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

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Groundbreaking Eco design

Ey up my faithful blogworms, going to be away next week, will you miss me ?

Got a lovely total Eco project to install over in York, our glorious county town here in Yorkshire. Needless to say, I'll keep you all up to date with pics etc. So watch this space !!

This week is mainly catch up really, I did say I'd give you finished pics of our recent Eco project with the hand oiled timber doors kitchen that went in the straw build kitchen and these feature below. 

But first, our new Eco2 Coastal display is finally finished and going down a storm already. 3 kitchens sold off it so far, it think it's set to be a winner in the coming year. A choice of colours and finishes available around the coastal theme.

Here it is, in all it's glory, every unit sets a new standard in kitchen unit design. We've listened to what folk have said they would like units to do and incorporated all these new ideas into this one display. Groundbreaking would be a good word here !!

The picture doesn't do it justice and you really need to see it in the flesh for us to explain all the cabinet re-designs in full. Sticking our neck out a bit here to see if it works but you've got to try new things .. right ?

And .... Yes, before you ask, the brand new, superb, VW Gorenje fridge can be supplied as a stand alone order for your existing kitchen at competetive prices. 

Anyway, to catch up, here's the pics Imentioned earlier to go with my earlier blog on this hand-oiled kitchen. We now have the worktops on the island unit.

Pictures of this in my earlier blog show how it works, this shows how it looks finished. Stunning innit ?

One of the most complicated to design and fit, this island came about with concentrated discussions with our customer where they considered carefully how to use every single bit of it. It ticks every box !

Short but sweet this week as I have a lot to prepare for next weeks project before we set off but as promised I'll keep you posted. 

Rushing about ! 


Saturday, 11 November 2017

"Green" with envy !

Ey up my faithful blogworms, Eco can be a funny thing, it's sometimes an issue that no-one thinks about but then are really chuffed when the story unfolds !

I'll explain ...... We've just completed a kitchen project for a lovely lady who lives locally who made her choices based on her likes / dislikes in the normal time honoured fashion without even considering anything Eco.

When her work was completed and we said this has been a very Eco driven project, she asked why, when we explained she was absolutely thrilled to have a brand new totally Eco kitchen. 

She then admitted that she was so proud to have been an ethical purchaser that she was going to make the point to all her friends !!

Almost like the Eco content was secondary to her choices but features primarily in how she will describe her shiny new kitchen to her friends. 

Circumstances like this can often be the most basic entry into the world of thinking environmentally but can change a persons thinking to be more Eco friendly in the future !!

The kitchen chosen is from our Eco2 range in Cashmere Grey matching cupboards and doors. The lighting is a spot bar with low energy 5w Cobb bulbs. The fridge / freezer in the tall housing is from Gorenje, a manufacturer with probably the highest eco credentials in Europe at this time.

Using tiles from the Johnson range that have a recycled content, as far as we know the only UK tiles to have this.

The worktops are from the same manufacturer as the cabinets and doors featuring the same recycled / FSC mix timber content

And the sink is from the Blanco range having high recycled content stainless steel and the dishwasher is again from Gorenje.

This, then, is almost Eco by stealth with all the elements: cabinets, doors, appliances, worktops, sink, tiles and lighting making the project as Eco as it gets and without a single environmental factor driving the choices made .

It's a funny old world and we're converting it to Eco, 1 step at a time 

You could say her friends will be "green" with envy !! Strange how sometimes the blog title comes to you right at the end

As green as ever, Jules

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Appearances can deceptive !!

Ey up my faithful blogworms, bit of a tale of woe this week, I'm afraid, but a cautionary tale also. Regarding bathrooms, they can be the biggest source of water damage problems in any house if not looked after and checked properly from time to time.

The resulting damage can be a major headache, not only affecting that room but often the kitchen too as it's usually below the bathroom. Our project last week and just into next week is one such instance.

"We need our shower room sorting out, we think it leaks" they said. Massive understatement, once we got the old stuff out, it was clearly rotten as the pics will show.
This has created so much more work than would have been necessary had we got to it sooner and it had obviously been leaking for a long time time. The walls had gone soft, the grouting falling out, the silicone seals were black and the whole thing had a musty, damp smell about it. 

My advice would be to check any of the above and get someone to look at it if you feel something is awry. It could save you a lot of pain and money further down the line.

Might look ok but hiding a right bunch of problems

The wall with the shower valve on was in a disgusting state and wet through

The timber framework was also totally rotten and falling to bits

Which means taking the whole wall section out and starting with almost a full sheet of 18mm ply screwed directly onto the wall studs

And creating a completely new stud wall frame to support the side wall of the enclosure.

Looks ok you might think but flexing like mad as all this weight was only fixed by screwing it to 8mm matchboard wall cladding. You have got to be joking !!

That's better a decent new pedestal now taking the weight of the new basin and holding it sturdy.

Using Showerwall panels to cut out the grout joints altogether, easier to give a good seal and easier to clean !

Recycling all the old woodwork that was still decent to clad to new stud wall to match in with the rest of the room, nightmare ! but it worked.

Sorting all this out has doubled the amount of time we though it would take for what seemed like a straightforward job.

Appearances are often deceptive, now where have I heard that before ??

Don't take chances with showers folks, they are wonderful but can ruin your day if they start leaking and that's from our viewpoint aswell as yours.

Think smart .... it costs nothing to get it checked if you're in any doubt

Looking after your world .... Jules

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Milestone gets well oiled !!

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

What do you mean No ??

Anyway this weeks entertainment is a particularly Eco kitchen installed into a straw bale build extension to a house and we can prove it.

This is a follow up to our earlier blog on August 5th, putting into practice the things I talked about at that time. You see, there is a plan !!

With the ongoing developments we keep trying in the eco world, this particular kitchen is from our Eco Elite range in solid FSC oak with a hand oiled finish using Osmo environmentally friendly wax oils with solid Iroko tops finished the same way.

An idea we had some time ago, the first one being in a passive house up in Leyburn in North Yorkshire, although there was a lot less oiling involved with that one compared to this one !!

A kitchen of two sides with a central island / work station built using our Eco2 range of cabinets. This side for the fridge a mainly dry goods storage.

A very tricky island unit layout that took some designing, I can tell you ! The hob, sink and dishwasher going in here.

This side holds the built in oven and a free standing microwave / cookery books in the open wall to the left.

Let the oiling commence !

And keep going, with 28 parcels containing the doors and panels etc, this oiling bench saw a lot of service, it was like painting the Forth Bridge. 

As you can tell by all  the unit internal fittings, this kitchen was thought about in great detail as to the purpose for each unit 

FSC character oak doors and panels with solid iroko worktops, all hand oiled, a mammoth task but very worth while ! Note the little window on the right above the worktops, more about that below.

Iroko worktops to both sides.

The island showing a lower section for bread dough and pastry preparation and a sneaky pull out corner unit to maximise the use of space.

Same pic showing it all tucked away

AND, last but not least, here's that little window again ! Apparently, in straw build circles, it's known as a "truth window" showing the straw bale build to show people that you're not joking when you say your room is built from straw, good eh !
Is this a good time to mention that you don't, under any circumstances, keep 3 little pigs !!

The beauty of finishing a kitchen in this way is that it can be refreshed yourself over time using the same oil and a brush and so should last for years and years and always look as good as when it was installed.

As the more observant among you may have noticed, the island does not yet have it's worktop fitted, we are waiting for this to be fabricated as we speak. It will be a couple of weeks before we see that fitted due to demand on the material chosen, so you can guarantee I'll slot the finished pictures into a future blog for you all to see.