A guide to shopping on the Central Coast
This furniture studio is the ingenuity of Rob Loughlin (who’s been a carpenter since leaving school) and his wife Jess. After years of showcasing Rob’s handcrafted wares at Paddington Markets the pair sought out their very own permanent showroom space complete with a furniture making studio out the back, where they produce all of their work. Along with custom pieces Loughlin Furniture offers a consistent range, which the couple design together. “It’s purposefully small to give Rob time to to still collaboratively design the custom things,” says Jess. You’ll find hardwood pieces that focus on clean lines, and stripped-back designs. Rob says, “We create simple designs where the pieces are an element in the room instead of dominating it.” But it doesn’t mean these pieces aren’t eye-catching. There’s wicker panelled blonde wood entertainment units, eggshell-blue basin topped vanities and herringbone panelled bed frames. While you can buy all the Loughlin Furniture pieces online, the showroom is about getting a feel for the furniture. It also means you can mix and match between the elements – picking from blackbutt, spotted gum and American oak woods, then selecting a finish. “We source our timber from Victoria. And [even though] we only use three kinds, the different finishes really change the overall look,” says Jess. Rob’s brother Greg, owner of Slab Shapers in Byron Bay, provides the concrete-based basins and bench tops. Once you’ve selected your design it’s then all manufactured on site with and average eight-week turn around. As the pair go on to add more options to their ranges, and collaborate with locals and families from across Australia, at its core Loughlin Furniture is about simple designs and well made, long lasting furniture. As Jess puts it: “We just design the stuff we love.” 1/305 Manns Rd, West Gosford 2250.
A little slice of Byron Bay is channelled at this lifestyle boutique in the hills of Terrigal. Even though it’s on the busy Central Coast Highway, La Bohème manages to feel a world away, thanks to its carefully curated wares. Everything you lay your eyes on in the former antique shop is for sale – from the racks the clothes are hanging on to the cotton tassel chandelier above the main counter. You’ll also find lilac and mint billow sleeved tops by Spell, dark olive linen dresses by MLM, embellished tunics by Jen’s Pirate Booty and striped silk dresses by Shona Joy. Along with apparel you’ll also find new-age wellness items like pink clay and zeolite faces masks, Sojo crystal water bottles, body oils, room cleansing sprays and jade rollers. Homewares include metre-tall clay pots, natural tree stump stands and handmade crucifixes by Carla Dinnage. Shop owners Stef (a former personal shopper who comes by the way of Scotland-via-NY) and Renee (Central Coast born and raised) have been inspired by interiors, fashion and wellness, and fostered the store around combining these interests. Soon, there will also be a flower bar and a coffee shop (Ciao Baby Coffee) attached, making it a one-stop-shop for anyone visiting Terrigal. 271 Scenic Hwy, Terrigal 2260.
This home-style florist and homewares shops smells as good as it looks thanks to the blooming bunches that greet you as soon as you step inside. Buckets are filled with bunches of fresh baby pink roses, glossy tropical laceleafs and canary yellow poppies. Botany enthusiasts will appreciate the range of gardening tools, dried banksias and terracotta herb markers; there are also rich hand creams and bush lemon room sprays. For good measure, there are also plenty of ceramics, jewellery, children’s wooden and soft toys and leathers goods. 57 Victoria St, East Gosford 2250.
Discover Aussie swimwear, sweet separates and magical scents inside this A-frame shop front. You’ll be drawn to this lovely boutique on the main street of Long Jetty, thanks to the eye-catching steep white roofing, buckets of native flowers and on-trend window styling. Locals Emma Macdougall and Tegan Gazzard took over the shop in early 2017, which, along with clothing, sells a cornucopia of organic essential oils, facial serums, natural soaps, crystals and bath salts. Apparel-wise they stock cozzies from Zulu and Zephyr, silky Rowie slip dresses, Bimby and Roy lingerie and Will and Bear hats. 310B The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty 2261.
From the Central Coast Highway this strip of shops doesn’t appear particularly enticing, but once you stop off you’ll discover local fashion from Bohemian Traders. Tucked in between coffee shop neighbours Glee (who will make you a great flat white) and Studio N hairdressers, you’ll find this light and bright fashion boutique that has a dedicated following online. Bohemian Traders caters to the coastal lady of all shapes and sizes – think free flowing linen palazzo pants, mustard floral wrap dresses, paisley printed wrap skirts and stonewashed denim – and stocks most of the seasonally designed ranges in sizes 6 to 22. Little ones are looked after too, with cute kids’ capsule collections, which include practical cotton button up tops, rust coloured linen dresses and soft grey marle leggings. The freshly fitted out shop opened in mid-2018, moving a few doors up from its original location (which is set to turn into a Bohemian Traders’ menswear offshoot). Inside you’ll find gold racks stacked with the locally designed collections, white concrete shelves with sunglasses, delicate silver jewellery and tasselled earrings, and, of course, friendly local staff. 1/490 Central Coast Hwy, Erina Heights 2260.
Sisters Amelia Wasiliev and April Mills are behind this laidback Long Jetty Boutique. The corner store isn’t huge, but they certainly fit a lot in. Peruse Assembly Label denim, leather sandals by Pons, Faithful lemon striped wide leg pants and Rue Stiic dresses. The sisters also love to support local labels, like Never Working Monday’s. This Central Coast based business salvages discarded fabric left over from making wetsuits, to create pint-sized neoprene bathers. You’ll also find the Local Leaf adjoining, a pop-up plant shop peddling fiddle figs, spotty peacock plants, fuzzy hanging ferns and easy-to-care-for succulents. 346 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty 2261.
Sarah-Kate Mcaleer fronts this packed out vintage shop in the middle of Long Jetty. The unisex offerings range from faded baggy Harley Davidson T-shirts to worn-in high waisted Levis, along with brightly coloured overalls, bomber jackets, paisley dresses, leather boots and crossbody bags. Mcaleer took over the shop from her best friend in early 2017, and lives in and loves Long Jetty. She’s always championed the Central Coast lifestyle and was the former publisher of the Central Coast Field Guide. She still maintains this enthusiasm for the area, pointing to other nearby cafés like Green Tangerine, and is excited for a small bar to open up in an old movie theatre across the road. “There’s so much going on up here now – it’s nice to not have to go other places because it’s all here in Long Jetty,” she says. 298 The Entrance Rd, Long Jetty 2261.