I do apologise for the severe lack of posts here on Swoon Worthy the past couple of weeks.  My work has taken me here, there and everywhere recently and unfortunately, it’s always the things we enjoy the most that suffer when we’re so exhausted that people are mistaking you for an extra in Shaun of the Dead.  I can, however, reveal that I am indeed still alive despite my appearance.

No, that’s not me.  That’s a scene from Shaun of the Dead.  
Ok, I have no desire to eat human flesh but the half-closed eyes, 
dark circles, the drooling mouth, the frizzy hair?  Yeah I relate.

So anyway, I just wanted to give you a little update on the kitchen.  Or actually, the very ridiculous LACK of update on the kitchen.

See, we were looking at doing the shelving next.  We just never anticipated that it’d be such an incredible – forgive my French – BALL ACHE.  I mean, how hard can it be, right?  Some bits that go on the sides, some bits that go in the middle, and voila!  Shelving unit!

This is kind of what I was hoping for…


Yeah, except that it doesn’t quite work that way as we found out.  Turns out you can’t just buy hardwood cut to your requirements.  You can buy TIMBER cut to size.  Or MDF cut to size.  Or PARTICLEBOARD cut to size.  But not wood.  No, wood needs to be manufactured to a specific width and depth – they take strips of timber and basically glue it all up together to create planks.  I guess I sort of knew that but what I didn’t realise is that you can’t really buy it like that ‘off the shelf’.

Which means, getting wood custom made to your requirements.  Which means big fat huge cost.  Which means that it’s no longer in our budget.

So we started looking at other options, figuring out where we can stand to compromise.  Let me tell you, peeps, this has taken us WEEKS to figure out what we were going to do.  Every option we considered was met with either a huge obstacle (not available, doesn’t come in the right width/length/depth for our requirements, etc.) or huge cost (everything, I suppose, is available if you have an unlimited budget.  Ours, unfortunately, is not).

Funnily enough, it was via email marketing that I realised we can get pretty close to what we wanted at a good price.  Jali sent me an email with their latest offerings and I realised I could get a custom design that worked within our budget. Bingo.

Nice thing about Jali is they have a very clever tool where you design the pieces yourself and the prices are reflected every time you make a change to your design.  It’s very intuitive and very easy but when I still had a few questions, a simple contact form was filled out and a very nice man gave me a call the next day to answer my questions.  I can’t fault the service so far.

So this is what we were originally after:

2 units
25mm thickness
No ‘middle’ dividers (ie., each large unit had a continuous shelf)
33mm depth

And this is what we’ve ended up with:

2 units
18mm thickness
Both units had limits in terms of widths before sagging would occur so we had to use middle dividers
33mm width

So, it’s not EXACTLY what we wanted.  But I suppose sometimes you have to learn to make compromises.  MDF was not our material of choice but it’s easy to paint (which was our intention all along) and we were able to get it to the depth we required.  It was also SUBSTANTIALLY less money.  We’ll have to see once they are up whether the 18mm thickness is a bit too ‘weedy’ or if they’ll need beefing up at all with some nice strip moulding.

The units will arrive tomorrow and so we’ll see what they look like when they get here.  They cost us around Β£250 and when you consider that custom units out of oak would have easily cost us 4 times that amount, I suppose that’s a pretty good deal.  Plus, that includes the option of including a white primer as well which will save us a bit of time on the painting front.

Speaking of, as much as I can’t wait to get them up, I know our work won’t quite be done just yet.  There will still be the extra bits like the moulding for the shelf edges and cornicing for the top.  I also want to use thin pieces of MDF to ‘line’ the back of the shelves to allow me to either use paint or wallpaper for interest and easily change it when I get bored of it (woman’s prerogative and all that).  The whole thing will then need to be painted.

But hey, at least we got somewhere, right?  At least we’ve found a solution that I hope will meet our needs.

So tell me… have you had to compromise on anything in your home lately?

And if you haven’t seen Shaun of the Dead yet, for goodness sake, what the hell are you waiting for?  It’s brilliant.  Go, quickly and see it.  Tell Simon Pegg I sent you.

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