Osbournes of Ilkeston - Advertisement Feature

PUBLISHED: 15:33 29 April 2010 | UPDATED: 16:58 20 February 2013

Osbournes of Ilkeston - Advertisement Feature

Osbournes of Ilkeston - Advertisement Feature

After 25 years in the business Paul Osborne has decided to open some splendid new showrooms at his Ilkeston premises. An impressed Alex Carlisle meets the man and takes a tour...

After 25 years in the business Paul Osborne has decided to open some splendid new showrooms at his Ilkeston premises. An impressed Alex Carlisle meets the man and takes a tour...

Some people say that the kitchen is the most important room in the house. Its certainly the most frequently used in most homes, and often for all kinds of things other than its primary functions of cooking and eating. That
innate human compulsion to talk and socialise often makes a kitchen the
favourite place to be.

Over the past 25 years every component of Osbornes oustanding reputation has, quite literally, been built by hand at their workshops on Kensington Business Park, Ilkeston.

From here they have crafted some of the most beautiful custom-built kitchens ever produced. However, now that the company is applying its mastery to bathrooms and bedrooms, the kitchen may not remain for long
the most favoured room in the house.

Standing in one of their beautiful new showrooms, I looked round at four complete dream kitchens. At this point I should confess an interest and
admit that I am also a trained chef, and as such was completely bowled
over. From modern and contemporary to traditional and classic each exuded an atmosphere that can only come from wood. Paul Osborne, the man who started it all, said,

We can use any material and create any colour and, unlike many manufacturers who claim to make all their own stuff, we definitely dont buy anything in.

Sometimes a combination of different woods is used. For example, the beautiful Butlers Pantry is made from a traditional pippy oak frame with burr-poplar centre panels, combining traditional with modern, and can be fitted with electrically operated biscuit and pasta drawers, as well as a slide-out spice rack.

The Georgian kitchen offers detailing to the high standard that only a true craftsman can achieve. Reeded pilasters and dentil coving are even carved from the same Canadian maple tree as the panels and doors in order to give consistency of colour, Paul adds.

Aesthetics and quality are accompanied by some very clever use of the imagination, which also really empathises with the customers needs. Put simply, it is design that makes life easier. A slide-out built-in dishwasher is set at a height so that knees and backs do not have to be bent in order to empty or fill it its comforting just to think about. Nor will you have to bend over and risk burning your hands inside the oven or root around in the fridge or freezer as they, too, are available in pull-out guise. Another example of innovative design is a circular waterstation sink that rotates 360 so you dont have to constantly walk to and fro, hopping from one leg to another like some celebrity chef. There are gadgets too, such as built in extractor fans operated by remote control and electrically operated rise-and-fall plasma screens which reveal themselves at a touch of a button.

Paul reels off a long list of high end brands which range from the traditional Aga, Miele renowned for its style and Jacob Defalon to the super-modern wine coolers of Subzero.

To blend in, the sleek solid work surfaces can be made from granite, marble, silestone, caesarstone, slate or Corian, to name just a few of the
stylish alternatives.

However, its obvious that Pauls real love is wood and he confesses that hes been a fan ever since a school woodwork class at the age of eleven. He left school at 16 to take up a five-year apprenticeship with H.W. Moult, learning to make everything from cabinets to staircases and window frames. After a spell in London working for Wilkinsons Theatre Restoration, Paul returned
home and worked as a kitchen fitter.

It was then that I realised that I could do better, so I started working at home in my garage. The first kitchen I built was for the Nottingham County footballer Bill Brindley. More recently, his customers have included the great Sir Alex Ferguson. Paul said, He had seen one of our kitchens at a party
and was so taken with it that he asked the host where he got it from.

The work carried out by the 25 or so highly skilled people employed at Osborne can be found up and down the country and abroad, in the homes
of the rich and famous as well as those of the not quite so rich or famous.

Each has its own unique design, and all have been created to the highest quality.

Everybody is responsible for quality control, from the designers to Richard Manners the factory manager, who has been with me for over 20 years, to the fitters and myself. I am still very hands-on, said Paul.

Entering the workshop on a Saturday afternoon became an instantly pleasurable experience for me as that gorgeous scent of wood filled the air. Inside there seemed to be every piece of equipment you could imagine, ranging from modern CNC machines to a cast-iron underand- over planer built in the 1940s.

All providing the answer to the question of how entire trees complete with bark can be magically transformed into hand-crafted objects of beauty.
Before entering the liveried van for delivery all the components will have
been finished painstakingly polished, assembed and checked to make sure everything is of the highest standard.

Over the years Osborne has had many requests to utilise its skills on
the band saw to create bathrooms and bedrooms to die for as well. So in a recent departure Paul has created thousands of square feet of showroom to display all the companys talents. There are, quite simply, the most beautiful and exciting innovations, all of which conform to the best standards of
quality and high-end luxury. Fourposter beds can be made to order, with mattresses by Hypnos who are famous for producing the most comfortable beds in the world said to be the choice of Her Majesty The Queen. If you are already familiar with the companys work you wont be surprised to find that a remote control plasma screen magically rises from inside the end of the bed at the touch of a button. There are walk-in wardrobes comprising hand-crafted 28mm thick panels built from oak, walnut, cherry, maple, ash or even from glass. Details include special slow-close drawers containing hat
boxes with interior lights.

In the bathroom display area a choice of showers includes a digitally
controlled marble shower-room with multiple shower jets. A bath can be anything from a river bath offering hydrotherapy treatments to a simple
overflowing bath, offering the complete soaking experience.

The only limiting factor seems to be your own imagination. Be sure though, whatever you decide on it will certainly be amongst the best in the world.

The Grand Opening of Osbornes new showrooms on Kensington Business Park, Ilkeston DE7 5NY will take place on Saturday 17th April, 10am-4pm.

There will be aga cookery demonstrations throughout the day by Ali Stevenson of the Spinney School of Fine Food.

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