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Bar Bedroom Commercial Featured Kitchen Template

A Day In The Life: Matt Crisp Workshop Supervisor

Having trained at the renowned Rycotewood Furniture College in Oxford and with experience gained at joinery and bespoke furniture makers, Matt joined Langstaff-Ellis in 2016, becoming Workshop Supervisor shortly afterwards.

8am: The whole team arrives early and we have a meeting first thing. As supervisor, I plan the schedule and allocate jobs. We normally have 3-4 projects on the go at any one time so the team have a good idea of what they are doing and where we are in any particular project, but it’s important for me to ensure we are running to schedule and that any questions raised are dealt with efficiently so we maintain our high standards at all times.

The morning meeting is an important part of our day, it’s not just about what we have to achieve that day but also our chance to discuss technical challenges and helps create a real team bond.

If we have a new project this is our chance to discuss the logistics, challenges and deadlines. What is lovely about making bespoke furniture is that no two jobs are the same so there is always something new to challenge our skills and get us thinking.

For example, I remember one of my early jobs at Langsatff-Ellis when we had to create some beautifully curved cabinets for a kitchen island. It took a lot of thinking and technical creativity beforehand to achieve the result the designers were asking for, but we were all so proud of the end result.

Since we’ve been all back in the workshop after lockdown the meetings are socially distanced which means a bit of shouting across the workshop at times but it all helps to create a bond between us and a real family atmosphere.

10am: I spend the morning going around each workbench to make sure everyone is happy and resolving any problems before getting back to my own bench.

I still enjoy the hands-on process of making a piece of furniture more than anything else, it gives me a real buzz to work with my hands creating something completely bespoke. These days I’m probably only hands-on 40% of the time but it always reminds me of why I love what I do.

We have a break at 10am for a cup of tea, which is always a good chance to have a chat and review what we’re all doing.

1pm: I enjoy the post tea break hours, it’s a really good chance to get my head down and concentrate on the work at hand. Right now I’m in the middle of making a whole library, it’s incredibly satisfying work and I know it will look stunning once its completed. These few hours always fly by for me but probably provide the biggest sense of achievement.

If we’re working on a big project such as the fabulous one we recently completed at Laureate Gardens in Henley there’ll be a real buzz in the workshop as we all apply ourselves to meet the deadline on time. I enjoy the sounds and smells of a busy workshop and couldn’t imagine sitting in an office!

Because we’re based in the middle of the countryside in the hills above Chinnor there aren’t many options for lunch so we’ll bring something in and sit at our benches. But again it’s a good opportunity to review progress and if necessary adjust the workflow to ensure the afternoon runs smoothly. There’s always some fun too and because my brother is now part of the team there’s quite a lot of humour in the workshop.

3pm: As the afternoon rolls on I like to check the progress of all the projects. We’re really proud of the quality of our furniture in the workshop so I’ll make sure everything is finished to the highest standard before it is wrapped ready for delivery to site.

Fortunately, I work with a great team of craftsmen and often my quality checks are more about admiring the excellence of the work than criticising it. It’s always a pleasure though when I can tick off a quality check on the system and pass a piece for delivery to site.

Unfortunately, I don’t get out to as many jobs to install the furniture now as I used to due to my role in the workshop, but when I do get on site it still gives me a real thrill to see the smiles on the faces of clients as they see the completed furniture in situ for the first time.

4pm: Towards the end of the day I check the progress of the work at every workbench to make sure we’re on track and to help plan the workflow for the following day.

This also tends to be the time when we’re loading vans ready for delivery the next day, and as a lot of our pieces are pretty large and sometimes quite heavy we have all hands on deck – the last thing we want to do is damage something so it’s important to be extra cautious and treat our work as precious cargo.

The last task I have each day is to make sure the whole workshop and every workstation is clean and tidy with tools put away and dust and shavings swept up. If the workshop is neat and tidy it’s so much easier to start the following day.

If it’s a Friday we finish at 4 o’clock, which is a really great way to start the weekend, otherwise we’re in the workshop until five. Often there’ll be some planning to do at the end of the day and I’ll have discussions with the designers, all of which puts us in a good place to start efficiently the following morning.

Everyone in the workshop is really proud of what we do, it’s such a satisfying job seeing something you’ve created as a team take shape. Knowing your contribution is valued both within the company and by the clients is really rewarding.

5pm: Once I’ve left for the day I’ll go out and enjoy the local woods and hills on my mountain bike if the weather is good, or I’ll do some work on the classic VW Golf I’m restoring, all of which clears my mind and helps prepare me for the following day creating high-quality bespoke furniture back in the workshop.

For more information about creating bespoke furniture for your home please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below. 

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Commercial Featured Henley-On-Thames Kitchen Template

Langstaff-Ellis Case Study: Laureate Gardens Henley-on-Thames

Prestigious development in the heart of Henley

Located in the heart of Henley-on-Thames Laureate Gardens is a prestige development of 34 homes aimed at over 55’s based around the Grade II listed workhouse dating from 1790.

This development comprises 3 historic buildings and a contemporary new build, each with their own design challenges for the developers, architect and kitchen designers. Fortunately, a harmonious collaboration has resulted in beautiful exteriors and interiors with 34 individually designed kitchens by Langstaff-Ellis.

“We were originally contacted to help develop the kitchen concept by the developer, Amber Infrastructure, to ensure style and materials would be appropriate for the heritage of the buildings. Once the preconstruction stages were completed we were asked to create unique designs for each kitchen in the development and, as some of the homes were sold off-plan, we later created fully customised designs for six of the buyers.” – Ed Birks, MD Langstaff-Ellis

Collaboration; bringing the architects vision to life

As the layout and interior of each home within the historic buildings is unique Langstaff-Ellis worked alongside Nick Baker Architects to create spaces that enhanced the heritage features while creating contemporary open plan living areas.

“For the historic buildings we based the designs around a shaker style in-frame product, while the new build apartments accommodate a minimalist modern design, taking into account the ergonomics of the spaces and the demographic of the residents.” – Ed Birks, MD Langstaff-Ellis

The contemporary kitchens in the new build known as Masefield House have been designed to fit in with the comfortable luxurious aesthetic of the apartments, comprising a modern uncluttered flat panel design utilising oak channels behind doors to allow easy opening. The whole space being softened by a freestanding island and solid wood detailing contrasting with minimalist marble surfaces a bora hob and integrated Siemens oven stack.

The three other buildings within the development all have historic provenance, Austin Mews, now a complex of three 2-bedroom cottages dates from 1886 and was originally the women’s infirmary for the town. Tennyson House is the Grade II listed Victorian schoolhouse from 1872 now comprising eight 2-bedroom apartments and finally Wordsworth Court also Grade II listed comprising 15 new houses was the town’s workhouse before ultimately becoming Townlands Hospital at the birth of the NHS.

Developers & kitchen designers working in harmony

Each building presented challenges for the kitchen designers with very high specifications demanded by the developers and each home having its own unique dimensions. However Amber’s faith in Langstaff-Ellis was rewarded with the instillation of over 30 different complete customised high-end kitchens, within budget and to a tight timescale.

“When you work with a contractor for the first time there is always a bit of trepidation, you hope you’ve made the right decision and that the supplier is up to the task. In the case of Langstaff-Ellis we were blown away by their professionalism and the quality of their work. Asking a business to design, make and install 34 different kitchens in a new development was always going to be challenging, but when it is in a development combining new build and heritage buildings the challenge is multiplied.

The team from Langstaff-Ellis completely exceeded our expectations with their ability to create a variety of high-spec designs, finished and installed to an extremely high standard, all within our exacting deadlines. We’ve developed a valuable relationship and are looking forward to working with them on future projects.” – Ben Tanner Amber Developments

Bespoke design features

The kitchens within Wordsworth Court, Tennyson House and Austin House are based on contemporary in-frame shaker style cabinets made using traditional methods but spray finished to bring them up-to-date.

Created to be liveable and used, the kitchens incorporate subtle under pelmet lighting, integrated fridge freezers, integrated waste systems, boiling water taps, oven stacks, spacious larder units and Bora down draught hobs in the islands. These are especially impressive as they remove the need for ugly extractor units and associated ducting.

As the project progressed Langstaff-Ellis worked with a number of the off-plan purchasers to create individual kitchens to their specifications, introducing new designs, materials, worktops and appliances to meet their preferences.

“One of the big pluses of the systems we use is that essentially we could build a product unique to the development. I’m not aware of many other cabinet makers who have that capability.” – Ed Birks, MD Langstaff-Ellis

Handcrafted interiors for individual clients

At this stage, many clients then asked the company to design and build a range of other cabinetry for rooms throughout the home, including dressing rooms, bedroom cabinets, home offices, utility rooms, a/v cabinets and boot cabinets to complete homes in a uniform style prior to moving in.

Langstaff-Ellis is uniquely placed to work with individual clients, developers and architects on projects such as Laureate Gardens. With modern CAD systems able to translate designs into precisely cut cabinetry completed by craftsmen, the company can quickly respond to differing needs while retaining quality, aesthetic and cost control.

For more information about working with Langstaff Ellis to design a perfect kitchen or integrating our designs into your development please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Commercial Henley-On-Thames Kitchen Template

Why we love Bora: form and function for perfect kitchens

There aren’t many new technologies that get a kitchen designer excited but there is one innovation of recent years that gets us jumping for joy. In its simplicity, design, science and engineering there is nothing that comes close to the excitement generated by the Bora Hob.

How can a simple hob generate such delight? It’s simple really, because the Bora Hob is a game changer that opens up a myriad of design options, something that really does engage kitchen designers.

It’s a game changer for the cook and homeowner too; any one wanting a kitchen at the cutting edge with the coolest and cleverest looking appliance in town should have a Bora Hob.

Bora sucks: clean, quiet downwards extraction

The major factor that makes a Bora so cool is the way it transforms extraction. We’re all used to noisy, intrusive overhead extractor hoods that suck cooking vapours upwards into sticky filters. Bora does something different, by creating a vortex around the hob area it sucks vapours downwards into a high-tech system using intelligent flow technology that either expels vapours or recirculates them as cleaned air, keeping air in the kitchen fresh.

If that all sounds ‘geeky’ it isn’t, because there are so many advantages:

Fresh Air: because grease and vapour particles are drawn off directly from the cookware they are prevented from rising and spreading throughout the kitchen. Grease particles are trapped in the stainless steel filter leaving the air in the kitchen fresh and uncontaminated.

Quiet Operation: I’m sure we’ve all experienced a situation when the overhead extractor is on full blast and you have to shout to make yourself heard. There are no such problems with a Bora, in fact even when operating at the maximum level it is quieter than frying a steak.

Clear view: Having your glasses steam up as you check the contents of a pot always makes us feel foolish, but there’s no such problem with a Bora hob, as the vapours are sucked down and away from the pot, you’ll always have a clear view.

Simple cleaning: On the rare occasions that you clean your conventional extractor hood it’s an unpleasant, sticky task. There are three movable parts in a Bora that can be dismantled without the need for tools and cleaned in the dishwasher.

Highly effective: Because of the quality of engineering the Bora is both highly effective and boasts a long service life. Pure stainless steel and heavy-metal-free glass-ceramic both look great and ensure trouble free functionality.

Enhanced storage: Unlike conventional extraction systems the Bora takes up minimal space. At under 200mm the low integration height and integrated recirculation unit guarantee maximum storage space in the cupboard below.

Superb design: for fans of design excellence and precise German engineering the Bora Hob is a joy, they are brilliant examples of minimalist design combining form with outstanding functionality to enhance any kitchen.

Opening up options in kitchen design

What thrills us more than anything is that we can design a Bora almost anywhere into a kitchen. Our design decisions aren’t based around where the ducting and overhead extractor fan can fit but around where the most convenient, user-friendly location is. For example, it means we can design hobs into kitchen islands, under eaves or even next to a window, wherever the best location is for that particular kitchen.

In fact, we were recently involved with a development in Henley-on-Thames that combined new builds with the redevelopment of the Victorian era workhouse. Every one of the resulting mix of 34 houses and apartments was a unique space for which we designed bespoke kitchens.

Making the decision to install a Bora Hob in each apartment significantly increased our design options, as we weren’t restricted by the limited choices of overhead extraction locations. Now each apartment boasts a superb Bora hob while feedback from residents new to Bora has been uniformly excellent.

The Bora Range: Pure, Classic, Professional

There are three ranges that we work with the Bora Pure, the Bora Classic and the Bora Professional. Which one we recommend is down to the needs of the client and the kitchen. With options available in Gas, Electric and zoneless Induction.

Each range shares fundamental characteristics such as intuitive controls, low volume, simple cleaning, oversized cooking surfaces, automatic extractor controls and minimalist design.

The Bora Classic has modular options for different cooking functions such as a Tepan stainless steel grill, while the Professional offers a variety of enhanced temperature functions and is suited to the largest kitchens and most creative cooks.

Bora hobs allow us to design better kitchens

Bora definitely makes amazing hobs coupled with ground breaking extraction technology. Their design and functionality make them an excellent choice in any kitchen, but that isn’t the main reason why kitchen designers love them. We love them because they open up unrestricted possibilities in kitchen design, allowing us to offer every client leading edge kitchen design – and that gets designers excited.

Demo a Bora Hob

If you’d like to see a Bora Hob in action we can arrange a demonstration at our showroom – once Covid restrictions allow.

In the meantime, you can see the remarkable Bora technology in action at www.bora.com/gb/gb/

There is one last thing that makes Bora really cool and this may be a little geeky if you’re not a cycling fan, but Bora sponsor one of the best teams in professional cycling – Bora Hansgrohe is the home of multiple Tour de France stage winner, and the coolest man in world cycling Peter Sagan!