Category Archives: Bespoke Furniture

Furniture Inspiration

Redecorating is always a fun process; from choosing the furniture to painting over your dull greyish walls, the final result is always worthwhile. However, choosing how to redecorate or transform a room can be difficult especially if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for. You may have popped into your local shop and found a few trinkets and decorative items but that’s not enough to completely renovate your home. While it’s always great to look around the shops to find what you need, looking online for a bit of furniture inspiration is good too! Below we have compiled a few websites you can use for a bit of inspiration on how to redecorate your home.

Pinterest

Pinterest is always a favourite; not only does it have an array of photographs that you can look through to find what you want, it also, if you look hard enough, has a few how-to’s on DIY furniture projects. These can be great for the home as, like bespoke furniture, they’re one of a kind. Pinterest is highly recommended to anyone that is looking both for a bit of inspiration or wants to see what’s currently trending as it is easy to use and consists of imaginative projects. Sometimes users pop a bit of information on where they got the furniture from, another reason why this site is great to use as you won’t have to look far for what you like.

Houzz

Houzz is another site that is widely used by homeowners as it not only offers photographs for every room of the house so you can see what others have done to reinvent their home, but it also offers adequate advice on how to achieve the desired look. This is great for people that need a helping hand in DIY furniture projects and basic and advanced essentials like electrical work. Unlike Pinterest, Houzz also have a unique assortment of products that you can purchase through the site, so that you don’t have to keep swapping from site to site to find the goods you want. Lastly, you can even create an idea book through the site so that any images you see can be saved and opened in one easy location.

Tumblr

Like the concept of an idea book, Tumblr allows users to re-post and post pictures onto their page so that everything you need can be accessed efficiently and quickly. Like the two above, Tumblr is crawling with unique DIY projects, how-to guides and furniture ideas making it ideal for homeowners looking to redecorate. You can even post a before and after picture to show your followers afterwards and become the inspiration!

These are just three of the websites you can use to look for inspiration. The internet is full of furniture inspiration sites, so keep looking to find exactly what you want!

If you’re interested in purchasing bespoke furniture and live in or around the London area, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. We would be happy to answer your enquiry and look forward to hearing from you!

Ergonomics, aesthetics and the anthropometric properties of furniture

When buying a piece of bespoke furniture we rarely take into account the major design principles that go into crafting the perfect perch. The design principles are ergonomics, aesthetics and anthropometrics. These three core design principles effect the way in which interact with everything we use.

Buying a piece of furniture, on the surface may seem like a choice purely based on looks alone (and for some I’m sure it is) but to truly get the optimum comfort out of something we must consider the largely overlooked properties of a product. By ignoring the other factors of a product we leave ourselves open to inevitable disappointment. For example, a sofa may look great and fit the style of your home, but in terms of its usability you may find it extremely lacking. Striking a careful balance is key.

To be able to clearly establish what the core principles are we must therefore define them:

Ergonomics:

This term refers to the design of a product in relation to the body and its movements. So for example, in a workplace environment an employee’s chair will be designed with the user in mind. Posture, body mechanics and contours are all taken into account. I’m sure you’ve noticed the wide spectrum of human beings on this earth; designers always conceptualise with this fact in mind. By designing for a greater scope of users, you open up your product to a larger consumer market, and as a result increase potential profits. But ergonomics (as a whole) stretches far beyond monetary outcomes. Health and productivity also factor in as well. By considering the user’s health in both the short and long term it reflects a conscious effort on the part of the designer to combat the onset of injuries in later life. An ergonomically designed desk for example can boost workers productivity considerably because of the fact it was designed with the user in mind.

Aesthetics:

This term refers to the general beauty of a product in the eyes of the viewer. Though visual appeal is a part of the aesthetics it’s not the only part. Sound, smell, touch, taste and movement all contribute to the quality of a product. For example mobile phones, apart from being a technical feat of portable technology also try to appeal to our visual needs. Colour, shape, texture, size etc all factor into the decision as to whether the phone is right for us. Consumers who aren’t necessarily the most tech “savvy” for example, will regularly base their decisions on looks alone. As aforementioned this can prove to be the downfall of many consumers. From a design standpoint, producing a product that seamlessly manages to look appealing all while retaining form and function is the mark of a truly great piece of engineering.

Anthropometrics:

This design term refers to the look of a product in relation to the human body. By attributing a product to the human form we can discern the top from the bottom, the front from back and the sides. This doesn’t necessarily suggest that product must resemble any actual part of the human anatomy but that it is relatable. Take an iron for example, we can tell the front from its back immediately, that’s because it’s been designed with anthropocentricity in mind. If we also take a look at other humanistic things we can attribute to anthropometric design you’d recognise things of a cultural and traditional nature.

Now that we are aware of the core design principles, we are now better equipped to sift through the barrage of wonky wardrobes, clunky cabinets and dire draws.

The Benefits of Bespoke Furniture

Whether you’re a first-time mover or it’s your third time relocating, the excitement of new furniture, trinkets and a chance to redecorate your brand new home is unavoidable. With a splash of paint and a dash of personal style, you can transform your new house. However, when it comes to actually purchasing the furniture, it’s likely that you’ll have two options; you can either opt for free standing furniture or fitted (bespoke) furniture. While free standing furniture may seem like the most ideal option because of its price, bespoke furniture has its benefits too. Below we have compiled just 3 benefits of bespoke furniture.

Space

As far as space-saving options go, fitted furniture is definitely in the top 3. As it can be made to your exact specifications in terms of measurements and overall size, it will fit perfectly into the dedicated space with no hassle of trying to hide awkward corners or unsightly gaps at the back of your cupboards. By having bespoke furniture, you can not only save on space allowing more room for other furniture or activities depending on the room you’re looking to redecorate, it also helps to enhance the appearance of the room and make it look a little more neat and tidy.

Customisation

One advantage that many homeowners value is that you can create your own furniture design and have your fitted furniture exactly the way you want it. While you may prefer to purchase pre-designed goods, there’s no reason why you can’t extract a few ideas from the internet and compile them into one final design. The freedom you get in terms of customisation with bespoke furniture allows you to make your home one of a kind and you can design your custom-made furniture to meet your exact requirements in terms of appearance, storage, size and style.

Maintenance

Bringing us back to the gaps between the furniture and the walls, quite often a lot of dust can collect in these spaces and they can be very awkward to clean, especially if you find yourself getting caught between the corner and your cupboards. On a brighter note, as bespoke furniture is usually pushed right back against the wall, it gets rid of these unsightly holes and helps to diminish the amount of dust that collects behind the furniture. This also works for the space between the ceiling and furniture; say a wardrobe, as there is less space for dust to collect meaning that you can take a break from spring cleaning for a while!

These are just three benefits of bespoke furniture.

Here at Russell Blake, we operate in London and offer a bespoke furniture service for those living in the surrounding areas. If you’d like to enquire about our available services or you’d like to know a bit more about what we can offer you, please do not hesitate to get in touch today through our contact us page. We look forward to hearing from you!

Design Capsules: Decorate Your Room Like A Pro … Go Nautical

The easiest way to transform a room – or even an entire household – is to switch up the décor. We are proud that so many homes are doing just that with our stunning bespoke furniture in London and the surrounding areas, but there are even more ways to completely overhaul your interior decoration; all incredibly effective. Whether it’s adding a few new home accessories, painting a feature wall or completely redesigning and redecorating every inch of a room, you can transform the look and feel of your living space in a relatively straightforward manner.

The most obvious way to spruce up a room is to buy some new statement pieces; these are usually items of furniture or a structural feature like a fireplace. In addition to furniture, you can make a statement and create an entirely different room by looking at the finer details that will ultimately bring the whole thing together. They say the devil is in the details and that is certainly the case when it comes to making the most of your bespoke furniture with the right soft furnishings, colour palettes and accessories. So how do you go about focusing on the design details whilst simultaneously trying to piece together the bigger picture? You employ interior design.

You see, interior design is not just for the professionals or for those with a penchant for the weird and wonderful. Interior design is simply the way you turn your house into the home you want. Having a plan and a theme that ties everything together can have an astounding effect on the appearance and ambience of a room, so it is worth gathering inspiration from themes, styles and design capsules that suit your tastes.

To get you started we have put together a quick guide (below) to one of the most classic and on-trend design capsules in home and fashion; Nautical style.

Nautical Style

  • The Nautical style has long been a favourite for interiors, especially with those who prefer a relaxed beach-like atmosphere complete with whitewash and blue and white monochrome. Nautical evokes feelings of summer, breeziness and a chilled out vibe. Though the style can vary in how subtle it is, Nautical never really goes out of fashion because it is so flexible and timeless. Every Spring/Summer fashion catwalk features a “Resort” range based on nautical styles and breezy lifestyles, so it makes sense that having the theme in your home would make it classic and timeless as well as contemporary and en vogue, depending on your preference. So, here’s how to achieve the Nautical design capsule:

Colour Palette              

  • As expected, the Nautical design capsule pulls its inspiration from the beach and see. The colour palette is predominantly white and blue, with a plethora of different shades, from antique white and brilliant white to aqua, navy and baby blue, adding depth and flexibility to the colours. For accent colours, reds like wine and burgundy are stunningly subtle but still eye-catching. As far as woods and finishes are concerned, any colours or shades reminiscent of the sea will suit the design; that means mid-toned stains, distressed or whitewashed pale woods and reclaimed woods will work best.

Furniture

  • Reclaimed wood looks authentic and beach-distressed but painted wood can add colour and character to the room. On the other hand dark, muted non-reclaimed woods can also work well with to contrast the bright airiness of blues and whites found in the Nautical design capsule. Upholstery can add interest to the room, whether it uses stripes, block colours or all-out nautical patterns (complete with anchors and such), all of which work well with a Nautical capsule and fit both contemporary and classic takes on it.

Accents and Accessories

  • Everything nautical and beach-like works for this capsule, no matter how mismatched it may seem at first. Things like ropes, ships’ steering wheels, blue glass bottles, model yachts and anchors all fit in perfectly alongside seashells, pebbles and wicker baskets as accessories and feature pieces. This flexibility lends itself to all manner of accessories from model lighthouses to rope rugs; the final choice depending on whether you want a traditional “New England” Nautical style, a contemporary white room with a few hints of blues, beaches and seashells or somewhere in the middle. Keeping things simple, light and airy is the key to accessorising a Nautical design capsule in order to make sure you keep things ‘themed’ without turning your home into a maritime museum.

Of course, how you interpret the Nautical design capsule and how you choose to stage it in your home is a matter of personal preference. You can use the above guide as a point of reference or inspiration, but the style is so flexible that you can really make it your own. Just remember to keep things light and breezy, use reclaimed woods and other beach materials and keep to the blue and white colour palette. Other than those few guidelines, you can be as creative as you want – just remember, you need to treat your home as a blank canvas, ready to transform into a nautical paradise. So have fun and enjoy the designing and decorating as much as you will the finished room!

How To Properly Clean and Care For Your Furniture

As a homeowner you will know how important it is to have your house ‘just right’, fitted with the finest furniture and finished with the chicest of home accessories; having the right décor is what transforms a house into a home, giving it personality and finesse. As such, it is understandable that you are willing to spend a lot of time and effort finding and investing in the right quality pieces. Whether you have a country cottage in the Cotswolds decorated with all things shabby chic, a classic home fitted with bespoke furniture in London or an abode that is somewhere in between, decorating it perfectly and finding the right quality pieces is only half the battle for a beautiful home.

Like anything, quality furniture is only likely to stay pristine if it is cared for properly. Now, on the one hand that means using coasters for drinks and stopping pedestrian traffic kicking and scuffing legs. On the other hand however, it requires knowledge and practice of proper maintenance.

Maintenance can be particularly tricky when it comes to wooden furniture and finishes which is why we have compiled this quick list of all the tips and tricks involved with cleaning and caring for wooden furniture.

French Polished Finish

  • To dust a French Polished surface you can use a soft cloth regularly
  • Every now and then you can use wax polish but don’t use too much and not too often
  • Use a warm, damp cloth to remove sticky spots but be sure to dry the spot off thoroughly

Lacquered Finish

  • Lacquered surfaces can be wiped over with a damp duster (sprayed directly with a fine water-mist)
  • To remove grease or finger marks from lacquered surfaces, use a damp cloth

Waxed Finish

  • Dust wax finishes with a soft cloth on a regular basis
  • Remove sticky marks with a warm, damp cloth but dry the surface completely afterwards
  • In order to keep water-resistance and shine, apply wax or polish to the surface once or twice a year

Oiled Surface

  • Never wax an oil finish as this will block the pores, dry the surface and make it brittle
  • Oiled surfaces only require an occasional application of furniture oil to keep them looking in good condition
  • Use a cloth with toothpaste, another mild abrasive (salt, baking soda, pumice) or oil (olive oil, petroleum jelly, cooking oil) to remove drink rings and other white spots

Painted Surface

  • Painted surfaces are low maintenance, needing very little care
  • To clean regularly, use the brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner
  • Try to steer clear of polishes and waxes as they can ruin painted surfaces; if you absolutely must use a wax then use a hard paste wax once a year only
  • To remove fingerprints and other such marks, wipe the surface occasionally with a damp sponge

Polished Finish

  • Easy to keep, polished surfaces are suitable for commercial polishes but choose one suitable for your particular finish
  • Paste wax is tougher and longer-lasting than sprays and liquids; paste wax polish is best for antiques especially

Speciality Surface

  • Woods like wicker, rattan, bamboo, cane and rush are not as high maintenance as other finishes so simply clean them on a regular basis with the brush attachment on the vacuum cleaner

7 Bonus Tricks

  • Use cotton gloves when waxing so as not to leave fingerprints
  • Wipe polished wood with a cloth that has been dipped in tea; buff for a finish
  • Microfiber cloths are best for dusting
  • Spray polish onto the cloth, not the furniture
  • Wax and oil are best for buffing or for ‘filling’ scratches
  • Apply mayonnaise to white rings, let it set for an hour then wipe it off with a soft cloth before polishing the cleaned surface
  • For easy-to-make and easy-to-use DIY polish, try Crunchy Betty’s Wonderfully Simple Homemade Wood Polish Recipe (remember to try any new polish on a subtle test patch first!)

Use these tips and tricks to keep all of your wooden furniture in top condition, keeping in mind that picking out the perfect home furnishings is only the first step. Whether it is store-bought or bespoke furniture, ensure you protect your investment and keep your home pristine by performing the proper maintenance.

How To Deck Out A Nursery

When decorating the nursery for a new baby it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all, leading you to purchase every single tiny, cute and baby-like thing you come across. Alternatively, it can be a little overwhelming to try and decide how to decorate the room; do you go gender specific or gender neutral? Do you kit it out to the nines with the entire stock of the baby department or do you keep it simple with a few key necessities? What about choosing the furniture and balancing the need for storage with the desire to have the perfect look? There is just so much to think about when it comes to decorating a baby’s room and that is precisely why you need to keep everything as simple and as organised as possible. Decide on your theme by all means but keep in mind that as baby grows, tastes will change. When it comes to the furniture though, consider how well fitted storage and furniture would work.

Bespoke and fitted furniture is normally associated with adult spaces, such as bedrooms and living rooms, especially in places like London where space is limited and needs to be optimised. However, nurseries are rooms that can also benefit from bespoke furniture – London being both a popular location for young families and a city with limited living space to expand into.

As well as being a practical use of space for urban nests, bespoke fitted furniture is ideal for nurseries because of its longevity and ease of use. Its durability and versatility means what works for mum and baby will work just as well for a teenager. In addition, fitted bespoke furniture is a safe option for nurseries. Unlike freestanding furniture, even if little hands and feet are able to climb fitted shelves they won’t cause anything to topple on them. With so many benefits it is clear why bespoke nursery furniture is a good, practical investment. What about the rest of the nursery though? Here are a few things you should think about when decking out the rest of the baby’s room:

• The Right Cot for the Job

Get a cot that will not only fit in the available space but offers enough growing room for the baby. You don’t necessarily have to have a cot-bed model, just a cot that will last longer than a couple of months. It is also worth noting that you don’t need an ornately decorated cot, just a safe and sturdy one that looks nice in the room. Be sure to fit the cot with all the useful extras like cot bumpers, mobiles and quality baby-friendly mattresses

• The Convertible Change Table

A specifically designed change table is not a necessity, just a suitable surface for a change mat and some accessories (powder, wipes, and nappies). This is where the convertible change table comes in. Having a dresser component in your fitted furniture is useful because it will give you drawer storage and a flat surface that can act as a change table until the baby is out of nappies. Once the change table is no longer needed you can use the dresser top for things like storage baskets, mementos, decorative items, books or toys

• Smart Bonus Storage

A common piece of advice when it comes to decorating a nursery is that you will always need double the storage space you think you do. Little people accumulate much more than is expected (or probably necessary!) so you need to be prepared. With fitted furniture it will be easier to utilise every available space but you may also need to invest in under-bed boxes, baskets and bins for toys and other, more portable storage solutions. If you end up with too much storage space (P.S. there’s no such thing!) you can make the most of it and use it to store other things like bedding, coats, old clothes baby grows out of and new clothes baby will grow in to – you could even bulk buy nappies and Sudocrem to store

• Top to Toe Trimmings

It’s easy to get carried away with what colour to put on the walls and decorate the room with but make sure you pay attention to the floor and ceiling too. Decide if you want carpet or wood flooring; carpet is soft but can cause allergies whereas practical wooden flooring is easy to clean and can be softened with washable sheepskin rugs, blankets and cushions. Consider decorating the ceiling too, with either paint or wallpaper so baby has something interesting to look at whilst lying in their cot or getting their nappy changed

• The Ideal Lighting

The right lighting is crucial in a nursery. The first way to control the lighting is to install dark shades or blackout curtains that will keep the room cool and dark at night, in the mornings and during daytime naps. Also ensure you have the right lighting fitted. Soft, low light creates a soothing environment for the baby but will also keep you safe when you check on them at night; stubbing your toes is the quickest way to wake a baby up!

These are just a few ideas for kitting out your baby’s nursery. Many choices will come down to your available space, budget and personal preferences so just make sure you have the essentials sorted before you focus on the fun part. If you prefer to think about practicalities before embellishments then seriously consider getting bespoke furniture fitted as it will last much longer than the toddler-years, serving you and your little one for a lifetime.

Expanding our bespoke kitchen and furniture service into Surrey

surrey_county_coa_n3922Here at Russell Blake, we are excited to announce that we are expanding our bespoke kitchen and furniture into the Surrey area, so in the next few posts here I’ll be expanding on how we’re going to be covering the following areas in Surrey:

  • Cobham
  • Esher
  • Weybridge
  • Kingston
  • Sutton
  • Epsom

We’ll be covering other areas in Surrey as well, but that’s a quick list to be getting on with. Apologies to anybody we’ve left off that list! So if you’re based in Cobham, Esher or anywhere else in Surrey for that matter, we’re more than happy to see to all your needs, be it bespoke furniture, bespoke kitchen design, fitted home office furniture or any other aspect of bespoke kitchen or furniture design.

We are, of course, more than happy to discuss any of your bespoke kitchen or furniture needs wherever you may be, so please feel welcome to contact us no matter where you live for a friendly chat.

 

 

Bespoke Kitchen Furniture

Bespoke Kitchen Furniture by Russell Blake of London
Bespoke Kitchen Furniture by Russell Blake of London

Here at Russell Blake, we specialise in building bespoke handmade kitchen furniture. As a result, when  you get in touch with us, you know that can design your dream kitchen without any need for compromise. With our vast experience and friendly outlook, we’ll  carefully guide you through the kitchen design process right up to the bespoke finished product.

Kitchen Furniture by Russell Blake - Herne Hill Kitchen
Kitchen Furniture by Russell Blake – Herne Hill Kitchen

Perhaps you’ve arrived at this page because you have unique ideas or you want to make a kitchen design statement. Or maybe you are after that personal made-to-measure kitchen or furniture? Whatever your path here, we can make sure that the rest of your journey towards realising your dream kitchen will be a wonderful memory for the rest of your life!

Our green kitchen design uses quality woods from sustainable sources  and with our wide-ranging experience of making and installing bespoke kitchens and furniture we can meet and surpass your requirements.

Based in South East London, we at Russell Blake are always happy to hear from new clients and a look around our Galleries pages on the website will show you the quality of our work first hand.

Greenwich London Bespoke Kitchen Design
Greenwich London Bespoke Kitchen Design

To ensure quality and continuity, Russell Blake himself will personally oversee the design, manufacture and installation of all their bespoke kitchen furniture and general furniture projects. This is why a significant proportion of  kitchen commissions are come through via the personal recommendation of our happy and more than satisfied customers.

We use all the latest kitchen design and storage ideas incorporating pull out storage for ease of access and all the latest state of the art appliances. All our bespoke kitchens and kitchen cabinets are handmade from the best possible material with sustainable timber that has been purchased from suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).

All the designs would fit into any shape size and style of home be it a modern urban loft or period country home. Please telephone us on 020 7277 9919 or use our contact form to get in touch and we can have a chat with you about meeting all your bespoke kitchen furniture needs and exceeding all your wildest expectations! We look forward to hearing from you.

Greenwich Woodworks

We were sad to hear of the recent demise of local bespoke furniture firm Greenwich Woodworks.

According to the Greenwich Phantom site:

“Sadly high-end joinery company Greenwich Woodworks died at the beginning of the year. I don’t know the exact details, but I’m guessing it’s yet another victim of the current financial climate.”

Greenwich Woodworks
The old Greenwich Woodworks site

They were  one of the leading design and manufacturing companies in South East London, specialising in bespoke furniture services for private clients since 1981. Like Russell Blake, the Greenwich Woodworks offered a bespoke service with unique designs.

If you’ve arrived at this page because you were searching for Greenwich Woodworks, then you’ll be pleased to know that we at Russell Blake offer the same bespoke design service – offering bespoke kitchens and bespoke furniture design for the London area and beyond (you can see some of our Lewes design on the Galleries pages). PLEASE NOTE THAT RUSSELL DOES NOT WORK FOR GREENWICH WOODWORKS.

Whilst we know that Greenwich Woodworks will be missed, we’re sure that we can offer you every bespoke design service that you could want. In these times of recession, we offer fantastic value for money and what’s more, all our timber is sourced from suppliers certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) so you can sleep soundly as far as the environment is concerned.

Please give us a ring on 020 7277 9919 or use our contact form to get in touch and we’d be delighted to have a chat with you about meeting all your bespoke design needs and exceeding all your expectations! We look forward to hearing from you.