Location, location, location
Choosing a site for a new Seasalt shop depends on a range of factors, including the size of the space available and the feel of the location. We explore potential areas online before we decide to go for a site visit. We’re sensitive to the surrounding buildings and area as a whole, and translate our design approach to suit each individual shop.
While we keep the brand elements consistent (including our design approach for the flooring, walls, fixtures and signwriting), each Seasalt shop is unique. The design is usually led by the architecture of building.
We actively look to replace existing shop fronts if they’re not right for the location, or for the brand. If a modern shop front has been added to an older building, we’ll try and create something more in keeping with the architecture. We look at archives and historical documents to try and find information about what the original shop front may have looked like. In Harrogate, we used an original shop front further up the road as reference for our design work.
Our shop fronts tend to be traditional but simple. First and foremost, they have to be in keeping with the building and area. We also try and develop a relationship with the local planning officer early in the process.
“Some shop fits, like Canterbury and Shrewsbury, were straightforward. But Chester presented us with a challenge. We couldn’t use our usual light blue paint for the shop front as it would have stood out too much in the historic surroundings. We chose a dark blue shade instead, which looked so good we decided to use it for all our new shops.” – Polly Hole, Seasalt shop experience team
Each of our new shops has a bespoke artistic feature which makes the most of the shop’s unique architecture.
York was the first location where we took our design process to the next level. There’s a small courtyard at the back of the shop which we quickly realised had the potential to add something special.
We started by reconditioning the old roof lights, letting light flood in to the shop. During the renovations, we were delighted to discover beautiful Crittall windows (steel-framed windows particularly associated with the Art Deco and Modernist movements) which look out across the courtyard.
We loved the feel of this indoor/outdoor space, and designed a flight of birds to make the most of it. The exterior birds were made from polycarbon, and the indoor ones are paper, suspended on fishing wire so that they look as though they’re gliding through the shop.
We haven’t stopped since then. Our Tunbridge Wells shop had a stained glass window already in place, so this became the focal point of the design. In Cardiff, we created a new, full glass shop front with a beautiful oak stripe. Our latest shop, Gainsborough, has a huge ceiling, so we created ‘rigging’ with swooping ropes, and echoed this theme with our signwriting.
Fixtures and fittings
We use Cornish suppliers and contractors to outfit our shops wherever possible, and we source all our shop furniture from Cornwall. The quality of finish and provenance of the materials we use is key. Our focus is on high quality fixtures and fittings that are handcrafted, made to last and wear beautifully – just like our clothing.
Our commitment to the environment
We’re committed to making our shops environmentally friendly, including installing LED lighting, motion sensors to make sure lights turn off automatically when they’re not needed, and smart meters to monitor our energy consumption.
Who we work with
We’re always keen to collaborate with creative businesses who share our vision to create simple, stylish and high quality products.
Tom Raffield & Seasalt
When Tom contacted us a couple of years ago and said he’d love to do something with us, it seemed like the ideal fit: all Tom Raffield lighting and furniture is handmade Cornwall using sustainably sourced wood.
Tom created a range of lighting pieces and furnishings to complement our collections, which we showcased in our Hereford shop. The steam bent wood sits with our interior aesthetic beautifully, and we now use Tom Raffield lampshades in all our shops.
Working with Leach Pottery we’ve created an exclusive collection of beautiful handmade mugs, jugs bowls and pots which we sell in our shops and online.
In our newer shops, you’ll see specially designed Leach Pottery tiles used as part of the flooring, marking out the different areas of the shop.
We’re also very proud to provide an annual bursary for the training of an apprentice at Leach Pottery.