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…