A world of home design, from laid-back to lavish…

Variety makes the world go round; just imagine what a boring place it would be if we all liked the same thing. At Jali we think it’s our differences that make us interesting and keep us on our toes.

It’s the same when it comes to home design, so we give you a huge choice of dimensions and details, to fit your home and your taste perfectly. And with just a touch of DIY know-how you can create in so many styles, from cool and classical, as in this elegant wall unit

Jali made-to-measure wall unitto ornate and opulent, such as this radiator cover in fretwork pattern 2082:

Jali bespoke radiator coverIt’s really easy to get started. Just browse the Jali product range, choose an example and then try all the possibilities. It really does pay you to play with the system before you finalise your design, as the online Jali Designer has a world of home design options tucked away behind its buttons. They vary from one product to another, so click away to see those options on-screen, and just pick the ones that suit you.

And if you need some inspiration, there are lots of examples of customer projects in this blog, with more coming up soon. We’re constantly amazed and delighted by the success stories our clever clients have completed, and their joy at having created their dream pieces is always a joy.

So have a go – we think you’ll be surprised at what you and Jali can do together…

-Annie

How to solve a BIG storage problem – with Jali

i304abannerEver thought “I’d really like to sort out the clutter; not a quick fix, but for good. And I’d like our storage to look great too, and suit our house – and us.”?  Well, let me introduce Brian. Brian and his wife recently moved from a larger home in Staffordshire, where they’d lived for around 18 years, and relocated to a beautiful cottage in Hawkhurst, Kent.

But there was a flaw in paradise, they discovered. “Like most house moves and scaling down, we found that we had far too many belongings that did not fit in our new home and a distinct lack of storage. We spent some considerable time searching without success for bespoke furniture that met our storage needs and did not require a ‘second mortgage’.  We were about to give up when by chance a local soft furnishing shop in Cranbrook recommended a company called Jali, whom they had used.”

As a first step, says Brian, “We looked at the Jali website and drew up some initial designs on its design package. We liked what we saw and decided the next step was to visit their premises in Barham, Kent so that Jali could help us develop our ideas. During that visit we looked at a number of options that would meet our needs, both from a storage aspect and also to house our numerous books.”

Brian was determined to see this project through to the end, despite the fact that period properties can have drawbacks as well as lots of attractive features.

“As with many older houses, walls, floors and ceilings are not always as true and square as modern day builds and guidance was needed as to how the Jali design package could deal with this. Over the coming weeks we spent time reflecting on our requirements, amending measurements and details, finally, with the help of the Jali team, we settled on the dresser that you see below.”

Completed Jali bespoke storage unit, emptyThe cupboards after the plinth was levelled:

Jali bespoke cupboards after levelling the plinthTrim was added to the cupboard skirting to cover the gap caused by the uneven floor:

Trim added to Jali bespoke cupboard skirting to cover gap to floor… and the shelving installed:

shelf-installation

The couple installed and painted the entire unit themselves, and even notched the top section so it would fit snugly round the beam on the ceiling (below):

Jali bespoke dresser notched to fit round a beamFinally, the unit is finished and filled with books and treasured objects; Brian’s photo, below, shows the unit with the continuous run of cupboards extending under the window to the right-hand wall.

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And a shot by Helen from Jali, below, when she went to visit the cottage recently:

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And the verdict? Back to Brian…

ice_0009_350“The dresser was well manufactured, it is extremely sturdy and well engineered with everything fitting together perfectly first time. We are so pleased with the end result.

We have nothing but praise for the Jali team who were  extremely helpful and competent in translating our needs and supporting us through the process.

Both my wife and I will most certainly order more furniture from Jali and have no hesitation in recommending them to anyone.”

Well thank you Brian – we’re obviously delighted that we’ve helped you solve your storage problem, that you got exactly what you wanted and that you’re so happy with the result.

Once the unit was finished, Helen, our operations manager, went to visit Brian and his wife and took some photos of the unit – and it does look wonderful. To create something similar, try our kitchen dresser designer, available at the link here.

Brian told Helen that he was pleasantly surprised to find the prices of our products cheaper than those of our competitors. And he is so pleased with the quality of his unit, he’s planning to come back to us next year for some wardrobes. Keep an eye on the blog, Brian, as I’ll be featuring another customer’s rather fabulous built-in wardrobes in a couple of weeks. They just might give you some ideas…

-Annie

Bookcases in real wood veneers are here!

This year, the autumn foliage of the trees around the Jali building has been spectacular. Those vibrant hues seemed even more precious for knowing how short-lived the display would be – all that splendour would soon be – literally – blown away by November’s chilly winds.

Jali bespoke bookcases in real oak veneerLuckily, the Jali way of capturing nature’s beauty produces something much more long-lasting. So if you fancy bringing a touch of it indoors, our real wood veneers are just perfect. What’s more, you can now order our brilliant bookcases in walnut or oak veneers too, instantly updating your décor and giving you lots of lovely shelf-space.

Bespoke Jali Flexi shelf unit in real oak veneerSo as well as cupboards, drawer units, dressers, wardrobes and Flexi shelving in oak (left) and walnut finishes, our equally gorgeous bookcases in real wood veneers is the answer to a multitude of storage and display needs.

And give a whole fresh look to your home into the bargain…

To select the new bookcase veneer finishes, just click on the product link and choose an example to customise.

Then click the ‘Colour’ button on the left of the screen and you’ll see the choice of available finishes.

As before, you can also choose the position of the unit; freestanding or fitting between two walls, or a left- or right-hand wall.

For manufacturing reasons, there are some limitations to the details we can offer when you choose the veneer option, but the unique and individual marking of the grain actually looks better when used in a less ornate design.

Bespoke Jali bookcases in real oak veneer, designed to fit against walls

Once assembled, your bookcase just needs a suitable protective coating and it’s ready to use! Sophisticated but simple, and all set to take your books, objets d’art or anything else you want to store and display. Before you know it, all those Christmas presents will be in the house, just waiting for somewhere to live. And this could be the year when you finally have more than enough places to put them. Now wouldn’t that be something to raise a toast to!

-Annie

Children’s bedroom storage with a real touch of magic!

This week we’re delighted to bring you another success story –  this time, children’s bedroom storage with a real touch of magic.

i302bannerWe’ve talked before about the problems caused by lack of domestic space – UK houses are the smallest in Europe. And even the space we do have can present a real challenge, because of a room’s shape, size or features that get in the way of a clear run of shelves or cupboards. This means that off-the-peg furniture often doesn’t fit or doesn’t make the most of the room we have.The options? Expensive, often disruptive on-site projects by bespoke joiners or cabinet makers. Or there is Jali

The latest contented customer to contact us with details of a finished Jali-assisted project is Sue. Are you sitting comfortably? Then she’ll begin…

A magical space…

“We’d just converted our loft into a shared bedroom for our two children and I was in the process of working out how to fit all of their toys, clothes and books up there. We’re great lovers of children’s books and I wanted to create a magical space where they could easily view and access their stories. Because of the sloping ceilings, the only realistic place we could think of for bookcases was around the dormer window, so I decided to make a feature of it and create a child’s window-seat as part of the design.”

Here’s the space Sue had to work with, and the first part of the installation:

Start of a bespoke child's bedroom storage project“We’d used Jali twice before to make custom bookcases and cabinets for our master bedroom and living room alcoves, so it was the first place that sprung to mind when I needed another custom bookcase. I noticed that there were various new options available since the last time I’d ordered and it took me a little while of playing around with the designer app before I came up with a solution that looked perfect for our space.

What I love about Jali is that every single measurement is customisable, from the depth of a shelf to the height of a skirting board, and I can play around at will and save as many versions of the design as I want, before finalising.

In a tight place…

Stage 2 of a bespoke Jali child's bedroom storage projectI needed the unit to squeeze neatly into a tight space behind a door frame, without any gaps and without losing a single mm of shelving space. (You know you live in a spatially challenged residence when you find yourself haggling over a millimetre!) Before placing the order I phoned the Jali helpdesk to ask someone to sanity-check my design and that proved to be really helpful, as Mark was incredibly patient and gave me a couple of ideas for minor tweaks that would give me a few more mm of shelf space here and there.

In the end I placed an order for three separate parts: a wall-to-wall bookcase unit and two sets of flexi-shelves to stand above it, on either side of the window. Once it was all assembled and painted it looked like a single built-in unit and we were very impressed!

The measurements turned out absolutely perfect. As a finishing touch I made a foam seat cushion for the window seat, which used up some lovely map fabric I’d been hoarding and tacked up some fairy lights… and of course added all of the books! The kids have been enjoying rediscovering books that they found hard to access previously.”

bookcase_1blogHey presto!

Amy from Jali spoke for us all when she told Sue that her photographs were “wonderful and you are a STAR mum. The whole team is really impressed and think your children are very lucky.” Children’s bedroom storage can be a real headache – too ‘twee’ and children will quickly grow out of it; too ‘on-trend’ and they won’t feel it’s really been done for them.

bookcase_2blogI think Sue has got it absolutely, down-to-the-last-millimetre right – I totally understand her desire to use every bit of her limited space. Her photo, above, clearly shows the limitations of door frame, right, and dormer window space, left. (And l love her joy at finding the perfect use for hoarded fabric – for example, I have a roll of French 1920s apricot colour, silk-velvet ribbon I am definitely now going to use this Christmas).

bookcase_3And talking of Christmas, a word of advice to help avoid that last-minute panic. If you need your Jali furniture to be delivered before Christmas, please make sure you order by 5.30 on Friday 2 December, for delivery by 22 December.

-Annie

See fretwork in a whole new light!

We’re delighted to pass on a new way to use fretwork, discovered by our clever customer Jenny. She ordered a panel in pattern 2172 and placed it above a doorway, to create a beautiful version of a transom light. As it lacks the glass of a traditional transom, it’s not suitable for use on exterior doors, but for interior use it’s perfect. It (obviously) lets in the light from the next room, is easy to install and provides a real wow factor at very little cost.

Jali bespoke fretwork panelJenny multiplied the delight by using the same pattern, 2172, in her wardrobe doors (below). At Jali, we totally approve this decision. It chimes with the ‘Fusion’ trend that we’ve covered in blogs before, here and here, and gives you a really easy, budget conscious way to create a fresh and eclectic look.

Now, as we’re all too aware, it’s one thing spotting something that you really like the look of, but quite another trying to make it part of your actual home furnishings without huge amounts of effort and expense. And what happens if you order online and things go wrong?

Jali bespoke fretwork doorsSo I’ll let Jenny describe her experience.  “As you already know, I am thrilled with the results now the doors have been fitted (above), but would also like to say how pleased I have been with the customer service and would not hesitate to recommend your company to others.

The doors have greatly improved the appearance of my room and complement the existing decor perfectly, so well done Jali!”

What can we say except thank you, Jenny, for the photos and the recommendation – and the brilliant new way to use our fretwork

-Annie

Space too tricky for modern storage? Solve it with Jali!

Well, they’ve done it again – our canny customers just can’t stop creating unique and fabulous furniture with our products! This week’s success story stars Bev and Roger, who used Jali to solve a tricky modern storage problem. I’ll let them take up the the story…

“We wanted a stylish piece of furniture to house the TV and all the associated paraphernalia that goes with it these days – easy (or so you would think!). But not if the only wall available also had a full length radiator.  After designing the desired unit  we searched for someone to make it reality and found Jali.

Bespoke Jali storage unitIt was vital that the dimensions were spot on as the unit had to fit between two doors, accommodate two radiators as well as having enough space for the TV. From our first contact via email, Mark at Jali was fantastic; he understood exactly what we wanted and was extremely patient, answering all our questions and making several adjustments.

We arranged a visit to go over the final plans and also took the opportunity to see displays of various designs in Jali’s showroom in Kent – we were extremely pleased to see that we would be getting a high quality piece of furniture at an amazing price!

Bespoke Jali wall storage unit and radiator coversWe found it really quite simple to put our Jali units together (the difference between Jali and other flat packs was that we had excess fittings rather than any missing!). It was definitely a two-man job due to the weight of the dresser unit.

As the photo shows Jali delivered exactly what we wanted AND at a great price! We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Jali to everyone and will definitely order more radiator covers to replace our existing (flimsy) ones from well-known DIY stores.”

Bev and Roger also told us that the only hard part was having to cut out the back of the central base unit to accommodate the radiator pipes (as they knew would be the case) and getting the angles spot on for the base plinths. But, they said, they got there in the end and feel really pleased.

We’re delighted too – there’s nothing nicer than helping people solve their space and storage problems and achieve the results they’ve been dreaming of. Mark from Jali (we also think he’s fantastic) definitely had a bit of a glow about him on hearing Bev and Roger’s compliments. And as we head towards Christmas, we’ll be even busier than Santa’s elves, solving your home design problems, one modern storage unit at a time…

-Annie

Beside the bedside: night-and-day storage, sorted!

Recently we’ve featured some of the brilliant DIY projects our clever customers have created with Jali products, including some very nifty fitting, adapting and building-in. But if you don’t want – or need – built-in, side-fitting furniture, we’re on your side too. You can get stunning results with the most basic of DIY skills, using nothing more than a screwdriver to ‘click and connect’ our simple cam-and-bolt assembly system. And voila! – it’s ready to use!

Jali bespoke drawer unitAll our furniture is available as freestanding units – cupboards, drawer units, wardrobes… Even our Flexi shelving units can stand on the floor. You could call it night-and-day storage, as it works for you all the time, keeping you on-point, organised and in control – always.

With our freestanding furniture, of course, you still get to choose height, width, length, number of drawers, sections, shelves and so on.

Take bedside cupboards or drawer units. Beds come in many different heights and sizes. And with upcycled and vintage versions becoming ever more popular, the permutations are endless.

Jali bespoke bedside cupboardsSo if you want your night-and-day storage to match the height of your bed-frame plus mattress, we’ve got it covered. Specify the exact height you need – you can’t do that with something you buy on the high street. Then, when you reach out in the middle of the night to grab your glass of water, or specs, or whatever, there’s no danger of sweeping lamp, books, glass etc. onto the floor and probably giving your hand (ouch!) a nasty knock into the bargain.

Make the unit longer, and you can combine a bedside table and chest of drawers for clothes storage. Or use our genius Kitchen Dresser Designer (yes, honestly!) to create a drawer-and-cupboard bedside combo that will knock the socks (or sweaters) off anything you could get off-the-shelf, as it were.

And if that were not enough, you can design your ideal shelf/section layout too. Night-and-day storage: it’s the stuff of bedtime stories – nice, reassuring ones, with zero monsters and lots of happy endings. Modern DIY: Dream (and then Do It) Yourself.

-Annie

More modern DIY magic, the Jali and John way!

Back in August, we featured some modern DIY magic made by our clever customer John. Well, he’s been at it again –  and he’s documented his latest project using Jali products so we can all see exactly how he did it. We think it’s fantastic, and that John should be really proud of what he’s achieved. It’s made the rest of us (okay, probably just me) feel just a teensy bit exhausted.

So here’s John’s account of his latest Jali-assisted triumph, while I go to have a little lie-down.

Jali customer's "Before" photo“Before – horrible shelves, piles of cables, and screens that are fixed to the wall with horrible brackets – cannot adjust the height – and the screens don’t match.

And when the screens come down, there’s a lot of holes in the wall where they were fixed – so that also needs to be covered up.

The desktop was ordered previously, as was the small set of drawers. The desktop has 3 x 80mm holes already drilled for dropping various cables through (although one is directly above the drawers, so not really useable)

The masterplan – order a set of flexi-shelves, and a series of mdf shapes, all in oak veneer, and some more mdf shapes as frames and templates. The various shapes will all become clear as we go along.

Step 1, after disconnecting everything, and removing the old shelves…Jali customer's "Before" photo 2A framework goes on the wall – you can see all the holes from the old brackets – and at the moment we’ll conveniently just ignore the light switch – that’s another ongoing saga….

This framework will hold an oak panel as well as providing a bit of support for the shelf unit – as we know how heavy this stuff is. Two of the 80mm holes can be seen – one on the left still has the plastic grommet in place, on the right its just a plain hole.

Step 2. Using a couple of mdf shapes as supports, the bottom and sides go in place. This is not put together on the floor and then lifted – its just too heavy – so will be built up bit by bit.

Jali customer DIY project

And at this point, found out the holes that I cut into the bottom shelf do not line up with those in the desktop, I missed by 19mm – the width of the side panel. There was a period of colourful language, then calmed down and phoned Jali – who were very understanding, and didn’t laugh too much.. a replacement piece will arrive next week

(Big sigh of relief)

So, while waiting for the replacement, I used the old shelves as templates to get all the holes properly lined up – also to account for wavy walls – which can be seen in the top of the last picture – there’s a gap almost 20mm at the centre – while the sides are flush. I don’t think the original builders had a level or square…

Jali customer DIY project

A working template in place, on the temporary supports..

This shows the reason for the 80mm holes – the chrome tubes (table legs actually) are to run the cables, and the screens will hang from the shelf on the dramatic looking bracket.

You can see how flexible an old chipboard shelf is…..

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

And this is the replacement shelf, now with the holes in the correct place.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

The sides go up…and in the centre, 3 more holes have appeared in the wall… there is a reason for this.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

The top goes on… and the top rail is fixed to the wall – with some very large fixings.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

And the temporary supports come down. The angle shaped patches on the frame are not supports – that’s just the light shining through the holes.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

The uprights go in, and a substantial metal bracket will support the screens – the chrome tubes are back in place..this time – in the correct place.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

And an oak panel (mdf veneer) goes on the back wall to cover the previous carnage.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

The screens are in place, and cables tidied away. The radio is back (most important).

I did treat myself to a second screen that matched the first one.

The centre section of the shelving now has a panel of mdf oak veneer. This is inserted to cover up the cables and power adapters for the 2 screens, as well as the top of the bracket. Its got a 38mm hole to make sure it can be removed easily – it was a very snug fit.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

Same thing – just a different angle

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

And it’s 99% finished. (Almost) all the sections have the back panels inserted (the light switch is still there :)

There’s a set of LED strip lights underneath to provide some decent work lighting – and very conveniently for me, the disastrous first attempt on the bottom shelf has been recycled to become a plinth to hide the light fittings – the power adapter for these also fits behind the centre section.

A Jali customer DIY shelving project

Just shows the lights a bit more effectively.”

Wow. John has created a unique, bespoke unit that suits his office, and working requirements, perfectly. If you fancy designing something similar, this combination of Flexi shelving and mdf shapes is a genius idea. And don’t forget that we can cut holes in mdf shapes, from circles to triangles to squares and rectangles. Yes, even pentagons, which we’ve made for a customer recently, maybe with a Halloween-type application in mind?

We are very grateful to John for his brilliant narratives, photos and really useful insights into real, live, modern DIY projects. My own toolbox has now been liberated from the cupboard under the stairs, so watch this space!

-Annie

Get DIY creative, the fast and fabulous way!

This week, ‘Handmade at Amazon’ was launched. The online giant has finally realised that craft is ‘A Thing’, and a profitable one at that. First impressions of the ‘artisan-produced’ furniture on offer? Well, the terms ‘Rustic’, ‘shabby chic’ and ‘distressed’ make frequent appearances, as do converted wine barrels and farmers’ milk cans… It’s all very American rural and ‘down-home’ in style, though this may change as the site develops.

(I was also surprised to see my family name pop up some way down the first page, in an photo of a Personalized Door Office Name Plate ($26.99).  But it was Debra, a Nurse Practitioner, who was the proud bearer of the family moniker on this occasion. Still, I now know where to go if I ever need one. A nameplate, obviously, not an American Nurse Practitioner called McNamara.)

detail of Jali made-to-measure fretwork panelsAt Jali we prefer our furniture, if not our nameplates, to be a tad more sophisticated. But we also make it easy for you to get DIY creative, to design and assemble your own, unique pieces, without the risk of splinters, excessive swearing or the need for a fully-stocked carpentry workshop.

Jali made-to-measure fretwork panelsRecently, clever customer Annette used our fabulous fretwork panels to create wardrobe door inserts. Annette ordered the panels and her joiner did the rest. She was kind enough to send us a photo, and told us that she has also bought some coloured plywood to put behind the panels to conceal what’s behind the doors, but also to add a nice contrasting backdrop. We do like the sound of that!

So take the crafty short-cut to the artisan, creative DIY look. No mess, no fuss – just fast, fabulous, unique pieces you’ll be proud to live with (and show off) for years…

-Annie

Chic AND cosy homes, with Jali interior design

Jali bespoke kitchen dresserStylish or cosy – do you really have to make a choice when it comes to interior design? Some time ago, I mentioned the Danish concept of hygge (you can find the post here). At the time, it was relatively unknown, but now it’s all over the media, from The Guardian to the Daily Mail to BBC4’s Woman’s Hour. (Congratulations to Woman’s Hour, by the way – 70 years old today!)

Usually translated into English as ‘cosiness’, a state of mind as much as a material condition, hygge is probably more welcome than ever, as a refuge from an increasingly unpredictable and noisy world.

‘Cosy’ can mean many things; curling up on a sofa cradling a mug of hot chocolate; sharing food – and good memories – with close friends; velvet cushions, throws and candles… Cosy, yes; tatty or scruffy – definitely not recommended!!

Jali bespoke Flexi shelvingSo how do we tap into this huggable, tactile trend without going all über-hippy on our loved ones?

One great tip is to create warmth and visual interest, to gladden the eye and the soul in one fell swoop.

And don’t be afraid of colour. If it makes you happy, go for it!

Contrast softer textures and textiles with streamlined, smooth-surfaced furniture that also shows off the objects you love. (Or hides the ones you don’t love quite as much.)

So often nowadays you find that fashion trends are closely linked to interior design ideas, and velvet is a case in point. (Frank disclosure: I’ve already succumbed – on the clothes front, vintage 30s and 60s velvet has already been liberated from spare-room storage and is definitely influencing thoughts of home décor.)

So for your first hygge rush, why not start with some shelving?

Depending on situation, space and needs, our bookcases and/or Flexi shelving provide the most versatile, stylish and capacious made-to-measure storage on the planet. And without costing the earth…

For chic. asymmetrical shelves and compartments, like the unit above, Flexi shelving is the way to go. And, in the Jali Designer, you can specify a freestanding or a wall-mounted unit, to fit any space or situation.

Next on the list: cupboards, to hide away the essential things you don’t want to look at all the time. Choose your ideal height, width, depth, sections and shelves. Storing stuff behind precisely-fitting doors has never been so easy, or pleasurable. You’re in charge. In fact, you rock!

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Jali bespoke radiator cabinetAnd don’t forget the difference a Jali radiator cabinet can make to a room.

A steel radiator may be doing a great job of keeping the temperature comfortable, but can be really jarring and ruin the look of an otherwise stylish room.

So why not turn ugly into elegant, make your heating more efficient and get yourself an extra shelf into the bargain. Yet another example of having it all, dare we say?

Whatever you choose, we can’t say it often enough – your home, your space, your rules. But we’re here to help and advise; just contact us by phone on 01227 33333 or via sales@jali.co.uk Happy hygge hunting from Jali!

-Annie