Storage to spoil your guests and save your sanity!

There’s nothing like the imminent arrival of of high days and holidays to draw attention to the lack of storage in the average British dwelling. As we’ve said before, the UK has the smallest homes in the whole of Europe, so we’re at a big disadvantage from the start.

Jali bespoke storageHaving to reach round, step over or cope with stuff that’s on the floor or in the way on a daily basis is immensely irritating, at least to begin with…

But we can learn to put up with a situation that’s less than ideal. We gradually accept the inconvenience and start seeing it as normal; in fact, we can even stop “seeing” it at all. It’s amazing how quickly we humans can get used to and tolerate something, even if it’s causing us stress.

This ability to stop seeing the sometimes all-too-messy reality of our surroundings is an example of a common process. Psychologists call it “habituation” – we get used to what’s around us over time and start taking it for granted. However, something that interrupts this familiarity – for example, the prospect of visitors arriving for an event or celebration such as Christmas – can suddenly make you look at your surroundings with a fresh pair of eyes, like someone looking in from the outside.

That’s when we can start to see our flats or houses as others see them. Somehow, what we learned to live with, saw as homely, casual, relaxed, can now seem messy, chaotic, scruffy, uncared-for. Frankly, it can be a bit of a shock. Excuse the pun, but your home just may not look that inviting…

So, what’s to be done? If you can’t physically extend your living area, a practical, affordable answer to badly designed or insufficient storage space is the Jali storage range. The thing is, making things great for guests will also be really good for you too, longer-term.

Jali bespoke Flexi shelvesThink of it this way: why should we put up with a way of life that we don’t want to inflict on our guests? Don’t we deserve to live in a pleasant, stylish, organised way?

Don’t we have things that should be shown off, enjoyed, appreciated? Or that need to be tucked out of sight, tidied away, stored safely until required?  Of course we do.

Having the right storage for the unglamorous but necessary things in life: cleaning materials, sports equipment, out-of-season clothes and shoes, etc, means they are close at hand but not in the way, in custom-designed cupboards, drawer units and wardrobes. And beautiful, interesting items and books look even better when appropriately displayed on bespoke Flexi shelves and bookcases

So what are you waiting for? Imagine how much more comfortable, serene and happy life will be after all your guests have departed, as well as while they’re with you. No more flustered apologies for the state your place is in, just a well-organised, uncluttered, attractive environment that works. And one where everybody, including you, feels genuinely at home. Customers and members of the Jali team tell us how much better their homes look and function with our products. You’ve got till the end of Monday 7 December to order in time for Christmas. With Jali, it really could be one to remember…

-Annie

Made-to-measure furniture – a Christmas gift for your home!

Jali customised productsAlthough we’re reluctant to mention Christmas too early, we wanted to let you know about this year’s Jali “order by” date for made-to-measure furniture, so you can get organised.

Now is the time when lots of us decide to smarten up our homes to welcome friends and family for the festivities.

And having enough storage, to tidy our own stuff away, to make sure visitors have space for the things they bring, and to help the house look its best, is key.

 

To ensure you get your new Jali furniture in time for Christmas, you’ll need to order by the end of Monday 7 December.

Over the years we’ve had many emails from customers saying Jali products, customised to fit perfectly, have really made their Christmas. So if you want to give your home the best gift ever, get out that tape measure and get cracking!

Our top tips on for measuring-up

One of the things that makes people anxious about made-to-measure furniture is the need to measure-up. We totally understand these worries. So here are some tips to make you feel more confident.

1. If you are fitting Jali furniture into a space such as an alcove, your measurements need to be accurate to ensure a good fit. So you may find it easier to use millimetres rather than inches. It may seem a bit weird at first, as it did to several of us when we first started working at Jali, but it’s our preferred way of measuring now.

2. If you use inches to measure the width or depth of your space, you may end up with something ending with, say, 8/16ths or 13/16ths of an inch. As the Jali computer-controlled cutting system works in millimetres, it has to translate inches, including those pesky 16ths, into mm. And as a 1/16th of an inch is bigger than a millimetre, total accuracy is impossible, and you’re much better off working in mm.

3. So it makes sense to use mm to begin with, and as our brilliant (and, unlike me, highly numerate) designer Jim says, you’ve only got whole numbers to deal with, and no fractions. Hooray! Even if you use centimetres, you may end up with a point-something, such as 227.6cm, and I prefer not to have anything that reminds me of school maths lessons messing up my head while I’m trying to finalise my design, thank you very much.

Jali made to measure dresser4. On the other hand, although it’s made-to-measure, our freestanding furniture, such as hte dresser above, doesn’t have to be an exact size – it’s entirely up to you to decide what you need and what will looks good in your home. So if you’re more comfortable measuring in ins or cms, that’s fine. As I said, the online Jali Designer uses millimetres by default, but you can easily change this to inches or centimetres. Just use the drop-down menu under “Measurements” on the bottom-left of the Jali Designer screen to change the settings.

5. Get yourself a decent tape measure. I bought myself a big, shiny new one with clear markings and a really good lock that doesn’t suddenly spring back and trap my fingers. It wasn’t the cheapest in the store, but I love it and it’s made a huge difference to my confidence – and accuracy.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get measuring! Just remember – for delivery in time for Christmas, order your new Jali furniture by the end of Monday 7 December. It will be the best Christmas present your home has ever had…

-Annie

Unique furniture, designed by you, for you…

I was leafing through the latest edition of the CoolBrands® report for 2015/16, when an article jumped out at me. (Since 2001, CoolBrands® has been compiling “an independent survey of experts and consumers to produce a yearly barometer of the coolest brands, people and places in Britain.” We’re not in it… Yet.)

Written by Sam Oxley, Managing Partner at House PR, the article was about the challenge to find truly original ideas – not following the herd but creating things that are different from everything else. You can find it as a blogpost here.

Today’s consumers are on a search for the new, says Sam. She goes on: “the most creative people I know, or am inspired by…. live and work in a field in Kent”. Well, the Jali team works in a field in Kent (below), so we’re delighted to be in such good company!

Jali factory in poppy field, KentAt Jali, we’ve always believed everyone has more abilities and talents than they are aware of. And we’re all individuals – our homes, tastes, needs and budgets are all different. So why should we put up with such restricted choice in the furniture we buy? We’re faced with the same products and furniture, made to standard sizes, just because it suits manufacturers and makes their lives easier.

So the way we do furniture manufacture is original and different. It puts you in control, and gives you the power to create not just ideas, but actual, unique products you’ll love to live with. And be very proud of, because you designed and assembled them.  At Jali, we think there’s a designer inside everyone. And our job is to set that designer free, by giving you the power to make your home uniquely your own.

Jali bespoke work stationBut Sam also makes the point that real creativity can’t be forced or prescribed, and we often get the best ideas or solve a problem when we’re doing something not connected with the task at hand.

We can be inspired by something we come across online, she accepts, but we also need time away from our devices and screens, to be free of distractions so we have time to process and reflect.

In other words, we need to learn to disconnect, as well as enjoy being connected. And if you’ve been smart enough to create unique furniture like this bespoke Jali work station (above and right), you can do both just as easily. You can create one of your own using our latest online Designer, available free at the link here.

Jali bespoke computer workstationHowever, if you’ve “disconnected” from a Jali design that you made some time ago, that’s still sitting in your “Work in progress” area on our site, why not go back and finish it now, then send your order through to us?

That way, you’ll soon get all the benefits of a Jali radiator cabinet, bookcase or any other product that you’ve chosen from our wide range.

And if you haven’t started, there’s no better time than now. You’ll beat the Christmas rush and in a couple of weeks, be enjoying beautiful, practical new furniture, delivered direct from our factory in the heart of Kent (yes, that field again!) to your door.

“Brands can and should be bolder and braver when it comes to developing new ideas” says Sam. “In an era of data and tracking, it’s more challenging to do things differently, go with your gut, be the first to innovate. But that’s what many of the brands we admire most do – they buck the trend, they go their own way and they maintain their integrity.”

At Jali we’ve always aimed to do all this – and we always will. It can be a tough way to go, but as somebody once said, if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing well… And quite honestly, we’d rather be right than cool!

-Annie

Bookcase and dresser, for now and forever!

Despite changing times, fashions and technologies, there are some things we humans have created that just, well, work. Take the bookcase, for example. Recent doom-laden reports on the death of the printed book, at the hands (digits?) of the Kindle and other e-readers, have proved far from accurate. So it looks as if the traditional purpose of bookshelves won’t disappear for a good long time yet. Which is nice.

Jali customised painted bookcaseHaving said that, the bookcase has always had many more uses than its name implies. It makes the perfect storage for things you don’t want to hide away in drawers or behind doors. And it also provides ideal display space (see above) for all your treasures, collections and bibelots…

At Jali, we’re also very partial to a dresser. Again, despite the almost total domination in recent times of the built-in kitchen, it’s become a timeless classic, combining cupboards, shelving and drawers in an amazingly useful, freestanding, all-in-one format.

With Jali’s unique dresser designer, you have a very powerful online design tool to use whenever you want to, for as long as you like. It helps you create exactly the right combination for your space – and your stuff. And there’s a huge choice of style details and finishes, to ensure you really will own the dresser of your dreams…

Jali white-dresser with left-hand insetThe Jali dresser above was made for a customer who designed it with an inset that extends outwards on the left-hand side, so that it will fit snugly against a side wall with no gaps. Creating an inset on one or both sides is just one of the Jali options that will give you a truly professional, “looks exactly like expensive bespoke joinery” finish.

This latest, brilliant Jali Designer also creates smart and stylish sideboards, wall units and work-stations. In addition, you can pick the full flat-pack DIY option, or have your unit part-assembled before delivery, if that’s more convenient. And you can also have a primed unit or one finished in a top-coat in one of the 24 fabulous Jali colours. Contact us to discover all the options.

Bookcase and dresser – two brilliant, timeless, storage problem-solvers. To get yours, just get measuring!

-Annie