Beautifully built in spray finished furniture

Can you paint it any colour?

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Yes. Our paint finish is either our house white, a soft white (more yellow than blue) which will almost certainly go with your existing white woodwork, or is mixed to match any given manufacturer’s colour or colour sample. Common colours such as Farrow and Ball Old White, for example, can be supplied to us the next day with more obscure colours or matches taking a couple of days. This means that you can generally leave a final decision on paint colour till a couple of weeks before installation. Our paint is all satin, 15% sheen, this is as matt as I have found we can go without sacrificing durability. Last but not least our paint is waterbased so the damage to the environment caused by more commonly used cellulose paint is minimised. It is also much less toxic for you! We can however also supply toxic but pretty polished gloss through subcontractors on request.

Will you make much dust?

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No, not much. One of the by products of the spray finish is that it requires a high degree of accuracy throughout the process because you can’t just plane a bit off if it is too big. We get all our internal cabinet components cut to exact size and drilled for adjustable shelves etc prior to installation. The spray finished external doors and framing are cut to precisely fit these boxes with the joiners traditional 2 pence (2mm in new money) gap all round. The cutting that does need doing on site is the scribing where we cut the framing of the cabinet to fit the contours of your walls. This is done with hand tools, (panel saw, coping saw, block plane and chisel to be precise) so dust falls to the ground rather than being shot up in the air. A power plane is sometimes necessary but is connected directly to an extracting vacuum cleaner with fine filter.

Is it MDF?

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Yes. The exterior of our spray finished cabinets is made from Medium Density Fibreboard with only the panel mouldings, cornices and unseen structural timber made from pine. This is for the two reasons of central heating and economy. Central heating means that the average moisture content in your home goes from around 10% when the heating is on and the doors are shut in the winter to around 20% when the doors are opened in the spring. This has a variety of effects on pine and other timbers meaning essentially that the doors don’t shut any more. This is clearly a pain for all concerned and to be avoided! The fact that MDF comes in large, regular sheets rather than bendy sticks also means that craftsmanship does not have to be reserved for the very wealthy. To read a long and hopefully interesting essay on the subject of MDF and craftsmanship please click here!(pdf)

What kind of hinges do you use?

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We use modern kitchen type hinges which have integrated soft close and adjustment so doors shut smoothly, hold themselves closed without catches and can be precisely aligned. We also use soft close hinges with push open doors as it stops doors slamming and pinging back open in an annoying way! We also use modern drawer runners with either integrated soft close or push to open facilities. These are either single extension or full extension. Full extension gives you about another 4” of opening for about £30 so we usually quote to use single. You can now even get push to open with soft close which is an exciting development!

Will it make the room seem smaller?

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Will it make the room seem smaller? No. A counterintuitive effect of built in furniture is to make rooms feel larger as I hope these images demonstrate. My best theory on this is to do with the eye no longer getting stuck in all the dark cracks around freestanding furniture so the space is taken in much more swiftly and smoothly. We also do our best at the design stage to find the happiest compromise between the most useful interior depth and the shallowest exterior.

Does it have a back?

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Does it have a back? Up to you. We tend not to use a back as it is a bit cheaper, keeps the depth to a minimum whilst maximising the interior space, and allows access to sockets. However we are very happy to supply backs if you so desire.

Does the interior have to be white?

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Does the interior have to be white? No. White is the most practical and best value as well as being aesthetically pleasing. As standard we use 18mm Premium White W1000 ST9 Egger MFC (melamine faced chipboard) with .8mm edge banding. The st9 refers to the lightly textured feel which we think is nicest (we did stroke a few) but we can also supply a wide range of solid colour and wood effect decors. Should you wish the whole thing made from hand polished solid oak and you don’t care what it costs then naturally we look forward to hearing from you!

Should I get the decorating done first?

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Should I get the decorating done first? Yes ideally. As our furniture is spray finished we are used to being careful during installation. Decoration on the other hand is a dusty business and paint applied by even a skilled hand has a habit of getting where it isn’t wanted.

Can you build on existing carpet?

Yes. The way we install our cabinets works just as well on carpets or floors and carpet can be subsequently replaced.

Should I get the new carpet laid/replaced first?

No. You can tell us if you need to move into the room before the cabinets can be fitted but, ideally, the first person to step on your lovely new carpet is you.

Should I have the wooden floor laid first?

Yes. It will need protection and place on us a burden of care (no precarious balancing of hammers!) but wood flooring always looks nicer disappearing beneath things than with a mould to cover the expansion gap. Also wood floor laying is a reasonably messy business best done in a clear room.

Can you remove the existing, ugly, don’t work wardrobes?

Yes but we’d rather not! It can be interesting removing old furniture as the previous hand is revealed. However the previous hand often used big screws that leave big holes which are ideally made good prior to installation. It will usually be cheaper for your builder/decorator to remove the work or for yourself to use it as a chance to release any pent up frustrations.

Will it go to the ceiling?

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Yes if you want it to. Generally in a lowish room to the ceiling is best and in a higher one, especially with a plaster cornice, stopping below will look better.

To what height does the wooden cornice go?

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Generally about halfway between picture rail and plaster cornice is best although factors such as how much stuff you wish to fit in and what style you like will affect it. This is something to be discussed on a site visit and agreed when the scale design is confirmed.

Can you do lighting?

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Yes to an existing supply. We are not registered electricians so can’t go mucking about with your circuits but have lots of experience in running LED lighting and halogens which are switched from the cabinet, by door opening or from existing wall switches.

Can you do an internal mirror?

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Yes. We simply glue a full length polished edged mirror to the back of the door or doors of your choosing. 1400 mm x 300mm is sufficient at about 350mm from the floor.

Can it fit behind the door/not block the window?

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Yes. If space is tight we usually recommend a shelving cabinet or a drawer cabinet which have more flexible depth than wardrobes for hanging.

Will the end look ugly and block the door?

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No….well a bit I guess….but we do all we can to mitigate it. Chamfering or rounding off the corner as shown makes a big difference as does panelling the end. Some people like a mirrored end and, of course, finding the optimum distance which maximises storage whilst still allowing comfortable access would be part of our design chat to be confirmed with the scale drawing.

Can you do sliding doors?

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Yes but I am not a massive fan. Conventional doors have more flexibility with height, offer better access internally and frankly just work better so I would suggest narrow conventional ones as a first alternative. However, if sliding is imperative then we are happy to quote for it. We offer non soft close as I find the sliding soft close mechanisms are either a bit crap or extortionate so I prefer to use rubber buffers. Because wide doors are hard to spray finish and can be a bit lively, however hard you try to spray both sides the same, we would offer sliding doors finished in an Egger MFC (melamine faced chipboard) for example Premium White W1000 ST9 with 2mm edging. Many other finishes are available however the price varies quite dramatically between the best value as quoted and the most expensive such as gloss.

Do you make bathroom cabinets?

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Yes. For these we use MFC which is pretty much impervious to water. It comes in a range of finishes, the cantilevered sink cabinet shown is in Egger grey green Avola and, whilst chipboard sounds crappy it actually looks great for well thought out minimal designs such as (I like to think) this one. We are happy to also use this material for wardrobes and cabinets although it restricts the design and to most people feels a bit industrial.

Do you make radiator covers?

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Yes, most often in hallways where an ugly radiator can be turned into an attractive shelf.

Will the remote control work?

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This is obviously a factor in alcove cabinets for TVs. Apparently the latest thing is wi-fi which goes through anything. Another option is a transponder which sits on top or a range of design options to allow remotes to be used without the door wide open such as a pocket door (as shown), drop down flap or narrow gap.

Will you cut a hole for plugs?

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Absolutely and will fill it with a beech cable manager sprayed to match the rest of your furniture. Internally we leave generous gaps where plugs and cables need to be fed through as our purpose is not to make you swear.

What is the process?

First a quote is arranged, this is after either a site visit or from a supplied specification as you prefer. Should the quote be acceptable an invoice for a 1/3 deposit (balance on happy completion) is raised and a scale design for approval is drawn up from the initial sketch and discussion. This is usually followed by a second visit with the laptop to ensure the drawing matches the house and that the design is optimised. We then go away and produce manufacturing drawings and a cutting list which are used in our workshop to make to the mm exactly what you want. Once made the work is spray finished to your colour ready to be installed at your earliest convenience! As an example of the time required, installation of a pair of alcove wardrobes would need a couple of guys for a day with a single craftsman returning the next morning to do the finishing touches.