Saturday, 19 May 2018

Tackling the plastic disaster

Ey up my faithful blogworms, been away for a bit again, have you missed me ?

We've been beavering away recently on the "free water refill scheme" again and have now met a wonderful lady by the name of Anne Cuthbertson who has taken the bull by the horns and has set up a new facebook group to co-ordinate the scheme.

Annes new group is called "Wharfedale Tackles Plastic". She and her team have managed to get Yorkshire Water on board, which is a great achievement and will help drive this forwards. Pop over and have a look at:

 https://www.facebook.com/WharfedaleTP. like the page and lend your support to this superb cause. 

Already the water refill idea is catching on throughout Ilkley with many businesses signing up to enable you to refill your water bottle for free while walking round town. 

Our hope is that this will dramatically redude the plastic waste we see lying around our beautiful countryside and get this plastic into recycling where it belongs instead of littering the countryside and ending up choking our rivers and seas and killing wildlife.

Look for the "FREE WATER REFILL" logo on shop doors and windows and drop in to refill your bottle.


We had to overcome the design of our showroom building to bring the water supply all the way from the cellar at the back to a display that we have near our front door. Running the pipework around the back of our existing displays and blind drilling through various walls was a challenge to say the least but it proves it can be done.

All you need to do is download to app to your phone and you will be able to see where you can get refills. This scheme is nationwide and growing in strength, so wherever you are, you should be able to see where this facilty is available in your local area. Now, if you can't find outlets in your own town then it's about time someone, like Anne and the team, grasped this and launched your own scheme and became part of this revolution.


With plastic waste, not just being a local but a global problem, together we can start to make a difference and joining with different groups and approaches, we are becoming able to put pressure on manufacturers and supermarkets to cut down a lot of this waste at source by simply saying a big fat NO ! to the ridiculous amount of stupid plastic packaging we see being used every day. 






Saturday, 28 April 2018

Milestone: Eco, driven by quality AND price

Ey up my faithful blogworms, just got back from another successful Eco kitchen adventure in deepest, darkest Cambridge.

An Eco Elite kitchen this time in a painted English Ash where you can still see the grain pattern in the paint finish. The cabinets are again our bedrock cabinets from the Eco2 range in 75% recycled timber content 25% FSC.
Painted in Farrow & Ball colour: Pointing 2003. This sits well on the cabinet colour of U104 Alabaster.

We were contracted to supply and fit the furniture content of this kitchen and install it, the client supplying their own appliances and our old friends GlassEco were supplying and fitting the worktops. For Glasseco in the UK,  check them out at: http://urbnrok.co.uk

Now, bearing in mind the quality of our eco ranges and the fact that this kitchen is from our premium range, Eco Elite, the kitchen content came out at just £5623.00 inc.vat.

We feel this represents fantastic value for both genuine eco content and the quality of solid English hardwoods.

So, for those of you who look at the Eco Elite range on our website and think you can't afford it ....THINK AGAIN ! .... Eco kitchens done the Milestone way are very affordable, we can't stress this enough.

Any way, enough of my rambling, here's the pictures of the kitchen so far. We will, of course, keep you posted with further pictures once the wonderful GlassEco have completed the worktops. 

I'll let the pictures do the talking !!









This was as far are we went on this one, so I'm just as excited as you to see the finished pics once the worktops go on and everything is second fixed and connected. 

Probably likely to be about another week or two before we see the finished results but stay tuned for further developments, as they say !!

Milestone: Eco, driven by quality AND price

Jules












Saturday, 21 April 2018

When we say it's Eco, we prove it !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, as we're going to be away installing one of our lovely eco kitchens down in deepest, darkest Cambridgeshire next week so I thought I 'd give you all a sneaky peek at the full extent of our Eco stable of kitchens that are currently for your delectation and delight. 

Talks with my web guy are in full swing and hopefully within the next few weeks these will form the content of our new website.

Our range has over doubled in the last few years, hence the reason for a new approach to our web presence.The new site will be much more user friendly for I-pads, phones and desktop viewing and much more interactive for us to add stuff and you to comment on stuff and ask questions. 

The info you see below puts the kitchens pretty much in order of cost, lowest first, going up in price as you get lower down the page.

To prove to you that going Eco isn't as expensive as you think it is, here are a couple of comparator prices: 

As mentioned in my last blog, 

An Eco2 500mm full height base unit complete is just £134.40 

and going up the scale to the 

Eco Elite Hardwood in English Ash, the same unit is only £191.08. 

Both prices include vat.

We feel these prices represent fantastic value for your green pound and will compete well against comparable products in the market at this time. Certification to prove the provenance of your kitchen accompanies every Eco kitchen we supply !!

When we say it's Eco and sustainable, we mean it !!

Looking after your planet. Jules.




Saturday, 14 April 2018

Never been a better time to talk Eco !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, not posted for a bit, been away again and on holiday but back now and off we go !

Promised a catch up on this kitchen, it's now looking resplendant in its Eco Cosentino quartz tops in White Diamond. 

This kitchen is in the Fjord Green which is the sister colour to our Denim Blue on display here at Milestone HQ.

While I'm on the subject and to give you an idea, Eco done properly does not need to be expensive, it's a myth put about by "none believers" 

Using our Eco2 range, which these kitchens are from, a full height 500mm base unit complete is an extreme reasonable £134.40 inc.vat.  
( and that's an 18mm rigid built cabinet with top quality Blum soft close hinges )

Put that up against "other companies" and see how we compare !!!




The huge advantage that the Eco Cosentino material gives us is the ability to create full height splashbacks as shown here in the quartz material. Typically with other types of quartz, these would normally be in 20mm thick which makes then seriously heavy but using Cosentino enables us to make splashbacks and upstands in the much slimmer 11mm. A cleaner, slimmer profile and a lot less weight. 

The worktops are just as happy in 20mm or 30mm thick, we used 30mm here (being the more normal thickness ) and all the upstands and window cills are in 11mm. It just looks so much sleeker and less weighty creating a more modern look.

And, as those of you who know us, we don't say it's Eco unless we can prove it ( unlike other companies !! ) so this pic shows the provenance of the Eco Cosentino material.


Every now and then in this industry you get a "look" or a "style" that captures the zeitgeist of the time and this appears to be one just such occasion.

Since we put the Cosentino White Diamond on a display here at HQ, it really has captured peoples imagination.


The Denim Blue / Fjord Green colours combined with the White Diamond tops are rapidly establishing themselves as our best sellers. 

Whether it's the coastal style or the clean, bright lines, we don't know but we have conpleted 4 kitchens with this look and have 3 more booked in so far going forwards. 

Usually kitchens, as we people, tend to be a mix of varieties but trends do develop and long may this one continue as we love it !!

We have the Eco Cosentino in 4 colours, another one is the Riverbed, shown below, this time in a mix of 30mm tops and 20mm upstands / window cill. This range of material really is a winner from our viewpoint.




If you are looking to Eco for your next project, there has honestly never been a better time to explore the fabulous materials that we can offer. 

Come in and talk to us, see what all the fuss is about, 

Committed to doing our bit for the environment !!

Jules.






Saturday, 17 March 2018

Created in true Milestone fashion .... properly !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, rock 'n' rolling again with our latest kitchen, lots of clever unit design gives us the skill with which to design proper kitchens properly !!

After this blog you may want to look at my blog of 11 Jan 2014 ( Bespoke by definition ) that explains more about how we use cabinet design to it's best advantage. 

This weeks kitchen over doubles the amount of storage in the same space and provides nearly double the amount of worktop, the blog mentioned above explains how !

I'm going to do what I seem to do a lot these days and let the pictures tell the story. We have the kitchen 'worktop ready' now and are just waiting now for the quartz tops to be fabricated, so this is really a 'story so far' post.

This kitchen is in one of our new colours for this year "Fjord Green" with Eco Cosentino White Diamond quartz worktops.

That feeling of 'here we go again' comes to mind, badly fitted, badly plumbed and wired, all to be sorted out

Oh, did I mention the floor was miles out too ! This shows all the nasty pipes and wires replaced, the walls cleaned up and replastered

Units going in using clever trick design to make this layout function spot on. Note the chicane at the far end !
The left side on here has the sink, dishwasher and oven in place so is quite appliance rich and has to be full depth. Hence the reason for the chicane, we had to put the fridge somewhere !

The only space to put a tall built in fridge/freezer was opposite these units, so by using an angled base to lead into a reduced depth drawer pack, we created the space for the fridge to work perfectly.

One way to add walk space is to reduce cabinet depths but keep the units usable, how often do see reduced depth functional working drawers? We do it as standard.

By using the drawer packs shown above we can create a slimline run of cabinets, increasing storage and function and walk space

This was a tricky little blighter !! Designing a housing for a built in microwave where the space is a tapered triangle under stairs ! Again to save worktop area, it was ideal to place the microwave in here rather that have it sat on the worktop. Giving silly shaped, dead space a useful function.

There ya go ! Perfick !

Doors going on where the wall units are individually hung and on tension stays to hold each one up seperately. Looks like 'bi-fold doors' but none of the obvious drawbacks. Note the fridge housing at the end. This bit is worktop ready now, a full run of quartz worktop going on, 3.2 metres of it, loads of space.

Angled base ...Easy ! Reduced depth base unit...Easy ! Putting drawers in it.... tricky but not impossible.

Loads of space to open the fridge and turn round to put stuff down.

Viewed from the fridge end, this shows there will also be easy worktop space to put things on as they come out of the microwave.


We've considered the ability to open the dishwasher and oven doors, made sure there's enough room to bend down and still clear the worktop on the reduced side, made sure there's enough space to use the fridge properly and the storage space speaks for itself.


Forget this " I'm sorry madam, you can only have it if it's in the catalogue" crap, there's only one way to do kitchen design and that's properly !!

Whoops ! nearly forgot to mention ..... this kitchen is from our Eco2 stable and it's a 100% eco built and we can prove it. Happy days !

AND, just as importantly, created the Milestone way, this kitchen with all it's clever design costs a lot less than you think, we need to talk !

Jules.










Saturday, 10 March 2018

Driving Eco forwards, once more !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, it's been a month since my last post, hope you haven't missed me too much but it's been an eventful month !

Firstly, I was rushed into hospital with Diverticulitis but the wonderful staff on the NHS looked after me superbly and I survived, all credit to them.
Secondly, we've been working down in Dover on a superb new Eco project which I'll tell you all about in a minute. 
We've gone totally handleless with a new system to us and it can be created using all our current stable of Eco2 materials, happy days !

Bit of a learning curve on this one but we sorted it and results and comments have been more than complimentary, feeling pleased.

We are making this type of kitchen an addition to our stable and hoping to use gloss colours aswell to cover thecurrent trends.

Anyway, here's what it looks like:

First of all, here in the sleepy little village of St. Margarets at Cliffe, is where it all takes place

The entrance to the Bay Trust Project which is an environmental education and study organisation and well worth a visit if you're ever in the area.

Intial set up and cabinet placings.

Because we were transporting the whole things to site in our own van, the tallhousings were flatpacked are needed gluing and clamping together on site.

The vertical rails going in on the housings to provide the hand space to open the doors

The wall units have a rebated aluminium trim to go in at the bottom, again to provide handspace.

The base units have a rail section fitted just under the worktop for the same reason

Appliances going in

This view shows the base unit rail providing the handspace just above the doors

This view and the one below shows how the rails provide for opening the doors


The finished look giving a very clean, smart, contemporary appearance.

Simplicity with style and functionality is definitely the key here.


The whole thing was interesting for us the create, being the first full project we've done in this style and something that we would love to do again.
We don't currently have this on display but are going to have some display cabinets made to show you exactly how it works here at our HQ.
One final thing to mention, is that we are now looking into building a fresh website for Milestone as this kitchen version will bring our Eco stable up to 9 different styles of kitchen. More Eco kitchens from one company than are currently being offered by any other company in the UK, a fact we're very proud of !!
Driving Eco design forwards once more !
Looking after the planet..... Jules















Saturday, 10 February 2018

Mindblowing combinations

'Morning my faithful blogworms, this week I though it was time to update you all with what we are currently up to in the world of Eco kitchens.

I'm looking to get our website updated soon but have a review of our current kitchens available and this will be the website content when I get it sorted. Here's a sneak preview of all the good stuff going up on there.

This now gives us a total of 8, yes 8 !, Eco and Sustainably produced kitchens !

We are pretty damned sure this is the largest range of Eco kitchens available from a single company anywhere in the UK today. 

If you are seriously considering going green with your next kitchen project then we really need to talk ! These documents can be emailed directly to you to study a bit more closely at your leisure and, just as before everything within our range is interchangeable with everything else. Providing a mindblowing range of combinations at your fingertips and can be supplied and / or fitted anywhere in our wonderful nation. 

Get emailing, address on our website or contact me through our facebook page MilestoneEcoKitchens. 

See you soon !

Jules





Saturday, 27 January 2018

Hardwood floors ? But which one ?

Happy New Year to all my faithful blogworms, I'm afraid I've not been blogging much lately as I've been under the influence of this nasty bug that's going around since before Xmas, it's put me in bed for the best part of 3 weeks !!

However, back up and running now and busy, busy, busy !

We've been having a resurgence in interest lately on hardwood floors as part of kitchen projects so I just thought that a few pointers based on our experience may be useful if you're thinking about this type of flooring.

 Essentially there are 2 types of hardwood floors: Solid or Engineered.

Solid is self explanitory in various thicknesses and timbers, Engineered is a thickness of the hardwood of your choice bonded to a ply sub base.
When you look at your choices you need to think about where in your home it's going. 


 Solid is the most popular choice but there are areas in your home classed as "hostile environments" for solid wood due to conditions in the room. 
For example: Solid is happy in a kitchen, bedroom, lounge or dining room where a bathroom, conservatory or any other area subject to large differences in heat or humidity are better suited to an engineered.

These distinctions are based on expansion and contraction of the timber. Solid will move a little seasonally due to minor changes in temperature and humidity where engineered, because it's bonded to a ply backing moves hardly at all. A conservatory, for example, can be subject to being really cold in the winter and very hot in the summer, this adversely affects solid timber as the movement can be really quite dramatic. This is classed as a hostile environment.

You can see now how your choice of flooring has to be made carefully to ensure long term success of your floors.

Another, we feel, very important factor, is whether or not to buy what is classed as "prefinished". This is typically sprayed with several coats of a very hard lacquer and is shiny in appearance when you buy it. This is typically a product we avoid like the plague!!

If you are laying your floor and only intend staying in your current home a few more years before moving then prefinished may well be ok when you come to sell but if you are staying longer term then re-finishing of your floors may need to be considered !

Re-finishing a pre lacquered floor is an absolute nightmare as you have to literally grind the coating off before before you can get to the actual wood to sand it up. However, if you buy an unfinished natural floor and finish it, once laid, with a waterborne lacquer such as the Bonakemi product shown here, then re-finishing is so much easier long term and can easily be re-finished "ad infinitum"


We've had extremely good results with these lacquers, my own floors at home are solid timber throughout our ground floor and have been down for 20 + tears now and so far I've re-finished them easily and quickly twice now using Bonakemi Mega.

We hear, there seem to be a lot of over zealous salesmen out there who want you to have the product they make most money on without considering what's best for your room, so I felt it was worth of few top tips of how to buy your hardwood well !

For those of you who know us and know about our continuing quest for environmentall sound products, we, of course, strongly recommend buying a sustainably sourced timber floor. There are a lot of timbers coming now from countries not known for good hardwood growing conditions and with unknown timber management policies so staying with FCS or PEFC countries actually makes a lot of sense anyway as the pedigree of the timbers is much, much better.

I hope this will at least make those of you considering timber as a flooring material a lot better informed and able to ask the right questions of whoever you choose to buy your flooring from.

Looking after your homes.

Jules.













Saturday, 9 December 2017

Changing opinions, one at a time !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, as promised for this week, the second part of our Nordic themed Eco2 kitchen. And I also want to touch on a subject again that is close to our Eco ethos, the subject of plastic bottle waste, which has been gathering global condemnation in the media this week. 

But firstly, the finishing pics of our recent Nordic kitchen:






I think the flash on my camera went a bit ott but the kitchen is now finished and ready for the decorator to complete and the flooring guys to move in. It's made the kitchen a very pleasant place to be, light and airy and proving that blue does not have to be the cold colour that a lot of people perceive it to be. I can see a lot of mileage in this concept for the coming year. 
We feel it will be a hit, also, with coastal properties, reflecting the hues that normally work really well with that setting.
As a lot of you already now, we can and do work all over the UK no problem at all, so that opens up the field for kitchens like this in coastal domestic properties, leisure parks, Eco lodges, holiday lets, anywhere in fact where this setting coupled with Eco principles is the very thing you're after. 



The coastal connection leads me nicely into the second topic I would like to touch on and that is plastic bottle waste which is polluting and streams, river and oceans and killing our wildlife. You can't miss this subject at the moment as it's been all over the news and media.

There is an organisation called "City to Sea" that operate a scheme where we can all do our bit to help cut down on this waste by reusing the plastic bottles of water that we all seem to carry these days. Google it for more info !





Basically there are networks of local shops nationwide who are taking part in this scheme by offering FREE water refills in their shop premises. Rather than dump your bottles and buying more, which just add to the problem, call in to any shop premises displaying the Refill logo ( top of these 3 pics ) and they will be more than happy to refill your bottle for you, totally free of charge, with no obligation to do anything else while you're there. Unless, of course, you want to !

There is an app you can download ( see second pic ) to tell you where all the locations are. 

I am proud to say that we are on the app ! and let's see if we can cut down on seeing the piles of bottle waste that are regularly collected on our beaches. ( last pic )

Respect our wonderful countryside, our wildlife and recycle as much as you can to cut down on the devastation that this waste can cause.

OK, off the soapbox now. But those of you that know us, will know that whatever we can do to help our environment, we will do. 

Our base here in Ilkley in the Yorkshire Dales also falls victim to this waste and we are trying to get our local paper involved with reporting about this scheme. Unfortunately, we are struggling to get it featured..... Shame on you Ilkley... you know who you are !!!

We will keep battling to get the recognition for the scheme locally and will let you know how we get on. 

Being green can sometimes be hard work but if we can change peoples opinions one at a time, then it's working !

Jules