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.


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!


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!