After the visitors and guests have departed, many of us will take time in January to reflect on the New Year and changes that we may need to, amongst other things, our homes. It’s a time when we make decisions for the year ahead – improvements that we would like to make, any changes or redesigns of our rooms, extending or even moving house. When it comes to freshening up dated interiors or creating a new spaces and storage for you to enjoy, our designers can help.
The start of new year can be a very busy time for us at Conquest with many customers booking design consultations, so beat the rush and get in touch with our team to discuss the possibilities for your home in 2018.
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.
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.
Alison and Alan were ready for a change. Their living room which effectively spanned two rooms and opened into a dining room at the rear of the house, had served their family well over the years. This large space proved particularly useful when their children were young. The room was broken up into distinct areas with the front part being used as a traditional living room then a study space which partly separated it from a play area at the rear.
With the passage of time, the children outgrew the play space and the furniture began to look dated and so the couple decided that it was time to create a new purpose for the space and a fresh and brighter look. They’d seen something that they really liked the look of in the Conquest brochure and so requested a consultation with a Conquest furniture designer.
In discussion with Conquest designer Shameen, they found that they were able to quickly communicate what they were hoping to achieve with the room, a bright and airy contemporary feel with a better flow through the space and a large aquarium that would form a centrepiece.
‘Shameen was very easy to communicate and interact with and we felt very comfortable and confident that she would produce a very good design but we didn’t realise how dramatic and stunning the change would be.’
The new display furniture and sideboard in white painted wood with glass display areas, light oak worktops and inset lighting provided a clean, fresh and contemporary feel and a perfect canvas for the striking colours of their new aquarium.
The areas has been transformed from what had become something of a thoroughfare into a serene living space with study, library and reading nook and with the aquarium as the centrepiece.
The tranquility of the finished space belies the work and technical challenges involved. Concealing the wiring and electrical gadgetry was crucial to creating that sense of calm and order, as was the creation of the piece that would hold the aquarium. It would need to be very strong but also the lines of the design should ensure a sense of continuity and perfect fit. This was achieved by mirroring the curve of the aquarium with a curve in the light oak work top.
‘Working with Conquest has been very easy as all personnel from beginning to end have been polite, friendly and professional. Shameen worked tirelessly at the weekends to produce the design on time and was not troubled by our interim email requests regarding the fish tank. The fitters were punctual, skilful and professional. The surveyor made some very important adjustments to the initial design and it was obvious that the designer, surveyor and fitters worked as a team to produce an excellent final product.
We would unhesitatingly recommend the Conquest team to anybody.’
Our friends at Houzz UK recently published their 2017 Kitchen trends report and there are some fascinating insights into what people are doing to their kitchens and why. They surveyed over 3000 registered Houzz users who had either completed a kitchen renovation in the previous 12 months or were planning one in the next three months. The results provide some food for thought.
Key findings included:
More than a third of homeowners reported leading a healthier lifestyle after a kitchen renovation, from eating more fruits and vegetables to preparing more meals at home.
Contemporary kitchen styles lead the way, comprising 56% of new kitchen styles. White cabinetry appears in nearly a third (31%) of kitchen renovations. More than a fifth of new cabinetry is custom made (22%).
People are prepared to invest in quality and craftsmanship with around 9% spending more than £75k on their kitchen renovation and 7% spending more than £50k.
Nearly two thirds of kitchen renovations are increasing the room’s size (63%). Open concepts continue to be in vogue with 59% of new kitchens more open to the other rooms and 52% more open to the outdoors.
You can download and read the detailed report here.