Posted by the deTerra diarist

29.08.14

entry one hundred and five

How do, fabulous kitchen fans!

The kiddiwinkles are almost back to school, holibobs are over for a bit, and the weather is turning nippy: that means it’s prime ‘kitchen-planning’ time, as you considerate peeps begin to prepare for the winter season and all the lovely food you’re going to cook/gatherings you’re going to throw.

We’re thoughtful timber lovers here at deTerra kitchens, so we thought we’d share some top tips for planning wooden kitchens to get you going:

Sort your kitchen layout

Sort your kitchen layout

A kitchen redesign can be a bit daunting, but once you’ve measured up properly and made a scaled plan of the room, it’s easy as pie. This plan will let you see if there is any unused storage space that you can take advantage by choosing the best combo of base cabinets and wall cabinets. Our cabinets come in all shapes and sizes and they’re made from super-durable, ultra-gorge solid oak (for an affordable price). Perfect for any layout!

Position your sink carefully

Position your sink carefully

Your sink could be seen as the most important item in the kitchen, as it makes sense to have your washing machine and dishwasher nearby, too – and positioning all three can take up a fair bit of room. Once those are set, you can build your room around it. If you want to change the position of your sink, don’t worry too much: carcasses tend to have a service gap at the back (ours do) so it’s not too huge an undertaking to reroute pipework behind even if you aren’t ripping out your kitchen entirely.

Socket to ‘em!

Socket to ‘em!

Another important thing to factor into your plan – and though it’s easy to be a stingepot with your estimate, put in a few extra sockets if you can. Better too many than too few, for sure! Your sockets should sit 150mm above your worktop, at least; and consider what upstand or splashback you’re using around the kitchen if installing new sockets – some materials are easier to fit around sockets than others (such as tiles, as these are relatively easy to cut).

Save space

Save space

Some have the luxury of knocking through a wall or rearranging things entirely when revamping their kitchens; but for some (myself included), a small room is all we have to play with. Boohoo.

Eliminating bulky freestanding items is a good idea: purchase an under counter fridge (for example) and you’ll gain worktop space in an area that was previously dominated by your appliance. Incorporate corner cabinets, too; these make the most of unused space and some nifty wirework can allow you to organise your way to storage heaven. Corner posts are vital here, as they prevent door handles from bashing into each other. Thankfully, if you order deTerra corner kitchen units we’ll include the necessary corner posts automatically. Simples.

Colour outside of the lines

Colour outside of the lines

If we’ve learned anything over the past year, it’s that colour in the kitchen is here to stay – and the more personal the choice, the better. Gone are the days when all that could pass as fashionable were whites, off-whites, creams, and… more white. Frosty pinks, baby blues, bold purples, earthy greens and even vibrant citruses are appearing in kitchens of every size and shape. In the words of Abba, ‘take a chica-chance-chance’ and go for your favourite colour – you won’t regret it!

We hope you’ve found the pointers above to be handy hints; but, if you’ve got any more questions, give us a call on 03333 70 33 33 or email us. We’re always up for a good ol’ kitchen-planning chat.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

26.08.14

entry one hundred and four

this 3,200 year old tree

Dearest lumber lovers,

So far this year, I’ve covered all sorts of fascinating tree facts here in my little ‘ole digital diary; and just when I think I have covered everything there is to know about record breaking trees – from trees that look like octopi to trees that bear 40 kinds of fruit – an amazing new photograph of one of the world’s largest trees crops up. Astounding!

‘The President’ is a 247 foot tall American Sequoia tree that is believed to be around 3,200 years old, situated 7,000 feet above sea level on the snowy slopes of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains. Scientists have known about the tree for around 90 years, but have only recently had the opportunity and the technology to photograph the specimen – and its 2 billion leaves – in its entirety.

Using a special rig to suspend cameras from adjacent trees, the clever bods at National Geographic teamed up with the Sequoia National Park to take 126 separate photographs of the tree from a variety of angles, from which a full, undistorted photograph of the tree in all its snowy glory could be composed. The resultant image is quite a sight to behold, and is the only photograph of its kind in the world – impressive huh?

Now it’s difficult for me to compare all the qualities of this ancient tree directly to our oak kitchens, but the grace and elegance of our natural kitchen products are still mightily impressive. Our oak cabinetry and full stave worktops create a naturally luxurious aesthetic, and – luckily for us – their beauty can easily be captured in only a few photos. Why not have a peek at some of our favourites in the wonderful website gallery?

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

entry one hundred and three

22.08.2014

Hey-diddle-ey!

How y’all doing? I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling ready for a lovely bank holiday weekend. Even if the summer has all but disappeared, I’m planning to make the most of it! Still, autumn is definitely on the way – which means our thoughts often turn to kitchen revamps. Autumn can offer the perfect opportunity to change things up: the holiday season is over but there’s still enough time to get things looking fabulous for the winter (which means you’ll be perfectly prepared for Christmas cooking/entertaining demands!)

But if you want to update your look without breaking the bank, why not consider changing your worktops? That’s not to say that our cabinets aren’t super-duper affordable – they totally are – but changing those can necessitate a bit more disruption. Shifting an old counter top, by contrast, can completely transform the look of solid wood kitchens – and it’s quick, easy, and cheap to do!

There are loads of worktop options out there, but we’ve got a soft spot for solid wood. First up, don’t listen to anyone who might tell you that these babies are hard to maintain: if I can manage it, so can you. All you need to do is make sure you install the worktops correctly (which is easy peasy – just follow the instructions) and throw on a few coats of Danish oil now and then. Simple pimple!

Our wooden worktops are affordable, unique, and stunning. If you’re after a classic look, oak worktops are a popular choice: full of lovely features like knots and a gorge grain pattern, plus a golden colour that will make you feel all warm and glowy. If you want something more contemporary, zebrano worktops are super funky: a crazy mix of toffee and chocolate, with a wild grain pattern. And don’t forget, we’ve also got luxurious Deluxe and full stave options – constructions that use wider, 90mm solid wood sections or staves. Perfect if you want to push the boat out.

Natural oak worktop sample from deTerraNatural beech worktop sample from deTerraIroko worktop sample from deTerraDeluxe European walnut worktop sample from deTerraFull stave American walnut worktop sample from deTerra

And if you can’t decide which one to go for (it’s a flippin’ hard choice with so many drool-worthy options available), test ‘em out with our online sample service. For just £5 you can receive a mini-me version of our worktops: a small block of solid wood, oiled on one side to give you an idea of what it will look like in your home.

Ta ta for now,
The deTerra Diarist

 

entry one hundred and two

19.08.2014

Greetings one and all,

You might have seen my 5 trees that look like animals entry, which had me rubbing eyes in disbelief at how much trees can look like creatures great and small. This month I’ve found an amazing selection of trees that look like people.

En'tree' one

En’tree’ one

This unfortunate chap was turned into a tree in the great witchery of 1842! Okay, not really. I made that up…

Whatever happened to this tree, it’s pulling a face that makes me think it wants to be left alone to its own devices. Fine by me – this gnarly bark looks like something out of a nightmare Halloween story. If it makes an appearance in my nightmares I’ll have to dream up a saw, too.

The balle'tree'na

The balle’tree’na

Elegance and natural beauty are two things that might come to mind when you think of a ballerina, but these adjectives could also easily describe our natural kitchens, too!

This tree looks like a ballerina from a Disney movie was once trapped within its timber, striking an incredibly athletic pose… nope, it’s still just a tree.

A tree that grins? You must be ‘oaking’!

A tree that grins? You must be ‘oaking’!

You’d be forgiven for thinking that someone’s having a laugh with this ‘ere tree – but whilst it looks like the face of someone with a toothy grin, the reason behind it may be no laughing matter.

These deformations are actually known as ‘burls’, and are usually caused by stresses inflicted on the tree by disease, insects and other injuries such as branches being chopped off.

Whilst burls aren’t necessarily great news for the tree, they usually make wood with a highly figurative grain, which is often prized by furniture makers.

A very ang‘tree’

A very ang‘tree’

So. This chap disapproved about having his photograph taken, that much is clear; but – in all honesty – I just couldn’t resist including it, what with all that cute grumpiness going on!

It’s amazing how much detail this tree has put into producing this grimace, with colouration around the eyes, that pointy snout and lopsided pout completing the look.

I call him Angry Alan. Don’t be too scared of him though, his BARK is worse than his BITE. See what I did there?!

The tree that is full of glee

The tree that is full of glee

Well, how do you follow a miserable trunk like Angry Alan? With this smiley fella, of course!

Considering this one’s just a stump you would think it might have been a little more dismayed, but maybe it was given the good news that it would be the centrepiece of a solid wood kitchen just before its demise; surely that would be enough to cheer up any tree!

So, there you have it! Some of these humanoid specimens look like poor folk have literally been encased in timber, and that’s because of the phenomenon called ‘Pareidolia’, where the human brain is hardwired to see people and faces in otherwise inanimate objects. Creepy, huh?

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

Posted by the deTerra diarist

entry one hundred and one

15.08.2014

Happy Friday, my little deTerrarinos!

England’s ‘Tree of the Year’ 2014

Image Courtesy of Constable and Robin/Heritage Trees

We’ve got something a little different to share this week. As you know, we’re not only keen on beautiful wood kitchens here at deTerra: we’re varied souls.

You might be interested to learn, therefore, that we’re currently getting our ‘x’ factor on – and no, we’re not talking about the singing show. We’re talking about The Woodland Trust’s search to find a very special tree with its own brand of ‘x’: a tree that is worthy of the title ‘England’s Tree of the Year’.

Our bonny land of England – or, as it was once known, Albion – has one of the most diverse collections of ancient trees in the continent. From the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest to the Ankerwycke Yew in Berkshire, there are a terrific host of timber old-timers to be considered.

However, those wise and wonderful woodland wizards at the Woodland Trust aren’t just looking for veteran trees: they’re interested in any specimen that has had an impact on you – whether that be ‘a personal connection, a link to a significant date in history, a link to historical figure, or […] any other reason; all are eligible’. As chief executive Beccy Speight says:

‘Many trees that we take for granted in our everyday lives have stood the test of time and have so many stories to tell. We want people to give these cherished trees the recognition they deserve by nominating them in this contest.

‘This could be the first step towards providing these trees and the woods they inhabit with far greater protection to ensure they have a chance of standing long into the future.’

Not only will the winner receive acclaim from the nation – and a special, tree-shaped place in all our hearts – it will also be put forward as the country’s entry into the prestigious European Tree of the Year competition (which takes place in spring 2015).

For more info on the competition, or to nominate your favouritest tree, visit the Woodland Trust website – you have until the 19th September!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist

 

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