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 !


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 !


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.


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 !


Saturday, 2 December 2017

It's gonna be a blue, blue Xmas ( but 'green' really )

Ey up my faithful blogworms, as I mentioned last week, our project in York was waiting for it's final worktops being machined and fitted. Well, here they are in all their glory. This is our first install on the new Eco Cosentino recycled content quartz worktops and I have to say, we've been very impressed, pics below, see what you think ??

We seem to be in this "half & half" cycle at the moment where we can show you the projects we're working on at the time but unfinished and then showing you the finished pics once the work is complete.

On that note, today's offerings also see the start of the first of our kitchens based on our new Nordic display I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, loving it so far !!

With being really busy, timings for jobs now seem to be in split weeks to keep the ball rolloing and getting everything done that we need to pre Xmas.

There I've done it ....... Finally mentioned Xmas, it is 2nd December though, so unlike all the other media that seems to be blathered in Xmas from about October onwards, we do at least wait until the right month. !!!

These are in the "Riverbed" colour and we think they work really well with the other colours in the room and are very stylish. I really look forward to fitting more of these. 

Tricky little rascal, this next one, the tiles need to remain, which always makes it difficult to install a new layout upto them. You're dependant on the tiling being level, which is not always the case, and it's tricky to find that mid point where the new kitchen is level and meets the tiles well enough for it all to work.

Probably the most complex plumbing in a single base unit, not helped by the gas meter

This clearly shows the tile line we need to work to

So far, so good !

Starting to come together, just marking off for handles here

You can see that we still need to adjust some tiling but it fits well 

Calm, normal looking sink base, with no hint of the complex pipework inside

We are loving this brand new look and have enquiries on more already, we really do believe this will be the look of 2018 in whichever of the colour varieties that go with this concept. 

It could be a very "Nordic" new year !

More to follow in our busy run upto Xmas, there, I used that word again.


Saturday, 25 November 2017

If it's Eco ... Prove it !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, freshly back from our wonderful Eco project in York last week, though I'd show you what we've been up to. 

Main kitchen is now installed, just waiting for our first set of the Eco Cosentino 75% recycled quartz worktops to be fabricated and we'll be going back next week to fit them and connect the sink etc.

Really looking forward to this as they're in "Riverbed" one of my favourite colours from this range. So, again, this will be a 2 parter with the finished pics next weekend. 

This project is from our Eco Organic range where the cabinets as our standard Eco2 18mm rigid construction with Medite Ecologique doors finished with Ecos "Feng Shui" organic paint from the wonderful company that is Lakeland Paints, check them out with a quick Google, their paint is marvellous and the best we've found for painted kitchens. 

Whether hand painting with a foam roller or spray finishing, the results are superb. AND with all our kitchens using this paint, you get the remainder of the original paint for any repainting you may need to do in the future.

The cooker hood is supposed to have a stainless steel stack coming out of the top but due to restrictions of height, we couldn't get it in, so we created a box panel enclosure above it using some spare material. This gives the impresssion of it being built in and by we put the panel in spring clips to enable it to be removed to get at the electrics and ducting behind it for any maintainence or repair in the future. 

Only the use of the Ecos paint made this possible as we could make the panel, clean it up, profile it and paint it to match everything else. 

Typically with painted kitchens that are spray finished beforehand, this can't be done. 
Well done Ecos !

Just thought I'd show you this, every Eco kitchen from our range comes with it's own provenance certificate to show the materials used and their Eco credentials. 

If it's Eco ......prove it ! 

And we do !

That's all for this week, Jules