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News & Updates

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By Eric Bates & Sons 27 Aug, 2021
Breakfast bars have come a long way in kitchen design from the slab of worktop on a leg with stools round which was mainly used as more of a dumping ground for “stuff” than for eating at. These days a breakfast bar will often be incorporated into a kitchen island as a design feature, creating a social space for family and friends to gather round enjoying drinks and chatting whilst meals are prepared, as well as retaining its intended use as a place to eat breakfast on busy mornings. There are many ways to create this area using clever design to ensure that valuable space isn’t lost to it. If incorporated into an island they can be either split level or same level, they do not need to be hugely wide, and the design of the stools can ensure that they tuck under out of the way when not in use. Same level breakfast bars are popular for offering cleaner lines and work well in the ever-popular shaker style kitchen, whereas a split-level design will offer more of a visual feature, especially if a rotunda unit is incorporated. This shows high quality craftsmanship and a WOW factor. If an island isn’t practical because of the space available a perimeter breakfast bar can be a stunning feature. Using an area under a window a bit further away from the working area can offer a tranquil spot for coffee or lunch, perhaps overlooking the garden, and it will save more valuable space than a table and chairs. The breakfast bar can be produced in the same material as the worktops or in a contrasting material. For example, an oak breakfast bar area can be a stunning contrast to a granite worktop and is a great way to create a warm and relaxed ambience to the area using a split-level design. In contrast, using the same material as the worktop will ensure a seamless transition from the workspace to the social space, this works particularly well with a same level breakfast bar in a contemporary design kitchen. A perimeter breakfast bar can complement the kitchen design in a completely different way and doesn’t necessarily have to follow the same design genre as the rest of the room. It can be used to create additional space for relaxing, reading or working, as well as being an area for a vase of your favourite flowers or a plant or two, adding warmth and homeliness to the room. So, all in all the modern breakfast bar should be an asset to any kitchen setting and has certainly left its tired, out of date reputation far behind it. To see more of our beautifully designed kitchens and interiors logon to our website at
By Eric Bates & Sons 21 Feb, 2020
At Eric Bates & Sons we have become increasingly aware that the word bespoke is used rather freely these days with regard to fitted furniture to entice customers into believing they are purchasing something that has been specifically designed and manufactured for them. When it comes to fitted furniture, such as kitchens, utility rooms, bedroom furniture and studies; it is certainly true that the room would be designed for you by whoever’s services you had engaged, but is that as far as it being bespoke would go? Thesaurus definition of the term “bespoke” includes modified, personalised, tailored, adapted, custom made, tailor made and made-to-measure and here at Eric Bates & Sons this is absolutely what we do. So, what do we do that is different? First and foremost, the difference is that a fully bespoke design is a design that nobody else will have because it will be made to fit your room perfectly. The furniture we supply is built to order by skilled cabinet makers using sustainably sourced wood and other natural materials. The full bespoke experience is personal with no heavy sale techniques used and will typically go like this… On receiving an initial enquiry, we will discuss what the client is hoping to achieve with the room they are looking to improve. We will also discuss with them their personal taste and style to ensure the overall look is exactly what they had in mind, whether this is modern and minimalist or more traditional and ornate. This first conversation will then be followed up with a site visit to get a feel for the area and to take measurements ready to create the design. Our aim in the design is to achieve a fully functioning room with minimal wasted space and use of generic fillers. To achieve this all the cabinets are made from scratch by skilled cabinet makers to fit the space available. Innovative design ideas that may not have been considered previously are incorporated to utilise all those areas that would otherwise be “filled in” and wasted. Likewise, with appliances, there is no restriction on the type or size you can have as units are made to fit seamlessly up to or around them. Another example of the furniture being fully bespoke is that the style and finish can match or compliment an existing item that the client wishes to incorporate in the room or can be built to accommodate any such item, thus ensuring a truly personal space is achieved. Once the main design and fittings have been agreed the client is then free to choose the finish of their choice, whether this is a polished or painted finish. There is no restriction on paint colours available, including a colour matching service, and polished finishes can range from a modern natural finish through to traditional dark finishes. You can also incorporate different paint colours for different areas, for example top cupboards can be lighter than base units or an island can be in a contrasting finish. Part painted and part polished is also an option available to you when you decide to go fully bespoke. Finishing touches such as door style, cornice style, cabinet lighting and handles is completely in your hands, there are no set styles or ideas to conform to. If you decide on a granite worktop our supplier will invite you to visit them at your convenience to personally choose your granite slab which will then be reserved for you. This, again, ensures that you are getting exactly what you want, not what the supplier decides you can have. Even when it comes to the fitting, bespoke fitted furniture will be made to fit completely into the fabric of the room using clever scribing techniques carried out by our expert team of fitters, all of whom are trained cabinet makers. So, the answer to the question “what does bespoke really mean?” is that you will get what you want not what your supplier has and it is this level of choice and service that we believe makes our rooms fully bespoke to you and your home. Put simply, there will not be another room like yours… anywhere! To get the ball rolling on your bespoke handmade furniture visit our website at , give us a call on 01603 781771 or pop into our showroom on Station Business Park in Hoveton. We are open from 10am – 4pm Monday to Friday and 10am -2pm on Saturday. We look forward to hearing from you.
01 Apr, 2019
We are saddened to announce that Eric passed away peacefully on Sunday 31st March 2019.
By lemaster 01 Dec, 2015
Graham Bates, Director, recently featured in Norfolk Norfolk Magazine.
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