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entry one hundred and twenty two


teched-out trees tell aussie scientists where to look for water outside of solid oak kitchens

G’day lumber lovers,

Trees are such generous souls! Not only do they give themselves up for a lifetime retirement in solid wood kitchens, but they also provide help to scientists from the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. Via some cunning new technology and the participation of local trees, these clever chaps from Down Under are able to measure the levels of available groundwater.

These team behind this new technology were recently named top 10 finalists in the Google Impact Challenge. According to project leader Derek Eamus, the equipment constitutes “an early warning system that, when attached to trees, can alert communities when excessive groundwater is being extracted.”

It works by using sensors that deliver real-time data from the trees themselves, which is then translated into easily understandable information for local communities in arid regions of Australia – and many other dry countries – to better manage the groundwater available to them.

Eamus claims that if fully implemented throughout arid regions of Australia, it could contribute $90million AUD to the economy, and secure food and water for these populations for many years to come.

The winners of the competition were announced on October 14th, and whilst Eamus’ project didn’t take the winner’s prize of $500,000AUD, as a runner-up they still received $250,000AUD and on-going help from those generous bods at Google.

Personally I’m a big fan of anything that combines technology and trees in one harmonious relationship; and whilst not on the scale as this project, our natural kitchens employ a similar ethos! We kit our oak furniture out with some fantastic technology such as Blum hinges and superb wirework, whilst working closely with some top appliance brands such as Neff, Rangemaster and Fisher & Paykel.

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


Posted by the deTerra diarist

entry one hundred and twenty one


Toot toot, ahhh… beep beep!

oak kitchens on the road with deTerra

Apologies for the odd noises, lady and gents, but we’re pretty darn excited about the arrival of our new deTerra van. Of course, next-day nationwide two-man delivery is something that can be expected as standard for our oak kitchens, but this new addition to our delivery fleet is bigger and better than ever!

So sleek! So shiny! Look at the colours! Look at the kitchens, come to think of it! And even Cabineto gets a little moment in the spotlight… neato, eh?

Ahem. Got a bit carried away there – after all, it is what the van is carrying that is important, not how it looks…! And the good news is that our deTerra van doesn’t only look pretty, but it works darn hard too, with orders flying out at the speed of light! Indeed, plenty of people are taking advantage of our super-duper next-day delivery service – so if you’re thinking of placing an order soon, don’t forget that we now offer next-day delivery up until 11am the day before (giving you plenty of time to make those all-important shopping choices).

Well, that’s how for now. If you’d like more information on the delivery options that we offer, please visit our Delivery Details page; and if you see our deTerra van pootling down a street near you, don’t forget to give us a wave!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


entry one hundred and twenty


Hey yew, listen oak!

There’s little doubt that trees are of great importance, and Britain is fortunate to be home to a variety of specimens that have stood the test of time and outlived those that made them famous in the first place.

Whilst buildings of national importance have been well protected for over 100 years, the Woodland Trust are now calling for a similar register to be drawn up to protect the multitude of trees around the country that have equal importance to many man-made structures.

“These trees are hugely valuable to us – they are embodiments of our past and features that make our landscape distinctive. By starting a national register, we can really cherish and protect more great specimens,” said Jill Butler, an ancient tree specialist at the Woodland Trust.

I don’t know about you but I think these organic beauties are far more important than anything man-made. They’ve played host to some defining moments in our country’s history, and it seems crazy that until very recently there was no record of these natural wonders.

If you need any more convincing about some of the culturally important trees in our fair isles, then consider these few:

Newton’s Apple Tree

Newton’s Apple Tree

Situated in the garden of Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, this apple tree is claimed to be that which inspired Sir Isaac Newton’s greatest discovery – the theory of gravity.

It was reported that an apple fell from the tree and hit Newton on the head, leading him to question why an apple should always fall perpendicular to the ground, and not in any other direction.

Robin Hood’s Major Oak

Robin Hood’s Major Oak

If folklore is to be believed, Robin Hood took shelter underneath this humungous oak in Sherwood Forest some time during the 13th century.

Estimated to be over 1,000 years old, and with an estimated weight of 23 tons, steel supports were recently added to help keep the tree in position.

The Ankerwycke Yew

The Ankerwycke Yew

Yew trees are amongst the longest lived and most ancient trees in the country, and this particular specimen (based near the ruins of a 12th century nunnery in Wraysbury, Berkshire) is said to have been witness to both the signing of the Magna Carta and Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn’s first meeting in the 1530s.

It’s at least 1,400 years old, and has a girth exceeding 26 feet!

Whilst we cannot claim that our wood kitchens are quite as historic as these cultural icons, their solid wood construction means they, too, should last the test of time – and you never know, the beauty of our natural kitchens might just inspire you to do something as culturally significant as those examples above (but perhaps it’d be best to avoid meeting up with a Henry VII-type character – if you’d prefer to keep your head where it is, that is!)

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


Posted by the deTerra diarist

entry one hundred and nineteen


Declutter your kitchen


Here at deTerra, we offer lots of handy storage solutions for natural kitchens, from nifty wirework to corner units to slimline base cabinets and more! But sometimes space isn’t the issue: it’s clutter, chaos, and the like. What can really be helpful is a good plan to help you make the most of your existing kitchen; to ensure that you know where everything actually is, and that what is being stored is actually useful. This week your friendly deTerra diarist has put together a few tips to get you on your way.

Tip 1: Declutter, declutter, declutter.

Before we can start reorganising or refurbishing a kitchen, it needs to be cleaned out. It’s surprising how many tins or jars can lurk at the back of cupboards, taking up space, when the contents expired years before! Be similarly ruthless with your pots and pans: some pans are no good after a few years, so do get rid of things that are no longer useful. Isolate all such items and throw out or, if these are still usable, donate to charity. Next organise the items that are left into groups: condiments, baking goods, pans, pots, etc. When these are returned to the cupboards/drawers, they will already be easier to access.

Tip 2: Store sensibly

A lick of paint or polish can do the world of good

courtesy of Farrow & Ball

Prioritise visibility when laying out your cupboards. For pantry items, keep small bottles or spice jars in a rotating rack or install small shelves. Make use of carousels or similar wirework n your base cabinets to ensure that your pots and pans are not only easy to find, but well protected (as piling these on top of each other can cause damage or rub away any ‘non-stick’ coatings). Keep drawers clean and tidy by using linings and dividers.

Tip 3: A lick of paint or polish can do the world of good

Now that the insides of your cupboards are neat and sparkling clean, why not give the outsides a quick touch up? You could refinish the cabinet frontals entirely, quickly go over any scratches with a paint brush, or replace the doors altogether. Our solid oak frontals are available to purchase separately and are available in a range of finishes to suit any kitchen design: sanded, lacquered or hand-finished in any colour from Farrow & Ball’s collection. Paying attention to your frontals can make the world of difference – your kitchen will be looking as good as new in no time!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


Posted by the deTerra diarist

entry one hundred and eighteen


Hey now, what’s going down? I ask you this because currently I’m in cabinet town, checking out our fantabulous selection of frontal accessories. Like a kitchen-obsessed paparazzi, I’ve been snapping away in the showroom, taking a closer look at some of the touches that finish our wooden kitchens with an abundance of style, which can only be created with the natural beauty of solid wood.
the perfect corner post

Corner Posts

As famous Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí once said, “There are no straight lines or sharp corners in nature. Therefore, buildings must have no straight lines or sharp corners.” It’s fitting, then, that corners in our natural kitchens are best finished with our solid oak corner posts.

the perfect cornice


Cabinets look great in a fancy hat, and our cornices – you’ll see – are more than just that. Available in Traditional or Shaker designs (if you don’t mind I’ll stop writing entirely in rhymes). Anyway (!) no matter how I put it, cornices are a great finishing touch and allow wall units to blend beautifully with your aesthetic.

the perfect pelmet


If cornices are the hats, then pelmets are the fashionable shoes made to perfectly fit the bottom of a wall-mounted cabinet. They’re also available in either a Traditional or Shaker design, and can be painted in any of Farrow & Ball’s luxurious paints, or lacquered for a natural look.

the perfect end panel

End Panels

Our end panels really do give cabinet runs a tidy, finished look, and can either be fitted with a tongue and groove design or a smooth finish. Like all our other fancy frontal fitments, they can be lacquered or painted in any number of shades from Farrow & Ball to match your cabinet doors.

the perfect pilaster


It’s my opinion that cabinet frontals just wouldn’t look right without pilasters. They fill the gaps between frontals, and are made out of the same luxurious timbers as our wonderful worktops. They’re available in a range of square finishes, or some more ornate mouldings for traditional kitchens – should you prefer.

the perfect plate rack

Plate Racks

Ah, plate racks. The newest addition to our humble yet fabulous family. These solid oak numbers add a stylish look to cabinets and are an ideal place to store your finest china, ready to whip out at a moment’s notice for unplanned dinner parties, or maybe just a tasty bacon sarnie. Available in a sanded, lacquered or painted finish to suit your cabinets

So there you have it – some of the most awesome accessories ever to grace a natural kitchen, and if you don’t believe me, why not visit our showroom? A wide range of our frontal accessories are proudly displayed across nine individual kitchen sets, along with many other beautiful things. A feast for the eyes, to be sure!

Ta ta for now,

The deTerra Diarist


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