Saturday, 18 February 2017

Milestone goes Coastal

Ey up my faithful blogworms, this week we've all been to the seaside .... or rather ...it feels like it !

We don't often come across kitchen projects with a clear vision of setting a scene within the room, most people are still tuned into using earth colours and naturals, however, the coastal influence in our latest completed project is quite clear from the use of colour.

The coastal reference is quite ironic in a way as here we sit more or less equidistant between the West and East coasts in our wonderful land.

 I think you could be forgiven for expecting to see the sea outside the kitchen window !!

When we are talking to people about colour etc, we usually say look at a couple of colours next to each other or groups of colours within the same area of a colour chart as these give good groupings for a palette that usually works in most rooms.



However, the colours used here are not only from two different charts but two different manufacturers !!

The "wow" factor when you walk is the room is quite staggering when you see the colours in the flesh. 



This couples use of colour is, in my opinion, absolutely spot on for their individual style. What really nails it for me is that a lot of people steer clear of blues as being a 'cold colour' but I think this proves that when chosen carefully, blue can be a very comforting, easy to live with colour.

As we look a trends within our industry, if you take any real notice of such things !, it would appear that this sort of scheme is set to become where furniture is going in the very near future. So it appears that this couple are ahead of the game whether they knew it or not.

We loved this so much, we're working on creating a version of this scheme in our Eco2 range to slot into our Eco stable of kitchens and, of course, as a lot of you know we can supply kitchens all over the country. You never know, we might even get a coastal style kitchen in a home on the coast .... a sort of "ECOast .... groan ! I can't believe I just said that !

Stay tuned Eco fans for future developments.

Jules 

Saturday, 11 February 2017

For the sake of your health, read this !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Plumbing ............................... I am still dismayed with the frequency that I still find of plugs, pipes and water connections BEHIND washing machines, dishwasher etc !! When are people going to wise up and realise that this is contrary to all existing regulations, not to mention downright dangerous, oops, said I wasn't going to mention that !


 It might seems frivolous to have each water connection seperate but the time saved later in being able to very easily switch any appliance off independantly of the others make good sense.

Those of you who know me, know that I firmly believe in independant control of each piece. 

Also, the controls need to be in a cabinet next door to the appliance where you can switch everything off should the need arise without touching the appliance in case of electric shocks or water leaks.

Some plumbing can look complex but once explained and you know what does what, then you have proper control in case of an emergency. 

The days of having the switch the whole fuse box off for an electrical fault and shut down the house stop cock for the water if you get a leak are gone if a common sense approach is taken to how each piece is set out.

Only this week I pulled out a dishwasher and a built in washing machine only to find that all the power and water connections were behind them.

For Gods sake, how dangerous is this?. What do you do in an emergency ........... ! You can't get at anything to shut the machines down if the connections are behind them. 

Neat, tidy, well organised plumbing and electrics in a kitchen to me, are essential for good practice and a safe environment. Why don't others view this as necessary ??

If you fall into this category then it's time someone, me if you like, took a long hard look at how to rework things to make them safe !! Don't leave it until it's too late, in a panic and it all starts to go horribly wrong. It only costs a few quid to add isolator valves and move plugs to somewhere safe and that buys you a massive chunk of piece of mind knowing you're safe.

Here's some homework for you now: Go round your kitchen, look at each appliance and think to yourself " if something goes wrong, how do I switch that off ??" including your mains water stopcock and your electrical fuse board. 

If you don't know, find out, if you can't find out, get someone in to find out for you. At the end of the day, your health and well being might depend on it !!

Rant over, Check things out and stay well. Jules.








Saturday, 21 January 2017

A quart into a pint pot, not !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, here at Milestone HQ I think we're absolutely "on fire" !!

We've brought you the Milestone "Handleless Shaker" door ...... A world first !

We've brought you the "Visualiser" ...... to see colours in real life and real time !

And now .... pause for drum roll ........ Probably the most significant step forward in kitchen planning for years ..... the "Milestone kitchen unit Volume calculator" 

The what ??? .... I hear you say, well check this out and I will explain !



Question: How do you know if your kitchen is adequate in size for the needs of your household ?

Upto now we've had no reference point by which this can be judged and we're hoping this humble document will go a long way towards solving that. It's very simple in it's approach, most good ideas are ! 

Every kitchen survey we book now, this sheet will be taken along and used to record the existing units. Using the chart we can work out how much useable storage volume there is in it. When we plan a new kitchen for you, we'll repeat the calculation to see if an increase in storage has been achieved within the kitchen space.

This could, should and we hope, will be adopted throughout the land to give the very first benchmark by which any kitchen can be judged in terms of the actual storage capacity within it.

Every kitchen, to be effective, should have enough storage in it to adequately support the size of the family living in the house.

2 important figures will be: Storage in cubic metres against number of bedrooms (and hence occupancy)

As we gather data, we can look at the figures and recommend the storage volume you should have for your kitchen to be effective. Get this right and the impact could be enormous on saleability of your home. It could also impact on housebuilders by consulting the data to give them the right size kitchen for any house they build. 

OK, we're a long way off that yet but you've got to start somewhere !!

This is where you, my faithful blogworms, can help us gather data for a huge survey of what's out there. Email me for a calculator sheet (with instructions) copy it and get all your friends and family to fill it in and send it back. Anyone can have one ... they're free .... and even if you're not able to come to us for your kitchen ..... take it to whoever you are using and say "Right, this is the storage volume I have, now improve it ! "

This could spell the end of tiny inefficient kitchens and give us all improved working space at home !! 

It's not about squeezing a quart into a pint pot, it's about efficient design !!

Get on board and let's do this ! 

email: julian@milestone.uk.net for your copy today or contact us through our Facebook page

Exhausted.... Jules !













Saturday, 14 January 2017

Realtime Vision



Ey up my faithful blogworms, we are very pleased to announce that we now have a great new software tool at our disposal to help with choosing colours for your kitchen project. We've been playing with it and it does become obsessive, bit like a computer game but a hell of a lot more useful.

Worktops Visualiser

With our online visualiser tool you can use the room sets to begin the journey to your dream kitchen.

You can check how certain combinations of worktops, splashbacks and upstands work with doors, shelving and drawer fronts. It allows you to quickly and easily create the type of look you are after. 

https://youtu.be/q_ZqR5i37rA

You can either use the You Tube link above to follow the video tutorial on how to explore colours ( if I've managed to make it work ! I'm sure you'll tell me if it doesn't ) for your new Eco kitchen project. 

This software puts the colours you want to see into a kitchen setting to help you choose colour combinations. This works for our EcoSelect and Eco2 kitchens from our Eco stable and general use of our E1 MFC boards. OR you can come in to see us and we'll show how it works on our computers, we'd love to see you AND we'll put the kettle on !

Extra note: With our Vinyl wrap doors all having board equivalent colours, we can use it for those as well ! ...... Fab !












We can use the material samples we've got here to help you think about colour and then put them into the Visualiser to let you see how they would look in a completed kitchen.

It a great step forward in being able to build your colours into a virtual kitchen to see if they work how you would hope them to.

Unlike our normal kitchen design program and most other programs of the type, that use generic colours, this uses actual realtime images of exactly the material you chosen to look at. It takes all the guesswork out of it. ...... Bonus !!

Come and immerse yourself in true colour kitchens .... Another "Milestone" in helping you choose.





Just type in Milestone Design or MilestoneEcoKitchens to take you there 




Jules









Saturday, 7 January 2017

Re-inventing the wheel

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Happy new year to you all, we're back after Xmas and firing on all 4 cylinders with massive news from Milestone HQ !!

STOP PRESS !

COMING SOON !! The revolutionary " Handless Shaker Door " invented by us and the only one "in the world" ( said in a Jeremy Clarkson kind of way !) will soon be alive and well and living on display in our showroom. We've carried out a few installations with it so far and it's gathering speed. The HOTTEST NEW DESIGN the kitchen industry has seen for years, decades even, and it's available to everyone EXCLUSIVELY FROM MILESTONE ( he said feeling rather smug ! ). Once we get the display fitted it will shortly be going up on our website, available in many Eco configurations and many mainstream versions. There's something for everybody, whatever your persuasion. Check it out !

The above paragraph appeared recently on our Facebook page and I'm extremely pleased to announce the display is going in as we speak !!

 It's not quite finished yet but I just couldn't wait to show it to you all. 

This really is the most significant new door design to appear in years and it's all ours ! 

It can also be all yours simply by coming and talking to us and see what you think and grabbing a piece of kitchen design history in the making !




 We conceived the door to fit into our growing Eco stable but soon realised that we can offer it in all the conventional materials aswell.

The initial concept was due to be offered in 3 ways:

1. Sustainable American Tulipwood in a natural finish

2. As above but painted with an Organic paint

3. Medite Ecologique ( environmentally friendly MDF .. Google it for more info ) painted with Organic paint.

However, whilst we aim nowadays for development in Eco products, we feel this unique new design should be available in more traditional materials also.

So, we will be able to make it in Sustainable Oak, Maple, Ash, Walnut and normal furniture grade MDF and painted in whatever colour you wish from whichever range of paints you choose.

The potential for this door is absolutely massive !

Our display is made in Tulipwood and painted in a Farrow & Ball colour: Elephants Breath ( I really don't know where the hell they get these names from ! ) 

I really can't stress how revolutionary this new door design is. I've come up with new door designs over the years, some work, some don't but this one is a bit like re-inventing the wheel in it's significance.

As I said earlier, come in and witness history in the making, It's British made, nay, Yorkshire made and makes me proud to be a Yorkshireman. !! Our county has such a lot to offer, we should begin to re-focus and look north rather than south for inventive, creative thinking !!

Wow ! 

Jules











Saturday, 10 December 2016

Meeting your Butler in Belfast !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, been really busy as you would expect in the run upto Xmas but I'm got time to sneak in another visit to Milestone HQ News.

I thought this week I'd try to debunk a couple of old myths and ones that keep popping up with disappointing regularity, so here goes.

I still get asked if we can fit ordinary laminate worktops around a Belfast sink, the answer is generally "No, don't be silly, they'll be ruined in a very short space of time, BUT there is hope as I will show below !!

 A traditional Belfast sink normally needs granite, quartz, hardwood or Coffee Cup worktops around it as you need to cut around the shape of the sink, shown in the pic below. 


Once you cut into the worktop to make the shape you expose the middle of the material so it stands to reason that solid surface tops of some sort are really the only material you can use, as the name suggests, they're solid all the way through and not affected by the cutting.

If you were to try and use normal laminate worktops, you cut through the laminate straight into the chipboard core. This exposes the wood particles and as soon as they get wet, the worktop is ruined !! You could say "well, just edge the cuts with the edging tape" but that doesn't protect the underneath where the worktop overhangs the sink edge.

 The edging tape doesn't seal the cut well enough to protect it from being soaked while you're using the sink, kiss of death for your worktops !!

So, it's a no-no really and no-one with any sense would even think about attempting it.

HOWEVER, with careful sink choice, there is a way of achieving the principle with no risk to the worktops. We've just carried out one such job this week.














This choice is a Butler sink and "Yes", people get these mixed up, technically a Belfast sink and a Butler sink are two different things, not as many people think, two different names for the same thing, so that's myth No.1 sorted out. 

Whilst the Belfast sink, in some peoples eyes, looks more traditional ........

The Butler sink takes the place of a piece of worktop, going all the way to the back wall, so it saves on worktop material and cost.

It has the tap mounted in it.

It's bigger, so easier to wash larger items ie: large baking tins & pans, small children & dogs, in it but still sits on a 600mm base unit.

It can successfully be used with laminate worktops and be sealed properly, so "bye-bye" myth No.2 !
but there's no reason that granite or any of the other solid surface materials can't be also used.

And it's higher, so if you don't like bending or are prone to back ache, this could be just the sink for you. 

So, now you know the difference and the "whys & wherefores", the Butler sink does have an important part to play in kitchen projects if this is the look you're after but your budget won't stretch to granite etc.

Well, there you go !, Milestone looking after your health and your wallet and still providing good looking kit !

Live long and prosper. Jules













Saturday, 12 November 2016

Yet another "Milestone" in kitchen furniture !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, it is with great delight this week, that I would like to share with you a brand new range of kitchen doors and complete units that we have taken in to our fold.

The "Hoxton" door range is a range that dovetails perfectly with our ethos of being able to replace unit doors on any kitchen in the land.

Those of you that know us already will know that every single unit door we have in the showroom can be supplied to refurbish your kitchen in any size we need or form part of a new kitchen where custom sizes can be important. This range ticks those boxes !


There are over two dozen different colours available, just some of which are shown here, all in colours that are bang on trend for todays discerning kitchen buyer


Standard Shaker doors are available as well as plain flat doors and flat doors with integrated handles

The doors are also in two different textures: Smooth and Textured. The textured ones have a superbly embossed gentle woodgrain pattern worked into the surface, creating a wonderful worn woodgrain appearance while being easy to wipe clean. They need to be seen to fully appreciate.

This range also gives us the facility for curved doors which are very popular at the moment, creating the superb look you see in this pic.


While we are used to being able to provide your doors in any colour you like, Hoxton have chosen a great colour palette that sums up the colours being chosen at the moment. We're sure there will be something within the selection that will suit everyone !

To be able to get a range like this where we can make any size we need in a good quality, "bought in" door is very rare in our industry and to offer with a really low price price tag for bespoke products is just brilliant !!

Come in and have a look, ask for "Hoxton" and see what you think. We know you'll be impressed !

Yet another "Milestone" in kitchen furniture !

Stand still ! .... Never ! We're constantly searching for new and exciting stuff. It's what we do !

Jules










Saturday, 5 November 2016

Add some stylish Retro to your life !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Big news this week !

Following on with our Eco and Retro theme that you all know us for, we are very pleased to announce that as of Friday next week we will be dealers for the wonderful Gorenje range of free standing appliances. Including the fab Retro range of various items of statement pieces for your home.

This little baby is our first display piece that arrives next Friday. Exciting stuff

Not only do they do the statement fridges but washing machines and tumble dryers aswell !

Just some of the selection of colours for washing machines and you can have tumble dryers to match

Add to that loads of colours and different formats of fridges and fridge freezers and you can really start to create some excitement in your kitchen.



We've been big fans of the Gorenje brand for a long time as, not only are they very capable appliances offering some of the best guarantees around but their Eco credentials  in the market at the moment make them the very best environmentally conscious company making kitchen appliances you can get !!

So, come in and have a look and even treat yourself to a piece from this outstanding range for Xmas, go on ... you know you're worth it !

See you soon. Jules











Saturday, 29 October 2016

Cutting edge design and Eco, outstanding !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, this weeks adventure gives me a sense of immense pride. It's getting harder and harder to be totally inventive within our industry and when you create a totally brand new product there's always that moment of trepidation wondering whether people will share your enthusiasm.

I've already given you the revolutionary Milestone Handleless Shaker in a previous blog but it appears it wasn't just a flash in the pan as we've had a lot of interest, resulting in another one and here it is.

This is a rework of a kitchen we did 10 years ago for a lovely couple who were quite brave, for them, and used a burnt orange glass splashback in the layout.

They fell in love with my new creation and wanted us to refurb their kitchen using it. All our kitchens are created using our top quality cabinets thus enabling this sort of thing to be carried out later without any worries about whether the cabs will still be good enough to take it.

Anyway, here's the pics:

The original kitchen being stripped down ready for re-dooring, keeping the granite tops and Burnt Orange splashbacks.

Back then we used a fairly standard flat cream door with handles in the normal manner as was the fashion of the day

The new doors and drawer fronts going on with new panels, plinths etc to keep it all together

We laid a solid hardwood floor originally and after 10 years it was looking a bit rough as you can imagine so, while we were there, a good sanding and 4 coats of lacquer and it looks as good as new ! There's potentially a whole new blog here but suffice it to say, we only fit natural unfinished hardwood and finish it with flooring specific, water based lacquers so that it is easy and very successful to bring it back to life some years down the road. We NEVER fit prefinished floors as they never looks the same again when trying to refinish them !
A clean contemporary look never before possible in a Shaker door until Milestone got on the case !

The finished effect is that of a brand spanking new kitchen, no handles to spoil the overall look and the couple are highly delighted with it ! The doors are very subtly 2 different colours with the lighter shade at the top.




We are so delighted, as are our customers, with the finished job that we feel it's high time we put the revolutionary Milestone Handleless Shaker door on display here at Milestone HQ. The parts lists have been done and the cunning plan set in motion so give us a few weeks, realistically after Xmas, and come and have a look and tell us what you think, we'd love your feedback !!

I just love been cutting edge and it's extremely gratifying when other people agree with you.

As a footnote and with our commitment to the planet, these doors can be made in two ways:

1) As part of our Eco Organic range being made, as here, from sustainably produced Tulipwood and painted with Organic paint

OR 

2) If Eco's not your thing, made from furniture grade green MDF and painted with our normal, low VOC, water based lacquers coming in at lower cost.

Watching the pennies and the planet. 

Jules






Saturday, 22 October 2016

Live long and prosper !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, firstly we have a new member of staff ready to start with us on Nov 17th so we're good to go again. An enthusiastic lady who I'm sure over time you will get to meet and really looking forward to her starting here at Milestone HQ.

To recent projects now, we've just completed another small but perfectly formed kitchen for a couple whose parents are coming to live with them. They've built an annex on the side of the house and the kitchen will give them their own independence.

All you need to function day to day in a short run of units measuring only 2650mm all in.


Starting with a split unit on the left providing a fridge built under with a compact multi-function oven built into a seperate unit sat on the worktop, the best way to achieve this combo and not compromise the venting of either.


Moving right with base storage, into a drawer pack with hob over it, a compact dishwasher to the right up to the sink base and a taller than normal end panel to provide a stop end preventing stuff falling off the end. A wall unit for somewhere to store your basics and put things away out of the dishwasher.


Small but perfectly formed, the units are in our ever popular 'Mussel' colour with a white sparkly Quartz for the worktops for durability and ease of cleaning.

The Mussel colour has been, and is continuing to be, one of those colours that comes along once in a while that just seems to capture peoples imagination.
It's an easy to live with colour that takes us away from the cream concept and provides a bit more interest while still being in the neutrals bracket that ticks the box for most people.

It's one of those colours that whether you dress it traditional or really modern with the full spectrum of worktop colours, it just seems to work. 

Long may it continue.

Bit of a short blog today, I'm afraid, but I have a lot of order planning and processing to catch up with, as you can imagine, so I'll sign off and see you all next week.

As Mr Spock on Star Trek used to say ..... Live long and prosper .... we intend to !

Jules