Time to bring back cupboard love

Jali blue cupboard with fretwork doors and real oak veneer topAt Jali, we do love a nice cupboard. I thought the interiors magazines would be full of them at the moment, as their articles urge us to smarten up our act, and homes, for the coming year. (Actually, the magazines themselves are causing their own problems. I was seduced by a supermarket magazine rack promising foolproof ways to get lean, serene and organised in the new year. Having fallen for their blandishments,  I’m now surrounded by even more magazines of the kind I’ve been trying to get rid of in a bid to declutter and be more serene and organised. Oh well…)

Anyway, back to cupboards. or rather the lack of them. As I said, I assumed they would be part of the “declutter, then go out and buy a ton of new stuff to accommodate what’s left of the old stuff” advice we always hear at this time of year.

But no. Cupboards seem to have disappeared from the scene; even in a long feature on “storage solutions” (how I hate that term) there was only one vaguely cupboard-like “solution”. And that, predictably, was intended for a kitchen, so it doesn’t really count.

But cupboards are so versatile and useful they deserve a comeback, and a whole lotta love, all over the house. And with Jali you can of course make ’em as tall, small, wide and handsome as you like, so they will – literally – fit anywhere.

Jali customised cupboard with real oak veneer topYou can also decide how many sections and shelves you have inside. You can choose slab, Shaker-style or fretwork doors. Plain or fluted uprights? Veneered in real wood or painted? Half and half? You’re the boss. And if you don’t fancy any of the handles Jali supplies, there’s a whole world of choice out there, to suit every possible taste (and grasp.

Yes, shelving and bookcases are brilliant, and often they are the perfect answer to your storage needs… (sorry, slipped into ‘marketing moron mode’ there). But a well-made cupboard is a wonderful thing, and deserves a better place in the home hierarchy. After all, not everything we own and use deserves a place on an open shelf. A lot of it is, frankly, just not that attractive. Isn’t it great to just pop it in a cupboard and close the door till the next time we need it?

So let’s hear it for the cupboard. Yes, let’s by all means rescue the ones our grannies used, and lime-wash and chalk-paint them till they glow again. But a brand-spanking-new, designed-just-for-you Jali version? Now that, my friends, deserves a whole lot more than cupboard love…


Make this the year of your dream dresser

At Jali HQ, we’ve just been reminded how versatile a piece of furniture the dresser is. Such a brilliant way to solve so many storage problems – and don’t our clever customers know it!  This week, we (very carefully) part-assembled the big, beautiful, oak-veneered piece below, before delivery. And it was stunning…

But look closely, and you’ll see the right side of the lower unit is slightly wider than the left. This is deliberate, and ensures that, unlike a standard unit, it will fit perfectly into a less-than-perfect space between two walls. Our canny customer used the online Jali Designer to extend both the counter-top, and the upright to the side of the cupboards themselves, so the dresser would fit snugly into his particular space.

jali bespoke oak-veneer dresserThis dream dresser, and the one shown below in a customer photo (thank you!) was designed using our kitchen dresser designer, available for you to use, totally free of charge, here. To work the magic with the two opposite sides of the unit, go into the ‘Advanced Mode’ of the Designer. Then click the ‘Position’ button and choose the  ‘Fitted between two walls’ option.

Jali customised white dresserYou can then extend the upright sections to create insets of the required width on both sides – and each can be different, to suit your particular room and situation. This ensures a seamless fit when viewed from the front, even though the actual width of the dresser – invisible behind the insets – will be less than its total width including the insets. You see – real design magic!

There are several other options to ensure you get the perfect fit – I’ll be exploring these in future posts. But, in the meantime, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us.

So if you’ve always dreamed of a big (or small) dresser as a focus for all kinds of family fun, warmth, welcome and entertainment, not to mention keeping everything tidy, and either hidden away or on show, as required, look no further than Jali. It will have the “wow!’ factor, it will fit your needs perfectly and, most importantly of all, it will be yours. And not just in your dreams…


Declutter, design and transform!

I’ve been mulling over the most popular New Year’s ambitions, thanks to The Guardian‘s Family section. The other weekend, it kindly published the Top 10 modern New Year resolutions, in case we hadn’t got round to doing our own list. (Or hadn’t realised we were modern.)

So here we go: 1. Declutter the house; 2. Save more money; 3. Try new places instead of the same old bars/restaurants; 4. Read more books; 5. Redecorate house/room; 6. Take up a new hobby; 7. Sell old stuff I don’t need; 8. Visit five places I have never been; 9. Vow to be positive; 10. stop complaining so much.*

Jali bespoke wall unitThis immediately struck me as a very Jali-style list, and I’ll explain why. Take the first one, “Declutter the house”. It’s right at the top, so it must be on most people’s minds. (It was even on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour this morning, so THAT’S how topical and important it is.)

Obviously, if you are interested in Jali , stands to reason you are interested in your  home. Many of you, like me, also like your stuff. We’ve chosen it, paid for it, been given it or inherited it (if we’re lucky). But we get very uncomfortable if it starts to overwhelm us, and we don’t have enough places to put it.

Jali can sort this; it’s what it was invented for. We can help you transform chaos into calm, stylishly.

So, onward and, er, downward. We’re now at 2:”Save more money”. Jali prices are so moderate, we’ve had emails from customers saying they can’t understand how we do what we do for the cost. What can we say: guilty as (very reasonably) charged!

Jali bespoke bookcaseNext, number 4, “Read more books” and 6, “Take up a new hobby”. Great ideas both. But more books mean extra bookshelves and bookcases.

Also, hobbies usually involve more, not less, stuff, such as tools, equipment and supplies. And these often need extra cupboards and drawers. Guess what? Jali has all that nailed.

The fifth on the list, “Redecorate house/room” is a natural for us. If you need new furniture, you’ll find something you need on our products page – and then you can make it fit exactly using our genius Jali Designer. And as for no. 7, “Sell old stuff I don’t need”, we’re all for re-selling, recycling, upcycling or donating. As long as it doesn’t go into landfill, we’re happy…

Nos. 3 and 8? Well, with all the money you’ll be saving, you might well be tempted to try out those new bars and restaurants that have sprung up since you last looked. And possibly more likely to visit five new places further afield, even…

As for number 9, being positive is definitely, positively part of Jali’s ethos. After all, we’re pioneers of 21st century manufacturing in the UK, so we need to be!

And finally, we’ve reached 10: seriously, “stop complaining so much”? Steady on people, we’re British. Doing a rant, moan, whinge or quiet bit of “tutting” is in our DNA; it’s what makes us who we are. But complaining only when justified is good. And in (very British) moderation… Good-oh.


*Source: OVO Energy Survey survey 2014.

New year, new start, new storage!

So here we are, Merry Christmas… is over! Yes, the sound of Slade, along with all references to sleighs, stockings and Santa, has finally faded, ready to ring out again another day – probably in August…

In this first, damp week of the new year, it’s been reassuring to be surrounded by people who, like me, can’t remember what day it is, let alone the date. It might have had something to do with the way that Christmas fell this time round; certainly Boxing Day did a slightly weird ‘Queen’s Birthday’ thing – the actual one on the 26th, and an ‘official’ one on the Monday. As I say, weird.

Jali bespoke storageSo now the Yuletide jet-lag is over, it’s time to welcome 2016, with its bright shiny promise of a fresh start. Apart from the usual “drink less, eat less, exercise more, remember to hang my keys up as soon as I come in the front door” resolutions, there are all those new hobbies to master, decluttering to attend to, spring cleaning to get started on…

So what about more ambitious plans on – and for – the home front? Well, if the answer is “nothing too big, brutal or expensive”, Jali can definitely help.

Too often, “home improvement” means major activity involving big structural changes and bills to match. And, let’s face it, sometimes that’s the only answer. But before taking such a drastic step, is there another way?

Jali bespoke desk, shelving, shutters and radiator cabinetThe kind of improvements we have in mind don’t involve huge, expensive projects, such as removing walls and tearing up flooring – oh no.

The Jali approach is more subtle and certainly less costly. It starts with a thorough inspection of your current space and existing furniture.

Is it working as well as it could – and should? Are there odd, awkward nooks and crannies that you could use, if only you weren’t restricted by standard-size furniture?

Are there corners and alcoves you could put to much better use? Could you put shelving or cupboards all the way up to the ceiling or over a door or window – if only you could find an elegant, affordable way to do it?

Jali bespoke storage on a landingJali products gives you answers to all these dilemmas – and more.

With the Jali Designer, you can easily extend the width of uprights to ensure a perfect fit against walls, or allow for pipes, sockets, lumps or bumps in walls or skirting boards.

It means you can have unique, streamlined, bespoke storage that suits your own, specific, particular needs. And all without spending a fortune or having to employ someone to come in and create it from scratch. If that isn’t a good reason to celebrate a brand new year, I really don’t know what is. So here’s to new starts, fellow DIYers – and lots of lovely new Jali storage in 2016!