Aspen Beauty, Stannington


Tucked away in the picturesque Northumberland village of Stannington (near Morpeth), is a hidden gem that serves to pamper, relax and transform its clients by giving each individual a beauty care experience that will beautify and balance both body and mind.

Aspen Beauty owner Lorna Waddell chose this hideaway venue to give people of the area a destination place to relax, unwind and take in the benefits of her 35 years in the beauty industry as beauty trainer, lecturer, TV hair and make-up artist and former salon owner.


It took several years of searching to find the ‘right place’, but after finally securing the keys to what then was a run-down former Post Office, Lorna knew she had found her ‘special hideaway’ and the searching and the wait would be worth it. 

Over the next three months, the Post Office was given the full beauty treatment. The inside was stripped back to its bare brickwork, allowing the building to be fully insulated, re-wired, re-plumbed and re-invigorated. The result is a curious and surprising experience. The outer shell has the formal presence of a village post office albeit it with a new glass frontage, but the real delight is when you walk through the door. 

The interior is a delightfully well thought-out balance of purpose and style. The colour scheme and furnishings are comfortable and yet eclectic, with framed pieces of bygone beauty artefacts adorning the neutral coloured walls. Industrial touches play their part within the backdrop that is the salon’s appeal; Period cinema seating in the waiting area, a large drawer wall with a mix of antique handles and rustic shelving, all of which give the place an inviting charm and subtle effect. 

At the business end, there are two double sided hair-styling workstations, complimented by stunning leather seats to allow clients to have their hair coiffed in relaxation and comfort. Beyond these is a private treatment room, discreetly housing a well lit, modern clinical area that houses a full-length bed and all of the high tech electrical wizardry that can turn back the hands of time and restore individuals to the youth of tomorrow!

For our part, ShutterStyle installed Pure White, full height shutters across the whole window area to maintain the salon’s privacy and give the salon a clean fresh image from both inside and out.



The Briar Dene, Whitley Bay

Here at ShutterStyle, we’re rather keen on pubs. We like working in pubs and we like relaxing in pubs. No surprise then, having a brand new shiny pub on our doorstep with a super food menu, a tip top smart interior and the most beautiful range of stunningly designed and meticulously installed plantation shutters to be seen anywhere north of the A66 (we don't go past there), that we are enthusiastic patrons and devoted attendees.

This latest addition to one of the best known North East pub chains, Sir john Fitzgerald, has undergone a dramatic six-month transformation to make it one of this areas ‘must take a look’ destinations. 

At the north end of Whitley Bay, this landmark pub is across the road from an award winning Blue Flag beach and it’s most famous of icons, St Mary’s Lighthouse. Inside, customers will find a spacious and well thought out interior with bar area, dining areas both inside and out and a 'take home' seafood counter for those preferring to dine al fresco or at home in front of the wood burner.

Guests will appreciate the pub's broad food menu which offers the freshest local seafood as well as traditional British classics. A wide selection of real ales is also sure to please, as is a comprehensive wine list and a choice of trendy coffees. Having visited a few times already, we can vouch for the beers and hope to get along to the wines and maybe even the coffee in the near future!

A great deal of consideration has been put into in the selection of the fittings, colours and textures that come together to present a subtle nautical theme. The pub now reflects it’s geography and history (although, there are no pirates, treasure chests or large fibreglass octopus to be seen) and has a mature feel with deep blues, off-whites and quality wall coverings throughout giving a relaxed welcoming feel that is enhanced in the evening with soft lighting.

Briar Bar (full height).jpg

For our part, *drum roll* we added a finishing touch with a considered mix of both full height and cafè style plantation shutters at the front of the pub on the east side. Using the largest louvres available to give a contemporary look whilst maximising the views across the sea to the famous lighthouse and beyond, the finished result looks stunning inside and out and is also very practical and proud to say that we've received countless compliments since The Briar Dene opened.

A great job, a great pub and another ShutterStyle installation to be proud of.



Brewery Lane, Warkworth

I’m not sure how we do it, but there seems to be a common thread that runs through a lot of the commercial work we do. Recently, we blogged about The Old Ale house in Craster, transformed from its humble existence quenching the thirsts of the local fishing community, into a superb holiday cottage boasting modern living with a rustic charm.

Today its the turn of Lane End, another generous and inviting cottage that sits on the bank of the river Coquet in Warkworth and surprisingly, is at the end of a small terrace of stone built cottages that make up Brewery Lane. In the 1800’s this was the home of Lamb’s Brewery created and owned by the Lamb family along with it’s own inn, also not surprisingly called Lamb Inn, which served the locals near and far with its respected range of fine ales (probably Lamb stout, Lamb lager and Lamb bitter!). 

Although Lamb’s Brewery no longer resides over this beautifully scenic part of the Northumbrian coast, it’s quaint golden cottages now open their doors to a different type of guest, where time is savoured rather than called and the refreshments served more often in tea cups than tankards. It’s here where the ShutterStyle boys served up another round of freshly brewed shutters for our good friends at Coquet Cottages. Take a peek at the pics of the lounge (not the snug or the bar!).

Staggering along this tenuous path next, we’ll report on yet another licensed shutter success with the newly refurbished Briar Dene in Whitley Bay, the latest addition to the Sir John Fiitzgerald brewing emporium and the latest installation by ShutterStyle.



Monkton Villa, Monkton Village

Over the past fifteen years, we've visited hundreds, possibly thousands of homes throughout the North East. Some are modest, some are so big that they need their own postcode but all are homes of good taste with welcoming owners. 

Some of our customers will have researched the product in-depth and have a clear vision of what they want, and others will rely on our expertise to guide them through the style and design of their shutters. Both ways are right of course but either way, we always offer any suggestions that we think could improve the project either practically or aesthetically. And as cliché as it sounds, we see it as a collaboration between us and our customers. 

One recent project, designing and installing plantation shutters for Jim and Sheila at Monkton Villa in Monkton Village, was the perfect example of such a collaboration. The house itself is a fabulous three bedroom detached property built in the late 19th century in a traditional village. Jim and Sheila bought the property in 2014 and have invested considerable time and money upgrading the house to give all the benefits of modern living whilst retaining the traditional style and feel of a traditional property.  

Downstairs, the formal dining room at the front of the house retains many period features with a beautiful carved fireplace, high corniced ceilings and wonderful panel mouldings flanking a superb three sectioned angled bay.

At the back of the house, Jim and Sheila have introduced a stunning extension around a beautifully designed contemporary kitchen featuring full-length fold back doors onto the garden. The result is a large open plan informal living area with comfortable seating areas and a modern bright spacious feel.

Our task was to design shutters for the windows of both rooms keeping the styling the same for both, yet complimenting the traditional and modern elements within each. 

To achieve this, consideration was first given to the large overall size of the windows which are a major feature within each room. Subsequently, the Pure White colour was chosen with complimentary white hardware so as not to emphasise the feature whilst keeping a light fresh look and feel. As the front of the house overlooks a pathway and is opposite a gastro pub, the 63mm louvre width was chosen to give effective privacy whilst still allowing bags of light into the room. 

In the lounge, which has a large ‘L’ shaped feature window, full height panels were divided into four main sections with a single return to compliment the existing window frame. To add some character to the design whilst in-keeping with the front dining room and its decorative panelling, we crafted a decorative frame to run around the outer frame of the shutters, giving it substance and adding a feature to the overall look. Finally, the Clearview option (concealed tilt rod) was chosen for both sets of shutters to introduce the contemporary element, whilst mid-rails gave a user-friendly option throughout. 

The end result was a great success. A simple, clean format that works across both room styles yet showcases each window individually. Two happy customers and a happy ShutterStyle Team - the perfect result!