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 2



A 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.

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..

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…..

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

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

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

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.

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.

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


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.

Same thing – just a different angle


And its 99% finished. (Almost) all the sections have the back panels inserted (the light switch is still there L )

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.

Just shows the lights a bit more effectively.


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…


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!


















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 Happy hygge hunting from Jali!






Custom furniture for super-tidy halls and porches!

i295bannerIt’s autumn, as if you needed reminding, and sunhats, flip-flops and espadrilles are giving way to boots, scarves and wellies. The glorious unpredictability of the UK climate can mean several changes of footwear, often in the same day, never mind all the other stuff you need when you leave the house and come back in again. Factor kids and/or dogs into the equation, and you can multiply the mess potential several times over.

Here at Jali we know that clutter in hallways and porches is a very common problem. Take our customer Nik. “We wanted a small cupboard in our porch to tidy up the clutter; shoes, gloves, umbrellas etc, ” he told us. “Finding a unit that perfectly fitted the space proved to be nigh on impossible. I’d heard of Jali and went on your website. I quickly found the way to design a custom cupboard using your online designer tool.”

image001cupboardFor those of you new to Jali, this is the bit of digital wizardry that appears on your screen when you click the ‘Customise’ link under any of our product examples.But in Nik’s case, he wanted custom furniture: a combination of cupboard and drawers. So we sent him a link to our brilliant Kitchen Dresser Designer It’s not yet on our website, but you can find it here. Nik used this brilliant free tool to create his ideal made-to-measure unit, above.

Firstly, Nik continued, “Careful measurements were taken of the porch and entered into the designer. We adjusted the layout so we had two drawers on the left and a double cupboard to the right. We set the height and depth and even the height of the plinth. We chose the design to be simple, but could have had a variety of different embellishments. We chose the handles from over a dozen options. The website shows you how the cabinet will look and you can choose how it is painted.”

jali_porchcupboard-1_750Nik decided to have his unit primed in white, but he could have requested our top-coating service – contact us for more details.

“When the cupboard arrived it was in a variety of boxes and we read through the detailed instructions. We were very pleased to find that the drawers come already made,” Nik says. Soft-close drawers are included in the Kitchen Dresser Designer as one of the options, but you can also ask us to make them for our standard drawer units.

jali_porchcupboard-2_750It didn’t take long to finish the job. “Putting the plinth in place we were relieved that our measurements were accurate and quickly made the box that houses the two drawers. Once one box was made the second was quickly done and after adding the drawers, doors and top we were very happy with the result.”

And the verdict? “We now have a much tidier porch! Thanks for making custom furniture such a painless process.” We’re very pleased that you’re pleased, Nik! And thank you for sending us the photo of your custom furniture, doing its job of keeping the clutter under control like a good’un. And at Jali we’ll continue to help customers like you design their ideal furniture and keep the mess at bay, one unit (or should that be porch?) at a time…


We’ve got kitchen cupboards – in Your Home magazine!


Jali is on the shelf again – in newsagents and supermarkets all over the UK, so we’re actually very happy! As is Claire Carpenter, a Your Home magazine reader who used bespoke Jali cupboards as a big part of her kitchen makeover.

yh-monochrome-makeover_750The kitchen cupboards – and Claire, of course – star in a 3-page feature in the current (October) issue, which is actually out now and available in all good outlets. And for your extra delight and delectation, we have exclusive pictures taken on the photoshoot – many thanks to Becky for letting us use them.

Claire loved the huge size of her kitchen in her new house in Chesham, Buckinghamshire, but began to realise how little storage space there was. She updated the existing cupboards with a fresh coat of paint and with new handles she made herself (we thoroughly approve!) but it wasn’t enough. “It seemed obvious that I needed to put up wall cupboards to span either side of the chimney breast, but the alcove isn’t deep, and the walls aren’t straight so there was no way I could buy something off the shelf.”img_2229“I went online to the Jali Designer and created cupboards that would fit perfectly and give my kitchen the bespoke look. Once they arrived I painted them black and added frosted panels to the doors – a look I’d seen on Pinterest. I decided to leave one door off for an open display shelf.”

img_2239The result? “The room looked bigger and had more style than I thought possible.” Now that’s what we like to hear!

img_2547If you fancy something just as gorgeous and practical, it’s very easy: design your perfect kitchen cupboards online and save them in ‘Work in progress”. Then ring us on 01227 833333 and ask us to send you the doors WITHOUT gluing in the panels. You can then use the loose panels as templates to help you order clear or frosted panels to finish off your cupboards in unique, individual style. The next best thing to baking in a tent, surely….


Fab, fast DIY projects with fretwork!

Jali fretwork panels at a windowMore great DIY projects this week, using Jali’s signature fretwork to great – dare we say even dramatic – effect. One of our clever customers has made her own makeover magic, with a bit of help from us, and then was kind enough to send us photos – thank you so much! (Full disclosure: I did my own bit of Photoshop chicanery on the picture below for the Jali ezine banner, above, but even as a singleton this window is an amazing achievement, I reckon.)

Jali fretwork used as window screen, with window filmIn fact, our resourceful home transformer has used Jali’s versatile fretwork panels in a couple of very imaginative ways.

Here, she’s designed a panel in pattern 2152 to use as a screen on a sash window.

I’m assuming that window film has been used on the lower section to provide maximum privacy, while the Jali panel above gives an airy feel, a view of sunlight and sky, and fabulous decorative impact.

Of course, our decorative shutters work really well on most windows, but this is a brilliant way to deal with more tricky sash or bay windows, or with secondary double-glazing.

Jali‘s very own Amy suggests using magnetic catches to make it easy to remove screens for window-cleaning, decorating etc. There are some small, flat, circular versions online that I think would do the job perfectly…

i293The same clever customer has used another bespoke fretwork panel, also in pattern 2152, to make a gate at the bottom of the stairs – another stroke of genius!

Although not a substitute for a child stair safety gate, used like this it’s a brilliant way to deter animals, small children and pretty much any other life-forms from going upstairs when you don’t want them to….

(Though maybe more of a dog deterrent, to be honest –  a cat would probably just see it as a challenge – or a game!)

Again, many thanks to our customer for these photos. When products are wrapped, packed and despatched from the Jali factory, they usually disappear into people’s homes (or restaurants, offices, shops) and we never get to see how they are used.

So it’s great to have feedback, especially when it’s an endeavour that gives us and other keen DIYers inspiration and ideas. (I happen to know this canny customer already has more projects on the go, so once you’ve got the taste for it, it can be addictive. You have been warned!)

No fret fretwork…
Like many of our products, our fretwork panels are available in real wood veneers, as well as primed or painted finishes – contact us for details of our top-coating service. And the finish, even on the more elaborate patterns such as 2152 and 2082, is crisp, clean and entirely beautiful.

So if you have a household problem to solve, maybe involving screening something ugly and/or awkward, or creating a physical barrier that is also decorative, our gorgeous, versatile panels could be just what you need. Please keep us posted on your own DIY projects; we’d love to see what you come up with…


How to tame your home tech – with style!

Yes, modern technology is brilliant, but have you noticed its not-very-pretty habit of taking over any space it’s put in? Well, we have ways of helping you tame your tech and take it, quickly and easily, from dominant to delightful.

Take big, black flat-screen TVs – depending on where and how they are positioned, our Flexi shelving, deluxe dressers or cupboards can put them in their place, in the nicest possible way. Less diva, more darling.

Jali bespoke Flexi shelving unitIf your big TV is wall-mounted, you could ‘frame’ it with one of our brilliant Flexi shelving units, as seen above in our revamped showroom (yay!!) Quick to design and fit, a modern wall unit will transform a boring wall into a stylish talking point, and lessen the visual impact of a TV by grouping it with other objects. And, of course, with Jali you can design the compartments in your unit to show off all those items to their best advantage.

Jali bespoke Flexi shelf unitAs Flexi shelving units have no back panels, they’re perfect for fitting flush against walls; just use the ‘Base’ button on the Jali Designer to switch from ‘Floor-standing’ to ‘Wall-mounted’.

One option is to use trunking to hide TV wires and cables, and cutting away part of the shelving to allow for this – several customers have told us they have successfully done this. It’s a bit of extra DIY, admittedly, but nothing too difficult. Or, if you are having substantial building work done at the same time, it might be possible to recess the wiring completely… (And no, this is NOT a recommendation to start such a project. As if!)

Jali bespoke Flexi shelf wall-mounted unitAs big flat-screen TVs are heavy, neither do we recommend using a Flexi shelf unit as the only support for one of these monsters. If you do want to stand the TV on a shelf, use our kitchen dresser Designer instead, to create a more substantial and safe base. Despite its (current) name, our latest designer can also create amazing floor-standing units and sideboards that make perfect cinema and media centres.

As these units are very substantial in their materials and construction, it’s fine to stand a large TV on a shelf or on top of a sideboard. You can even extend the sides of the unit (effectively making a unit with an inset back) to cope with electrical sockets and other obstructions on the wall behind the unit. The Designer also lets you add cabling holes in the back panel, so cords and cables stay tidy and out of sight. All this design wizardry is totally free to use and available here.

dsc_0002_enhanced_750Finally, don’t forget our simple but smart cupboards – they can also be used to stand a TV screen on, with other components hidden away behind the doors – lovely stuff!

So whether you’re hooked on footie, the foot-stamping Victoria or hot-footing it with Strictly, we’ve got your back, helping you tame your home tech, and making it more stylish. And if Poldark ever footles around with 18th century DIY, you’ll hear it here first. Promise.


Why Good Homes picked our chic fretwork shutters

For its September cover feature, Good Homes magazine picked some of our gorgeous fretwork shutters. The theme was ‘Global Fusion’, and they really did it (and us!) proud. And you can see why they chose our chic shutters – they fitted perfectly into the scheme, with its eclectic mix of cool and warm hues, plus intriguing patterns and textures.

Good Homes Sept 2016 featuring Jali bespoke shuttersFor their shoot, the magazine ordered our fretwork shutters in a trellis pattern, and paired them with gauzy curtains, putting into practice their own advice on ways to achieve the look, which include:

  • Conjure up an Eastern-inspired mood by mixing block prints with chevrons, on-trend ikat and tessellating diamond designs.
  • Prevent this scheme from becoming too tonal by adding a warm burnt-orange feature wall to contrast with a pale linen sofa.
  • Filter sunlight with wooden fretwork shutters and lightweight sheer curtains.
  • Get creative with finishing touches – use hexagonal, Moroccan-style tiles as coasters, and transform rattan lanterns into hanging gardens by filling them with trailing plants.

More tips and product sources here…

Good Homes Sept 2016If you’re now hankering after a similar vibe, zip over to decorative shutters on our website, and click ‘Customise’ on any of the designs shown. Then use the ‘Patterns’ button to select 7632; this will give you the trellis design chosen by Good Homes. Get the same sophisticated panel effect by using the ‘Panels’ button – so easy! Creating tall, narrow leaves for an elegant overall look is also simple with our clever Designer.

Good Homes Sept 2016The genius of Jali is in the choice it gives you to incorporate beautiful pattern into furniture and fittings, to echo, tone or contrast with flooring, fabrics, wallcoverings, lighting and decorative items. No other range gives you the freedom to create exactly want you want and need and make it fit your space – exactly. And as the trend for individuality and the quest for the personal, rather than ‘one-size-fits-all’, gets stronger all the time, Jali is still streets (or should that be rooms?) ahead of the rest…


Gorgeous storage that ticks all your boxes!

Fancy a beautiful and practical piece of furniture in real wood veneer? Steve did, and this lovely cupboard is the result. Gorgeous storage indeed – stunning to look at, with the capacity to swallow heaps of stuff – and then some…

Jali bespoke radiator cover and real oak veneer cupboard And we were delighted to see that Steve has also designed a Jali radiator cover, so obviously has impeccable taste. Go Steve!

So if you too have bags and boxes bulging with items that desperately need a home of their own, this is what to do.

First, decide whether you just need more cupboard space, or if drawers on their own would be the best solution. You’ll find separate cupboards and drawer units on our products page. You can choose the width, depth and height of the unit, as well as the number and position of shelves or drawers. And you can opt for a piece with a plinth, as below, or without one.

Jali bespoke radiator cover and real oak veneer cupboard As for looks, cupboards and drawer units are available in oak or walnut real wood veneers, as well as primed or top-coated paint finishes.  So you really are spoilt for choice, which is just as it should be.

To make designing easier, there’s a very useful ‘Spacing’ button on the drawer unit Designer. Once you’ve put in your dimensions, just use the button to automatically create graduated drawers. Change the unit height and the drawer heights change in proportion – nifty!

Conventional drawers come as standard, but if you’d like soft-close versions, design and save your unit, then contact us for pricing information.

Jali bespoke radiator cover and real oak veneer cupboardIf you’d prefer a combination of cupboards and soft-close drawers, even shelving, use our brilliant dresser Designer to make your dream of deluxe storage come true. If you’re planning a media unit, you can specify cut-outs for cords and cables. And of course, you can easily ensure that your unit fits snugly into alcoves or against walls, for the ultimate in bespoke beauty.

So if you’d love a more organised autumn, try a little cupboard love; take a break from the sunny great outdoors this bank holiday weekend and get designing. Never mind just ticking those boxes – you’ll be able to take them to the recycling with a clear conscience and a happy heart: result!


Our new furniture showroom is now open!

At Jali we’ve been busy making ourselves some new furniture for our brand-new roomsets, in our totally-transformed showroom. Yes, we’ve taken our own advice and decluttered, designed and done ourselves proud (in a modest way, of course!)

Jali bespoke furniture in our showroomWe have some more changes up our sleeve, but the showroom is, in my humble opinion, a genuine show-stopper. Helen, our Operations Director, led the rest of the brilliant Jali team in the renovation but also got well stuck in herself with paintbrushes, rollers and a lot of hard graft.

Jali bespoke alcove unit in our showroomSo here’s a taste of what is waiting for you if you decide to pay us a visit – and we really hope you will. There is only so much photography can do to show how fabulous this furniture really is. I took these quick shots earlier this week, but a professional shoot is in the diary.

Jali bespoke Flexi shelving and shutters in our showroomNow it’s finished, the showroom is the perfect way to experience the full Jali effect; the quality, construction, appearance and overall impact of our products often takes people by surprise. (In fact, in the pre-makeover showroom, I remember a friend coming in after I’d recommended a visit, and her jaw literally dropped when she saw our furniture “for real”. She was so impressed she designed and ordered a large bookcase then and there.)

Contact us for the address, directions and to confirm opening times, which are normally Monday-Friday between 9 and 5.30, except for Bank Holidays and around Christmas. Have a look at at our products page, then bring your measurements with you and you too can design and order your very own pieces on the spot! We look forward to seeing you soon…