Monaco Project

At Ashton Bespoke we commit ourselves completely to all our projects but when they have multiple elements to consider and in addition the installation is overseas, then our team really do rise to the challenge. For us it’s not just ensuring all the aspects of the project are carefully planned, it’s also the execution and making sure everything is shipped correctly.

Living and dining area

In the living room, we were charged with a TV unit. In conjunction with the designer and the client we agreed all the materials for the cabinet. The internals were made from a fumed oak veneer, external top in a fumed eucalyptus finished in high gloss, with doors and side panels in fumed chestnut veneered at 30 degrees giving an arrowhead effect with solid patinated brass surrounds to the doors. The dining room featured a niche cabinet with fumed oak internals and open shelving above in fumed eucalyptus with a high gloss finish. Finally, encapsulated in a fumed oak framing with 20% sheen lacquer finish. The doors again in fumed chestnut, veneered at 30 degrees giving an arrowhead effect, solid patinated brass surrounds to the doors and each open shelf finished the piece exquisitely.

Bedrooms

For this project we had three bedrooms to furnish. The master bedroom wardrobes had main internals in Xylocleaf board material with externals in a deep grey veneer, high gloss finish, doors had an inset chrome detail plus central smoked mirror. We also constructed a gorgeous dressing table, with the top in a faux leather with drawer fronts finished in gloss coloured lacquer. For bedrooms two and three, the main internal carcass was again made in Xylocleaf board material with external niche shelving and the outer framing in fumed oak finished with 20% sheen lacquer. The doors had a small matt black outer framing with a special designed central wallpaper panel. In bedroom three, we incorporated external niche shelving and outer framing in wenge veneer finished in high gloss. The doors were beautifully illuminated with a crazed pearlescent high gloss lacquer.

Feature pieces

On every project there are pieces that are just a joy to realise and this one was no different. We took great pleasure in making a breakfast bar with the top and side panels in fumed chestnut finished with gloss lacquer finish. The under-counter back panel was made from luxurious onyx stone that had incorporated back lighting to showcase and bring the breakfast bar to its full potential. The other stand out aspect of this Monaco project was a hallway feature wall. Consisting of a fixed panel and a concealed cupboard door with a thin matt black framing, this piece was beautifully set off with bespoke handmade antique mirrors.

The logistics

At Ashton Bespoke we have experience with overseas projects, enabling us to consider and understand all requirements necessary in completing this Monaco installation. The knowledge & foresight resulted in smooth transportation of all the pieces, facilitated by a project manager and fitters experienced in handling the associated needs and challenges that can occur on site, the outcome: a straightforward installation and a satisfied client.

Monaco Project Ashton Bespoke

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What do planning changes mean to the high end market

In July as part of his measures to boost the economy, Boris Johnson announced changes to the current planning laws which came into effect last month. The overhaul to the planning system had been long awaited and arguably overdue. The adjustments to regulations include allowing many commercial buildings to change to residential use without a planning application. The aim is to speed up the planning process for contractors and developers so that vacant residential and commercial buildings can be demolished and quickly turned into new homes.

London

The nation’s property market always looks to the capital for boom or bust patterns. With everything that has happened, the changes for the pubs, restaurant and theatre scene in the city have been massive. The property market however boomed post lockdown with many people using the time to think about their lifestyle. According to data from LonRes, property sales in London’s prime areas were down by as much as 24 per cent. But whilst foreign investment in the capital was down, sales at the higher end of homes over £5M were in fact up in July 2020 from the previous year by over 30 per cent.

Planning changes within the high end market - London high end homes

Rest of the UK 

The impact of stress on our lives with the fast pace of city living plus concerns on air quality are prompting buyers to look at relocating to the countryside. The pandemic has given so many of us pause for thought and the idea of a life on the coast or in the countryside has meant a massive spike in searches for these properties. Londoners who have been told they won’t be back in the office for the rest of the year have leapt at the chance to leave the city and get more value for their money in a rural property.

Opportunity

Now that some businesses have taken the decision to permanently relocate their staff to home working, there is much prime office space now up for grabs. The change to planning laws last month will make development easier than ever with a relaxing of regulations around commercial use. If the current building doesn’t suit, the changes have also made it easy for developers to demolish and start again. There is plenty of job creation with these kinds of projects and savvy contractors and developers will be ramping up the acquisition of land and disused buildings.

Planning changes within the high end market - construction

New world

We are by no means through the pandemic so with everything in flux, it remains to be seen whether buyers will want to live in cities. With that and Brexit looming, these are uncertain times. But whether it’s the city or a complete life change and move into the country, for many the events of 2020 have presented opportunity. For the high-end residential buyers that has meant the freeing up of capital in many cases for better value properties and more to spend on interior design. With many searching for rural and coastal destinations, the high-end property market is most definitely buoyant. Watch this space.

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Modern Country Homes

The quintessential English village with its pub and village green, chocolate box houses, a peaceful haven away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With the way we work transformed this year by the Covid-19 pandemic, suddenly people who were in the heart of the city have the chance to retreat to the countryside and buy property with much more inside and outside space for their money.

Period Architecture

Buyers fall in love with gorgeous period architecture steeped in history that takes the breath away. From Georgian Palladian style homes with their elegant symmetrical facades to the brief Regency period that saw construction inspired by Greek and Roman architecture. This sense of history and old buildings can evoke images of dark, tired interiors but with the modern country house, when we step over the threshold, we’re confronted with anything but ancient.#

Modern classic 

The modern country home has interiors inspired by classical design to accentuate the internal traditional features. Many of these homes have been altered over the centuries and we’re now seeing a return to the original intention of the house, restoring and revealing raw, older parts whilst reimagining the space to facilitate modern life and tastes. It’s about celebrating those incredible features that come with older country houses but bringing them up to date with new furniture designed to be sympathetic and complimentary.

Styling

The design process is about delivering clever and considered interiors that provide a delightful feel as you move from the exterior to the internal space. This empathy can mean that the furniture retains the style of the period but is made to suit the needs of the modern world. Gone are the dingy dark country homes of old as contemporary lighting solutions give the space a light and airy feel. The result: a wonderful contrast of the country house exterior steeped in history against a completely reimagined modern internal space.

Kitchen

This is perhaps the most important room for the family. It’s the main hub of the home and the heartbeat of the household so this makes kitchen design so emotive. Somewhere for coffee and catching up with friends but also one where your coffee machine is stored out of sight. The design must be both ergonomic and stylish; a space that is functional but works when entertaining guests and serving food and drinks on the island. A classic country design featuring state of the art appliances discreetly and sensitively positioned and stored.

Technology

The modern country home is equipped with state-of-the-art technology that controls every aspect of the house. Home automation has been transformed by smart phones and Wi-Fi enabling affordable systems with one central control pad operating every element of the house. These systems also bring peace of mind with smart home security systems. Owners are also now mindful of carbon footprint and utilize modern technology such as under floor heating to ensure the modern country home is as efficient as possible and the old, draughty piles of the past still look beautiful externally but internally are state of the art.

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What goes into a quotation

There is a marked difference between off the shelf solutions and bespoke furniture not just in the terms of construction but how they are costed. When you are making the same piece to the same spec day in day out with very little variance expect perhaps in colour or finish, it is easy to generate a price that covers materials, labour and profit. As the term suggests, with bespoke furniture you are getting something unique every time.

Consultation

From initial meetings with designers or contractors to onsite time with the clients, the costing process can be quite involved. When you are producing one off pieces, the great deal of thought and time that goes into this process is commonly undervalued. With time spent on initial consultation and development, cost implications are inherent. It’s not just time on these preliminary conversations, it’s the thought process away from the meetings that also must be considered. We see positive collaborations in this initial phase as paramount to fully gain a true understanding of the brief and requirements, throughout this process all design detailing, materials and finishes are explored.  

The Quotation

This isn’t merely a list of prices; our quotations are a comprehensive document clearly breaking down and outlining costs. We take the time the project deserves to consider every single conceivable element of the project. An example of some of the aspects we cover:

o Scope of works

o General specification

o Financial Summary

o General Notes & Process

o Terms & Conditions

For example, when taking into consideration a cabinet with drawers then our quotation doesn’t just list what the drawer will be made of, we deal with all the features such as any special internal compartments, edging or if the drawer base is lined in a leather. It’s this level of detail that makes furniture bespoke and we know that our clients have put careful thought and consideration into this, so we make sure the same attention is given to the details in our costings.

Transparency

Brands that generate trust and build their reputation are authentic and transparent. At Ashton Bespoke we ensure our quotations are as thorough and clear as possible. We know that as well as time constraints, projects have budget limits too; no one wants nasty surprises down the line or hidden costs. We ensure that our costing is crystal clear on what is included and equally what we have not allowed for. This gives our clients transparency on exactly what we will deliver

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Development Of The Design

Once the cost has been agreed, the preparatory work doesn’t stop there. We then develop, explore and explain all options or opportunities. All design detailing, materials, finishes are explored, considered and recommendations made, working coherently to deliver our clients’ vision. Further to this, samples of all agreed finishes will also be presented for client sign off.  When you consider everything that happens before manufacture commences, it shows why the cost of a bespoke piece is more than off the shelf solutions. It is not just about the skilled craftsman making the piece but also the years of knowledge that goes into how a piece will be constructed and understanding the elements involved. With that increased thought and behind the scenes consideration and consultation, it is easy to see that the price is reflective of the result.. 

bespoke furniture quotation

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