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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.