Introducing Your NWFBA Retailer of The Year

We are thrilled to announce that we have triumphed in the North West Family Business Awards 2020 and have won Retailer Of The Year!

We are very proud to have beaten some extremely strong competition (including the wonderful team at Bents Garden Centre) with a record number of 192 businesses entering the awards from across the North West region.

We cannot express how delighted we are to win such a fantastic award. We’re so incredibly proud of our family business and our amazing teams at our Washway Road showroom and Altrincham factory, who help make it all possible. Also thank you to everyone at the North West Family Business Awards for all their support and for putting on a fantastic evening at Runway Visitor Park.

We established Bluebell Fitted Furniture nearly 30 years ago. While our styles and products have changed, our passion for quality and good old fashioned customer service has never wained.

This we feel is one of the reasons we have won this prestigious award, along with our Washway Road showroom which truly wowed the judges and of course our wonderful team – who we like to call the wider ‘Bluebell Family’.

We don’t like to stand still at Bluebell, we have created a fantastic brand that we are truly proud of, our focus has always been providing top quality products along with top quality service. Local products, British manufacturing and our community are at the heart of our business and we strive to support these in everything we do. (Check out our Sunflower sponsorship with Raring2Go Atrincham for example). 

Most of all, we are growing our business for the future generations of our family and we are also protecting a strong and reliable brand with a hard-working and trustworthy team.

We now go on to the National ‘Family Business of the Year Awards’ in June so keep your fingers crossed as we attempt to bring home this prestigious Award too!

Love Your Home This February

February is the month of Love and one thing all our customers tell us is how much they love our fitted furniture. There are so many ways our products can help you transform your interiors. If you’re keen to update your style or need some inspiration to make a space both functional AND beautiful, here are just a few suggestions to help you fall in love with your home all over again.

The Kitchen Is King

Transforming a kitchen can feel a little daunting. In our experience, the key is to think about how you want to use the space – for example, will you be cooking, eating and working; watching TV or entertaining? Do you have an impressive wine collection you want to show off or do you need extra room for the kid’s games consoles?

More space is one of the most common requirements and you’d be surprised what our talented designers can achieve. Whether you’re after something sleek and modern or something more traditional, or really aren’t sure, we’re with you every step of the way and also have our own in-house fitters for extra peace of mind.

A Bedroom Retreat

A bedroom should be a haven of relaxation – a serene space to unwind and switch off. Furniture and lighting plays a huge part in creating the right ambience and we are experts in every aspect of bedroom design. From dressing rooms to vanity units; bespoke bunk beds; floor to ceiling wardrobes; headboards to TV tables – we’ve got it all covered.

We also work closely with a number of interior designers who can help plan all the soft furnishings to complement the look you’re going for.

Living Rooms to Lounge In

A living room often needs to be so much more than just a space to watch TV or read a book. As more and more of us entertain at home, the list of must-have accessories has increased. Luckily, we are experts in creating bespoke wall panelling, media areas, bars and fireplaces to transform your lounge into a stylish space to be proud of.

Wonderful Wardrobes

Wardrobe wars can cause havoc at home, there’s nothing worse than not enough space for all your clothes, never mind the bags and shoes! At Bluebell, we’re full of inventive ideas to solve all your storage problems as well as making the end result look beautiful!

Welcome to a New Decade!

We’re very excited at Bluebell to be entering our fourth decade designing, making and supplying fitted furniture for our wonderful customers, and as we look back on 2019, it really was a fantastic year for our family business. Here’s a little roundup of some of our highlights.

The Apartment gets the Thumbs Up

In November, we celebrated the launch of ‘The Apartment’. Over the last year, we have completely transformed the first floor of our Washway Road showroom into a luxury ‘Apartment’ to showcase the creativity and craftsmanship of our talented team and give our customers an idea of what can be achieved in their own home. It features a fully working kitchen, walk-in-wardobe, media area and bar!

The response has been truly overwhelming – customers and friends alike have loved it and we’ve even had a few requests to move in!

Manager Steve’s Graduation

The end of 2019 also saw our Sales Manager Steve ‘graduate’ from the Morgan James Consulting ‘Step Into Management’ programme. 

Steve’s design skills, attention to detail and professional manner has helped elevate Bluebell ahead of the competition when it comes to design and knowledge – he’s a real asset to our team and we’re delighted for him!

Teamwork Makes The Dream Work

We are also delighted to have worked with the amazing team at Cheshire Stairs who created this beautiful staircase for one of their customers in Bowdon. We supplied and fitted the wall paneling with ’halo effect’ lighting and the end result is absolutely stunning. We’re really looking forward to working on more projects with them in the coming months as more and more customers are looking for a bespoke wall feature to accompany their staircase and hallway.

Introducing ‘The Apartment’

At Bluebell Fitted Furniture, we’re always looking for new, innovative ways to surprise and delight our customers and over the last year, we’ve been working extremely hard on a very special project – ‘The Apartment’.

Quality and Finish

‘The Apartment’ is our latest development at our Washway Road showroom in Sale and covers most of our first floor.

Simply step through our ‘secret door’ and you arrive in the most glamorous ‘home-from-home’, complete with spacious walk-in-wardrobe, fully working luxury kitchen complemented by a fabulous feature island with Quartz worktops, floor to ceiling decorative wall paneling with ’halo effect’ lighting, a luxurious living area with built-in fireplace (supplied by our friends at Fireplace Superstore in Cheadle), a stylish bar and glamorous media room.

Style and Substance

Every bit of ‘The Apartment’ has been lovingly made in-house by our talented team at our Altrincham factory. Everything you see we can can create in your home – something we are incredibly proud of and something which many of you may not realise.

Elegance In Every Room

‘The Apartment’ is our chance to really show off what we can do at Bluebell. Some of you may already be customers and think we simply make fitted bedroom furniture for example but we wanted to let you know that we really are a full-service interiors, ‘one-stop-shop’ and the perfect partner to help you create your dream home.

Bluebell-Made Freestanding Furniture

As well as being renowned for our bespoke fitted furniture, our clever team have also been busy making some beautiful Freestanding furniture – made with the same care and attention as all our products and we’re really proud of the results.

Pick Your Style & Finish

As with all our products, our freestanding furniture is completely bespoke. Whether you’re looking for something to fit an awkward space or have a particular style or finish you want to achieve, our talented designers and craftsmen are on hand to create your perfect piece. 

From traditional shaker-style furniture to a more modern, contemporary look, the world really is your oyster when you choose Bluebell to help complete your home interiors.

The Bluebell Promise

All our products are locally sourced and we are extremely proud to support British manufacturing. We also understand that we are working with one of your prized possessions – your home. There is nothing more personal than that, and our dedicated team will work closely with you throughout the process to find an individual solution, perfect for you and those around you. We are also experts at making a piece of furniture dual-purpose – clever storage solutions being just one of the popular tricks we have up our sleeve!

Elegance In Every Room

Our furniture portfolio covers every room of your home. From bedrooms, kitchens, lounges, to media areas, home bars and cinema rooms. And whatever your budget, we’ve got it covered. We can even visit you in the comfort of your own home to discuss your furniture needs and help start the design journey.

Bluebell En Français!

It’s been a buy few weeks for the Bluebell Team, not just in our Sale HQ but some of our team members have been across (and ‘in’) the Channel to France! Here’s a round-up of what they’ve been up to..

Bluebell Girls Paris Reunion

Last month, our inspirational Founder and Director Alison Reuben jetted off to Paris for a very special occasion. More than 300 former Bluebell Dancers from all over the world came together at the Lido de Paris to celebrate the Bluebell Global Reunion. As you may or may not know, from the age of just 16, Alison was a Bluebell Dancer for a number of years so this was an emotional and enjoyable trip. We couldn’t be more proud of Alison, who went on to name our wonderful fitted furniture company after the iconic dance troupe.

James’ Channel Challenge

Alison is not the only member of our team who crossed the channel last month. Huge congratulations to our Designer James who, along with his friends from Rudyard Lake Youth Sailing Club, successfully completed their magnificent Cross Channel Challenge to raise money for the wonderful Maggies Centre Manchester.

The team sailed on Saturday, leaving Rye early in the morning and 7 hrs 1min and 45 seconds later, they arrived in Boulogne France. They couldn’t have wished for better weather and they even got a Supertanker to do a 360 degree about turn in the middle of a shipping lane to avoid them!

What an amazing achievement – we really are so proud of James and if you’d like to donate, simply click here. Many thanks to Carol Kane and the team at Boohoo who also came on board (excuse the pun!) to sponsor the team.

BUILT BY HAND, FITTED WITH CARE
For more details on our range of fitted furniture, contact us on 0161 976 6606 or you can fill out in an enquiry form on our websiteAlternatively, why not pop into our Washway Road showroom and meet the team for yourselves?

Your Summer Update From Bluebell Fitted Furniture

The last few months have been extremely busy at Bluebell so we thought it would be nice to share a few snippets of what we’ve been up to.

Wembley Way

As a family business, we were incredibly proud to make it to the finals of the National Family Business Awards 2019. The Awards ceremony was held at Wembley Stadium and was a glittering occasion and a chance to come together with like-minded companies to celebrate our achievements and successes. Sadly we weren’t winners on the night but rubbing shoulders with such inspirational people was a huge honour. Above, you can see our Director’s Alison and Mike making the most of the trip and visiting the hallowed Wembley turf.

Sale Scarecrow Safari

We’re excited to be taking part in the Sale and District Lions/Act4Africa Scarecrow Safari. Come and meet the newest member of the Bluebell Team at our Washway Road Showroom! 

The Scarecrow Safari runs until the 4th September. See how many Scarecrows you can find in M33 by the 4th September to be entered into a draw for the chance to win £400 worth of cash prizes. For more info of how to join in the fun, click here.

We’d also like to introduce you to our Factory Manager, the lovely John Horner. John has been with us since we started 26 years ago and is literally part of the furniture at Bluebell (excuse the pun!). Not only is John a wonderful chap, his knowledge and expertise is second to none in the industry and we are very proud to have him as part of the Bluebell family.

John was also the imspiration behind our Scarecrow Safari entry. Look closely into John’s eyes and we think you may see the Bluebell logo in them too!

Teambuilding Day 2019

We’re a competitive bunch at Bluebell so our annual team building day for our Designers is always a highlight! This years’ Pitch & Put event was held at Pinky Park with Stephen, Josh, Darren, James and John along with Directors Mike & Alison and of course our Bluebell mascot Dennis (kept on a lead due to chasing the balls!). The big winner of the day was our Graduate John Lewis. The Award Ceremony was overseen by Sales Manager Stephen (he considers himself semi-professional!!) who luckily took being pipped to the post in good humour! 

Creating a Scandi Kitchen in Wilmslow

After helping transform her own kitchen, we were delighted to again team up with Jan Mecrow of Inhouse Interior Design, to work on an exciting kitchen project in Wilmslow. From experience, Jan knew that Karen was in good hands. The beauty of choosing Bluebell is that even the pull-out drawers are designed to the client’s exact specifications. Add to this the extensive advice about products, lighting and space-saving tips, and of course the expert fitting by our in-house installers and you get a sense of why Jan picked Bluebell for Karen’s kitchen transformation and why she has no hesitation in recommending us to her clients.

Some of the challenges Jan and the Bluebell team faced included a restricted space by a corridor leading to the utility room, poor access to the garden and a lack of storage. All of these considerations needed some careful planning, re-imagining of the space and some clever suggestions from Jan and our design team with the help of some CAD drawings by the guys at our Washway Road showroom.
The original kitchen was also blocking the outlook onto the garden and the sink faced a solid wall. The dining table and sitting area was at the back of the room, where it was dark and there was no view of Karen’s lovely garden.

The building plan began with completely removing the corridor, which immediately opened up the room and the addition of Velux windows meant the natural light was now streaming through. A small extension at the garden-end of the room made a big difference, with double doors leading onto the terrace, giving a great connection to the outdoors.

With the help of initial sketches, plus Bluebell’s CAD designs and lots of creative inspiration from Jan and the Bluebell team, the proposal for the kitchen included moving it to the rear of the room, leaving the garden end for living space. The sink was moved to the back wall, and a large mirror was added to give the feeling of space as well as that all-important view of the garden.

Bluebell also created a large island in the kitchen area with cupboards in a contrasting darker colour to the others to make a real focal point for the room and adding much-needed extra worksurface. Combined with elegant lighting techniques in the island itself (including under counter mood lighting – a clever touch we often employ at Bluebell) to open up the space even further and of course the new Velux windows – the transformation was really incredible.

On many of Bluebell clients’ must-have lists is an all-in-one Quooker hot tap, for normal hot and cold water and boiling water for hot drinks. Not only is this practical, it also eliminates the need for a bulky kettle. Practical suggestions like these and other storage hacks are what our Bluebell team is renowned for – we love to create beautiful spaces but also functional ones built to be used as much as admired! Another top tip which we employed for Karen was to advise on a Bosch combination microwave oven so there’s no need for a separate microwave elsewhere. Great if storage space is at a premium.

Darren also recommended a tall integrated built-in fridge and dishwasher placed in the correct areas to complete the functionality of the kitchen. As Karen loves to cook, making sure all these little details were taken care of was imperative throughout the design process.

For the splashback, Karen chose a beautiful 30mm thick ‘Infiniti Drift’ Quartz. It was used for the work surface and, for added wow-factor, was also ‘wrapped’ around the sides of the island and all the way down to the floor. 100mm upstands in Quartz were also used at the back of the sink run while the cupboards were finished with satin brushed contemporary handles.

Improved task lighting and muted mood lighting created zoned areas and a wood look floor and an eclectic mix of furniture gave it a wonderfully natural feel. The use of wool upholstery – as well as some velvets and cottons meanwhile added real warmth to the scheme.

A cosy, wood burning stove completed the transformation – a simple column design in the corner of the room that added bags of warmth and character – a lovely place to sit and relax.

Both Jan and the Bluebell team see the kitchen as being the heart of the home and previously, Karen didn’t have enough work surface for baking – now she bakes practically every day as the kitchen is very much her happy place!

For us, hearing this makes us happy too and we can’t wait to embark on our next project with Jan and the team.

A cosy, wood burning stove completed the transformation – a simple column design in the corner of the room that added bags of warmth and character – a lovely place to sit and relax.

Both Jan and the Bluebell team see the kitchen as being the heart of the home and previously, Karen didn’t have enough work surface for baking – now she bakes practically every day as the kitchen is very much her happy place!

For us, hearing this makes us happy too and we can’t wait to embark on our next project with Jan and the team.

Wish List

Worktop: Infiniti Drift Quartz


Wall Unit Colour: Cashmere


Appliances: Bosch


Flooring: Karndean Van Gogh ‘Country Oak’


Paint: Farrow and Ball Cornforth White and Ammonite


Lamps: Heathfield Lighting


Dining Chairs: Bontempi Casa ‘Nata’ in grey leather


Sofa: Bespoke design by Inhouse Interior Design


Accessories/Art: Client’s Own
 


Other Suppliers/Tradespeople: Eric Jackson Design and Build


Flooring Supply and Fit: Terry Cragg – Cheshire Carpets

Photography by Andrew Smith SG Photography.

Transforming a kitchen – the Bluebell way

We can all agree on the importance of the kitchen, the hub in most homes, so we were delighted to join forces with Jan Mecrow, owner of Inhouse Interior Design in transforming the kitchen in her beautiful home in Wilmslow. Together with one of Bluebell’s talented kitchen designers, Darren Pincus, Jan and Darren worked together to create a stylish and bespoke space with materials, accessories and cabinetry custom-made by Bluebell in our Altrincham factory and fitted by our team of expert installers.

Darren could see great potential in this room and was keen to help Jan bring to life her vision for a contemporary and practical kitchen, giving a real ‘wow factor’ to visiting friends, guests and clients. Jan chose Bluebell for the project after collaborating with us on a number of design projects for clients. Together with our knowledge, experience and eye for detail, not to mention quality and Darren’s creative flair – Jan knew she was in good hands.
 
The Bluebell design team loves a challenge… and not only did Jan have an awkwardly shaped kitchen with little wall space for cupboards or radiators, it was also a dark, chilly room, only getting some sunshine in the evenings. 

With plenty of floor space and, of course, heaps of creativity from Jan and plenty of advice and suggestions from Bluebell – there were lots of positives and we were eager to make a start on the exciting project.
 
Following a home consultation with Jan, Darren initially started with sketches and CAD drawings to explore a number of options and ‘solutions’ to Jan’s challenges. Luckily, the only building work needed was to remove existing floor tiles to make room for the new, large grey ceramic tiles and adding in some all-important underfloor heating so the job got underway quickly.

Jan wanted feature lighting above the island, choosing to use one of her local UK suppliers to create an elegant showpiece as you enter the room. Furniture lighting was also key in setting the mood for the success of the kitchen and was carefully thought through at initial concept stage by Jan and the Bluebell team.

To colour complement the space, Jan opted for dark greys, taupes and warm, metallic finishes. Another reason Jan loves Bluebell is because our doors come in over 100 finishes and colours – no restrictions or compromises needed when you choose Bluebell! Jan visited Bluebell’s Washway Road showroom to choose her doors from the fantastic selection we have on display.

Using neutral, but rich-toned fabrics in the curtains and blinds added texture and warmth and this, together with new mood lighting helped to create distinct zoned areas. The finishing touches were all taken into consideration by the Bluebell team and all worked in harmony with the overall design of the space.
 
The worktop chosen was 60mm Infiniti Burlington Quartz with return legs down to the floor, and matching splashback behind the hob up to extractor. Renowned for its heat resistance and durability. The Bluebell team thoroughly recommend using Quartz in this way as a great alternative to granite. 

Both stylish and functional, kitchen islands can instantly create a larger kitchen area, as well as adding some stylish seating.

In Jan’s case, a bespoke round wooden table top, (made from a 350 year old yew tree), was added to the corner of the island.

As well as being visually stunning, the island improved the natural flow through to the garden room, dining room and the exterior as well as providing a great place to enjoy a light lunch or glass of wine.

The piece de resistance of the design however has to be the cleverly concealed double door ‘Gin and Coffee Station’. Hidden behind bespoke cupboard doors is a recessed shelf, drawers and fridge area which Jan has transformed into the perfect place to make an Americano or serve up a G&T depending on the occasion! The Bluebell team added an internal pullout worktop which can be extended when needed. These little extras and special touches are what make Bluebell stand out from your average kitchen company. These glorious details can be added to any design and can make such a difference for the customer. The cupboard was then finished with warm LED strips, a wine storage area and adjustable shelves so Jan can choose whether to put larger or smaller objects in the space – effectively future-proofing it!
 
Next to the coffee station is another clever detail suggested by Bluebell – a deep and spacious pullout Liebherr fridge – again making the most of the space available and perfect for reaching for the tonic or milk depending on your tipple!

On the far side, Darren designed a bespoke tall corner unit complete with round carousel – a fantastic addition and an intelligent way to maximise the practicality of what can often be a wasted space.

Adding an additional touch of glamour are the gorgeous textured brass handles and brushed brass electrical sockets – it’s these beautiful details which really set this design scheme apart and show Jan’s excellent eye for detail and knack of making everything look stunning.
 
The end result was better than even we could have imagined. Jan and the Bluebell team managed to combine a warm and inviting feel with a tasteful, stylish kitchen that has timeless appeal and has been a deeply rewarding project for all of us.

Wish List Worktop: Burlington Grey Quartz
Cupboard Handles: Buster and Punch
Wallpaper in Conservatory: Rebel Walls
Appliances: Bosch and Liebherr UK
Paint: Farrow and Ball
Chandelier: Rothschild and Bickers  
Photography by Andrew Smith SG Photography.

Introducing Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors

We are absolutely delighted to introduce you to our very own beautifully bespoke Shaker Doors. Made in house at our Altrincham factory by our talented craftsmen and women. This is one of our most exciting product launches and there are many reasons why we chose to design and manufacture our own shaker doors which are outlined in this newsletter.

Why Choose Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors?

Goodbye Vinyl – Hello Hard Wearing Quality. Not everyone will know that most high street shaker doors are actually vinyl wrapped MDF. Unfortunately this process is not very durable or hard wearing and after a while, once exposed to heat in your kitchen for example (such as steam from a kettle, toaster or hob) – they can very easily peel off. Our Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors are not made in this way and so peeling and degrading is not a problem – longevity of your beautiful new furniture is therefore guaranteed.

Bespoke And Made to Measure The beauty of our Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors is you’re no longer limited to shape, size or style (something you’ll find is still the case with many of our competitors). We make them completely bespoke. Have a tricky space or angle you need help with? – our doors are designed to fit the space perfectly. What’s more, the framework surrounding your doors can be changed to whatever specification and size you need – no having to compromise on style, shape or design with Bluebell!Matching Interiors With many high street companies, the inside of your doors will be standard white MDF – but with our Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors – all our interiors are the same colour and finish as the outside – making for not only a high end finish but also a sleeker, classier look.

Colour Collections Galore Most high-street retailers offer a limited amount of colours and finishes  – here at Bluebell, we match your doors to any colour and finish you wish, with well over 100 finishes. You can also choose from a smooth or grained finish to help achieve the look you desire.

Creative Customisation In the centre panel of a Bluebell-Made Shaker Door, you can also stick with the traditional shaker look with matching centre panel or we can add a mirror or glass in the centre. Alternatively, why not go for a beautiful feature product called Sibu?

Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed It’s not just our Bluebell-Made Shaker Doors which make us different from your average high street retailer. When you choose Bluebell, you’re choosing a Family Business with over 26 years’ experience and a team of dedicated professionals whose sole aim is to bring your furniture to life and create the space of your dreams. From our designers to our installation team – everyone works directly for Bluebell and takes a huge amount of pride in their work, ensuring an unparalleled level of service from start to finish. What’s more, if you have any issues or snagging which needs addressing, a quick call to us and you know it will be dealt with straight away giving you that additional peace of mind.