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I have shopped at Laura Ashley frequently for the last six years and have visited numerous stores. I also order via their mail order catalogue and online.
I have a wide range of products from them, lighting, furniture, clothing, ornaments, rugs, soft furnishings etc
I am always impressed by the shop layout, appearance and displays. They are always very tidy stores and have clear identifiable sections so you know which part of the store to go to on entry.
On several occasions, however, I have had issues with product availability. I ordered a mirror on one occasion and was told there would be a 4 week delivery timescale, but after four months of waiting, I gave up. I subsequently bought the mirror about a year later when they did have stock. I had a similar experience when ordering some photo frames from the website and had to wait a ridiculously long period of time for them. I don't know whether these stock issues are experienced by others or whether I was just unlucky.
I love all their furniture ranges, and have several pieces. They are well made and their deliveries were on time and well executed.
They always have excellent sales on, and I don't buy any goods when they are full price as there always seems to be a sale on a week or so later - not that I am complaining, but I do wonder why they don't just price their products at the lower prices to start with.
I would recommend Laura Ashley for their original products and high quality
If you want to go into a store where the staff ignore you do not want to serve behind the till and quite happy to ignore you even walk past you then BHS at The Fort Erdington Birmingham is the store for you.If you want to go to a store that when you take something back they forget to give you your money back then this is the store for you. This is no ordinary store this is a complete lack of customer care store be warned
I first came across Laura Ashley in it's original incarnation in the 1970's when the shops were known only for clothing. Laura Ashley had started a 'cottage industry' in Wales producing country style prints and clothing designs that fitted the hippy vibe perfectly. Her clothes reflected an idealised country life, all floral smocks and lace.
In Chester Laura Ashley sat up in the rows in Watergate street . The floor boards were uneven, the ceilings low and with original beams and the clothes were jam packed on the rails.
Perfect for an 18 year old art student who wanted to rummage through tons of stuff until the perfect item was found!
My favourite piece from that era was a lovely fine cotton and lace Victorian style night dress which I wore until sometime in the late 80's the poor thing finally disintegrated.
Thereafter Laura Ashley disappeared off my radar for a number of years. I left Chester and moved to Liverpool where there was no shop.
Then Cavern Walks opened. This was to be a prestigious new shopping arcade built on top of where the original Cavern Club had stood. A beautiful new Laura Ashley opened there with wonderful new ideas. The hippy clothes had been replaced with smart and slightly dowdy lines. However, the new furniture, lighting and home accessories was something altogether different.
The look was and still is smart country with a touch of shabby chic. Nowadays the store has relocated to an edge of town retail park. It is light and airy, so unlike the Laura Ashley of old, and items are well displayed with the emphasis on home not clothing.
There are almost always bargains and unlike many of it's furnishing counterparts, these are not end of lines or pieces that aren't selling well but ranges that continue and can be purchased well after the promotion ends. This is worth knowing if you are furnishing your home and want to add similar pieces or buy soft furnishing to match wallpaper in future .
My best buy to date is the wallpaper my daughter has in her room. It is called Tatton and sells for around £20 a roll. It was on offer for a week at just £5 and I snapped it up. The papers are easy to hang and look great for years.
I have always found staff to be well trained and helpful. The customer really does come first as we discovered a few years ago when my husband started to hang paper and discovered that there was a small flaw in every roll. He managed to finish the room but on our next trip to a Laura Ashley store we returned an unused roll and told the manager about the problem hanging the paper. We received a full refund and sincere apology which we had not asked for and went on to enjoy the paper until we moved house!
I had fallen in love with Farrow and Ball ever since the time when a friend introduced me to them. They were classy and sophisticated and we began a wonderful relationship. But after a while, I began to become a bit bored; they were so safe, so predictable - the excitement had gone. Many of us will be familiar with that feeling, I guess.
Without fully realising it at the time, I was vulnerable, feeling insecure - I was ready for something new.
Then one morning, in the paint aisle at Homebase, something happened that changed things forever.
I was doing up a table in the shabby chic style and needed a new supply. I went straight to the paint section. I acknowledged Farrow and Ball, as I always do, but my eyes were drawn to the top shelf, as they often are at the newsagents, and there she was - an absolute vision before me. Clean, fresh, innocent-looking. Her name was Laura. Laura Ashley. I wanted a closer look. I reached up and helped her down from the shelf. I turned her round. I could read her like a book. I did. I wanted her - right there and then in the paint aisle at Homebase. All of a sudden a wave of guilt washed over me and I quickly lifted her back onto the shelf. How could I do this? Farrow and Ball had done nothing wrong. I wandered through Timber, then Lighting, then Homewares, trying to make sense of it all. What was I to do?
I seized the moment. My mind was made up. I strode purposefully back to the paint aisle. I reached up, I grabbed her round the middle. You're coming with me. I said. We negotiated the tills and I hurried to the car.
Before long, we were back at my place. There was an excitement - a tension in the air - eager anticipation at what may lie ahead.
I took her to my workshop and laid her on the workbench. Make yourself comfortable, I said - I'll be back after dinner.
I don't even remember what we had for dinner that day, but before long, I returned to her. She hadn't moved.
I went straight to her. My pulse was racing. My heart was beating fast. I could wait no longer and I prised her open. She lay before me, exposed in all her creamy beauty. I gasped and stiffened with excitement.
I grabbed hold of my Stirring Stick and, even though it was still ever so slightly tacky from the last time I had used it, I plunged it in and with slow rhythmic practised skill, I brought her to that familiar condition whereby I knew she was ready. I was shaken; she was stirred. It was time to get down to business.
This was good. This was exquisite. I didn't want to stop. It isn't appropriate to describe every detail of the experience, but eventually, with long even strokes, I brought her to a beautiful finish on my table. I stood back to admire my work. I was impressed. A sturdy frame, nicely turned legs, smooth and creamy. I was smitten.
I was also exhausted. I told her I needed to rest. I knew that before nightfall, I'd be back to give her a second coat.
I stirred. Everything was in a blurry haze. Suddenly a voice called out: "Darling, I thought you were going to paint that table today?"...... Oh No! It had all been a dream!
Back to reality. Forlorn and oh so disappointed, I got up, got dressed and went to paint my table with my new tin of Laura Ashley paint.
This is what I thought of it.
I hadn't been at all familiar with Laura Ashley paint. Like most men I thought they just did those floaty dresses. However, Homebase had just increased the price of a 750ml can of Farrow and Ball eggshell to £15.49 and the same can in a similar shade from Laura Ashley was £4.50 cheaper, yet still a decent brand. So it was certainly worth a try.
On opening the can, I was impressed with the paint itself. It was thick and creamy and was a good consistency for painting. It held well on the brush and the coverage was good and even. It felt good on the brush.
I had primed and undercoated my table and was painting the frame and legs. The first coat went on well, but I had always thought it would need at least a second coat. I always leave at least 24hrs between coats to allow each coat to dry fully. The next day I applied the second coat and the whole thing dried to an impressive low sheen finish - one that I considered equally as impressive as that previously achieved using Farrow and Ball.
You get approx 10 square metres of coverage per litre from the water based eggshell product. There were a couple of things from the back of the tin that did surprise me a bit, though:
a) you have to use the paint within 6 months
b) you're supposed to let the paint fully harden for 7 days before using the item painted " to ensure resistance to knocks and bumps"
The Laura Ashley range stocked at my local Homebase is limited, but I will certainly be using Laura Ashley paint again.
I have recieved very bad service at Laura Ashley in Twickenham. The store manager was very rude and unhelpful.
Laura Ashley seems to have re-invented itself well. There sales are worth looking out for as there are some amazing discounts and they often have weekends with 20 - 25 % off certain products. Some of the furniture and décor is a bit chintzy for my taste but it is all very well made and they do lovely fabrics and wallpapers. Stores can be found in a variety of places from small stores within House of Fraser stores, independent stores in traditional towns such as York, to large out of town outlets where you can get the furniture they do. There accessories range is great, I have bought mats, storage jars and hooks all of which I have been pleased with. They also sell clothing which seems to have evolved from the flowery smocks to a range of high street smart but still trendy. They are all well made and quality products and staff always seem keen to help when in store. The website and catalogue are also well presented.
Laura Ashley was a Welsh designer who was well known for her famous for her colourful fabrics and household furnishings. She died in 1985 aged 60 years old, she has shops all over the world and in the uk and has a website www.lauraashley.com
For a long time I used to think that Laura Ashley shops were too old in the designs, I had never actually been in one, I just thought that the products from the outside were kind of grannyish until one day a couple of years ago I was shopping with a friend and she was searching the shops for some curtains and so we went into this shop.
When I actually got inside the shop I was pleasantly surprised how modern some of the products were, and absolutely beautiful items and very feminine which is what kind of items I love to see.
They had nice display stands with tiny little mirrors and kind of things for a dressing table etc, lovely peg bags and pretty candle holders, wallpaper sections and they have lighting, bedding, furniture and clothing.
I do think it is a little too expensive for me as I am on a low budget and I have only ever bought a few items in the past but what I did buy was some wallpaper in a sale as I only needed 2 rolls for a main wall in my bedroom and they only cost me £25 for the 2 and the quality is very good, I wanted to buy the curtains to match but they would have cost me over £200 but my friend who I originally went with to the shop the very first time said to me if I bought the same material as the ones I wanted, she would make them for me and so I did that and they only then cost me £100 and that included the lining as I went back again when they had a sale on and they cost me far less to make than to buy ready made. They do make curtains from the choice of fabric you want but this service can be quite high also, so I suggest if you are handy with a sewing machine or know someone who is, buy the material have them done that way.
Although it is a little expensive they do have very good reductions at sale times and also reduction days, and sometimes they have up to 30% off all products on these days, so if you are looking for a gift or something for yourself or home, I think it is best to check out what you may want and go back on these days and save a lot of money, as the items are very pretty to look at as well as very good quality.
Take a look for yourself the next time you see one of these shops in the high street.
I give it a 5 star
Laura Ashley (LA) is a mid Wales based company, who for some resemble flowery wall papers and dresses. But as times change, and so has Laura Ashley
LA today, not only offer furniture for sale, but home furnishing, wall paper, clothing and jewellery both by mail order, internet, and a in door store service.
The furniture range as well as the home furnishings are vast, with the mail order clothing being sparse unless you visit a local store (of which there are many across the country, including franchise abroad).
I have found that on all furniture, there is an extremely long waiting time for delivery, which can be annoying when your left waiting. But with only 25% of the final total having to be paid on ordering, the remainder is automatically taken a minimum of 10days prior to delivery, which helps and eases the pain of the long wait.
Please note that this may differ if ordering via the internet, so I would recommend anyone wishing to order expensive items of furniture to either visit the store, or telephone the mail order line during office hours and order directly
The wall paper, fabric and home furnishings are again offered for sale by all methods, and quite often all in stock, ready for delivery within 14days. Expensive items, but wonderful, fashionable, and truely make your home a home.
LA do offer a made to order service for a vast range of curtain styles, including blinds. This i have found expensive, especially when you look at the price of the fabric per meter. So i would recommend checking out if a local seamstress could make the curtains for you at a fraction of the overall cost, with the same going for roman type blinds
in a nutshell, LA work hard, and sell some wonderful items, with a good level of customer service all round.
you may also note that alot of LA items appear on TV, in adverts and in many of the soaps - which speaks for itself for quality and its up to date fashion for all walks of life
I would recommend anyone to give them a go, just dont expect speedy delivery
I felt i had to write a review about the fantastic advice received from Laura Ashley. We were looking to buy curtain material. We visited the shop on several different occasions dealing with different members of staff. Instead of just trying to flog us the material they patiently asked us the measurement of the windows, talked us through the different designs and pleats, and recommended materials and colours to match our needs. It seems that the staff are trained very well and know what they are talking about. We promptly bought the material and were asked if we wanted to open a store card.
If you take a store card out, you have the option of "price cover". Basically you pay £3 a month (only if you use the card in that month, not every month) and should the price drop within 100 days, you will be refunded the difference. So we promptly opened a store account.
The items at Laura Ashley are quite expensive, however you are paying for quality and fabulous customer service. It`s worth signing up for a store card if you are making a very big purchase or are a regular customer as you will get mailed vouchers, loyalty point vouchers and sale preview notifications.
I am such a huge fan of all things Laura Ashley.
I absolutely love taking a trip to one of their stores and having a mooch. It really cheers me up!! Unfortunately I never seem to be able to afford to buy anything from there as it is extremely pricy buy they do have good sales and sometimes you can pick up some great products from their sales.
Their materials are of such a hugh quality and are absolutely perfect for curtain making and pillow making etc.
You can buy many products from here including ready made curtains, bed spreads and sets, furniture including wardrobes and drawers, chairs, materials as previously mentioned, ready made pillows, mirrors and many more.
They have a great range or childresn products as well which is great to kit out your childs bedroom and make it look gorgeous.
Laura Ashley also sell clothes which I must admit I am not so much of a fan. I fid them a bit dated and slightly out of fashion but I guess they suit some people so it depends on what you like - again though these can be quite pricy.
Laura Ashley have a fantastic online store where you can buy all of thir products and their delivery charges are quite low which is fantastic. They also have a few discount stores dotted around in places where you can pick up some fantastic bargains.
If you can get their products for a good price then you are laughing as they will last you forever due to their quality!!
Laura Ashley is a shop i used to think was really old fashioned and grannyish but as iv gotten older (ok well beyond teenage years) iv started to like it. they sell a variety of items such as sofas, rugs, book shelves, cushions, throws, paint, beds, candles, notebooks, pictureframes and curtains etc. We had some beautiful curtains from them which were really stunning, kind of 'statement' curtains. they were cream with HUGE black bold floral designs on. They were really good quality and kept the light out really well too. Laura ashley is a little on the expensive side but most things tend to be high quality although we looked at a wardrobe with them before and it was about £1.5k but was really creaky and seemed rather unsturdy so decided to shop elsewhere for that but i think in general their quality is very good and worth the money for a few statement items