Hartfield Walk Update: June 2021


Every week Hartfield Walk continues to develop. The plants are starting to give added structure and colour, the wildflower roof has buds that are beginning to burst. The stallholders are meeting and greeting many locals, feeling the real benefit of switching to electricity from generators, as well as the insulation with the green roofs and cooling on a hot day.

New stainless-steel plaques have been placed around the space, with QR codes to scan, allowing you to use your phone to learn more. The bee-eautiful ‘Bee in the garden’ bike racks have returned and we are looking at other places within the town to increase bike rack numbers.

As with many new and innovative projects there have been some teething problems, and through ongoing snagging these are being addressed. We’ve had a few questions about these, so to give some answers:

  • The use of repurposed wooden lock gates for seating and wooden trim has caused some unsightly leeching onto the painted surfaces. The contractors have been cleaning this weekly and it is likely to settle over the next few weeks, this is being actively managed.
  • The bespoke bike racks had an issue with chipping, this has been remedied by the suppliers and have now been reinstalled.
  • The flaking paint on parts of the floor maze was caused by unexpected rain during installation, which we were hoping would not affect the finish. This will be repainted but requires better weather to ensure the issue is resolved.
  • We have received a report from an independent arboriculturist who confirmed the design of the seating around the trees is not detrimental. However, to be absolutely sure they recommended some remedial work to increase air circulation, which has been undertaken. We will commission annual reports on these trees.

The space is designed primarily for seating and stalls, with planting softening the spaces and messaging helping us all consider what we can do to be more eco. We would encourage people to visit the space, admire the green roofs which are starting to flower, say hello to the local businesses who have an improved space to work from and take a moment to sit down and enjoy a place which before was a soulless cut through.

As with any new landscaping, patience is key, so in time the area will continue to settle and develop, and the planting will have a positive contribution to our air quality, in addition to making the area look more attractive.

Love Wimbledon has published a comprehensive FAQ webpage to learn more about the background of the project and decisions made, and there are further webpages about how the project focussed on having a positive environmental impact during design and construction.

If you have any specific questions about Hartfield Walk please email the Love Wimbledon team, who will be sure to reply within a few days.


Centre Court Shopping Centre Donates Space to RSPCA

Love Wimbledon often facilitates collaboration between Wimbledon businesses and local organisations, and recently helped RSPCA Wimbledon find much-needed storage space in the town centre, so that they can continue their animal welfare work.

When Putney Animal Hospital closed last year, RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth & Sutton District Branch lost their Cat/Kitten Rehoming Centre, situated on the site. The branch manager, Laura Kennedy, approached the Love Wimbledon team to see if we could help the branch to find suitable premises to store their equipment and supplies for their animal welfare work in the area. The RSPA branch also supports Wimbledon Foodbank with a Pet Foodbank, and accepts and processes donations for their two charity shops in Earlsfield and Wandsworth. It was crucial to find available space to organise these vital activities.

Kevin Gallagher, Operations Manager at Love Wimbledon, approached the Centre Director of Centre Court Shopping Centre, Simon Plumb, to see if he could help. Simon kindly agreed to supply a unit (free of charge) for an initial 6-month period to Laura, and the whole branch, who were delighted and relieved at the news.

“As part of our ongoing effort to engage with the local community, we are pleased to be able to facilitate local enterprises in offering space and resources where we can. I personally am delighted to support such a worthwhile charity in a time where charities are in such need in the locality.”

– Simon Plumb, Manager of Centre Court Shopping

Laura, Branch Manager at RSPCA Wimbledon, Wandsworth and Sutton, also added:

“Many thanks to both Kevin from Love Wimbledon and Simon from Centre Court for helping us through this difficult situation, it has been a real lifesaver!”

Here at Love Wimbledon, we like to support great causes, where possible, and help build new connections for our businesses, which strengthens the interconnectivity in Wimbledon.

Spotlight on: Sassali Interiors

Brimming with a stunning range of decorative products, Sassali Interiors is bringing chic, interior inspiration and great gifts to The Broadway in Wimbledon. The store opened during a turbulent period of Covid-19 restrictions in December, taking the place of the unit which was previously Wimbledon Party Shop.

Being a true example of a small, unique, independent business that adds character to our town centre, we chatted with the owner of the store, Saija Constantinou, to find out what the store has to offer to Wimbledon.

Tell us about Sassali.

Sassali is a privately owned, interior design boutique store that offers a collection of statement pieces, gifts and homewares to suit any budget. Taking the name from a beautifully sparse rural village situated in northern Finland, our inspiration and design language are drawn from Nordic sentiment and the aesthetic tone of contemporary minimalism.

We curate a range of stunning items that will complement any space, ranging from a collection of opulent scented diffusers and candles that awaken the senses and create subtle fragrance zones around the home, to dramatic glassware, ceramics and metals that bring those much-needed key accents to neutral pallets and spaces.

From natural materials such as woods, cork and marble to more contemporary textures such as distressed copper, bronze and micro cement, our stock is deliberately restricted and kept to low volumes, with new items arriving every couple of weeks. Every home and interior is personal and I believe you should reflect yourself in the essence of that design. It’s hard to make your space feel truly yours if you know thousands of other people have got exactly the same item. So if you see something that speaks to you, it might be worth getting it before its gone. Even our most popular repeat items have slight variations, which make them truly unique.

Do you find that Wimbledon has a ‘style’?

What I really love about this area is that it has such a huge range of architectural styles, rich history and collections of buildings spanning from different periods. This is all infused and layered with the constant design tensions of integrating the modern with the classic. Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian houses now with uber modern, almost industrial design aesthetic in look, glass and metal extensions strutting out of the side, or complete interior remodels that have rebuilt everything but the outer walls.

There is this certain feel about Wimbledon, a modernity if you will, that flows through the town. Steeped in history, regimented and almost slightly pompous in its stereotype, yet always feels it has this undercurrent of style, rebellion, and diversity.

The village obviously has some of the grandest and beautiful homes in SW19 and I’m always thrilled to see when some of my customers share their pictures with me. Pieces they have selected within the store and displayed as intended within their beautiful homes.

But interior design shouldn’t be exclusive to those certain few, I believe everybody should have the opportunity for a little guidance and inspiration. Traditional interior design services can feel a little daunting and a lot of people are put off by the uncertainty of their budget levels. Although we don’t offer a full interior design service at the moment, I love to help clients curate items to complement their space, advise on colour palettes or suggest areas for unexpected features and interesting vignettes.

Our boutique isn’t that large so we can’t keep a lot of items at once and so most of our bigger items are ordered on demand, but please come in for a chat and let us know your requirements and we are happy to source some inspiring options for you to browse.

What are your top tips and picks for summer entertaining?

It’s got to be all about outside dining and entertaining during the summer months! A huge part of our Finnish culture is the long warm days and that means looking at the most neglected designed areas in your home – often, the outside space. For those who are lucky enough to have an outdoor area, no matter what size, my tip would be to find those small accessories that can transform the ambiance. We have a range of cushions and blankets that are great for seated areas, as well as a large selection of candle holders and glassware that can be used to create beautiful mood lighting, that will complement any evening soiree.

We’ve even got a selection of wine glasses and champagne flutes for your dining requirements. We believe that just because you’re outside, it shouldn’t mean plastic!

What are you most excited about coming into your shop?

The people! It’s always a pleasure to meet and get to know my customers, many of who live in and around the area. I truly believe that choosing any interior item is a tactile experience, which can’t just be viewed and chosen online. This is why I encourage my customers to pop in at any time to browse new stock, or discuss with me what they are after. Everyone missed the experience of being allowed to go shopping, due to Covid, and I really want the community to experience friendly, helpful and personalised service that will inspire them to make their homes into a truly beautiful personal space.

Sassali Interiors is located at 270a The Broadway, Wimbledon, SW19 1SB.

Remember that when you #ShopLocal from stores like this, you are supporting the local economy, as your money goes into the pockets of your neighbours in the community. By shopping locally at our independent businesses, you are also helping to keep the personality and diversity of our town centre alive, plus you receive great customer service which enhances our community spirit!