Design & Bespoke Furniture Manufacture in Mental Health
Bespoke Fitted Furniture | Features: Recessed Shelving, No visible Fixings, Combination MF MDF, Plywood & Kydex | Did you know? All furniture (Above) is Designed & Manufactured in Shropshire, UK.
It goes without saying that a “One size fits all” approach to manufacturing furniture for challenging environments is a thing of the past. Within the challenging behaviours furniture market, consumers should be looking for products which best meet the needs of the setting those products will be used in.
As designers and manufacturers of mental health furniture, we apply the same rigorous core design principles across all our furniture so customers can rest assured that any product they buy from us will be robust and able to withstand the rigours of challenging behaviour.
That said, we recognise that there are certain mental health settings where changes to some of the furniture details are needed. For anyone operating in an environment where reducing the risk of ligature has to be a consideration, we offer a range known as “Tough Plus”. These products contain the same core design features as our other furniture but with certain modifications – for example wardrobes in this range come with inset handles and inset strip hinges. A customer can easily select a wardrobe or bed from this range and know that it’s going to be the best product for an environment with potential ligature risk.
As well as our standard furniture, we also offer a bespoke design service. This can range from a fairly simple “tweak” to one of our standard items all the way through to fitting out an entire unit with bespoke fitted furniture in every room. If there’s a product that a customer likes the look of but has concerns about how it will perform in their particular challenging environment, we can arrange for them to take one to test and, should they find an area they’re not entirely happy with, we will then work with them to design and supply a “souped up” version.
Our protective TV cabinets are incredibly robust as you can see in the video (Click here to watch) and are literally indestructible in most of the challenging behaviour environments we come across. However, in order to guarantee that same level of indestructability in one of the most challenging of environments – one of three High Security Psychiatric Hospitals in the UK – further strengthening modifications were made to the basic design and the resulting bespoke version is now used across the Hospital as a whole.
Visitors to our stand at the recent Design in Mental Health Exhibition in Coventry would have seen another example of what we can do to adapt a basic concept to suit the environment it’s going to be used in. In this instance we took some already robust bedroom furniture and looked at how we could make it even stronger whilst keeping the cost down and the aesthetics up!
Whilst it is widely acknowledged that plywood is the material of choice when it comes to robustness, this robustness comes at a cost, particularly at the moment with the price of raw materials sky high. We took our fitted wardrobe and desk, made primarily from coated 18mm and 25mm MDF, and looked at what we could do to make them even tougher without significantly increasing the cost. We came up with the idea of plywood inserts for just the lower-level shelves (those roughly below waist height) as we knew these were the areas more likely to take the brunt of any force aimed at the unit. The final result takes nothing away from the attractiveness of the unit and is a great example of designing one piece of furniture which can be rolled out across a site or number of sites with the more expensive modifications added only where required.
Interestingly on our stand last week, we had a number of conversations with visitors about the width of the MDF used for the upper part of the wardrobe and why we had chosen to use the thicker 25mm boards in only one place. We were able to explain the reasoning behind this but that’s the whole point of a bespoke service like the one we offer! We can work with customers to design a piece of furniture to suit their individual requirements, right down to the thickness of materials used.
Furniture should ideally always be selected to match the needs of the environment it’s going to be placed in. If the needs of the individuals in a mental health environment can be met by standardised products, then standardised ranges such as the Original, Plus and Roxy from Tough Furniture are tried and tested solutions. If on the other hand, a project calls for something fresh and different, then we are also very happy to take on the challenge of generating truly bespoke solutions. Either way, Tough Furniture have you covered !