench top, we may need to organise a time to visit your home to get precise measurements to ensure that the piece fits perfectly as most walls are not straight! 

Timber choice

If you have requested to choose your timber, we arrange a time for you to visit the workshop to pick out the pieces you want.  If you live too far away, we can choose the timber as per your description and send you images for your approval.  


Now comes the fun part!  Pieces take from 1-2 weeks to construct depending on the complexity and the size.  We allow for plenty of time for glues to dry and finishes to cure to ensure perfection! The most time consuming aspects of each piece is the finishing which involves many hours of sanding, application of wax / oil and buffing. 


Balance invoice

Once your piece is complete, we send you through a little sneak piece as well as the invoice for the remaining balance to be paid prior to delivery.  


Delivery and installation 

Depending on your particular piece, it will either be delivered by Dean and the lads from Surf Coast Movers or other furniture movers if interstate.  In the case of in built items, we complete the construction onsite to ensure that the piece is flush with the surrounding structures. 


Maintenance instructions

On our website, in the customer service section found here, are several reference sections that explain and demonstrate how to care for the finish of your piece and how to adjust the hinges on doors which can become out of alignment over time. 


Please contact us here if you wish to inquire about Bombora Custom Furniture designing and building your dream furniture. 


Chunky timber coffee table and console - a couple of new designs!

Introducing two new designs for our portfolio!  The Connewarre coffee table and the Grove timber console were designed for clients who wanted several pieces for their home that matched in both style and timber.  The design brief stated that the pieces were to be modern yet timeless and all made out of seriously chunky 60mm thick recycled Messmate! The clients wanted Messmate specifically to match an existing dining table they had and we hand picked out timber with a similar tone and feature level to conform with this original piece.

 The Grove console is the ideal piece for an entrance hall. It is slimline, has push to open drawers for storage and a lovely surface for styling. The light toned wood and the simple silhouette will see this piece always be in style. My favorite part of this piece is the joint between the leg and the top which shows off the contrasting dense end grain. 

The Connewarre coffee table is a modern design with some serious street cred. Made from the same 60mm thick recycled Messmate as the console, this piece is seriously chunky. The angled legs lifts the piece to a new level with the low lying profile creating a sleekness. 

Designing truly bespoke pieces of furniture is what we do best!  If you have an idea that you want to see come to life, please contact us here for a quote! 


Maintenance of timber furniture

Our aim at Bombora Custom Furniture is to create something that will be a treasured part of your family home for many years to come.  To ensure the timber lasts the test of time, a coat of wax needs to be occasionally applied.  The wax acts to protect the timber against spills by creating a water resistant barrier.  Please however ensure that these spills are quickly mopped up to prevent it seeping through.  The wood responds to its surrounding environment by expanding and contracting. The wax also nourishes and feeds the timber itself ensuring that the surface is able to adapt to changes such as air conditioning, heating, direct sunlight and humidity. The added bonus to all this care and attention is that the appearance and feel of the timber improves over time with a lovely patina developing.  Click through to here to get the step by step instructions of how to apply the furniture wax. 

For those of you who have doors on your piece of furniture, over time with usage, the hinges can become slightly out of alignment.  As many of our designs have the timber grain and sap lines running across the piece, this change is more visible than in other parts of your home such as your kitchen cabinets.  We have put together a short instructional video that takes you through step by step how to simply adjust the hinges yourself. The link is at the bottom of the customer service page found here


Alison Collins is the co-owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

Ex-display and prototype pieces - Get a Bombora piece on SALE!

On occasion, we have furniture for sale at a much discounted price! These are either pieces that have been on display in a store, market or trade show or a prototype of a brand new design.  These pieces are of the same excellent quality as any of our other bespoke Bombora pieces of furniture and are constructed from solid recycled timber.

We currently have this beautiful ex-display king size Lorne Point bed available for a much discounted price of $1800 excluding delivery. This design is usually $3095!  This bed is in perfect condition and features beautiful contrasting  timbers in the solid Messmate bed head.  As with all of our custom made beds, the slats are made from quality hardwood rather than the pine most often used in off the shelf pieces. 

lorne point bed 01.JPG
solid timber bed

  If you are interested in getting your hands on one of these pieces, below is a sign up form that will ensure that you get the alerts right into your inbox so you don't miss out! 

For more information on pieces of furniture currently on sale or commissioning a custom piece of furniture, please contact us here

In built cabinetry - permanent furniture

Having your furniture built into your home not only increases the value of your property, it also improves the function and beauty of your space.  This is a solution that greatly increases the storage possibilities in those previously unused corners of your home such as under stairs, over a blank wall or in an unusually shaped area.   We love to use solid hardwood timber for the doors rather than a veneer and use edge stripped black ply or more hardwood for the shelving. This ensures that the piece will stand the test of time as the surface is easily repairable if there are any scratches. 

Whether it is just coincidence or ‘The Block’ effect, we have been creating an increasing number of custom made, in built furniture pieces for clients lately.  Many of these clients needed something that would fit perfectly into an awkward space for which an off the shelf piece just would not work.

This under stair unit makes a fantastic statement in the entrance hall of this clients home. Previously an empty space, it is now put to very good use to store such things as shoes and wine. The black of the form ply highlights the beautiful character of the Messmate recycled timber and balances the other materials of the polished concrete and stainless steel in the space. 

under stair storage built in storage Melbourne

This next piece was built into the recessed sections on either side of a fireplace. The timber was hand selected to match the clients Bombora dining table and is a beautiful rich brown with varying tones. The piece was designed to show off items the client wanted to display with the help of hidden LED lighting strips. 

hardwood cabinetry

Another reason our clients wanted pieces that were inbuilt was to create a more seamless and modern look.  A beautiful piece that is yet to be installed in a new home is a combination piece of a makeup table, bench seat and tall boy with a matching recycled timber bulk head over the top. Stay tuned for pictures of this one!  Another piece of which we are very proud of is this wall of cupboards constructed from black form ply edge stripped with hardwood with solid timber doors that have the grain continuous across the length. This was a monstrous task but after seeing the final results was well worth the effort! 

In built cabinetry solid timber

This next client wanted a piece that would fill a large 5m long space and function as both a TV stand as well as creating ample storage and visual balance. The sustainably harvested Tasmanian Oak timber is pale in tone and perfect for this modern coastal home. 

in built entertainment unit bellarine

This next piece was installed in a beautiful heritage home where the owners wanted to blend the old with the new in their bathroom renovation by using a highly refined piece of recycled timber as the vanity bench top. 

custom solid timber vanity

Our process with inbuilt furniture pieces is to come to your home to discuss your functional requirements as well as style before measuring the space. We then send you through our design based on your ideas which is altered until it is exactly what you want.  The build of the piece is then completed on site during the installation to ensure that it fits perfectly as no wall or floor is strait or flat. 


If you have any queries regarding custom timber cabinetry and joinery, please contact us here


Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and is in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

Kid friendly finish - natural or plastic?

 I have been wanting to find out how durable our oil and wax natural finish really is.  With a 2.5 year old and a 11 month old, our Bombora table gets a work out!  Whether it is sticky honey toast fingers, spilled milk or over enthusiastic crayon usage, the surface sure cops a beating. Being a scientist at heart, I have been holding a little experiment by ignoring all of our own advice and not reapplying the wax.... ever.  2 years later and the surface is still water proof with no stains or marks.  

We often get asked by clients with small children or frequent little visitors if they are better off with a two pack plastic finish in order to protect the timber and keep it looking nice.  Our answer is this:

1- As proven by my experiment, the natural wax finish provides an excellent protective layer on the timber from liquid spills or mug rings.

2- We prefer the feel of the natural wax finish.  It is more soft and less shiny. It makes the timber feel like timber rather than like plastic.

3- We prefer the look of the natural wax finish as it gives the piece a matte look with a slight sheen rather than being reflective and shiny.  It looks like well aged timber smoothed from years of being touched rather than lovely wood covered with a layer of plastic. 

4- The natural wax and oil finish is easy to repair if there are little scratches from everyday use. All that is needed is to reapply the wax and and mark will disappear like magic!  With a two pack or plastic finish, to repair the scratches requires a full sand back and reapplication of the product. 

Click here to find out more information about the finishes and the timber we use. 

Please note:  Don't try this experiment at home! 

Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

Interior design blogs I LOVE!

One of the best parts of my job is getting to spend a couple of hours a week pottering through interior design websites and blogs to keep up with the latest trends, get inspired and a large dose of eye candy.  I love to get sneak peaks into the homes of the rich and famous, the fashionistas and the creatives. I love to see the far out award winning architectural designs to the very creative DIYers. It is amazing how you can start in one place and an hour later find yourself somewhere completely different!  Here is 5 of my favs of late. 


The Design Addicts Platform

This is a fantastic website overseen by Australian design addict Richard Misso that collects and writes articles from all over the globe.  It is a go to site for the interior design and architectural industry for the latest products, innovative design and beautiful homes.  It is contemporary, chic, professional, full of stunning photography and the very latest in trends. It is straight to the point and full to the brim with everything design. This particular home below is an absolute stunner!  See more of it here


Design Milk

One of the big hitters in the world of interior design blogs. A collection of great design finds from around the world.  They interview designers, do walk through's of very special houses and buildings, focus articles on things like minimalist design, art exhibitions in NYC and even a bit of food design!  I could be lost on there for hours!  Check out this amazing house with rotating rooms that can be changes with the seasons! 


Interiors Addict

Started by former journalist and magazine editor Jen Bishop, this a is less of a blog and more of an interior news site with a personal touch. I love her updates on the latest happenings on the block as well as styling tips, interviews, renovating and house tours.  My fav is the whole section on kids rooms which is awesome, this pic is going strait to pintrest as inspiration for my daughters room!! 


Emmas DesignBlogg

Think black, think white and very blonde shades of timber.  This Scandinavian site is the oldest and most read design blogg.  Running for nearly 10 years, it was started when Emma was working as a styling assistant at a magazine and needed somewhere to store all of the info on designers, trends and products she came across everyday.  The readership grew and grew and the blog become something completely different. The style of this blog is very minimalist and quite different from what you see in Australian design blogs which is why I love it! It is pure, uncluttered and very Scandinavian! 


Recycled Interiors

Started by interior designer, Mum and serious up-cycler Helen Edwards, this beautiful blog is full of ideas for creating a sustainable home without compromising on style. Helen shares our Bombora philosophy of buy once and buy well for larger items then how to mix in bespoke, vintage, retro and DIY creative pieces to make your home unique and truly you. Recycled interiors has articles on such things as decorating, DIY and up-cycling, healthy people and healthy planet. It is personal, engaging and full of inspiration.  

recycled interiors.jpg


What is your favorite interior design blog? 


Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

The "new" sustainability for environmentally conciencious design

 I occasionally ponder what it has taken to produce an item in my home. All the processes, electricity, petroleum, chemicals, plant products and water to make plastic, chip board, material, paper, metal or glass. How the raw materials are then transported to another factory using more petrol. How it is then converted to the final product with goodness knows how many more steps.  Then what was required to transport the item to the shop where I purchased it?  Was there a plane, a boat, trucks or trains involved?  It is quite mind boggling especially when you consider this for every item in your house! Then on the flip side… what happens when these things break, are no longer needed or wanted? 

In our modern day society, there is so much cheap and easy consumerism available to us at only a click away that it is so easy to forget the impact on our environment that every choice and purchase we make has.   Back in the day when purchasing quality over quantity was the norm, the high volume of imported, low quality and low priced home wares were just not available. Businesses relied on their reputation and the quality of their goods to succeed. Couples when setting up home together were gifted hand me downs (my Mum still has and uses her hand me down Kenwood mixer!) and purchased second hand or quality pieces to fill in the holes.  These items were only replaced when they couldn't be mended and thrown out when then couldn't be re-purposed. It is my intention to bring this philosophy of quality, thriftiness, permanency and environmentally conscientious design into our business, home and everything that goes in it. 

 What I am calling the ‘new’ sustainability seems to be entering our collective consciousness just as green bags, black balloons and not being wally's with water did. Consumers are conscientiously purchasing things that are quality and made to last to reduce the need to produce more items to replace it and the broken or no longer wanted items ending up in land fill. Home owners and those in the design trade are thinking long term by using solid, well made and malleable pieces as the foundation and the on trend colors, patterns and shapes within the smaller items such as pillows, throws, artwork and lighting to round out the design.

 I was blessed to witness a presentation from Michelle Greene of Pure Greene interiors that cemented my thoughts about the interior design of my home and how to make it sustainable. That is to purchase quality rather than quantity, buy only what you LOVE rather than just like and find items that have multiple purposes.  A beautiful bowl that can be used a decorative piece, a vase or a serving platter. That you create your home around what is important to you and your family not what is on trend.  In this way, the décor of your home evolves with you rather than needs an overhaul when the next trend comes in. You take aspects you love from what’s in and make it your own and only if you need it... 


Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

A few pieces of custom recycled timber furniture from the archives!

 Here are a couple of pieces of recycled timber furniture we have created recently that have't made it to our website! The beauty of custom furniture is that you can have something created just for you and your home! 

The Anglesea buffet was designed and built to display at our local timber yard as an example of the complexity, beauty and quality of recycled timber. With its gently tapered legs, contrasting timber tones and hint of 70's cool, this is a great piece of furniture for many areas of the home such as an entrance hallway, boudoir, man men style cocktail lounge or funky dining room. 

70's inspired buffet

Housed in the historic Post Office in Portarlington, this beautiful inbuilt bathroom bench top perfectly brings together the old and the new. Constructed from a seriously chunky piece of Red Iron Bark, the timber brings a warmth to the bathroom that marries together the modern style of the basin and mixer with the heritage features. We ensured that this stunning slab of timber was finished to a silky soft texture whilst maintaining a hard wearing water resistant surface. 

The Marengo Buffet was custom designed for a family who wanted a blend of several pieces from our portfolio to create the perfect piece for their home.  It combines the flowing grains of the Bellbrae, the funky silhouette of the Wye with the functionality of the Aireys.  My favorite feature of this piece is the beautiful and highly featured recycled Messmate that the boys picked out for this piece. 

custom made buffet  recycled timber buffet

If you are interested in commissioning your own piece of custom recycled timber furniture, please contact us here.  


Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 


Photography Credit- Paul Brownbridge from Peak Multimedia

Owning what matters

At a recent gathering for the Surf Coast women in business, I had the pleasure of experiencing a fantastic presentation by local interior designer Michelle Greene from Pure Greene Interiors about the new minimalism of owning what matters. I hope you find this concept as inspirational and life changing as I have! 

Recently my family and I moved house – we all know how daunting this can be. I was

overwhelmed at the realization of just how much stuff we had collected over a short

period of time. I began thinking about all the time and energy that had been put into

the “stuff” we owned. So many items never even used.

We spend far too much time, in our ‘time poor lives’, tidying our belongings, moving

things from one place to another, storing items that never see daylight.

How would you prefer to be spending this time? Perhaps playing with your kids,

spending it with your partner or friends, being creative, resting or pursuing things you

are passionate about.

What if you could reduce ‘your stuff’, so that what remained were only items that

have meaning or purpose?

But how?

The start of the journey takes you right through your home, removing material

possessions that no longer belong and any other clutter that has built up over time.

As you work through your items, there are 3 questions to keep in mind.


1. Does this have meaning?

2. Does it have a purpose?

3. Do I really think it’s worth having this in my home? (cost, space, maintenance,

time and energy, etc).


Many of the things you will find have no purpose, value or joy, but have just been

distracting you from the things that do.

Your home may feel a little bare after this exercise; your linen cupboard will probably

look under nourished and the living room may feel a little sparse. But before you can

start to create a statement with meaning in your home, you need to give yourself a

blank canvas to work with. Something you can build on, something that will grow with

you and your family, something that will truly represent you.

You can now create mindful spaces that tell your stories, align with your values, taste

and style; plus you’ll no longer battle with useless utensils in the kitchen drawer to

find a vegetable peeler. (Stats show that we waste one year of our life looking for


As an Interior Designer, people initially call on me to create spaces in their home that

look great and function well. But before I can do this, before I can really create

something that represents the people who live there, I encourage them to take this

cleansing journey. In my opinion, it’s essential.

Later this year, my family and I will be moving back into our renovated home. I

already have an image of what each room will look like, the layout and the

practicalities of every day life in each room. I’ve already decided what will go back to

the house (from furniture and 40+ boxes in storage). Most of all, I’m excited about

what I can leave behind to start a fresh home that’s uncluttered, flowing and only

contains items with meaning or purpose. A home that will give us time and energy in

return for it’s simpleness and a home that will truly represent who we are.

Guest blogger Michelle Greene from Pure Greene Interiors

Interior Designer and Simply Living Consultant

Metal, concrete and fabric- the beauty of contrasts in timber furniture

We sure love our beautiful recycled timber here at Bombora Custom Furniture but sometimes we like to mix things up a bit! Using different materials such as concrete, metal or fabric lifts the timber into another dimension by highlighting its personality, aliveness, changing tones and grains.  The current interior design trend of lux industrial often brings these materials together.  Each contrasting against the other to create the perfect balance of warm and cold, stark and homely, natural and man made.  

We have been receiving an increasing number of commissions from clients wanting custom timber dining tables with metal legs. Here are two such examples. The Centreside dining table with a recycled Messmate top and black metal legs and the Southside industrial dining table with the seriously chunky steel legs. 

The centreside dining table has a heavily recycled Messmate top with custom stainless steel curved box legs.  The top is a beautiful warm timber with plenty of recycled feature that starkly contrasts against the matte black powder coated metal table legs. 

The Southside dining table has a top of 60mm thick Red Iron Bark and Jarrah.  The solid 10mm thick plate steel adds the perfect weight to balance out the chunky top.  The black powder coated metal brings out the natural red tones of the timber that has been finished only in oil and wax. 

We haven't just stopped at the dining room! We have been working on some new designs that push the boundary of what is the norm for timber furniture. The Point Lonsdale couch pairs recycled Messmate timber with a modern white fabric. The solid timber couch frame contrasts against the plush foam cushions enhancing both of these qualities. Check out a picture of this piece in its new home here

 We have been collaborating with Form Concrete Artisans to create some concrete and timber furniture pieces. The Skenes Creek sideboard has a solid concrete top and recycled timber frame, drawers and legs. The timber is rich in sap lines and pockets which are brought out by the dark grey of the concrete top. 

If you are interesting in any of these items or discussing a custom project of your own, please contact us here

Alison Collins is the Co-Owner of Bombora Custom Furniture and in charge of all things other than making furniture! 

Photography Credit- Paul Brownbridge from Peak Multimedia

The evolution of Bombora Custom Furniture

We often get asked how our custom furniture design business was born, and how we were able to transport it to the incredible surf breaks of Torquay.  So here is our story.... 

We moved to the Surf Coast from Melbourne, Easter 2012.  We had been dreaming for years about ‘doing the sea change thing’… and so, on a whim whilst on holiday post baby number one, we just decided to take the plunge, and have never looked back. With a four-month-old baby in tow, we were excited for our future but were not quite sure how it would all pan out!

Luke’s passion for furniture making and design grew from a love of the timber itself.  Having walked into a reclaimed timber yard one day, Luke just had to buy some of the beautiful wood…creating furniture from it just seemed like the next logical step given the stark state of our house (with me as a uni student studying Osteo).  Once our house was full of Luke’s creations, a friend suggested putting an excess piece up on gumtree.  This table sold quickly but also generated a surprising number of calls and emails asking if Luke could make this or that.  Loving a challenge, Luke jumped in head first, working things out on the fly with common sense, natural handiness, an unexpected eye for design, a bit of luck and the wonders of YouTube. Word of mouth soon spread, and previous customers kept returning for bespoke beauties for their homes.

Spider infested Brunswick workshop

Spider infested Brunswick workshop

Space became an issue and Luke moved from the backyard of our rented converted stables in Moonee Ponds to a spider infested three car garage out the back of a house in Brunswick. When we decided to make the move to Torquay, top of mind was choosing somewhere that had a large garage for the Bombora creations to come to life.  The business quickly outgrew this new space, and the hunt was on for a new workshop.  As luck would have it, the answer came from an unexpected source… the fast track delivery guy.

Make shift workshop in our Garage in Torquay

Make shift workshop in our Garage in Torquay

Ashmore Arts was the perfect place. Surrounded by other creatives, an amazing view and a purpose built workshop. Bombora grew and grew.  We are now very lucky to have two fantastic furniture makers on board and a crew of other people helping here and there. A month ago we renovated the workshop by pushing out a couple of walls to house Luke's ever expanding collection of big boy toys as well as giving everyone a bit of room to move! 

Bombora is the perfect business for us.  It allows Luke to be creative, get his hands dirty and do “stuff” all day at his crazy break-neck speed. He gets to work with amazing recycled timber, converting a piece of wood from its past life as a bridge or pier into something with purpose, beauty and permanency. I, luckily, love all the other stuff that is part of running a business, even the bookkeeping. I enjoy the writing; the contact with our clients and getting swept up in the excitement of  their ideas for their homes; staying up to date with the trends, and most of all, bossing Luke around!  Luke has the freedom to surf when it’s good and as a family to head off for weekends together down the coast for a road trip when the sun is shining.  With two small children, freedom is everything as every moment spent together is so precious.

Hello and Welcome...

First things first...I would like to introduce us, the Collins family

Our little family of five consists of Luke, Emma (2), Zeke (7 months) and me (Alison) plus our quite mad Kelpie Lab cross Hudson who believes that chewing on stones is a great idea.

To say Luke ‘loves’ surfing is a gross under-representation of the degree of his obsession. Checking the swell is the first thing he does every day, he heads out rain hail or shine, and sometimes even when there is no one else would bother be paddles out just to “get wet”.  Prone to very time consuming and expensive hobbies, Luke is also a very keen mountain bike rider, beer maker / drinker and vintage surf board collector.

Emma, our very energetic, bubbly and fun two year old, loves her little friends, making things in her play kitchen, jumping in puddles, eating yogurt and making her little brother laugh.

Zeke, 7 months old, loves anything that moves and makes noise. Loves a good old game of peek-a-boo and being as rough and tumble as Mum allows.

I , Alison, love to cook in my favorite toy the Thermomix, flicking through interior design mags just for the pictures, reading a great book of the can’t put it down type rather than literary genius type and  unashamedly all things reality TV (one born every minute’s the current fav)!  

Together as a family we love heading off into the great outdoors for a “glamping” adventure.   Wye River is our current favorite spot…. Amazing location (and only 45 mins from our place) with nothing there but what we need… a pub with an amazing view, a café serving delicious French pastries and Melbournesque coffee, a beautiful child friendly beach and most importantly as far as Luke is concerned “sick” waves! 

Introducing a new look for Bombora

It has been just over a year since we first launched the Bombora Custom Furniture website and so much has happened in that time.  We have two new staff members on board, expanded the workshop, brought baby number two into the world and made lots of beautiful furniture for lovely clients both near and far.  We now have a clear picture of who Bombora is, what we want to provide for our customers and what our customers want from us on our website. Together with paring back the design of the site to better exhibit the beautiful images, we have improved the navigation and layout.  We have introduced several new functions such as the customer care section containing maintenance instructions, FAQ, delivery options, contact details as well as a special login for designers to access a catalog of all our designs.

Alongside a fresh new look for the website; we are also re-birthing the blog.  The usual updates on the latest happenings at the workshop and our favorite Bombora pieces will still be there and in addition we will discuss sustainable design, interior trends, the metamorphosis from timber to furniture as well as guest posts from local interior designers, stylists and artists.  

So hello, welcome and thank you for reading. We invite you on board this blogging adventure with us, to share in our journey as bespoke furniture designers, as craftsmen of beautiful things, as hunter gatherers of precious timbers and as business owners loving living our coastal dream. We will be sharing our inspirations, ideas and information with tips and tricks along the way including opportunities for members of the Bombora inner circle to win a bespoke piece. To ensure you get our monthly love letter direct to your inbox, be sure to sign up to our newsletter.