L’una has gained in-depth experience of working closely with professional high-end property developers in Gloucestershire and beyond.
The requirements of property developers are slightly different to those of homeowners who set about updating their living spaces, usually after a period of dreaming about their special project. Whilst design is quite rightly still an overarching consideration, there is far more in the mix when working with developers. Some of the client emotion that influences the design process when working with homeowners is replaced by more commercially influenced decision making. We completely understand why this is the case and it does not make our job any less exciting, but requires us to approach such projects with a different frame of mind. We are, essentially, working one step removed from the end users and against a different, and sometime more complex, set of criteria.
We can work with developers from the very beginning of their project. We are adept at working hand-in-hand with appointed architects prior to building designs even being finalised. Our detailed understanding of kitchen, bathroom and living space design, can contribute a valuable steer at this early stage and positively influence building and space design. We are also equally happy coming to projects at a slightly later stage, once building structure design is already agreed.
We work carefully with developers to understand their desired ‘end product’ and their brand. We like to ‘get’ their vision and make sure that we help them achieve this. This is not to say we do not challenge norms and question pre-conceptions. It is this collaborative and inquisitive approach that sets us apart from other kitchen, bathroom and interiors designers.
In working with developers are particularly experienced in ensuring the following key points are not overlooked.
- We work with developer appointed design input if required to guarantee joined-up solutions are achieved.
- We undertake detailed cost-modelling of various options to ensure budgets are met, whilst still maintaining the very highest build and design standards.
- We either install our designs ourselves using appointed and vetted trades, or we provide project management support to developers.
- We provide support in determining optimal delivery and installation schedules and undertake liaison with other trades as appropriate.
- We draw on our excellent supply chain relations to achieve trade support for large volume orders.
For examples of our work with developers, check out the following Case Study page.
Those of you who remember the time before youngsters played games on their mobile phones may remember Tetris from 1984; the product of Alexey Pajitnov’s computer programming experience and his love of puzzles. Those that don’t know what we’re talking about – you’re in for a treat. Check out the game that you can play on your new-fangled mobile device! (Play Tetris).
Anyway, we digress! Over the last few months we have been longingly looking out of our Montpellier glass surrounded showroom to will the workmen outside to speed up their bricklaying and solve their apparent tessellation problems.
The Montpellier Courtyard has been undergoing an overhaul of its paving and this has led to quite some disruption and the need for the erection of protective screening around our street front windows.
With doom and gloom hitting the high street in recent days, we want to reassure you that everything is fine at L’una. In fact, we are bucking the trend and expanding on the high street! Those in the know may have heard that we’re expanding.Later in the summer, once our team have finished internal works, we will be opening an additional showroom on in Montpellier Courtyard, Cheltenham. Pedini are very proud that L’una will be the only dealer opening a showroom to deal directly with their brand. It will be dedicated to Pedini kitchens by L’una and will showcase the very latest designs and appliances by Gaggenau, Sub Zero and Wolf, to name but a few.
Whether it’s bath salts, screwdriver sets or itchy socks, we have no doubt all received gifts from loved ones which don’t really hit the mark! But it needn’t be like that…
The L’una team have spent the last month scouring the design world to find gifts that will help you avoid delivering a Christmas Gift ‘damp squib’. We have fallen head over heels in love with Skultuna.
For over 400 years they have produced fine metal objects of the highest quality for both everyday use and for special occasions. Always with that same sense of quality, function and design Skultuna today creates tomorrow’s antiques.
Even though Skultuna has the accolade of being ‘by appointment to the King of Sweden’, shoppers need not break the bank! In stock at L’una we have a beautiful selection of products, including cufflinks, bracelets for men and women, bottle openers, vases, candle holders and more.
With prices starting at £60, we hope you’ll find the time to call by and have a look.
The contemporary kitchens we design here in our kitchen showroom in Cheltenham are the work of our principal designer and co-founder of L’una Design, Dustin. He is at the centre of all kitchen design and associated home re-modelling we undertake and he works closely with suppliers including high-end Italian kitchen manufacturer Pedini and bespoke manufacturers of decorative glass surfaces, Deco Glaze. Interior design is then headed up by our principal interior designer and co-founder, Michele.
As part of their commitment to education and skills improvement within the industry, Deco Glaze recently ran a competition to award one of their clients the opportunity to win a 50% donation towards the value of a 3 year Foundation Degree course in Kitchen Design at Bucks New University. Entrants were required to demonstrate why they thought they should be selected and in return, the winner was offered funding towards a course that has been designed in conjunction with key members of the kitchen industry and is in response to national training needs. Already in its third year, the course has the benefit of industry leading lecturers who share how they approach projects, develop imaginative designs and understand demands and constraints in kitchen design.
As a growing interior design practice with a focus on kitchen design, we thought that this presented a fantastic opportunity to grow new kitchen designer talent within L’una Design. Within days Natasha’s application was completed and submitted, however, truthfully we did not expect to win as competition was fierce. Even though we knew we were being considered, we were so thrilled to hear that we had been chosen as the winning entry. Since then, things have moved at pace and Natasha has already started her foundation degree whilst continuing her work at L’una Design. Starting in September 2017, the three year Foundation Degree Programme, designed in conjunction with key members of the kitchen industry, is being delivered as a distance learning, work-related foundation degree. It will see Natasha attending three intensive residential skilled workshops each year at Missenden Abbey Conference Centre in the heart of the Chiltern Hills.
We are really excited about the additional skills and ideas this initiative will bring to our business and we look forward to forging a closer relationship with Deco Glaze.
“Still or sparkling?”…will be a phrase that will roll off the tongue of your waiter or waitress at The Ivy Montpellier Brasserie when it opens just up the road from our kitchen and interior design showroom in Montpellier, Cheltenham. This will be before they bring the bread out and whilst the chefs are still working on their eclectic mix of modern British comfort food and international dishes – eager to please Cheltenham’s many diners and party people.
OK – so you may not be able to easily recreate the Ivy at home, however, when choosing your dream Pedini designer kitchen, you do have a choice of taps as well as all the integrated appliance from the likes of Gaggenau and Siemens. Long gone are the days when you have to boil a pan on the stove for your hot water! You can now have chilled, sparkling and near boiling water for tea and coffee, all from filtered water and from a single tap. The tap you need to ask for is the Zip Hydro Tap.
Check out the little video below that explains more about the tap. Also, if you’re in Cheltenham, call in and we can show you one we have installed upstairs in our showroom. We can also tell you all about the different options and finishes. Even if you are not planning a new kitchen, we can also retrofit for a little bit of luxury.
Each year, the Cheltenham Gold Cup marks possibly the biggest and most welcome influx of Irish horse-racing punters to Cheltenham. Sneaking under the radar, and on a much smaller scale, we are pleased to announce that L’una Design have just welcomed a new visitor from Ireland to our Cheltenham furniture and kitchen showroom…Welcome Max Benjamin!
Well, OK, not quite. We’ve been rumbled. Let us explain…Max Benjamin is not in fact an Irishman, well not one we know anyway. It is, however, the name of a fantastic Irish company that manufacturers candles to die for. Irish owned Max Benjamin, is run by two brothers Mark and David Van den Bergh. Named after their nephews, Max and Ben, who are the sons of their sister Orla (founder of the company), they have been producing high quality candles and diffusers since the early 1990’s.
The collection has evolved over the years from the original Oberg range of hand poured pillar candles into what is now an international brand which currently includes 17 fragrances of luxury natural wax candles as well as fragrance diffusers and a hand and body care range.
Now being sold in Harrods in the UK, across Europe and in Japan, Max Benjamin candles and diffusers are a great addition to our range of home accessories. We asked our lead Interior Designer, Michele, to pick a favourite from the range, and without hesitation she choose the Fig Arabesque Candle from the Ilum Collection. At 2.15kg and contained within a beautiful ceramic container, this is a real centrepiece to any living room.
If you are passing our showroom in Montpellier, Cheltenham, then call in and we can show you the products we have available as well as discuss others that can be ordered on request. If we happen to be closed and you’re in Montpellier at night, then you will see some of the product on display, dotted around the Italian Pedini kitchens and furniture by luxury brands including B&B Italia, Fritz Hansen & Baxter. We don’t mind you peering in..!, but if we’re in, do come in.
If you happen to have been along a tree lined road in the west of Cheltenham, somewhere near Cheltenham Lido, you may have spotted some major home remodelling going on! Despite the scale of the villa in question, it is not immediately apparent the extent of works being undertaken. On first sight, you’ll notice a very smart contemporary render that has been applied to the property which is set back on a dogleg in the road. Behind the perimeter wall and gated entrance is a ‘state of the art’ extension designed by local architects, coombes:everitt. The centrepiece of the design is a beautiful gull wing glass fronted extension, that houses the pool in the basement and living accommodation above.
L’una Design were originally appointed to design and install a designer Italian kitchen within this property. Having gained the trust and respect of the client, our brief has evolved to cover various parts of this gorgeous home. One aspect that has really got us excited is the bar refrigeration…bear with us…
By our own admittance, the fridges that we usually specify in our Pedini kitchens are high-end modern appliances. Maybe Siemens or even Gaggenau. These manufacturers offer amazing products that fit perfectly in a modern kitchen. But it is not these appliances that have stopped us in our tracks on this project. Instead, we have fallen for an older model! Alright, it’s had a bit of TLC, but it is still old…so old the design originates from before the time of electric refrigeration.
Within the bar area of the villa, within easy reach of the poolside, we have specified an ‘Ice Box’ from the Vintage Fridge Company. This company sources and modernises Ice Boxes. They work tirelessly to keep all original exterior features as sympathetically renovated as possible, so as not to detract from the age and authenticity of the original Ice Boxes it sources. The history behind these pieces is incredible and can be found on the Vintage Fridge Company website, with some stunning images on their Instagram. These fridges grace the interiors of a number of great bars both here in Gloucestershire and as far afield as Chicago. So, the next time you’re in the Lucky Onion Crazy 8’sbar in Cheltenham or at the Soho House Pool Bar in Chicago, you’ll know that they have the same fridges we specify to create a bit of poolside opulence from a bygone era!
With our summer holidays all out of the way and our tans fading quickly, we are now getting increasingly excited about what’s coming up over the autumn months.
As a close-knit team of interior designers, kitchen designers, space planners and skilled installers, we are always bouncing ideas off each other, questioning new trends and generally ‘keeping our eyes peeled’ in a quest to make sure our clients can always access the very best in interior design that is really in-tune with current trends. We are determined to ensure our designs are timeless and not influenced by design fads, so it’s great to keep on top of everything that is going on in the industry.
At our Montpellier base, we are often spotted huddling around whilst assembling mood boards and designs for projects we are delivering. Incidentally, if ever you are passing, don’t worry about disturbing us – we always welcome visitors.
When we are not together in our Cheltenham studio / showroom, we’re constantly connected with each other. This may be by way of fleeting WhatsApp messages about kitchen design ideas, emails regarding particular details of home remodelling projects or even through social media, posting pictures of a little bit of ‘window shopping’ as we all go about enjoying life.
It’s that time of year! Do you remember getting ready to go back to school after the summer holidays? New pencil case?, tick. New shoes?, tick. New timetable?, tick. Well, we’re much the same and we want to harness this enthusiasm and share some of what we love with you. With this in mind we will be boosting our social media presence together on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. As well as this, you’ll also be seeing a lot more activity on our blog. We will be covering interiors, kitchens, furniture, food, entertaining and even music. (although not sure we’ll be shouting too loudly about Dustin’s favourite tunes!!)
We hope you enjoy the new feel to the blog and welcome ideas for future features.