083 454 1620






All news Interior & Decor News Design News Landscape News Property News Build News
Monday, 08 August 2016 16:49

Block & Chisel's big expansion

Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)
| | Block & Chisel|

Next year Block & Chisel will enjoy its 30th birthday, and while many great local interior names have folded over time, this family-grown business continues to grow from strength to strength. 

From what was previously a collection of small boutique stores, Block & Chisel now has a Cape Town flagship store of 1000 sq.metres, a Johannesburg store of 2000 sq.metres in Illovo, and their long-standing original Wynberg Village store. They have expanded to fill a vast new warehouse in Philippi, and have just opened a new 1500 sq.metre energy efficient factory next door. The plant handles the manufacture of its own designs - known as the Sibley collection, after the co-founder and Head of Design Sibley McAdam - producing English and French Country furniture, and now modern country furniture, from beginning to end, including the extensive paint finishing process which is handled in-house. The staff compliment of the manufacturing alone is 36 people.  

Chris Stevenson, Head of Manufacturing, explains, "Ultimately we have always wanted to increase the production of our own unique range of high quality local furniture, and the timing is right for that. There is both the demand which has not waned for us in this top end, and also our local furniture is well priced despite ongoing currency fluctuations. But we are also a family business that understand the importance of investing in both this country and its people, and by doing so, we can offer both employment and skills development opportunities. Our staff are important to us, most having been with us a long time, and some for as many as 20 years. We have invested in and helped develop their skills from mere apprentice to becoming real craftsmen. Staff have been empowered – a cabinet maker has moved on to become a CAD draughtsman,  an assembler is taking on the integration of our new SAP computer system on the factory floor, and one of our sanding ladies has moved on to becoming a competent paint finisher."

"What's of most importance is that our staff understand, and are just as passionate about, the designs and quality of our products as we are, and this two-way relationship  adds to the strength of our brand."

Chris adds, "The team were a big consideration in the factory build and we wanted to create a comfortable work space for them that now includes a new canteen, spacious changing rooms and shower facilities. We’ve noticed a marked  shift in the mood and enthusiasm of our team, and one of the team's wives now runs a shop on the premises that supplies delicious warm meals. 

Energy efficiency and green consciousness is also important and, to this end, we insulated and lowered the factory roof height to control temperature and allowed for as much natural light as possible by  having a third of the roof area covered with sky lights. We  put in sound insulation and built an internal wall to contain the volume of noisy machinery. Low voltage lighting has been used throughout and solar geysers supply hot water. The furniture drying room is heated by re-ducting the warm exhaust air generated by our compressor. Our wooden shavings are sent to horse stables and once used is returned to the factory to be used as compost for a staff vegetable garden.”

He concludes, "Of all the things we're so pleased about, it's the structure we have created for the team to build our product. There's a flow and efficiency from start to finish, and we love the mobility of all of our work stations and storage units - a fluidity and intelligence to how it plays out now. The environment is spacious and clean which has made a direct impact on our culture and morale. The end result in our first few months is an increased output of 20% and our target in the next few months is up to 35%. And most importantly the state of the art machines we have purchased have only further enhanced the fine finish of this ever-evolving collection of furniture."

Additional Info

  • Source: Block & Chisel
  • Website:
Read 1057 times Last modified on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:12

A smart digital space to market your building service or solution

List first to get ranked first!

DesignMind is a free on-line market space that showcases building or interior design services, building and installation services and building products and solutions in one easy to search on-line space. The site makes it quick and easy for anyone to source a range of products and services that meet any need or application – and simple to geo-locate and connect with the closest suppliers in seconds.

Suppliers get a suite of modern media tools to list solutions and to post content and news - and the functions to self-manage profiles and product and service pages hosted on the site. Requests for quotes, service or information get routed to suppliers Inboxes instantly.

Smart on-line marketing in a box
The most effective and efficient way for suppliers and customers to connect

Get seen. Showcase your products, services, search tags, images and information in our easy-to-use solutions directory and get found in keyword searches instantly. Update your information anytime.

Get pinned. Show up on our map in searches for the closest supplier or service provider. Every product or service listed gets geo-tagged automatically. Your pin links to your solution and contact info.

Get leads. A service request button on every solution page you create makes it easy for anyone to ask for a quote, service or more information. Leads get routed to your Inbox instantly.

Get liked. Our visitors recommend, share and rank solutions they like, giving others the function to source the most liked or best ranked options - and the peace of mind that good references offer.

Get noticed. Use our smart publishing engine to push your news and information to the audiences you’re targeting. Get featured in our weekly newsletter, Facebook, Twitter and iPad App spaces.

Get Ad space. Advertise anything on promotion or special for free. Your special offer gets found in keyword or category searches - or located in searches for specials in a specific area.

Get networking. Use our free trade networking service to make industry contacts and share information. Our smart social media tools make it easy to interact with contacts.

Related items

  • Make a chunky platform bed

    Pine scaffolding planks are perfect for making this chunky platform bed. You can buy these at most timber merchants and they are reasonably priced if you are prepared to put in the effort of sanding them smooth, or lookout for reclaimed scaffolding planks online.

    There are no measurements provided, but the size of frame and base is determined by the size of your mattress. In this way, you can use the method shown here to make a chunky platform bed to any size. 

    The process for making the outer frame is simple: half-overlap joints are used to join the top and bottom planks to the sides. These are secured using glue and nuts and bolts. If you prefer a more decorative finish, shop for round-head nuts, or caps that can cover up the nut heads. 

    GOOD TO KNOW: If you want to make the frame wider, use biscuit joints or a Kreg pockethole jig to join two planks together.

    Leave the timber in its natural state, or stain with Woodoc Gel Stain or a tinted Woodoc Interior Sealer.

  • Weylandts Black and White Outdoor Furniture

    The Weylandts edgy black and white outdoor furniture collection is available in all stores. This is the first time that SA’s leading furniture retailer has released such a bold themed collection with patterns on-trend and paralleled to the Fall/Winter 2015 collections of fashion icons Balenciaga and Valentino.


    “The juxtaposition of black and white is a timeless trend in fashion and décor, but this year’s patterns are bigger and bolder than ever, unlike the monochromatic minimalism seen in the past,” comments Chris Weylandt, MD of Weylandts.


    As in fashion, the outdoor collection’s mix of striking prints fits in with this season’s “more is more” rather than “less is more” trend. Tribal prints have been combined with large gingham checks for a striking colour block styled contrast.

    Handwoven in Indonesia out of materials such as polyratten over aluminium frames, these pieces of furniture are ideal for creating an aesthetically distinctive outdoor haven for relaxation.


    Look out for the Rock Lounger (R 14 995), Seventies Occasional Chair (R 3 495), Basket Chair (R 9 995), Tribal Occasional Chair (R 8 995) and the Star Gazer Chair (R 12 995).


    Click here to see more of their ranges and contact details.

  • Vintage Elements by Timothy Oulton

    Browse through the collection of vintage inspired designs by Timothy Oulton. Each design was developed according to a theme.  The collection of designs pay tribute to various luxurious items from sea items like travel memorabilia and upholstery pieces to classic old English sports. 

    Click here to see the full collection of designs. 

  • Indigi Designs by Cape Town designer Natalie Du Toit

    Don't you just love this shot from the September issue of SA Garden and Home magazine with a whole lot of Indigi products: Fracture arm chair with their Facet fabric in teal. Hexa side table with oak top. Zahara wooden floor lamp with the Kuba Kuba black fabric. And the Mpira range of wooden candlesticks.

  • Revamping furniture: A hot trend.



    As we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, recycle, revamp, re-use and re-purpose are becoming a popular trend around the world. Revamping second-hand or unwanted furniture is just one of the ways to create wonderful pieces of furniture for a home for little cost and just a bit of time and effort.



    Most pieces of furniture only require sanding to get them looking good.

    Make sure you stock up on sandpaper ranging from 60- to 240-grit. You can remove varnish or paint with 60/80-grit, sand out minor scratches with 120-grit, and smooth with 240-grit.

    Once you have sanded down any piece of furniture, you can then take stock of any additional repairs or touch-ups that need to be done.





     Where modifications to the design are going to be done, a visit to your local hardware store or timber merchant will offer quite a few alternatives for timber and board.

    When added components are to be painted you can use PG Bison SupaWood, which comes in thickness ranging from 3mm up to 16mm.

    For projects where components are to be stained to match the existing finish, choose pine plywood or laminated pine.






    Reclaimed timber is also an option for adding or replacing existing components on furniture.


    Salvage companies and online classifieds are the best source of reclaimed timber and you can normally pick up various wood species.








    If you are looking to create one-of-a-kind pieces, there are various suppliers of hardwood and exotic timbers that stock an extensive variety of wood species that add unique touches to a revamped piece.





    Whether you want to revamp furniture you already own or perhaps have your eye on – you are going to need a few essential tools:



    If you don’t want to spend hours and hours sanding down a piece of furniture, a quality sander is a good investment. Having said that, you are probably going to need two sanders if revamping furniture is going to be a regular hobby: an orbital sander and a random orbit sander. Visit for more information on the various types of sanders.



    Where you need to cut new timber or board for a project, more often than not you can have this cut to size at your local hardware store. But for those projects that require detailed cutting, or cutting of curves or corners, a jigsaw will come in very handy.



    A cordless drill/driver makes any revamp project easier. A drill/driver is a combination screwdriver and drill that can be fitted with assorted screw and drill bits.


    For more revamping tips and tricks, visit



Leave a comment