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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Homework Time!

With the end of the school holidays nearly upon us, our attention is now turned towards life going back to ‘normal’ with the start of the new school term. Help them ease back into school life and the dreaded home work with a stylish work space that will help inspire and encourage them.

Help get things off to the right start by making sure you have the perfect workspace for your budding scientist or lawyer. A suitable desk and chair can make working a lot more comfortable and a lot less of a chore. The Mallani Office Desk is the perfect size for all of the family. It has a large surface ideal for the computer screen, keyboard and mouse with room still for paperwork and everything else you need to hand. It also has lashings of storage with two drawers for stationery and pens along with a deep filing drawer for keeping all of your documents organised and accessible. On the right hand side of the desk there is a cupboard designed for storing a PC tower or you can add the removable mid height shelf and use it for storing files and paper work. Team the Mallani Office Desk with the Katina Chair and save £100 when you buy the Mallani Project Set.

This spring we introduced the Jasmeen Office Desk, with intricate fret work carving on two useful drawers and a cupboard to help store away files and stationary. This desk is slightly smaller than the Mallani desk making it a great option for smaller spaces or bedrooms. Team it with the Jasmeen Upholstered Chair for a stylish and comfortable work space, and save £80 when you buy the set!

As well as desk, storage is essential for a modern home office, especially with the whole family using it. Filing cabinets and bookcases are great options for storing papers, files and books that need to be easily to hand but can be stored neatly away when not in use. Our Mallani Filing Cabinets are available in both a three drawer and two drawer version so there is one perfect for your home. The Jasmeen Filing Cabinet has two drawers for filing and a smaller drawer at the top for pens & pencils. We have both full height bookcases and smaller bookcases that are perfect for smaller rooms. Our Mallani Space Saver Bookcase holds paperbacks and DVDs with ease. The Mallani Large Bookcase, Jasmeen Large Bookcase, Thakat Jali Bookcase and Stonemill Bookcase are all great for storing reference books and files. With solid wood shelves that are strong and durable, and built to hold as many books as you need.

Once you have the perfect furniture, don’t forget the finishing touches. A cheerful rug can add colour and warmth to an often overlooked room. Kilim rugs are perfect as they are hardwearing and add a happy bit of colour, there are many shades and patterns to choose from the traditional designs in calming hues to modern stripes in coordinating colours. Comfort is also essential so add a chair pad or two to your chair to make sure writing that essay is as comfortable as possible.

Finally, remember that this is a purchase for your home and is furniture that will hopefully be with you for many years.  A little bit of careful thought and planning can ensure that your office furniture lasts for many years to come.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Everywhere Eco Rugs

Last autumn we introduced an Everywhere Eco Rug to the Myakka range and this spring four new designs were added to this exciting range. These rugs are made using 100% recycled PET plastic but feel like a traditional kilim rug. As these rugs are made from recycled plastic, they can be used both indoor and outdoors and if they get a little dirty, just hose them off!

We currently have five designs of our Everywhere Eco Rug which include our original Diamond design as well as our best selling Geo design which is available in three colours and two sizes. We have a great selection of designs and colours to suit any style of home decor and your outdoors! As they can be simply hosed down if they get a little mucky, it makes them perfect for the kitchen, children's bedrooms and playrooms and under the dining table. As well as using them indoors, you can take them on picnics, use them on decking or the patio or use them in the garden for the kids to play on.

They are made by a clever process that breaks the plastic bottles down into super fine fibres that can then be spun into thread and yarn. They are resistant to sunlight fading and can be easily washed clean with a hosepipe and dry in minutes. By recycling of plastic bottles means they avoid going into landfill or becoming litter this is a good thing for the environment and goes on to create a stylish and super practical rug.

When the rugs first arrived in the Myakka office, we had a little experiment to see if any one could tell which was made form the recycled bottles. After some quite serious comparisons and discussions, no one came up with the right answer, they feel just the same as a normal rug and nothing like plastic!

Take a look at our complete collection of Everywhere Eco Rugs here.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Summer Colour for Your Home

Add some colour and interest to your home with bright and cheerful accessories. Updating accessories in your home is an easy and cost effective way to give your home a brand new style and feel. Here are a few of our favourite colourful accessories…

Moti Ari Cushions
These cushions have been up-cycled from wedding saris making each one unique, as they are colourful. Available in seven colours and two sizes from £24.95

Rainbow Braided Round Rugs
This round braided rug will make a bright and cheery addition to your home. Made from fabric remnants braided into a work of art in an array of different colours. Available in four sizes from £14.95.

Antique Sari Chair Pads
These pretty chair pads look great on dining chairs or any other chair! Made from recycled saris, no two are ever the same. £19.95 each or buy a set of four, only £70.

Stripe Everywhere Eco Rug
These rugs have been made from recycled PET plastic, in this case mostly recycled plastic bottles. Use them indoors or outdoors, just hose them down if they get a little dirty. From only £49.95

Recycled Sari Bunting
Perfect for adding a splash colour to your home or garden, this recycled sari bunting looks great all year round or is perfect for a celebration or garden party. Only £12.95

Zanzibar Kilim Footstool 
This attractive footstool is both practical and pretty. Made with a hard-wearing kilim top and a sturdy wooden base this footstool is perfect after a long day on your feet and looks great too! Only £69.95

Teal Velvet & Brocade Quilt 
This luxurious and colourful quilt will add colour and warmth to your bed or sofa. A patchwork design that means each quilt is unique. Coordinating cushions are available. Only £124.95.

Moroccan Multi-Coloured Star Lantern 
This pretty lantern looks great hung in a window frame with the light catching the different colour glass. Add a tealight inside the colours looks great. Only £29.95.

Set of 2 Kasia Jute Baskets
Both useful and stylish these baskets will help organize your home and add a splash of colour.  only £39.95 each. Hand woven by artisans in Bangladesh. Only £16.95 for a set of two.

Accessories are the perfect way to add a little colour and character into your home. By adding a bit of colour an here and there, you can transform your home into a vibrant and happy place.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

World Elephant Day!

We love elephants here at Myakka so this year we are supporting World Elephant Day, this year on Friday 12th August. The day is all about supporting elephants throughout the world and encouraging us all to protect elephants and their environments.

There are only about 40,000 Asian Elephants remaining in the world (including those in captivity) and about 400,000 African Elephants in the world. Both species are threatened and their numbers have been declining for many years. World Elephant Day is all about raising awareness of elephants decreasing numbers and encouraging us all to do our part to look after elephants.

To help do your part and support World Elephant Day, there are a number of activities being organised to raise awareness. Why not take part in the #EleeDraw, simply download the picture of the African and Asian elephant holding the world and get colouring. Then share your amazing creation on Instagram with the #EleeDraw and #worldelephantday and tweet it on twitter with the same hashtags. We can’t wait to get started on our creations!

Did you know that a fully grown African elephant weights about 22,000 pounds and the Asian elephant is under half the weight at about 10,000 pounds. The African elephant is the planet’s largest land animal and the Asian elephant is the second biggest. We all need to do our bit to help protect them.

We hope to help make World Elephant Day 2016 the best yet!

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Monkey Pod Wood - Surin Range

As our Surin furniture range grows in popularity and variety, we’d like to give you an overview of how the tables, stools and chairs are made. This process is slightly different from our other ranges of furniture and can take longer as it involves extended drying periods and is based around a cottage industry with small family units hand carving just a few select designs.

Monkey Pod Wood
Also known locally as acacia wood, monkey pod wood is thought to be named after the monkeys that used to gather below its canopy and eat the seed pods of the tree. The tree is fast growing, about 1.5m a year up to about 24m tall and has a canopy which normally reached 30m but can grow as large as 60m. Because the monkey pod tree grows so quickly it makes it a very sustainable hardwood and is perfect for furniture manufacture. The straight grain and coarse texture allows it to be relatively easily carved into interesting shapes… perfect for items such as the Surin Forest Table or the Surin Elephant Ride Table. The trees were originally planted to offer shades in open areas such as parks and also to offer shade to crops from the hot tropical sun.

Surin Furniture Production
The production of our Surin furniture differs significantly from the production of our sheesham and mango wood furniture ranges. Surin furniture is hand carved in Thailand predominantly by small family units. The skills of carving and woodwork are passed down through generations and small family units generally work together, specialising in one or two designs only. For example, one family may be skilled in carving the Infinity Table while another family will specialise Elephant and Owl Tables.

The small, fair trade suppliers will provide the families with the wood which is normally harvested from older trees on managed plantations. The skilled craftspeople have to wait for the wood to be dry enough to carve which can sometime take a number of weeks. Then once they have worked their skilful magic, the carved table is left to dry further, sometimes in kilns although most are left to dry naturally in the warmth of the sun. While this improves the environmental credentials of the finished item, it can take some time as it is weather dependent and like ours, the Thai seasons can vary from ‘hot and dry’ to ‘rainy and mild’. From start to finish, this construction process including seasoning can take up to four months. Once complete, the furniture is hand waxed to bring out the natural lustre and highlight the interesting grain and colours of the timber, before being packed ready for shipping to the Myakka warehouse.

Surin Furniture Care
Although the manufacturing process is different for our Surin furniture range, it is still a solid wood piece of furniture so our care instructions are very similar. To enjoy years of happy use and good service from your furniture, we recommend just a few simple care tips:

  • Wax your furniture occasionally: We recommend using Mylands Clear Wax which helps protect, develop and deepen the lustre of the grain. We would recommend avoiding the use of silicon based polish sprays as they block the natural pores of the wood and prevents it from breathing. 
  • Avoid direct sunlight: As with any solid wood item, it's wise to avoid direct sunlight or heat sources as they may cause movement or cracking of the wood.
  • Keep mats & coasters handy: Because our furniture is traditionally waxed (not lacquered or varnished), heat and liquids may cause a bloom or ring marks to appear. Keep a supply of coasters handy – we have the perfectly matched, wooden ones in our accessories collection.
  • If you should get a ring mark on your hardwood furniture,click here to watch our short video showing you how to remove it in moments.
  •  Use felt pads: As minimal moisture may remain in these products, we would recommend the use of felt pads to allow ventilation around the base. 

As you can understand, due to the truly handmade nature of our Surin furniture, every piece is an artistic original and no two will ever be the same, each enjoying slightly different grain, carving and colour.  By its very nature, the manufacturing process can take a little longer but we hope you’ll agree, the end result will be worth the wait!