Product Type: Laura Ashley home furniture
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Goody Bags and Sideboards
Laura Ashley Bramley Sideboard
Member Name: sirg0508
Laura Ashley Bramley Sideboard
Advantages: Fantastic quality, holds so much stuff, looks better than the picture
Disadvantages: Key could possibly break, handles a little small
As the sideboard is made to order, I received a phone call to tell me when it was going to be delivered which was about 3 to 4 weeks later. It took 2 delivery men to get it into the house and they removed all the packaging so even though I hadn't paid anything there was no problem with its arrival. Thankfully there was no assembly required. They made sure I had the key and put the shelves into place which I could then change around later on.
The picture really doesn't do the sideboard justice. When I looked at it before its arrival I thought it looked quite rough even though they were aiming for that rustic, distressed look. My sideboard doesn't seem to be quite as distressed as the picture though. It's only when you see and touch it can you really see and feel how great quality it is. There are no sharp edges - all the corners are rounded, the cracked paint is so thick but so smooth so there's no risk of rubbing it and it peeling off and each piece of wood is very thick so it's a very sturdy piece of furniture. Rather than white, it's more a cream colour so it fits in well with more neutral décor although I have white skirting boards and don't really notice the difference. The top has been dark stained and the cracked/distressed look of paint on the body of the sideboard shows through quite dark. Most of the wood in my room is pine but it's not too out of place.
Measuring 103cm (H) x 106cm (W) x 44cm (D) it's quite tall and long but it's not any deeper than other items of furniture in the room. There are two drawers which are a bit shallow then the two main cupboard doors into the heart of the sideboard where you'll find 2 shelves which can be placed at the choice of 4 heights. I've got one shelf just resting on the base then the other shelf in the middle. This has allowed me to have 39 books of various sizes along the back of the top shelf, another layer of books in front of these plus DVDs and other books on top meeting the drawers above. The bottom shelf is jam packed too with larger textbooks and other books so it's very possible to have 200 books in this alone or even more DVDs. Even with the double layer of books on the top shelf, there are still a couple of inches worth of space at the front so there's no problem at all closing the doors.
The cupboard doors are a good inch thick, one locking into place with slider locks at the top and bottom (although I only ever lock the top one) then the other door is kept closed with the lock and key. The doors don't rub against the edges and even with the painted hinges there's no squeaking and no paint flaking off where they move. Everything is painted in the creamy colour on the inside too but it's only the outside which has the crackle/distressed look. I regularly take things out and reorganise my collection of books and I've never noticed any damage to the shelves. The drawers above on the other hand are not on runners so do rub against the edges when being pulled in and out but again there doesn't seem to be any damage to them over the time I've had it. The backs of the drawers themselves have rotatable wood to stop them being pulled right out and I've never noticed these turning themselves so never accidently pulled the drawers right out.
Even when empty the sideboard is incredibly heavy so I wouldn't recommend putting it in front of plugs or anywhere you're likely to need access to. There's an ornate skirt to the front of the sideboard and less so on the sides which doesn't make it easy to vacuum under and it's impossible to move with everything I have in it so really just have to make do with the hose from the vacuum to go round the legs and under it.
If I was to find something to complain about it would have to be the metal knobs and key. Each door/drawer has one knob and I feel they are a little on the small side but they do fit in with the overall country style and painted cream with the distressed look. The key too also has the antique look but it feels quite thin and I'm always scared I'm going to break it. I've not attempted to try break into the sideboard without a key but considering how thick the wood is, the lock would really be the only way into it so I'm also afraid of losing it. My 2 year old nephew has a habit of taking the key out so preparing for his visit one day I took it out and then found him placing a piece of dry cat food into the lock which had my heart racing as it was locked at the time. Luckily I managed to get it out so I could get the key in.
Would I think it's suitable for those with kids? Well yes as it's not going to topple over onto them and the only edge really to look out for is the top as it protrudes out over the top and I once managed to get an impressive bruise from it myself when I hit my hip on it (my fault of course). The top is still a metre from the ground though so it's not likely even my nephew would hit his head on it yet. Each surface is easy to wipe clean but I'm not sure how easy something colourful may stain it.
The price of this sideboard jumps up and down. I've looked at the Laura Ashley website many times since I got it and it's been every price from £350 to £500 (apparently it was £825 but I can't remember if this has changed at all) so it's definitely worth checking when the sales are on. It's definitely worth the £500 so a good bargain if you can get it lower. There are a lot of different pieces in the Bramley range and if I had the money and the space I would definitely consider buying some. The sideboard at least is so well made and so sturdy it's left me with a very high opinion of Laura Ashley furniture.
I really wasn't expecting to like the sideboard as I've never been a fan of the distressed look but this piece has me converted. 5 stars even if I do worry about losing or breaking the key.
Summary: Extremely well made and sturdy sideboard
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