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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 Luxury from Adversity

Accidents befall all of us, they even happen to our houses and when they strike restoring or improving on what came before becomes a matter of urgency. In the case of our client in the picturesque riverside town of Marlow in Buckinghamshire an unprecedented flood led to the ruination of the whole ground floor of the house, necessitating extensive repairs.

But out of adversity comes opportunity, and our client saw that they could remodel their kitchen and create a warm comfortable space that would provide all the luxuries that the previous kitchen lacked.

Bespoke design for a liveable home

Understanding the urgency of the issue, to make the house a liveable home once more, we moved quickly to design and build luxury bespoke furniture, complementing the cabinetry with high-end appliances that would make the kitchen the heart of the restored home.

“Being flooded is a horrible experience but our client did something special and grasped the opportunity to upgrade their ruined kitchen. We felt it was our responsibility to get the kitchen completed for them as soon as we could so the house could start feeling like a home once more. Within the client’s guidelines we were able to create a luxurious kitchen that combines effortless chic with practical functionality to be the warm heart of the home” Ed Birks Langstaff-Ellis

Traditional, elegant Shaker luxury

To stay in keeping with the traditional style of the house our designer delivered a classic Shaker kitchen, accompanied by luxury touches.

Finished in a warming Farrow & Ball Charleston Grey, impressively precise ceiling height cabinets completed with finely detailed Armac Martin Quizlet knobs and pulls create a sense of comfort and familiarity as soon as you enter the room.

The elegance of the cabinets and drawers extends internally, where walnut shelving and detailing provide a tactile and attractive solidity. Within the knife drawer for example, the internal tailoring has been finely crafted to accommodate each blade, while the beautifully realised dovetails are a reminder of the high standards of craftsmanship our client’s receive.

In the cabinets, wine glasses sit on specially made shelves while the larder units boast beautiful shelving inside the doors to accommodate oils, spices, bottles and jars

Adding to the comfort of the room we installed a classic AGA hob that projects homeliness and a deep traditional Belfast sink beneath the windows overlooking the mature garden. The sink conceals cleverly integrated waste and a state-of-the-art Qooker Flex boiling water tap.

CRC Carrara Quartz worksurfaces throughout the kitchen reflect the shining white porcelain of the sink.

Practical and impressive high-end appliances

Hidden behind a larder unit door is a huge American style Fisher & Paykel refrigerator. Fisher & Paykel create impressively engineered kitchen appliances designed to keep fresh food at their optimum preservation temperatures, and while we would normally showcase the smart design in this instance it was important to preserve the symmetrical shapes of the kitchen.

Enhancing the symmetry, we ensured practical and fun elements were neatly reflected, hence sitting adjacent to the refrigerator on one side is an impressive Eurocave wine cabinet and on the other, next to the larder cabinet is a Miele stack.

The full height Eurocave wine cabinet can hold up to 60 bottles at ideal drinking temperatures and makes a fun forthright statement about the purpose of the kitchen. The Miele stack on the other hand, comprising microwave and coffee machine, is all about touch of the button practicality, the simple straight lines of the units complementing the style of the cabinets.

Extending the design into the dining room

The kitchen is an impressive room in its own right but flowing from it is a dining room where we were asked to create furniture that continued the themes and colour palette, but would also provide the room with its own focus and energy.

Occupying one whole wall we created a full-height storage and display unit that cleverly conceals an elegant cocktail cabinet and at its heart a unique bespoke wine rack.

The walnut cabinet includes pocket doors that open and slide away while in use but can easily be closed to hide its contents during the day. Internal sensors control discreet lighting within the cabinet that refracts through the glassware creating a magical glow.

The whole unit has plentiful storage including beautifully finished dovetailed walnut drawer boxes.

The bespoke wine rack in walnut is a masterful piece of design and cabinet making. Large enough to store over 80 bottles but a perfect piece of furniture even when empty, the unique design is both convenient and elegant providing a talking point for guests where they can ponder the appropriate Vintage for dinner.

A winning design that brings the house back to life

“This was such a satisfying project for the designers and craftsmen at Langstaff-Ellis. Helping our client to reimagine their home after the flood and to fast-track the project through has been challenging but incredibly worthwhile. Seeing the house brought back to life and knowing we were able to contribute furniture that will stand the test of time is a huge reward for all of us.” Ed Birks Langstaff-Ellis

For further information about creating a luxurious and elegant kitchen or dining room contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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Langstaff Ellis Case Study: Enhancing a Home Gym Maidenhead

If you’re fortunate to have a gym space in your home one of the enduring problems is how to store the small everyday pieces of equipment so they are accessible but not untidy. For our client in Maidenhead the answer was to design a fully integrated wall sized storage, display and AV unit.

Working out in the Covid-19 era has become a real home based occupation, many people have invested in large items of equipment while online cycling, yoga and even rowing workouts have really taken off. However, hooking up a computer and having cables trailing across the floor while trying to watch a small screen doesn’t make for an ideal exercise environment.

While our client’s dedicated space is a superb area for online and other workouts with ample room for free weights, yoga, stretching and dance, there was no storage space for items such as boxing gloves, yoga mats and cycling shoes.

As an enthusiastic collector of sports memorabilia too, solving the gym storage issue would also provide an elegant answer for displaying parts of the collection.

The designers at Langstaff-Ellis created a solution combining a complete wall sized storage, display and AV unit with ample cupboard space, shelving and an integrated large-screen TV. The floor to ceiling unit, measuring 6mx2.5m takes up one whole wall, wrapping around the doorway to create a stunning yet practical piece of furniture.

Framing the unit is full height pull out storage at either end, with simple cupboards stretching across the top. Shelving and a large-screen smart TV sit below with easy access cupboards flowing across the bottom.

Finished in complementary textures of high quality designer laminate from Xylocleaf with anthracite metal fabric backs to the shelves, the unit is accessorised with beautiful Buster + Punch handles.

Cabling is hidden within the cabinet to enhance the clean lines, complemented by downlighting in the shelves and discreet LED uplights at celling height.

Since completion the unit is now used every day as a fully functioning part of our clients home gym experience. Equipment is easily stored after use, online workouts can be enjoyed in large format on screen and sports memorabilia is highlighted on beautifully lit shelving.

“Well designed cabinetry can enhance every part of the home so we were thrilled to create this large unit for a home gym, solving a number of challenges our client had with a beautiful piece of furniture that brings real refinement to an otherwise utilitarian room.” Ed Birks Langstaff Ellis

If there are parts of your home that would benefit from high quality cabinetry solutions including kitchens, home offices, utility rooms and gyms please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.