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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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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.

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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: Luxury Bespoke Cotswold Kitchen

The 1950’s and 1960’s saw many unique and remarkable houses altered from being single dwellings into smaller multi-occupancy units. One such building, a beautiful manor house was purchased by our client near to Stow-on-the-Wold in the heart of the Cotswolds. His dream was to restore the whole building to its former glory, reconverting it into one dwelling but incorporating modern luxuries to make it a dream home for the 21st century.

Selected to bring the kitchen to life

Langstaff-Ellis were chosen to bring the kitchen to life, combining our knowledge of historic and modern design styles with high-quality cabinetry and craftsmanship to add a liveable yet stunning completeness to the project.

“The house itself is stunning and the restoration very sympathetic” explained Langstaff-Ellis MD Edward Birks

“We discussed with the client how to design a functional but elegant kitchen to work within the traditional vernacular of the house and therefore created a modern shaker design that allows the beauty of the cabinetry to complement the building’s own historic features.”

Beauty in the detail

The beauty of this kitchen is not just in the major pieces of furniture, the impressive island with slatted vegetable drawers or the generous larder, but in the hand-finished details exhibited by every cupboard and shelf.

For example the solid oak shelving and wrap around oak interior of the cupboards are finished to draw the eye to the natural texture and grain of the wood and with tactile curves that are made to be appreciated down the generations.

The oak continues with solid oak worktops, drawer fronts and spice rack and again the detailing catches the eye with unfinished brass hinges on all the doors, designed to age and naturally weather down the years.

Impressive kitchen island

Yet it is the island that dominates the room, floating above the stone floor and covered in one huge Quartz CRL Verona worktop. With a plethora of storage space, including the attractive handleless vegetable drawers, a large breakfast area and the downdraft Bora Hobb, the island is at the very heart of this relaxed kitchen.

Complementary high-end appliances

Simple high-end appliances were specified throughout the kitchen, and hence in addition to the Bora Hob, the basin boasts instant boiling water with a Quooker tap while the oven and refrigeration are Miele products throughout.

Simple, minimal, beautiful

The pleasure to be found in this seemingly simple design is in the quality of the cabinetry and the forethought that has gone into the small details.

As Ed says “The beauty is entirely in its simple minimal look.”

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High Quality Appliances for the Luxury Kitchen

Designing and building luxurious kitchens is at the core of what we do, and though we are the experts in design and cabinetry we couldn’t create the luxurious finished rooms without high quality accessories and appliances.

Whether in the kitchen or the laundry it’s important to have equipment you can rely on. Having worked on hundreds of kitchens we know that the brands we recommend also have to be aesthetically pleasing, beautifully designed and precision engineered to match our own work. We are aware that there is a huge choice available however we like to emphasise the highest quality available so there are certain brands that we recommend time after time.

Cast Iron Warmth

The modern trend is to have integrated stack units for ovens, and we’ll return to those shortly, but nothing speaks of comfort in a kitchen like the solid cast iron warmth of an AGA range cooker. The quintessentially British range cooker (though actually a Swedish invention) has been warming kitchens for nearly a century using the heat storage principle.

Looking especially impressive in large country kitchens, and of course working exceptionally as an oven or hotplate the AGA Cooker now comes in a variety of useful sizes of between 2-5 ovens used for roasting, baking, simmering and warming.

All AGA Cookers look perfect in a traditional country style kitchen but work exceptionally well integrated into a modern shaker design, especially with the wide variety of colours and gleaming vitreous enamel finish Aga provide.

One of the aspects we enjoy about the AGA is that like our kitchens they are built to last, in fact for the 80th anniversary of the founding of the company a competition was run to find the oldest AGA still in use, the winning cooker was discovered in Sussex and had been in continuous use since 1932!

Innovative Engineering

By contrast, we also enjoying working with the modern, the streamlined and the minimalist. There are some exceptional high end appliance manufacturers catering to every kind of kitchen and laundry need, amongst our favourites are Miele, Gaggenau and Fisher & Paykel.

Working with three exceptional brands provides a wealth of choice which can make for some tricky decisions, our suggestion would be that you should decide on the brand you like and integrate that across the kitchen rather than chopping and changing – though there are a couple of exceptions that we’ll come to shortly.

Miele

Miele has been producing high end kitchen equipment from its base in Germany since 1899 where it started as a manufacturer of cream separators and butter churns. Quickly moving into washing machines, it made its first electric powered machine in 1914.

One of the true innovators amongst white goods with leading edge technology in all their appliances, we know that Miele is an outstanding choice in the laundry but is also perfect for the contemporary or traditional kitchen’s integrated oven stack.

Gaggenau

For a German luxury appliance manufacturer with an even longer history look no further than Gaggenau. Still innovating and revolutionising the kitchen for the domestic cook today, Gaggenau actually began as a nail forge in the Black Forest in 1683. By the 19th century, it was producing farm machinery and gas and coal fired stoves. While its diversification into bicycle manufacture at the turn of the 20th century didn’t last long, it learned many lessons about ergonomics, build quality and distinctive design from the experience. Qualities that are reflected in today’s beautifully engineered products.

Where Gaggenau really revolutionised the kitchen was with their creation in the mid 1950s of fitted appliances starting with the first built-in eye-level oven. While this revolutionised the kitchen, especially for designers like Langstaff-Ellis, Gaggenau have not stood still in the intervening years. Twenty years ago their ED 220 steam oven became the first of its kind to be commercially produced for the private home.

The newest range of beautifully designed and engineered steam ovens and combi ovens, alongside their refrigeration solutions, give kitchens a sleek modernist look, as you’d expect from a company still influenced by the Bauhaus. They work perfectly in minimalist kitchens where form and function are the keywords and where you want immaculate lines without compromising on quality.

Fisher & Paykel

With an equally interesting history, though somewhat younger Fisher & Paykel from New Zealand have long been driven by the need to produce innovative practical products for their domestic market. Producing washing machines, cookers and refrigerators since 1934 Fisher & Paykel used their isolation to drive real innovations in the fundamentals of sustainable design.

Available in Europe for over 50 years their elegantly engineered designs are all about making kitchens the social hub of the home, with a practical simplicity that belies their range of functionality. Ovens feature clean lines with subtle textural and tonal contrasts true to the honesty and integrity of the materials used, while a broad range of refrigerators can be integrated into any luxury kitchen design. And for the height of luxury in the laundry a Fisher & Pakel washing machine or washer dryer provide precise mechanical actions that sense and adjust as they wash to reduce wear on your favourite items.

Finishing Touches

While the three brands mentioned above can provide options that will work in every high-end kitchen, there are a few specialists that turn a luxury kitchen into the perfect kitchen. They are Bora, Eurocave, Sub Zero and Quooker.

Bora Hob

Another German innovator this time a much more recent entrant, Bora founded in 2005 have changed the way we think about extraction. You can find our blog all about them here, but just a reminder that the state-of-the-art Bora Hob provides downdraft vortex extraction that transforms the nature of kitchen extraction. We’d happily include one in every kitchen we design we think they’re so brilliant.

Wine Cabinets: Eurocave & Sub Zero

Competing at the top of our list with Bora for an appliance that every luxury kitchen should have is the wine cabinet, a refrigerated cabinet that keeps your wine at the perfect storage temperature. There’s some competition here with both Eurocave and Sub Zero producing outstanding products with options ranging from under the counter versions to cabinets for the real connoisseur storing over 160 bottles.

We have designed kitchens integrating both brands into the design and our advice would be to look at the aesthetics that each brand offers and how it fits with the kitchen we’re designing. A more traditional look may suit the Eurocave while a contemporary feel may be more suited to the Sub Zero. In either case no new kitchen should be without its wine cabinet.

Boiling Water: Quooker

Finally, a mention for the Quooker CUBE, without fail we now incorporate this terrific product into every new kitchen. There are so many advantages, firstly you don’t need a kettle anymore, boiling water is delivered just by turning the tap, its energy and space efficient and can also deliver filtered chilled and sparkling water. It’s one of the small things that turn a new kitchen into a more efficient pleasurable space that you wonder how you ever lived without.

To discuss the design and creation of your luxury kitchen and which appliances you’d like to integrate please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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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.