The box dresser – versatile, vibrant and very good value!

Down on the Jali factory floor this week a stunning new wall unit was assembled, so we could check that everything would fit together as it should. Finished in a combination of real oak veneer and a top-coat in Jali paint shade 21, it will now be disassembled into smaller, more manageable units before packing and delivery.

Jali bespoke box dresser Along with a co-ordinating TV unit (shown below minus its handles and side skirtings), it was created with our new box dresser Designer – an amazing way to make all kinds of fabulous furniture, not just dressers. You’ll find it at the link here, so have a play and come up with your own dream unit…

Jali bespoke TV unit/box dresserOne of the joys of being at Jali is seeing just how creative our customers can be. And the brilliant Jali Designer allows you to save as many designs as you wish in “Work in Progress” in your Jali account – there’s no upper limit!

A good tip is to save a design you like but are not quite sure about, then click “Copy & Edit” under its details in Work in Progress. You can then experiment with other measurements, sections, styles etc, without losing the original design and all the work you’ve put in…

If you’d like a scale drawing of your final design, submit it to us without payment and ask us to email the drawings to you. It’s all part of the Jali service, to ensure you’re as happy as possible with the furniture you’ve designed and we’ve made. And with our down-to-earth pricing and free delivery service, we’re sure you’ll be satisfied with the results in more ways than one…

-Annie

Flexi shelving, ideal for any interior

This week we’re saying a big thank-you to our customer Jonathan, for showing us just how good his new Jali Flexi shelving unit looks, now it’s assembled and in place. It’s proof that modern minimalism can fit perfectly – in this case literally – into a traditional space. Interior design websites, such as  House Beautiful, are full of the joys and benefits of mixing old with new, and with Jali, it couldn’t be easier – it’s ideal for any interior.

flexi_mediaeval_750“We remain delighted with our Jali, with some more wardrobes to design soon”, Johnny told us – we can’t wait to see his ideas!

Every house and the objects in it are different, so why put up with storage that only comes in standard sizes? With Flexi shelves, you can start with one of our design examples, then change the dimensions to suit you – and your possessions – to a tee.

Jali bespoke Flexi shelvesAnother customer, Kim, did exactly that. Her Flexi shelves (above) “are great and so easy to put together.” We’ve had lots of similar feedback from other happy homemakers. So if you fancy some really stylish storage/display units that will go perfectly in any setting, modern or traditional, head over to the Jali website and get designing!

-Annie

How to create a combined cupboard and radiator cover

One of the brilliant things about Jali is the way we can help you create unique furniture for your particular space, however awkward or uninspiring it may be. The combined Jali cupboard and radiator cabinet below was designed by our customer Lisa H. a while ago but for some reason hadn’t made it onto our blog. Well, it has now!

Bespoke Jali combined cupboard and radiator cabinetWhen she contacted us, Lisa said she loved her unit, which fitted perfectly, and “everyone comments on what a great piece of furniture it is”. We loved the chance to see how clever she’d been with the Jali online Designer! Lisa also thanked us “for the great service you gave us”, which was also very good to hear.

The way our customers use Jali is genuinely impressive. We love seeing the results of all that great design talent out there –  It really is a collaborative process and a totally different way of furnishing your home. In Lisa’s case, she had a clear idea of what she wanted, but we were able to tweak her designs at our end to ensure it all went together perfectly. So how was it done?

Firstly, Lisa customised two separate Jali products: a cupboard with plinth and a radiator cabinet. It was important that they were the same depth (and height!), in this case 255mm and 1000mm respectively.

The cupboard was given an 18mm inset, to ensure it fitted seamlessly against the left-hand side of the alcove. There was no inset on the right, to ensure the narrowest possible join with the radiator cabinet. It was the reverse situation with the cabinet – no inset on the left, for a tight join with the cupboard, and an 18mm inset on the right, so it fitted neatly against the right side of the alcove.

From the website, Lisa submitted her designs to us and, for a nominal charge, we adjusted them to create a single 30mm topboard and a single plinth/skirting across both units. This created a sleek, streamlined look and securely linked the two items together. However, you need to pick the same style for top and plinth for this to work.

Jali flat pack instructionsSo forget slogging round the stores, making do with what’s available “off-the-shelf” or facing a huge bill for bespoke carpentry or joinery. Jali gives you a unique, free online tool so you can design exactly what you need, at an unbeatable price. And if, like Lisa, you need a bit of help to achieve exactly what you’re after, there’s a team of living, breathing human beings at the end the phone to advise you. You and Jali – perfect partners, for furniture and for life!

-Annie

Radiator covers – British design, global appeal!

Radiator covers or cabinets are a particularly British type of furniture, rarely found in other parts of the world. One of the first products Jali made, they are still our biggest  sellers. Even the most unenthusiastic have been converted after seeing our cabinets. We’re not really surprised – they are superbly made and detailed, far superior to anything that’s available off-the-shelf. And our range of styles, detailing and fretwork, from Gothic to geometric, make them as perfect for period interiors as they are for contemporary rooms.

part of the range of Jali custom made radiator cabinetsThe lure of the radiator cabinet should never be underestimated. One (not made by Jali!) even tempted a Surrey MP, who in 2009 claimed almost £1000 for a ‘pewter finish’ radiator cover but was turned down on the grounds that it did not meet the criteria of being “wholly, necessarily and exclusively on parliamentary duties”. Indeed. Makes a change from duck houses though…

Despite our love affair with radiator cabinets, the British didn’t invent the radiator itself. Although the ancient Romans created an early form of central heating, of which several examples survive in the UK, that honour is claimed by the Russians, several centuries later.

oak-veneer-radcab-in-showroom_750The first radiator seems to have been made in 1855 in the then Russian capital, St Petersburg. Its inventor was an ethnic German – or Pole – of Italian origin named Franz San-Galli. He named it the “hot box” and patented it in Germany and the US, although its Russian origins were later forgotten.

In 2005, a monument to this world-changing invention was unveiled at a power plant in the city of Samara, south-east of Moscow. It marked the start of the cold season, when the city’s central heating goes on.

The monument is a sculpture of a cat lying on a windowsill over an ornate iron radiator – there’s a photo of it here on the BBC website. Following a competition, the local artist who made the piece, Nikolay Kuklev, based it on the best photo submitted of a cat enjoying the warmth of a radiator, saying it created “an impression of cosiness and comfort”.

Jali radiator cabinet

Photo: Rachael Smith

We’re not sure how many cats manage to curl up on top of Jali radiator cabinets, but our covers certainly do a great job of transforming the many ugly successors to San-Galli’s original model. Of course, there are such things as well-designed radiators. And old, ornate iron ones can look fantastic and add real charm to a room. But most radiators are functional, not beautiful – no-one has thought about their looks, and it shows.

A Jali cabinet is the ideal way to hide the horrors, improve heating efficiency and make a room look altogether more chic and streamlined, whatever style it’s decorated in. And although it’s such a British thing, we’re often asked to make and send them to other parts of Europe, where it’s impossible to find them.

So here’s to a very British product, designed to partner an invention with intriguing international roots – may they long live in global harmony together!

-Annie

Soft close drawers, the smooth movers!

Soft-close drawers are amazing. Until you’ve experienced the effortless way they open and close, you have no idea what a difference it makes.

bespoke soft close drawer being assembled in the Jali factoryOn opening, there’s a tiny bit of initial resistance, then the drawer glides out to its full extent and stops automatically. To close, push gently and at a certain point the hidden mechanism takes over and the drawer glides into place, all by itself. No slamming, jamming, stress or strain!

Whereas our basic drawers are delivered as a flat-pack, Jali soft-close drawers are pre-assembled in our factory (left), with the robust slide mechanism mounted on the base of the drawer, so it’s totally hidden.

underside of Jali soft-close drawer The high quality of the mechanism means it can handle a load of up to 70kg with absolutely no problem. And the abrasion-resistant nylon rollers ensure that operation is  always smooth and even.

However, when your Jali furniture is fully installed, you can, without needing any tools, easily adjust the drawer mechanism to ensure optimum glide.

To take a drawer out, find the two locking devices under the front, at each side (right). Then, supporting the weight of the drawer, pull both the green triangular levers at the same time towards the edge of the drawer. You can then lift the drawer off the sliders.

The entire drawer can be adjusted in three dimensions: vertically, horizontally and angle of tilt. Use the buttons and wheels on the locking mechanisms and the adjustment adapters on each side of the back panel of the drawer.  With just a few tweaks, you’ve got perfect balance and alignment! To replace the drawer, just put it back on the runners and push it in until it clicks into place

bespoke Jali unit with soft-close drawersOur customers have designed impressively large drawer units for utility rooms and kitchen storage, as shown in the example on the left, and they work brilliantly, even when fully loaded. They also sit neatly inside Jali wardrobes.

At the moment these drawers are available on our new dresser designer, available at the link here. But if you’d like them in wardrobes or as an upgrade to our standard drawer units, just contact us.

Painted or veneered, or in a combination of the two, our soft-close drawers give a sophisticated touch – literally! There are real oak or walnut finishes, as well as our new range of 24 paint colours. So the only problem you’ll have is is one of choice…

As with all our products, our soft-close drawers are made with care for a long and useful life in your home. You’ll wonder how you ever did without them…

-Annie