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Langstaff-Ellis Case Study: A Grand Reception for Anderson Orr

Langstaff-Ellis has proudly partnered with award-winning architects Anderson Orr for a number of years, delivering beautiful bespoke kitchens, dressing rooms and libraries for many of their prestigious residential projects.

When it came to their own project in a recent move of premises, they turned to the Langstaff-Ellis team to bring their vision of a beautiful bespoke reception desk to life.

Anderson Orr’s striking design layers undulating slices of lacquered Birch Plywood across Black Core Valchromat, with surfaces finished in Forbo Desktop Linoleum for a hardwearing and contemporary feel – ideal for a busy reception area.

Head of Creative Paul Everest says ‘This is an exquisite example of Langstaff-Ellis’s expertise in bespoke furniture design and craftsmanship. The reception desk brings together both ergonomic and commercial considerations whilst maintaining a uniquely beautiful organic form and we’re thrilled with the finished piece.

The desk is a stunning focal point for the airy reception area at Anderson Orr’s new Oddington Grange premises.

Maddy Bull, Interior Architect, says; ‘Our recently converted studios in North Oxfordshire originated as an assortment of charming, formerly agricultural brick barns. The extensive refurbishment we undertook accentuates many of the original features, including timber trusses, coffered concrete ceilings, and exposed brickwork.

For the Reception, it was important to introduce a centrepiece that really celebrates the character of the company, compliments the new premises, and delivers a dramatic yet understated aesthetic at the point of entry. A minimalist design – with fluidity of form, careful detailing, and high-quality materiality – the reception desk is a true work of art, and we are absolutely delighted with how Langstaff-Ellis have brought our concept to life’.

Discover another project with Anderson Orr >

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Consistent & Precise

How advanced spray finish technology creates better interiors.

When we think about cabinetry we mostly think about the craftsmanship, the precision cutting and joinery that goes into making an elegant piece of furniture. But there is far more to a finished piece than just expert cabinet making, because mostly what you are seeing is a product that has a finish applied to it.

Of course, there are designs that call for the wood to be the star, but even those pieces will have been treated, polished and lacquered to preserve and enhance the beauty of the grain. A lot of the time however, if you think about most kitchen cabinets for example, they are painted in one particular colour, with the modern trend to either be very light in appearance or the opposite with dark shades of blue featuring heavily.

Paint technology and indeed paint application technology has developed in leaps and bounds over the last decade, the paints themselves and the spray technology are sophisticated and precise technologies that can deliver a beautiful, hard wearing, uniform finish no matter the shade.

State-of-the-art spray paint technology

At Langstaff-Ellis we have always believed a great finish is incredibly important and have invested in state-of-the-art spray technology coupled with solvent free paints in order to create finishes our clients enjoy living with every day.

Traditional spray-painted finishes are done by hand which means they can be inconsistent, the degree of coverage measured by eye. For us that approach is just not precise enough. We value precision and consistency in everything we do, it’s what makes our joinery stand out, so we need to deliver the same quality in the finishing too.

Hence Langstaff-Ellis is one of the few businesses in the UK to invest in advanced German CNC spray booth technology to deliver consistent and precise finishes for every job. This technology gives us a high degree of control; within an enclosed unit four high pressure assisted spray guns move over the surface of the material at the same height providing the same weight of coverage no matter the size, shape or contours of the piece.

Greener paints

Water based paints are part of our commitment to creating a greener company. Known as

waterborne acrylics these paints are much kinder to the environment. Whereas traditional solvent based paints contain volatile chemicals that are difficult to dispose of, modern water based acrylics are equal in performance, have a longer usable life and are easier to dispose of safely.

Lewis Crook our head of spray finishing explains how the combination of the advanced spray booth, an experienced team and water-based acrylics has improved quality and productivity.

“The beauty of what we are doing now is how we combine the skills of an experienced hand sprayer alongside the modern technology, it’s what sets us apart.

The new water-based acrylics are also better to work with from a health and safety point of view, without the toxicity of the older paints, but they’re also quick drying in our blast oven.

 Overall, the combination of technologies means we can be faster while delivering the same precise finish time after time.”

Matching client’s high standards

Clients that use Langstaff-Ellis whether interior architects, designers, developers or private clients demand high-quality. They have a vision for the spaces they design and need their interiors partner to fulfil the vision with meticulous design, quality finishes and exacting build standards.

Our investment in spray technology is just one of the elements that allows us to deliver the premium quality interiors Langstaff-Ellis are renowned for.

To learn more about our processes and to discuss the design and creation of premium quality interiors please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Langstaff Ellis Case Study – Stunning Chelsea Home

Chelsea Luxury

One of the elements that sets us apart from our competitors is our desire to collaborate with outstanding designers. Working with interior and architectural designers challenges our own design skills and pushes us to develop exciting creative solutions that filter into our work for other clients.

We’ve been lucky therefore to work on a number of projects with renowned architectural and interior designers April Hamilton. For over 25 years April Hamilton have been creating remarkable interiors for a luxury client base from their design studio in Surrey and showroom in Chelsea Harbour.

April Hamilton’s values align very closely to our own, they appreciate that every project and every client is unique, that location and history can influence design and that every project is a blank canvas. Like Langstaff-Ellis they approach new projects with passion, enthusiasm and excitement, which is why we are always thrilled to work with their amazing creative team.

Stunning furniture for a stunning home

Our recent partnership on a stunning Chelsea townhouse is a wonderful example. While April Hamilton reengineered the interior, removing walls and reimagining spaces the Langstaff-Ellis team designed furniture solutions that perfectly enhance this luxury home.

One example of this is the full height shelving cabinets created for the lounge and finished in the same subtle grey as the surrounding walls. As with all of our designs we created a fully rendered 3D design that was in this case signed off by the April Hamilton interiors team prior to the build.

Cutting edge technology

One of the Langstaff-Ellis differentiators is that we do something special when it comes to using cutting edge technology, even when creating traditional looking designs. Because we have invested in smart technology we are able to cut incredibly precisely, something reflected in the precision joints of our furniture. Hence once a design is signed-off it can be fed directly into our high-spec CNC machinery.

This process gives us huge flexibility to produce designs that would be too time-consuming and costly to make the traditional way while facilitating quick production and premium level quality assurance.

While modern machinery provides cost savings, accuracy and consistency, this is anything but a production line because each project and each piece of furniture we make is unique. In fact, one of the major benefits is the ease with which bespoke pieces of furniture can be created from scratch.

What that means is that design challenges can be overcome before a single piece of timber has been cut. This was the case with one of the cabinets created for the Chelsea project. The challenge was to conceal a radiator beneath the cabinet without impairing its effectiveness, our solution was to design discreet ventilating louvre doors that look good and blend in as an integral piece of the overall design.

Our use of technology also gives us the ability to subtly adapt a design so for example, the corresponding cabinet in the roof terrace office is clearly part of the same family but has been altered to accommodate a built-in desk where the integrated TV previously sat.

Each of the cabinets is enhanced with subtle lighting cleverly fitted within routered grooves within the shelving, and all wiring neatly concealed from view. The lighting picks out the contrasting dark blue back panel of the cabinet, creating a pleasing piece just as April Hamilton envisaged.

Clever solutions

A further striking feature of the Chelsea project, and a challenge for us were the sliding mirrored doors fitted to replace a wall between the guest bedroom and newly created dressing room.

Where most joinery companies would install traditional doors, we saw this as an opportunity to use mirrors and sliding doors to give the impression of a much larger space while being far less intrusive.

The challenge most cabinetmakers face is with the weight of the mirror, which creates extra stresses on the joinery. Our sophisticated software means that we can test and model the design prior to building the door, including testing all the stresses, knowing the completed piece will work perfectly and will maintain its integrity over time. It also looks stunning especially with the neatly bevelled edge bringing a softer tactile level of detail.

Our collaboration with April Hamilton means that all the joinery in this beautiful Chelsea townhouse is finished to an exacting level of detail, helping create a home that is both luxurious and comfortable.

 

 

 

 

 

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Leading the field in English interiors

A premium interiors company in the heart of the Chiltern Hills are the epitome of high-quality design and furniture making. Driven by a desire to create unique interiors for every client this blog explores the motivation behind Langstaff-Ellis, a very English company.

“We’re perched on top of a steep hill overlooking the Chilterns, there’s nowhere else in the world that looks like this, it is I suppose quintessentially English” so says Alex Langstaff-Ellis standing outside the factory and design studio his eponymous company has occupied since 2016.

The Chilterns are probably one of England’s most unexplored but beautiful regions, a 450 square mile expanse of rolling hills and characteristic beech woodland to the north of London, stretching from Hitchin in the east to Goring-on-Thames in the west, it is in many ways the ideal location for a premium English interiors company.

“Every morning as I drive up the hill, through the woods from Chinnor I appreciate the beauty of my surroundings,” says Alex “the way the light and the leaves change with the seasons is stunning, especially during Autumn when the experience of seeing the golden leaves all around is spectacular.”

Clearly Alex is a champion for the unique woodlands of the area, and it is that appreciation of the beauty of wood that informs both the customer service and English design aesthetic that pervades the interiors and stunning cabinetry created at Langstaff-Ellis.

“I like to think what sets us apart isn’t just our attention to detail, let’s face it every company will tell you that, but it’s the attitude we have towards the furniture we produce and towards our clients. I guess it’s that old fashioned sense of wanting to provide a perfect service, where the customer is happy at every step, but with the reassurance that we can back it up with knowledge, resources and skills as furniture makers.”

I suppose you could compare us to a bespoke Savile Row tailor. You don’t go there for the every day, but for something special, something unique perfectly suited to your needs, where you have design, material and colour options, and you know whatever gets made for you is created by experts and will fit perfectly”

Sitting in the design studio, the warm smell of cut wood pervading the atmosphere as the bustling workshop below goes about its highly skilled business, Alex warms to his theme,

“Think about classic British cars, Aston Martin or Bentley for example, even now they’re not showy, they’re understated but have an extraordinary elegance and build quality. We’re doing the same here in the Chilterns providing timeless understated elegance with extraordinary build quality, but in our case for homes.”

The quality of Langstaff-Ellis’s interiors is self-evident when you look at some of their recent projects, from the stunning modernist walnut cabinetry for a huge kitchen in Harpsden to the understated simplicity of the dressing and boot rooms for a manor house renovation in Stow-on-the-Wold.  That same elegance and extraordinary build quality can be seen throughout the Langstaff-Ellis portfolio.

Ed Birks the MD at Langstaff-Ellis and the man who guides the design and build process is equally proud of the classic English qualities of the businesses premium home interiors.

“We’ve evolved over the last few years,” he explains “as a young business we had to learn exactly what would set us apart from the artisan cabinet makers and kitchen companies. Where we are now is a completely different place, working at a fundamental level with clients, architects and interior designers to create unique home interiors.” Emphasising the point Ed goes on, “We’re there to fulfil a complete aesthetic vision for a home’s interior. That is why you now see our furniture in bedrooms, dressing rooms, bathrooms, lounges, dining rooms and utility rooms, alongside the kitchens.”

Our understanding of design brings a thematic unity throughout the home, in some ways you could say we’ve taken the idea of the traditional English country house as a model but crucially we’ve ditched the tired chintz and stiff formality, replacing it with modern design, finishes and materials to create a particular aesthetic.”

Supporting Langstaff-Ellis’s design vision is an impressive investment in both people and technology. As Alex will be the first to tell you, precision cutting and finishing machinery help to create much higher quality furniture with a build quality that is unachievable by hand alone.

“Even though we have nothing but admiration for traditional craftsmen, we realised early on that modern tools and techniques aligned to traditional skills allows us to deliver a much better product for our clients.”

For example, designs from the studio can be fed directly into our cutting machines, giving us precise control, without the inevitable variations even the best craftsmen create with hand tools. It’s one of the reasons why luxury developments use us, they know we’ll create beautiful precision furniture for every single home.”

Which isn’t to say the business doesn’t have superb craftsmen, in fact, the team in the workshop boast some impressive credentials from prestigious English furniture schools, including the renowned Rycotewood Furniture College just down the road in Oxford.

“It’s important for us to support locally trained people, we’re part of the community,” explains Ed, “but it’s not just altruism, having a workshop team who are skilled furniture makers in their own right, combined with the tech we use gives us the ability to create and deliver complex cutting-edge designs that both look impressive in the home and will stand the test of time.”

It’s a rewarding experience visiting the Langstaff-Ellis design studio and factory. The business has a refreshing openness and willingness to adopt the best of the new, in terms of technology, but combining it with old fashioned English values of customer service and understated design, along the way creating a stunning design aesthetic all of their own.

Unashamedly at the premium end of the market, Langstaff-Ells fully justify their reputation as one of England’s leading contemporary interior makers.

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Langstaff-Ellis Case Study: Creating a subtle and minimalist interior

There’s a real satisfaction for the team at Langstaff-Ellis when we take on the challenge of creating something that is a little bit outside the ordinary. In the case of our client’s kitchen extension in Harpsden, South Oxfordshire, we were given the task of designing an interior that took architectural influences from both the Bauhaus and a beautiful German kitchen exhibited at the Schoenfeld Design Centre in Berlin.

The resulting minimalist kitchen is deceptive in its simplicity, the beauty of the detailed Walnut Sap-Wood cabinetry hiding the complexity of the internal design and the modernity and size of premium appliances.

A sink unit and workspace runs beneath three large steel-framed Crittall windows; features that define the space with doors and partitions continuing throughout the house. Our cabinets compliment this architectural feature with their subtle slatted design, lending a pleasing cubic symmetry to the space.

Highly decorative sap-wood walnut has been used precisely because of its lack of symmetry, breaking up the otherwise straight lines and surfaces to display beautiful asymmetric contours within pale and dark chocolatey hued wood.

The walnut contrasts strikingly with the sweeping lines of the two impressive worktops, each cut in one piece in premium quality Unistone Cendre Velluto quartz. Within the sink unit rests a custom stone sink from the same material set off by aged brass fittings, lending tactile contrast to the finish.

On the opposing wall, we have created a breakfast bar cabinet boasting the same quartz surfaces and bespoke sink, cleverly concealed behind subtle bi-fold doors. Within the unit, to cater for our client’s coffee fix every morning, is a clever pocket door opening system, with an integrated Nespresso accessory drawer. This is simple to access, cleverly optimizing dead space at the top of the cabinet.

Dominating the room is a large island with the same beautiful walnut cabinetry and room to comfortably seat six people. Sitting flush in the island is a top of the range Bora Professional Hob, its stylish controls integrated into the woodwork below. Working with the builder on the services plan enabled us to build in ducting for the downdraft extraction through the floor and out of the building.

On the end wall hidden behind a simple door in keeping with the minimalist design, is a premium quality Gaggeneau 400 series fridge freezer and larder unit, this sits adjacent to a large top of the range Wolf oven and our own custom made spice racks.

The simple look of the kitchen with its striking wood and contrasting plain surfaces conceals a host of functionality within a truly stunning space. However, our work on the project didn’t finish at the kitchen. Subtle design continues into two bathrooms.

The first extends the minimalist theme found throughout the home, and here the cleverness of the design is extraordinarily concealed. Sitting above the bespoke sink unit are matching gunmetal framed mirrors sitting flush with the wall. Look carefully and you find each has a small handle, for these aren’t just mirrors but the doors to large cabinets engineered to an exacting degree by Langstaff-Ellis into the wall itself.

The sink unit below is also completely bespoke, with paired sinks crafted from Silver Shadow marble. The cabinetry sitting flush with the sinks is made from a completely waterproof enhanced timber known as Tricoya.

In contrast, the sink cabinet in the second bathroom is colour matched to the pale pink walls using a specialist Tadelakt Moroccan render creating natural texture and variations against the warmth of the silver shadow sink and worktop. Again, there is a flush mirror cabinet set into the wall, this time with an unfinished brass frame offsetting the antique brass of the tap.

Commenting on the project Ed Birks of Langstaff-Ellis said,

“It’s a pleasure to work with a client who has a very clear vision. It gave us a number of complex challenges to overcome, not least of which were the technical aspects of setting the large bathroom units into the walls. The results though are spectacular, we’re proud to have matched our client’s vision with a complex but subtle example of engineering, cabinetry and interior design.”

For further information about creating a premium quality interior please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Five essentials that elevate a high-end kitchen to super-premium

When you’re building your dream home and lavishing time and effort on getting every detail right there are some essentials for the kitchen that can turn the everyday into the amazing.

It goes without saying that precise, elegant cabinetry is at the core of the kitchen coupled with the best marble work surfaces, beautiful veneers, extraordinary metals and stunning glass. The island at the heart of the kitchen must be a show stopper, but what are the features, appliances and accessories that are essential to turn a premium kitchen into a super-premium kitchen?

1. Calcatta Oro Worktops

For centuries Calcatta Oro has been considered to be the finest marble in the world. A classic Italian White Marble with bright, creamy shades and subtle gold and grey colours running along the veins the finest examples are found in the Borghini quarry in the heart of the Apuan Alps.

Calcatta Oro looks stunning in sweeping expanses across the surfaces of contemporary and traditional styles of kitchens, bringing a classical finish rooted in centuries of history.

2. Wolf Range

Wolf ranges really are something to behold and make an impact as the impressively solid centrepiece to any luxury kitchen. Why chose Wolf over the other contenders? For starters each Wolf appliance is built to meet the unflinchingly high standards of professional chefs, ensuring precise control and the utmost quality every time. They also cater to every taste and preference, spanning gas, dual fuel, induction and steam models, and come in a range of modern and classic designs.

What we love too are the outstanding design touches including eye catching cobalt blue oven interiors, and stunning, chunky red knobs. Make no mistake Wolf Ranges are a serious piece of kitchen equipment sculpted in heavy gauge stainless steel and tested to perform beautifully through decades of heavy, daily use.

3. Gaggeneau Refrigeration

There is nothing more important than high quality refrigeration, but if it looks superb and comes with discreet features that can react to the most delicate and demanding of foods in an intelligent way, then it must be a Gaggeneau.

The Vario 400 series built-in modular landscape of refrigerators, freezers, fridge-freezers and wine climate cabinets can be combined to stunning effect. A cooling wall of appliances in near seamless stainless steel creates a truly grand architectural statement.

In any home where a love of fine wine is important a Gaggeneau Vario wine climate cabinet is a must have. Offering up to 3 independently controlled climate zones, depending on the correct temperature for your wines and with precise humidity control, vintages can be kept in precisely the right conditions. And with fully extendable bottle trays in oak and aluminium, the wine cabinets are designed to be admired.

4. BORA Professional Cooktop

We’ve blogged previously about our love of BORA, but we’ll say it again; if you’re creating a super-premium kitchen where everything is of the highest quality, where form and function combine to create a brilliant product then you have to install a BORA Professional 3.

At the leading edge of design, with innovative low volume downdraft extraction, simple cleaning, oversized cooking surfaces and minimalist design incorporating the most beautiful control dials the BORA Professional 3 is suited to the largest kitchens and the most creative cooks.

With BORA you’re installing a design statement coupled with a superb level of German engineering.

5. Quooker CUBE

Quooker are famous for their boiling water taps and it would be fair to say that we believe every home should have one, however what elevates the CUBE to the level of the extraordinary is its ability to transform the tap’s functionality.

In a unique innovation, the CUBE enables cold, boiling, chilled and sparkling water to all be dispensed from the one tap with the simple twist of a dial. The CUBE option saves time, water, energy and space and it means you never have to buy bottled water again. They look fantastic too with options in chrome, silver, brass and black that will enhance the finest kitchens.

What we love about them though is that they are just so extraordinarily cool!

Interior-design for the super-premium kitchen

Creating the highest quality kitchens needs a combination of skill, design, materials and brilliant appliances. At Langstaff-Ellis we invest all of our skill, knowledge and design experience to remodel interiors into extraordinary spaces, we don’t just look at the needs of the kitchen, we work with the design of the home to create something very special, creating a stunning piece of interior design that just happens to be for the kitchen, and with the addition of the highest-quality materials and appliances transform superb design into the finest super-premium kitchens.

For further information about creating a beautifully designed super-premium kitchen contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

 

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A Day In The Life: Creative Designer Irina Nerciu

Trained in fashion design before turning her talents to furniture, Creative Designer Irina Nerciu has enjoyed a productive decade-long career. Originally creating designs for a kitchen and furniture business in her native Moldova she has been based in the UK for the last 4 years. Her eye for detail and creative design, matched with an ambition to be at the heart of a thriving high-end furniture design business sees her producing contemporary designs that thrill her clients

Morning

One of the aspects I really enjoy is how every day is different. Depending on where I am on the progress of a project, I’ll either spend the morning at my computer getting on with the design or I could be liaising with the tech team in the workshop who take my designs and turn them into reality.

Every few weeks I’ll take a new brief from a client. This is where I really get to know them and understand what they are looking for, their individual style and the atmosphere they are trying to create in their kitchen and other rooms within their home.

Working on prestigious new builds and premium renovations gives me scope as a designer to bring my creativity to the fore and to design furniture that synchronises with the architects and clients vision.

*It’s a shame that during the pandemic I’ve been unable to visit the sites that I’m designing for. It’s always a useful spark for the designer’s imagination if we can actually see and experience the building we’re working on. Every building has its own atmosphere, its own light and feel, all of which can inspire my design work. It’s important for me as a designer to be able to respond to the architecture of a room, so I’m looking forward to getting out on-site in the future.

Mid-Morning

At our mid-morning team meeting, new projects will be discussed and work allocated. We also take the opportunity to look at where we are on current projects to discuss any challenges that have arisen or to talk about design problems we’ve solved that might benefit the whole team.

Late Morning

In the late morning or early afternoon, you’ll often find me (virtually) meeting my clients and presenting my designs. I always get a little nervous about this as I really want the client to like what I’m proposing, but I also love hearing the feedback, especially when a client tells me that my design is exactly how they imagined it; hearing that is so rewarding.

Fortunately, the experience of the whole team here means that we really know how to work to a brief and to create furniture that our clients will love. Mostly what we end up discussing are the smaller details or type of appliances rather than the overall look and feel. But in all cases, it’s always a special moment when a client signs off on the final design before we go to production.

I do like to be challenged by my client’s projects though. Older buildings especially can be difficult to work on, they tend not to have straight walls or level floors. This is where the hidden parts of what I do come to the fore. You may not see it on the finished piece but an island for example, may have a gently angled plinth that helps it to sit level. I find that getting these little challenges right is really satisfying.

Afternoon

If we have gone to production, I’ll spend some time in the workshop. I’ve always enjoyed the whole process of seeing something I’ve created on paper elevated to an actual manufactured product. The atmosphere, noise, aroma of cut wood and buzz of the workshop is so different to the quiet of the design studio and helps to give a real breath of life to the concepts that started with my drawings.

Seeing the designs come alive gives me real creative satisfaction and is one of the reasons I enjoy my job so much.

Towards the end of the day, I’ll organise my workflow for the following day. I often have more than one current project so it’s important to ensure I’m super organised.

After Hours

Once I get home I still like to be creative. I find drawing and sewing help me unwind, though if I’m sketching I often find myself absent-mindedly doodling a cabinet in the margin!

For more information about designing premium-quality furniture for your home or development please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

*Langstaff-Ellis enforces strict Covid-19 protocols throughout all office, workshop and on-site locations.