Today I am thrilled to spotlight on Amara Weddings, a bespoke wedding list service from luxury and designer homeware retailer Amara.
Gift lists have changed so much in the days since I got married and there is now literally a world of choice.
Whilst its always sensible to choose a variety of products in all budget ranges sometimes its lovely to be able to steer away from the everyday items and choose something just a little bit special that you wouldn’t ordinarily buy for yourself.
I share a little bit of the history of this amazing retailer before discussing their new A/W 2016 collections, their wedding gift list service and my own personal choices if I were a Bride again..
Amara has gone through many changes since its inception in 2005, but in every step of the way they haven’t lost touch with what’s important to them, luxury style and quality service.
Initially starting life as an interior design business, Amara has always been about bringing designer style and expert knowledge to every home.
Created by husband and wife team, Andrew and Sam Hood, the company has utilised their combined strengths from the very beginning.
Sam’s career in retail fashion nurtured her innate talent for styling and staying ahead of the trends, and she found her calling in interiors after project managing her own home renovation.
Andrew’s business know-how and acumen come from spending over twenty years as Head of Equity Trading at a large US investment bank until 2004.
These strengths saw the interior design company migrate into a shop on the stylish Baddow Road in Chelmsford.
Stocking the best in home accessories and carefully curated interior must-haves, the shop helped to initially build their client base and relationships with the world’s most coveted luxury brands.
Soon Andrew spotted a gap in the online market place for a distributor of true luxury homeware, and taking an entrepreneurial leap of faith they created Amara.co.uk.
In the early days the website was run in a tiny office, with a small yet dedicated team, and an even smaller rented storage space.
Beginning in this way the team learnt quickly, mistakes were never repeated and the true art & importance of customer service was honed.
With each customer came a new experience and new lessons to be learned, forming the basis for the continued Amara ethos that exceptional customer service is paramount.
Growing quickly, the website moved to its current home of Unit 4 Concord Farm in 2006.
Originally a chicken shed, at first it seemed an unlikely base, but was quickly transformed into a different world that suited the rapidly expanding business.
Today, Amara proudly houses over 300 of the world’s most luxurious home fashion brands.
Many of which are exclusive to them, such as Ralph Lauren Home, who have carefully selected Amara as the only online store to distribute their home collections.
The creators behind The Amara Collection have combined distinctive design with meticulous detailing to create four key looks for AW16; Fantasy, Heritage, Graphic and Luxe
From items that sit beautifully alongside existing interiors to directional statement pieces, each look embraces the luxury living ethos that the brand is renowned for.
Amara – Fantasy Collection – A delicate mix of gentle grey tones and pretty pastel shades, Fantasy is full of feminine elegance with contemporary detailing
Amara – Heritage Collection – Evoking the style of a glamorous country home, the rich fabrics and tones of Heritage
Amara – Luxe Collection – Inspired by old Hollywood glamour, Luxe blends bold tones with decadent materials for an opulent interior style
Amara – Graphic Collection – Blending monochromatic patterns with cool sleek materials, Graphic is an ultra-modern take on the architectural trend
While all the collections are absolutely outstanding I think I am swaying between the rich bold colours, luxurious fabrics and opulence of luxe and the traditionalism and the romance of Heritage and its air of times gone by.
Building on their success in the homes and interiors market the natural step was to create a Wedding Gift List service featuring an unrivalled collection of desired luxury gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.
The brand has worked hard to ensure the service is as bespoke as they can make it.
It is quick and easy to set up online but they have a specialist team here to help at any time with questions about the system or indeed the products.
Once the list is set up you can add gifts as you wish.
It is just as easy for your guests, they choose an item and checkout leaving a message for the couple.
They can shop from any of the brands international websites in any currency which is extremely popular as the world is a smaller place these days and most couples have relatives or friends from overseas.
In fact the brands large growth is in gift lists in the USA as they ship internationally and often without charge.
It is suggested to couples it is best to have your list ready for when invitations are sent out so guests can buy from the list straightaway but that said couples can add or amend their list at any time.
Gifts to the couple when they are back from the honeymoon but what the brand do is rather unique in that you don’t have to have what has been bought.
You could in fact not have any of the gifts and have the monies in a voucher to spend at AMARA.com as and when you wish!
This is very appealing to couples, for example why would they want 2 plates from a set of 10 if only 2 were purchased when they could use that money to complete a set of glasses or indeed buy a luxurious candles that they wouldn’t ordinarily buy for themselves.
I had a wee browse to see what I would choose and I have to say it was a very hard job, there is so much choice and there is so much beautiful.
I share a few choices below but believe me if I was getting married again I would go absolutely wild for absolutely everything….
I covet this Glen Plaid bed linen from Ralph Lauren. In a luxurious chocolate brown, this soft linen boasts a 300 thread count and a subtle chequered design.
A duvet, two pillowcase variations and a cushion cover are all available from the range to complete the sophisticated look in your sleeping space.
Its always completely amazing to get into a fresh bed and this amazing bedlinen range would just add to the experience.
Love these La Lavandou T light holders in a set of 3 – Made from glass in an amber, blue and green tone, the pop of colour complements, with a gold coloured band to complete the design.
At this time of year when the nights are drawing in, its lovely to have candles glowing providing a warm glow in the home and a wonderful aroma and these holders are just stunning.
It would be awesome to wrap up in designer style with this luxurious Bravo bathrobe from Roberto Cavalli Home.
Featuring a stunning leopard print pattern this bathrobe also has front pockets and a belt for extra comfort.
It is presented in stylish packaging, first delicately wrapped in leopard print tissue paper and then placed in a decadent Roberto Cavalli gift box.
A lovely bathrobe is the ultimate in snuggle and just the best against the cold nights and its like being wrapped up in enveloping love.
This delightful bake set in coal black from Falcon is made from indulgent, durable enamel, and is perfect for taking directly from the oven to the dinner table.
This set includes three bake pans in three different sizes and two smaller pie dishes, ideal for creating a variety of food for the whole family to enjoy, this makes a fabulous addition to any kitchen.
Awesome to indulge your inner Great British Bake Off.
Amara’s vast collection of home accessories have been selected to complement a variety of styles and tastes to ensure that whatever you are searching for, you will find the perfect piece for your home style and their range of luxury home accessories will make your newly married house a home.
To Contact Amara
Phone: 0800 587 7645 International: +44 1376 321100