Fretwork panels – home glamour with in-house benefits!

Having focused on small fretwork panels in a previous blog post, we were delighted to get orders for many of the Christmassy items we suggested!) Of course, Jali fretwork panels of all sizes can make BIG design statements. Firstly, they are the perfect way to glam up a room without blowing the budget. Secondly, they can often solve those nagging problems that no traditional decorating techniques can cope with.

Recently our clever customers have been ordering fretwork panels to go into kitchens, sitting rooms and boot rooms, porches and loos, showrooms and snugs. As well as being glamorous, our panels come with lots of extra benefits. They are being used to cover windows, or replace grilles in existing radiator cabinets, cupboards and cabinets.

Jali panel in 2082Various holes, vents and gaps are also being filled, using versatile Jali panels with different sizes, patterns and border widths, according to requirements. The one on the right, in pattern 2082, is being used here to mask a wall recess containing electrical sockets – similar panels will elegantly cover ugly fuse boxes, air vents and gas/electricity meters.

One of our customers is even using Jali fretwork panels for a sofa-building project – now that’s a piece of furniture now that’s a piece of furniture we would love to see when it’s finished!

Jali custom fretwork in 7662Just in the last week, we’ve also had several enquiries from the USA, asking if we can ship our fretwork over to the States. Seems it’s much admired over there too, but nobody else makes it quite like us…

Another great feature of Jali fretwork is its choice of finish – if painting your items won’t give you just the impact you’re aiming for, you can design your panels in real oak or walnut veneer. It gives a wonderfully warm, rich and sophisticated effect. And because the veneer we use is cut from proper, actual trees, each panel will be slightly different.

The walnut veneer option is not yet available on the online Jali Designer, and it’s a little more expensive than oak. So if you are interested, please contact us once you’ve created your design, using the oak veneer option. We can then provide you with a sample and/or a quotation for the walnut finish.

And as long as your design is less than 1180mm in width or height, you can choose    whether the wood grain on your veneer, in either wood, is vertical or horizontal. jali walnut veneer fretwork in 7622The pattern above is 7622, with the grain running horizontally. Below is pattern 7662, with  vertical grain; both are in real walnut veneer.

jali walnut veneer fretwork in 7662The option to switch direction is really worth knowing, as, depending on the shape and fretwork pattern, the way the grain lies can make a noticeable difference. To make the change, click the ‘Colour’ button on the left of the screen, then select ‘Oak veneer’ in the pop-up window. When you close the window, you’ll see ‘Veneer grain direction’ on the left of the Designer, with a ‘Change’ button underneath. Hover over the question mark button and you get the following message:

“Horizontal grain runs left-to-right as you look at it here; vertical runs top-to-bottom. If your panel is longer than 1180mm in either direction, the grain will run parallel to that (longer) side.”

Whatever pattern, size or finish you choose, for whatever purpose, you’ll be joining a brilliant, modern DIY movement. You could even call it a quiet, but very decorative, fretwork revolution!

PS If you’d like your panels in time for Christmas, make sure you order by Tuesday 1 December!



Flexi shelves – the gift of space at Christmas

Every home needs Flexi shelves from Jali; they’re brilliant for storing just about anything and you can design them to fit pretty much any space. But at Christmas they really come into their own.

Short of wardrobe space for overnight guests? Need extra storage in a utility room, kitchen or bathroom? Where on earth are you going to find room for all the toys and games that will doubtless be showered on the kids by indulgent relatives on The Day?

Jali Flexi shelf unitNo problem: work out what you need and customise one of our Flexi shelving examples. In one fell swoop you’ll be giving yourself, your family and your visitors the precious gift of space; you’ll be more organised and relaxed, they’ll feel special and cared-for.

Lots of our customers opt for shelving that can be primed to give the perfect surface for top-coating. But Flexi shelves can also be designed with a real wood veneer finish. Apart from using a light protective oil on the surface – sprays are now available to make this even easier – these units need no further effort on your part once they are assembled.

Here at Jali, we’re particularly taken with the walnut veneer (samples below); it makes for a truly elegant, sophisticated look which belies the very reasonable cost involved. Just click the ‘Colour’ button on the Jali Designer to see all the options.

Jali walnut veneersAssembling a Flexi shelf unit is easy; in my early days at Jali I managed to put an asymmetric unit together, totally without instructions. I still feel very proud of that. However, something that does baffle people sometimes, even when they have the instructions in front of them, are sleeves. We include these in the fixings when someone has designed a unit with shelves at the same height across two or more sections.

Normally the individual bolts in the bolt-and-cam construction (below, top) can be screwed straight into the corresponding hole in the side. However, if two shelves are at the same height this doesn’t work, so we supply a bolt with a sleeve to thread all the way through the hole, plus another bolt which screws into the sleeve from the other side (below, centre). You can see the complete bolt-and-sleeve combo at the bottom.

Jali bolts and sleevesThis nifty arrangement means you can have an almost endless combination of shelves in different sections, at the same or different heights – this is one of the things that makes Flexi shelves so great. So go online at and give yourself the gift of space – your space – this Christmas. But do it before Tuesday 1 December!


Fabulous fretwork for festive tables…

This week we’re having fun with fretwork. Actually, every week at  Jali we do something interesting with fretwork – it’s one of the things we’re best known for. But now it’s all about the Christmas decorations and that is a whole other level of joy…

This year, in the run-up to the festivities, we’re suggesting some table decorations that are really easy to design. As with all Jali products, there’s an element of DIY involved, but the results are distinctive and look much more expensive that they actually are. And depending on the sizes and fretwork styles you choose, and the way you finish them, they will be brilliant – and unique!

Jali bespoke fretwork panel in pattern 7662To get you started, we’ve created three table centre pieces, 200x300mm, with matching coasters. To make your own versions, go to the Products page on our website or just click Fretwork Panels here, then choose an image from the top row and click the ‘Customise’ link underneath.

Change the length to 300mm and and the width to 200mm, as shown above. Then click the ‘Same’ button under the Border options and change this size to 25mm, as seen below.

xmas-borderTo change the fretwork style to the star pattern, click the ‘Grille’ button and choose 7662. The ‘bell’ effect (below) is pattern 2152.

jali fretwork panel in pattern 2152The other, more complex pattern with a central star (below) is 2172.

jali fretwork panels in pattern 2172To create the coasters we designed, in the three different patterns, change the sizes to 80×80, with borders of 10mm. The style below, right, uses grille no 2172.

jali xmas coasterThe fretwork patterns will change as you alter the overall sizes and width of the borders, so if you don’t want to stick with our designs, have a play with the Jali Designer until you get a result that pleases you. Then save in Work in Progress or Shopping Trolley.

To make this a really personal DIY project, order your pieces unprimed, then give them a water-based undercoat before using a spray paint that is suitable for MDF. (We can prime your pieces before dispatch but this will obviously add to the cost.) A metallic paint such as the gold shade we used, or a currently on-trend copper, will give your decorations a luxe finish – and you won’t find them in any shop!.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get creative – and make this a Jali gorgeous Christmas!


Made to measure, for maximum pleasure

The beech trees in this part of Kent are now glorious shades of russet, yellow and gold;  there are almost more leaves on the ground than on the branches at this point. So really, finally, it’s the time of year for comforting casseroles and mugs of hot chocolate…

Jali made to measure shelving Autumn is always lovely here in the Elham Valley, in the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, where Jali is based. And autumn is always our busiest season; the factory is already humming with pre-Christmas orders. In particular, it seems that lots of you have realised that our Flexi shelving is perfect for storage and display, especially when space is tight, and budgets too…

Flexi shelves are quick and easy to assemble, which is so useful when time is short and you’re rushing to get everything ready, especially as Christmas approaches. And being able to specify exactly how long, high, deep and wide your storage is makes a BIG difference. It also makes it even more of a pleasure to live with…

Don’t forget that you can measure the things you’re intending to store, as well as your available space, so you get the perfect shelf arrangement, with not a centimetre wasted. It’s the kind of result you’d expect from employing a cabinet-maker or joiner – to find it in an easily customisable, direct-from-the-factory product is truly revolutionary!

Jali made to measure radiator cabinetAnother quick and easy furniture fix is a Jali radiator cabinet. A brilliant piece of makeover magic, it finishes off a room in style and makes hot radiators much safer for little visitors – and for frailer ones too.

Plus it has a useful shelf as part of the design, and you can NEVER have too many shelves! That is a Jali mantra, and one, we’ve learned from long experience, that’s worth sticking to.

Whatever you decide to go for, order by the end of Tuesday 1 December to ensure you’re all kitted out for Christmas, Next week, some nifty ideas for DIY table decorations with a beautiful Jali difference…