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How much should I spend on my kitchen?

 working together at homeNew Year – New Home?

Any housing expert will tell you that if you are only going to improve one room in your house to make your home more sellable, then make it the kitchen.
But you may ask yourself, ‘How much should I spend on my kitchen?’ In an article for the Daily Telegraph, TV house sale guru Phil Spencer explains that you need to match your kitchen budget to the value of your home, so if your house is low in sale value don’t go overboard on a kitchen and appliances as they won’t add the equivalent value.


However if your house is valuable, adding a cheap kitchen will devalue it, so make sure you invest in a high quality kitchen to add value to your property. Ideal Home echo this view saying ‘always keep expense in proportion to the size and current value of your property; for example, there’s little chance of adding value (or even recouping costs) if you add a bespoke £25,000 kitchen to a house that’s valued at £170,000 – even if it is in a brand-new kitchen extension. Nor is it sensible to put an £8,000 kitchen in a house that’s worth £1m!


Adding Value to your Home with Bespoke – 10% January discount

Bespoke kitchens will add real value to the more valuable properties. As well as enjoying all the benefits of a beautifully designed and fitted bespoke kitchen, Ideal home say that ‘a new kitchen will make your property more appealing to buyers and according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), can add as much as 4% to its value.”

In his article Phil goes further saying that ‘typically, a new kitchen will add 4.6 per cent onto the value’ of your home.

A bespoke kitchen provides unbeatable quality with the kitchen being made to measure and built to last, here in the UK but this needn’t mean expensive. Once you’ve fully priced up your new kitchen you’ll find that a fully bespoke Conquest kitchen is very competitively priced even against the flat pack, build cheap and import, one size fits all approach of the High Street. In addition, we are now offering a 10% discount on all of our kitchen orders in January 2018 so now is the time to give us a call, visit our showrooms in either Portsmouth or High Wycombe or have one of our designers come and talk to you.

 

Danish Furniture Industry experts visit Conquest

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We were delighted to welcome a group of Danish visitors to our showroom and workshop recently. The group of around twenty furniture industry experts came to England for a few days to see three companies involved in different stages of furniture making on the south coast, whilst combining it with a little sightseeing. It was a classic ‘busman’s holiday’ and one I’m really glad they made.

The group itself, Horsens Snedkerlaug is the Carpentry Guild for the area of Horsens, a town/City at the centre of Denmark’s second largest City region with over 1 million inhabitants.

There was a huge depth of knowledge and expertise amongst the group and it was great to show people around the showroom and workshop, who shared our passion for wood and woodworking.

The Chair of the group Esben Leth himself worked for 47 years handcrafting timber frames for windows. It is from him I learnt the Danish for ‘Better than aluminium’, which I can only agree with.

I hope they felt they learnt a bit more about how we make furniture here at Conquest and I know I learnt a little bit more about Hygge and was told that to understand it we really should visit Denmark which I’m now very tempted to do. Thanks to our very own Emma Slade for the fabulous Victoria Sandwich cake, lemon tart and mini scones. The scones were accompanied by clotted cream and jam which caused some confusion amongst our guests but everyone seemed to get the hang of it in the end. 

I’m not too sure I’l be taking their advice in relation to the two bottles they left with us, the contents of which they assured me, should be drunk in the morning. The label reads 38% proof.

Conquest on the Stage

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We are delighted at the response we’ve been getting in relation to the unique piece of furniture that we’ve made and installed in the foyer of the Chichester Festival Theatre. 

As a long time supporter of our local theatre – the Chichester Festival Theatre, we were delighted to be given the opportunity to make something special for them and that would support one of their productions. 

The furniture piece that we made and supplied to the theatre is in support of a trilogy of plays by Alan Ayckbourn, entitled the Norman Conquests

Although the piece itself is contemporary in style, it’s illuminated and distinct display areas are perfect for displaying the artefacts of the everyday domestic scene from the 1970’s including some that have a certain kitsch quality to them. The furniture piece serves as sharp relief for this nostalgic collection that evokes 1970’s Britain.

The 3 plays are Living Together, Table Manners and Round and Round the Garden and all centre around the central character Norman and 5 other friends/family members in this absurd comic tale. Norman would like to seduce Annie though he is married to her sister, Ruth. He’s also got his eye on Sarah, though she’s married to Reg – who is Annie and Ruth’s brother. Tom, from next door, isn’t married to anyone, though he too nurses secret hopes beneath the surface. It’s all about a weekend where these six characters come together and chaos ensues basically!

Each play can be seen on its own as a standalone piece in any sequence or they can on certain days all be seen as one event.

As sponsors of the Norman Conquests – Conquest Fitted Furniture are designing a special installation for the foyer to be in place throughout the run of the production. Conquest are working with our show designer Simon Higlett to design and install a bespoke piece of furniture – this will be themed around the three plays and be a fantastic centrepiece for our Festival Theatre foyer.

Vicki Gregory, Corporate Development Manager, Chichester Festival. 

Conquest celebrate 50 years of fine fitted furniture

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On Saturday 17th September, we celebrated 50 years in business.

Founder John Adey, was joined by sons Jonathan and Richard and their wives Dawn and Lucy as together they welcomed customers, colleagues and employees to celebrate this milestone at in Farlington showroom.

John said “When I started this business all those years ago, I could never have imagined that I would be standing here celebrating fifty years in business. I’ve worked with some great people over the years and made a lot of friends along the way. So much has changed all around us and whilst our designs may have changed over the years, our approach hasn’t. We still pay attention to every detail and insist on the perfect finish and fit.” 

John originally trained as an apprentice pattern maker with Vosper’s the shipbuilders, in Portsmouth, in 1957 from the age of 15.

John’s ability to carve intricate patterns and molds in wood with engineering levels of precision soon got him noticed.

When he set up the business in 1966 whilst in his twenties, the company was producing molds, models and castings for big industrial customers such as Marconi Defence Systems, for whom they created a scale model of the Skynet 2 space satellite.

Over time Conquest’s reputation grew and in 1977, the opportunity to take a first step in the home furniture direction came, when the owner of a neighbouring business popped in and asked if they could make him a kitchen for his home in Langston, near Hayling Island. 

The customer was delighted with his new kitchen and soon afterwards a steady stream of requests from others began to arrive. John Adey decided that this should be the future direction for Conquest, where their skills for precision woodworking would be perfectly suited to making kitchens and fitted home furniture of the highest quality.

Conquest continues to be a true family business to this day, focused on quality and cherishing their hard earned reputation for customer care. 

John’s son Jonathan – Conquest General Manager, commented, “We are one of the last remaining furniture companies with national reach that continues to employ all of our own people from designers and furniture makers right through to the fitters that install the furniture. It’s the only way we can be certain that the customer enjoys the best possible experience from start to finish. There are many people who value this rare approach and for this reason we can look forward to a bright and exciting future.” 

At the celebration Jonathan shared a new website and short film called The Conquest Story which documents and celebrates the history of Conquest over the last 50 years. 

One of Conquest’s longest serving employees, furniture designer Eric Pollard presented John Adey with a crystal glass decanter and a 50 year old bottle of vintage brandy to commemorate the year that the business was founded.

 

More photos from the event can be found on facebook

Should I incorporate the lounge into my new kitchen diner?

Should I incorporate the lounge into my new kitchen diner?

 

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A number of surveys in recent years have continued to confirm that the open plan kitchen diner is the single most popular home development and in 2016 it shows no signs of weakening with one in thereof us already enjoying the benefits of an open plan kitchen diner.

The same survey revealed that one in five Britons plan to combine their cooking space with a separate living room, creating a single, open-plan area. But is this the right approach or in ten years time will we find ourselves reinstating walls and separating rooms again?

 We look at the pros and cons and make some suggestions that may help you to decide the way to go.

1. Feeling sociable?

Some of us like to be part of the hubbub of family life whilst cooking and to be able to engage with guests when entertaining and whilst cooking and this is exactly what the kitchen diner brings.  However, incorporating a living room as well takes this a step further and could mean an end to cooking whilst listening to your favourite radio station or without TV intrusion. However you can mitigate the ‘intrusion’ factor for the chef – and indeed for the ‘loungers’ by perhaps using an L shaped design to help zone the area or alternatively by using a clever glass or similar partition that could rise from the work top to help section off the cooking area when in use. 

 2. Cooking smells and soft furnishings

Many of us strive to increase the amount of fish in our diets and we all love a spicy curry.  Whilst this may be good for our health, it does present a real challenge to a kitchen diner lounge where the control and extraction of cooking smells becomes much more important. Extraction is key and that means a powerful, yet quiet extractor unit with smooth walled ducting and with as few bends as possible. It also means ensuring that it can draw in sufficient cold air from the outside to replace the warm air you are removing.

3 Dirty dishes can spoil a party

Dirty dishes can rather spoil a party and with the open plan kitchen diner living and entertaining space, this can be a bit of a problem. An adjacent Butler’s pantry or utility room with double sink and work top is perhaps the ideal solution but requires significant space. Again the partially sectioned off cooking area or a clever automated raised partition is also a good option but even a splash back of sufficient height along the length of the work top can be an effective shield. 

Should I incorporate the lounge into my new kitchen diner?

We’re used to perhaps choosing the style of our kitchen and thinking of the style of our other living spaces rather more distinctly. If we are going to incorporate the lounge into a large open plan living space then we need to consider the design across the whole space in order to avoid a visually disjointed jumble. 

This flow is something which can be most easily achieved by going down the hand made kitchen and furniture approach which may be more affordable than you think. Hand made furniture company Conquest is able to design and build a kitchen that perfectly fits your space whilst incorporating clever designs and touches to beautifully address the challenges of the open plan living space. They can design and make the living space furniture to either match or combine perfectly with your kitchen – to fit your specific needs.