Christina Armstrong is one stylish Gold Coaster, not to mention the owner of stunning local homewares and clothing brand Moss Living.
We sat down for a chat with Christina about her high-end linen bedding, sustainable sourcing practices and the new Moss Living wearables about to hit the market.
How long have you been a Gold Coast local?
I’ve grown up a city girl mostly. I was born in São Paulo, Brazil and travelled the world with my parents. I then spent my teenage years in Brisbane, came here for a weekend away in 2002 and never left. I worked at Swinging Safari, then moved to the southern Gold Coast to manage Elephant Rock Cafe and after meeting my fiancé in 2005, I started to call the Gold Coast my home.
What do you love most about living here?
I’m a nature lover. I love the birds, the wildlife, the fresh air and sea breezes. Our home backs onto the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary so I’m lucky to be surrounded by the most stunning flora and fauna. It’s my own little piece of paradise. My home is my haven. The beaches here are just so beautiful and clean and I love the proximity to all the best swimming spots. The community is just like a small country town, so many creative people and incredible local support.
How did your business Moss Living come about?
I’ve always been encouraged to make a house a home. From very early in life my parents gave me freedom to arrange and design my own space. I was encouraged to decorate, repaint and style my room as a kid. My mother always had the most exquisite furniture and homewares she had collected from around the world and I always appreciated the quality and uniqueness of her pieces and the way she styled our homes was just divine. The ‘good room’ was always pristine, it was her pride and joy with stunning Brazilian timber furniture, hand carved, exotic fish sculptures and fresh roses she grew herself. I’ve always remembered the fine detail and the feeling of warmth and comfort. I carried this feeling throughout adulthood. She taught me to be stylish and proud of my home. I’ll always be grateful for that. With Moss Living I’ve found something I love and I’m just so happy to be able to work with such a beautifully raw, sustainable material.
You sell beautiful, high-end linen, towels and clothing, from where do you source your fabrics?
All of our linen is ethically grown in and sourced from France. It’s the highest quality linen available on the market. Linen is a part of a movement back to the belief that simplicity and quality are paramount. We have a close relationship with our supplier and we’re always interacting with each other over new developments and concepts. Our supplier is one of the leading providers of fine linen in the world. They deal directly with France to source the best raw flax linen and in the dying process, our supplier uses AZO-free dye which is very friendly to human skin as well as the environment.
Can you talk to us about any upcoming colour trends you’re noticing for the new season?
I’ve never been a real trend follower. If you’re running a business and marketing high end products I think it’s important to understand trends however I don’t want to be someone who follows the market. I love to be innovative and aim to come up with a unique palette. In saying that, I’m influenced by my surroundings, Australia has the most beautiful landscapes and I’m always looking at colours that represent a personal experience and the love I have for nature.
Any advice for someone looking to start their own business?
Be yourself. Follow your heart. Don’t compromise quality. Surround yourself with positive, happy, supportive people. Do your research and understand it takes time. Business is a balance.
What’s the plan for the rest of 2019 for you?
We have some amazing new Moss Wearables in the making and I’m working on new colours for bedding. I’m always working on new shoots with my photographer Jenna Agius to keep it fresh and relatable.
Tell us your favourites on the Coast…
Cafe for breakfast: I’m lucky enough to be able to walk down to Cornerstone at Currumbin, amazing healthy food especially breakfast
Coffee spot: Saltmill at Currumbin and Dust Temple in the industrial area
Restaurant for dinner: The Fish House at Burleigh and Hellenika at Nobbys Beach
How does your weekend usually look: Coffee first then morning chats with our fur babies. We get produce from our local farmers market at Palm Beach every Saturday morning and I usually have a glass of bubbles or two with my fiancé. I’m often in my ceramics studio creating.
There comes a time in life when the things that matter most are beautiful homewares, good wine and a comfortable bed in a room filled with said homewares to ensure we get (the very necessary these days) eight hours of sleep every night.
For us, that time is now Gold Coasters and we suspect you might feel the same which is why it gives us great pleasure to bring you news of a new homewares and lifestyle store that is probably (definitely) our new favourite place to be.
The newbie is the work of the one and only Jasmine Potter along with design extraordinaire Charlotte Barnes and it’s the third ball in a trio of lifestyle arms (tiles, lighting, lifestyle) that make up Jas’ boutique interior design company, Three Balls Red.
Now, perhaps you’re thinking that all homewares slash lifestyle stores are created equal. Stop that. It couldn’t be further from the truth.
The magic of this particular space, and the reason for this tale, is that the majority of pieces on offer are by Gold Coast makers and the rest, from other incredible Aussie folks.
Which is amazing for many reasons, the first of which is that we now have another way to support local talent, the second of which is that we can get to know some mind-blowing local artists and the third of which (bear with us), is that we can put these goodies in our very own homes.
The goodies we speak of are many and varied and all, of course, absolutely stunning.
There’s luxe linen bedding from Moss Living, beautiful beach umbrellas from Salty Shadows, bespoke furniture by Lobo (an incredible business down Tumbulgum way), the most beautiful stoneware from Jas and Charlotte’s wholesale brand Ukuba, one off art pieces by Wabi Projects (LOVE) plus of course, tiles, bathrooms fittings, lighting, rugs, anything you could possibly want for your home, the girls have you covered. And then some.
Every single piece is unlike anything you’ll find anywhere else and we’re in love with all of it. If you’re thinking about what to buy us for Christmas, look no further.
One of the most exciting pieces within the store is a chair (that deserves a far more impressive name than that) by local artist CJ Anderson, called Soigné, that was selected to be exhibited by the Milan Design Fair and it’s not hard to see why.
It’s a work of architectural genius, made with heavy-duty leather and brass detailing and it’s the new love of our lives. Look up CJ’s work and prepare to give away all your dollars (for good reason).
As mentioned, Christmas is about 14 seconds away and we’re all about treating oneself (not just at Christmas) and this stunning little spot is just the place to do it.
Good luck choosing what to buy.
Sleep well in your newly fabulous home friends, we know we will.
LOCATION: 2/85 Bundall Rd, Ashmore
HOURS: 8.30am until 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am until 1pm Saturday
Words and photos by Kirra Smith
Homewares are equally the love of our lives and an unhealthy obsession we should probably nip in the bud. Won’t though, because pretty cushions are life and we’re home ALOT these days.
Not to mention the fact that the Gold Coast is home to an unfair amount of homewares stores filled with absolutely beautiful things we definitely need and will make us happy. You too? Thought so.
Here’s a list of ten local homewares stores to get in your life, next time a shopping spree is in order.
From Mongolia to Morocco, Denmark to India and Asia to Africa, St Barts have travelled across the world collecting beautiful pieces designed to invoke a sense of wanderlust and adventure within the home. St Barts opened their Ferry Rd Markets store in May 2010 and expanded their empire to Burleigh in September 2019 (with the neat addition of Next Door Espresso attached) and since then, have delighted the good folks of the Gold Coast with their inspiring and perfectly on trend range. It’s a store you could spend the rest of your days gushing over (and spending up a storm in).
Where: The Brickworks, 107 Ferry Road, Southport and 24 Junction Road, West Burleigh
The Beach Furniture
Unique, handmade pieces in raw, natural colours, perfect for anyone who’s keen on the beautiful, laidback things in life is how we feel about The Beach Furniture’s collection of goodies. Unpolished wooden tables, whitewashed cabinets and consoles and an array of homewares in the prettiest of pastel shades are the perfect match for any home, particularly on the Gold Coast (lucky). No matter what you may need for your abode, you’ll find it at The Beach Furniture and it will be oh so beautiful.
Where: 48 Bundall Road, Bundall and 74 Kortum Drive, Burleigh
One of the original and the best, Village Stores have been around for quite some time and it’s not hard to see why. Their collection of perfectly Pinterest-worthy pieces will make your space absolutely pop (and be the envy of all your friends). From furniture to photographs and everything in between, Village Stores offer an eclectic range of homewares including tribal-inspired pieces and stunning rattan pendant lights. Oh, and their rugs are some of the most beautiful around too.
Where: Shop 1/54 Bundall Road, Bundall
Three Balls Red
The ladies at Three Balls Red know what’s up when it comes to absolutely stunning homewares, you won’t find anywhere else. What began as a beautiful lighting and tile store in Bundall, not long ago became a homewares store stocking primarily local brands and we are absolutely obsessed. From linen bedding to award-winning leather chairs, art, rugs, cushion, everything, you will no doubt find at least 35 things you want for your home. If you’re not sure what you need, the gals are very knowledgeable so they can point you in the right direction. Don’t miss grabbing a coffee from next door coffee shop Roller Door Espresso!
Where: 2/85 Ashmore Rd, Bundall
Kira & Kira
A game changer to the Gold Coast homewares store game is Kira & Kira (so nice they named it twice) in Miami. The absolutely stunning store is a workshop and retail space dedicated to the design and development of furniture and interior pieces. Each piece is made with the highest quality materials and inspired by a mid-century modern aesthetic, celebrating functionality, clean lines and beautiful finishes. We absolutely love every single thing in there and would very much appreciate being stylish enough to include them all in our home. Please.
Where: Cnr Gold Coast Highway and Kratzman Avenue, Miami
Oh Moroccan-inspired homewares, how you have our hearts (and a lot of our money) with thanks, in no small part, to the impeccably styled space that is Trader Trove. With new and vintage wares, sourced both locally and from around the globe, it is the homewares store of our dreams and there is not a thing in there we would not love to own. Brightly coloured Turkish cushions are artfully placed next to Moroccan grass baskets and beside intricately woven rugs and it’s all absolute perfection.
Where: 22 Christine Avenue, Miami
Maison & Maison
A bohemian-inspired beauty you’ve no doubt wandered past in your travels around Burleigh, Maison & Maison is filled with an eclectic range of tapestry cushions, leather pouffes, carved buffalo skulls and throw rugs. The pieces here are also inspired by the beauty of the world and sure to ignite some wanderlust within your holiday-hungry soul. They want you to imagine meandering through the streets of Istanbul, with a cocktail in hand and tropical living on your mind. But in Burleigh. Don’t mind if we do.
Where: 53 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Emporium on James
Expect to find all the delightful things at Emporium on James. There’s beautiful wicker furniture, Mongolian sheepskin throws, hanging chairs, Maison Blanche candles and the loveliest gifts. All of which will definitely tickle your fancy. There’s also a pretzel shaped bottle opener that we simply must have. If quirky, unique pieces in natural colours and textures are your thing, Emporium on James is the one for you.
Where: 1/50 James Street, Burleigh Heads
Gather is a beautiful little home goods and gallery store filled with thoughtfully curated goodies with a strong emphasis on raw, crafted and botanical. The gals are passionate about supporting local artisans and brands AND they even have a micro nursery with a hand-picked selection of indoor and patio plants. We absolutely LOVE the range of handmade ceramics on offer and may have quite the collection in our house already. It’s the perfect place to find an incredible gift for a loved one or, of course, to treat yo’self. Located next to Dust Temple, pop in for your art gallery fix too!
Where: Shop 1, 56 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
Perfectly representative of the coastal life we know and love, Salt Living has been filling the homes of Gold Coasters since 2014. With a love of relaxed, beachside vibes and high quality, handmade and ethically produced pieces from around the world, the space itself is all white, shades of blue and golden accents and it’s as pretty as you could ever hope your house to be. The store also stocks some incredible artworks, slides from everyone’s (our) fave brand St. Agni and swimwear by local brand peony. So all the best things. Love this place.
Where: The Strand, 72 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
Words by Kirra Smith
It’s the unassuming seaside suburb quietly making itself known for the hippest coffee haunts and an industrial area that has grown into THE place to be, seemingly overnight.
Because somebody has to do it, we’ve rounded up 13 reasons why locals love Currumbin.
Serving up some of the absolute best doughnuts you’ll ever have the pleasure of sampling is Currumbin’s Fuel Bakehouse. With varieties like Nutella, Passionfruit and Salted Caramel to name a few, you won’t be sad if you buy at least four of each. Not only doughnuts though, they also do epic pies, cruffins, croissants, all of the baked goodies and coffee too. Perfection the lot of it.
Where: 44 Currumbin Ck Road, Currumbin Waters
The Salt Mill
A tiny little space directly across from the beach, The Salt Mill is perhaps one of the most beloved cafes there is on the Coast. They do exceptional coffee, takeaway sandwiches packed with goodness, Açai bowls (arguably some of the best around), smoothies, fresh juices, smashed avo, raw treats, everything that is delicious in the world. Buy one of everything then stroll across the road and take in that unrivalled ocean view.
Where: 784 Pacific Parade, Currumbin
Hello homewares. And plants and art and jewellery and clothing. All the things you love and all delightfully arranged in the perfectly styled space that is Gather Store. In case you haven’t been in (WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE), allow us to enlighten you. Owners Jan and Sandy Hogg have carefully curated goods from local artists and craftspeople drawing inspiration from the local creative community. It’s pure gold, go now.
Where: Shop 1, 56 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
The newest kid on the block, Consciously Clean is the place to go if you need to stock up on anything and everything eco-friendly in terms of home and body cleaning goods. They have a system where you can bring in your own jar or bottle and fill that with the product of your choice or purchase one there and it’s all very affordable. Not only that though, you can also grab food containers and wraps, drink bottles, pet things and skincare too. It’s a one-stop shop. We love.
Where: 4/42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
The cry of “best espresso on the Coast” has been heard of Portside Coffee more than once and it’s true, this cool little joint is serving up the goods and not just in the coffee department. There’s also buttery homemade pastries on offer and intimate, friendly neighbourhood vibes galore. It’s the perfect place to get your early morning caffeine fix if you’re planning to explore Currumbin’s newly happening industrial area.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Panya Artisan Bakery
The only thing better than the smell of freshly baked bread is the taste of freshly baked bread. Sensory dreams can come true when you visit Panya Artisan Bakery. If you haven’t heard of it, don’t be alarmed, their main jam is supplying your favourite cafes and restaurants, but they do sell limited quantities of baked goodies to the public. Set your alarm for as early as you can handle, it’s well worth the wake up call.
Where: 42 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters
Freeman’s Organic Farm
For a complete change of scenery make sure you add Freeman’s to your weekend plans. The farm was established in 1915 and in the 1920’s became the largest commercial banana farm in Australia with over 100 acres of trees. Today, the farm grows all organic produce which you can sample at the I Eight Cake Kitchen via a variety of delicious organic dishes and (more) baked treats.
Where: 618 Tomewin Mountain Road, Currumbin Valley
All your favourite arty aspects combine at Dust Temple, an ex-warehouse turned gallery, coffee shop and creative community hang. Hosting local, national and international artists, musicians, poets and an in-house ceramicist, leatherworker and silversmith, it’s certainly a place to go if you need to feel creatively inspired. Amp up the happy vibes with a coffee while you’re there.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
Casual Japanese dining at its absolute finest is what you’ll find at Zipang Japanese. If you’ve not yet had the pleasure, it’s time you did yourself an absolute solid and booked in there to devour one of the best feasts you’ll ever have. They’re open Friday and Saturday nights at the moment and you’ll absolutely need to book ahead because Zipang is very, very popular. For good reason.
Where: 5/31 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin
You’ve heard about it and if you’ve not yet had the chance to visit, make today the day. Balter is the brainchild of your fave local pro surfers combining two of the things we Gold Coasters love the most, beer and waves. It’s a delightfully decked out space with big old beer vats on display, a sweet mural on the wall and plenty of outdoor spots to sit. Happy days.
Where: 14 Traders Way, Currumbin
Iron & Resin Garage
Primarily a clothing store and coffee shop, Iron and Resin Garage was made for rockers and motorbike riders. The reclaimed industrial space features a famous Sunday session, #onanysunday. Every Sunday from 9am-12pm you and your crew are invited to enjoy great live music from the cream of local musicians and breakfast provided by assorted food trucks.
Where: 6 Stewart Road, Currumbin
Brimming with all the tasty food stalls, arts and crafts and live music, Sanctuary Markets are held every Friday night at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary. Oh, there’s a bar too. Whack on your stretchy pants and grab your gang, there’s fun to be had on Friday nights in Currumbin. Obviously check out Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary too for that matter, they’ve got a bird show that’s pretty fun.
Where: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin
Parker and Persia
Love all of the vintage things? Us too. Luckily newbie Parker and Persia has us covered with a shop filled with revamped vintage furniture and homewares and some of the most stunning Moroccan rugs we’ve ever seen. Owners Steph and Sam have curated goodies from all over Australia to bring the stunning space to Currumbin. We’re in love.
Where: 2a/42 Currumbin Creek Rd, Currumbin
Words by Kirra Smith