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Myakka Blog

Indian furniture, Dining Table, Nest of Tables, Cushions and Accessories

5 great things to do near Myakka's Wincanton Warehouse this May Bank Holiday

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

As May Bank Holiday is nearly upon us, it’s a great time to be thinking about refreshing your home with fresh, new ideas from Myakka.  Our Wincanton Warehouse is open for business all over the weekend from 1000 to 1700 on Saturday and 1000 to 1600 on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday.  It’s an Aladdin’s cave of sumptuous accessories and furniture ideas to add an air of the East to your home. 

While you are in in the area, why not take in some other local events happening over the weekend in Somerset: 

Abbey Hill Steam Rally: 2-5 May 2014
Situated on the A37 just south of Yeovil towards Dorchester, overlooking the rolling hills of Dorset, it features something for everyone. From Traction Engines to Motorcycles, it's all at this fun family day out. 

A wide range of traditional and contemporary crafts are on show, with fascinating demonstrations of craftspeople at work and happy to answer your questions. Take your time and explore all of the many and varied stalls loaded with unique and creative designs and fine workmanship, from delicate jewellery to leather goods (and just about everything in between). 

The famous Dorset Knob Throwing competition and all kinds of other interesting challenges involving Moore’s Dorset Knob Biscuits takes place on Sunday 4th May alongside The Frome Valley Food Festival. There will be a the opportunity to sample, taste and purchase a fine range of foods including breads, cheeses, ciders, meats, game & poultry, pies, preserves, and puddings in addition to chocolate, coffee and wine supplied by well-respected local businesses.  

The kids will enjoy a fun day out at West Somerset Railway with medieval kids’ TV character Mike the Knight. 

South West Model & Hobby Show at the Royal Bath & West Showground  3 & 4 May
The largest model and hobby show in the South with Outdoor flying, indoor flying, radio control trucks, boats, tanks & cars. Static displays of model boats, cars, trains. Railway layouts. Model engineering displays.

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Support World Fair Trade Day

On Saturday 10th May, Myakka will be supporting World Fair Trade Day. This years’ theme is a Fair Trade People, which is about celebrating the work of the fair trade producers and the fair trade consumers all over the world. Organised and run by the World Fair Trade Organisation this event celebrates fair trade all over the world.

World Fair Trade Day celebrates the work that fair trade practices have achieved to help producers from some of the poorest parts of the world fight poverty and provide a sustainable livelihood for the rest of their lives and beyond. It celebrates the millions of people working within fair trade and the world of producers and traders who support fair trade to help provide a fair and sustainable living for everyone within the supply chain. It is about encouraging and strengthening fair trade relationships and building on the 10 principles of fair trade.

There are events celebrating World Fair Trade Day all around the world and there are loads of ideas for events that you can hold at your work or school.  With ideas like a fair trade coffee morning or a holding a fair trade market or how about a quiz guessing where certain fair trade products are made – a great way to raise awareness of the amount of fair trade products available and the number of people all around the world that benefit from fair trade.

The World Fair Trade Organisation has a clever app to help you promote your support for World Fair Trade Day. All you have to do is choose a photo and then upload it along with some details about your event and you will have a lovely poster to use. 

So whether you to choose to support World Fair Trade Day by only drinking fair trade tea and coffee or eat only fair trade bananas, your support will go a long way to make sure that the people behind fair trade all over the world are benefiting from your support.

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National Walking Month

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Myakka is stepping out this May in support of Living Streets’ National Walking Month.

May is National Walking Month and Living Streets are encouraging us all to walk wherever we can. Living Streets is a charity that campaigns for pedestrian rights and to make our streets safer. This May is the perfect time to start walking just a little more.

National Walking Month is dedicated to celebrating and raising awareness of the benefits of walking. Running from 1 May, it incorporates Walk to Work Week (12-16 May) and Walk to School Week (19-23 May).

For four weeks Living Streets are encouraging people across the UK to enjoy walking their way, be it walking to work, raising money for their favourite charity or walking their children to school, the opportunities are endless.

There are lots of benefits to walking a little more including getting into better shape, a reduced carbon footprint and a fatter wallet because of the fuel saving, reduce stress levels and a clearer head and you can get out about with your family spending quality time together and discovering hidden gems. Walking for just half an hour a day can transform your fitness levels, reduce stress and greatly increase your concentration levels for the days ahead.

There are lots of tips and advice on how to get out walking on the Living Streets’ website as well as helpful podcasts from experts to get us all walking. There is also a walk planner that can help you plan a safe route for your walk as well on other tools to help make the most from your walk.

So what's stopping you? Leave the car at home and get some fresh air!

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Myakka are back at Grand Designs LIVE!

We’re excited to be bringing Myakka to you for a limited period at the Grand Designs Live 2014 exhibition at London’s Excel from 3 – 11 May 2014.

Why not take the opportunity to pop and see us on stand L80 in the INTERIORS hall?  It’s a great chance to touch and feel the hand-crafted quality of our products first hand and to see how our fabulous fair trade furniture can be accessorised with our growing range of ethnic-inspired home accessories.

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, Grand Designs Live 2014 is expected to be an even bigger and better event than ever before. Based on the Channel 4 TV series, and presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, the event will be packed with over 500 exhibitors, across seven different sections, covering interiors, gardens, food and housewares, kitchens and bathrooms, home improvement, self-build, renovations, technology and shopping.  If you are in the middle of your own GRAND design or simply looking for some ideas and inspiration, this is a show not to be missed.

(Children under 15 enter free when accompanied by an adult.)

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Top 5 Storage Solutions

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Having a tidy and organised home is sometimes easier said than done. Finding the right storage solution for your home can make getting and keeping all your clutter sorted and neatly tided away a lot easier. So we have come up with a guide of our top 5 storage solutions for an organised and tidy home.

 1.    Blanket Boxes
These really are the all-rounder of storage solutions. Available in lots of different sizes, blanket boxes can help tick off all of your storage requirements. Perfect for storing anything from bedding to toys or shoes and woolly jumpers, they are the perfect choice. Blanket boxes are especially useful as they also offer valuable surface space and can make a great side table or coffee table.

2.    Storage Seats
These dual purpose storage seats are great for both a handy seat and a great storage solution. Designed be narrow enough not to take up much floor space but wide enough to store shoes and boots our storage seats are the perfect solution for your hallway. They will keep all the families shoes in order and tucked neatly away. As well as being perfect for the hallway we have had lots of customers use them at the ends of beds, in living rooms and dining rooms.

 3.    Console Tables
Traditionally found in a hallway (but can live anywhere in your home) these versatile storage supremoes are narrow enough not to take up too much valuable floor space but provides lots of useful storage space. Many consoles provide a useful top surface, drawers and at least one shelf. Some of our wider console tables also have a mid-height shelf that is perfect for a storage basket or two.  Our Mallani Large Console Table has even been used as a wine rack thanks to its slatted shelf.

4.    Sideboards
The matriarch of all storage solutions, our sideboards offer lots of storage in a variety of different formats. All have large roomy cupboards for storing everything your dinner service and tea sets to wine glasses and board games, sideboards can tick all the storage boxes. Designed for the dining room but work equally well in your living room as they hide away so much clutter.

5.    Bookcases
Bookcases are great not just for holding all your books but for displaying sentimental objects and design accessories. Our specially designed DVD space-saver bookcases are perfect for storing DVDs and CDs without taking up too much floor space. Or if you have a lot more books to hold our Mallani Large Bookcase or Kediri Teak Open & Shut Bookcases might be the perfect solution. 

Whatever your storage needs, we're sure we have the solution for you. All our furniture is made from solid hardwood so you can rely on the fact that it will hold on to all your possession, no matter how many you have!

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Monkey Pod Wood - Surin Range

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

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 Ceremonial Elephant 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, Acacia 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 will 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!

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Will it fit? How to measure for new furniture...

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Making sure your new furniture will both fit into your home and look great once there is a really important part of deciding which furniture is for you. Spending a little time measuring up and thinking about the practicalities of the furniture will help ensure that you make the correct decision.

When measuring space for Myakka furniture please make sure that you take into consideration the hand made nature of the furniture. We always recommend that you allows +/- 2cm. We always use centimetres to measure our items and all measurements within our catalogue and online are cm.
It is really important to consider how the furniture will sit in your space – it needs to both look great and be functional. It is also important to consider how your new furniture will look with any of your existing furniture. 

A top tip for making sure it all fits is to make a template of the furniture from newspaper. Using dimensions given simply stick pieces of newspaper together to make a 2D template which will allow you to move it around to consider different positions (it is a lot easier to move newspaper than a heavy piece of furniture!) If you don’t have any newspaper you can also use masking tape to mark out the size of the furniture.  (This is also particularly useful when buying a new sofa or any other large piece of furniture!)

If you are left with lots of space it may be worth going bigger or adding another piece of furniture conversely you may be left with little space in which case you may want to reconsider size, design or number of furniture items. 

With your newspaper templates it is also worth considering how much free space you will have. As a general rule you need to allow space between one piece of furniture to the next, it can often look smarter if there is a space of around 30cm between one piece of furniture to the next. Chairs placed around a dining table need 50-70cm of space between the back of the chair and any walls or other items of furniture. The larger the chair the more room you will need.

Other considerations include allowing enough room for cupboard doors and drawers to open. Allow at least 80cm of space between furniture and opposite walls for walkways such as hallways and landings, this will ensure that walkways are clear and won’t appear too cluttered. Ceiling height is also an important consideration; anything too tall will make your room look squashed.  Allow for some space, about 20cm, above any tall items of furniture to ensure your room looks spacious.
One of the most important parts of measuring up is ensuring that your new furniture will fit comfortably through doorways, up any stairs and through hallways.  If you have had any major building work since you last moved furniture please measure again to ensure that the proposed furniture will fit. A return delivery charged may be levied for furniture that is not able to be delivered.

We know buying furniture is a big decision and often you may need further advice, our friendly Customer Service Team or always on hand to offer advice and have extensive range of product knowledge as well as further product dimensions and other information. Give them a call between 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday on 0845 460 3122 or email and we will get back to as soon as we can.

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