Small businesses that Green our World – Milo – eco furniture

Next in our series, Small Businesses that Green our World, it is our pleasure to introduce you to Tristan Titeux, eco-carpenter, furniture designer, owner of Custom Carpentry and creator of eco-furniture Milo.

eco-friendly products

Concerned with the wastage created by installing fitted furniture, Tristan created Milo, a stunningly elegant coffee table created left over off cuts and unwanted furniture.

Growing up close to nature, Tristan is a passionate advocate of sustainable design and hopes, through his furniture and forthcoming book, to help others understand and make more environmentally-friendly product choices.

I asked Tristan to tell us a little more about himself and his background:

I was born in London and brought up for 13 years in Belgium. My father was a Belgian herbalist and inventor who spoke on the national radio about wild plants every weekend for 5 years in the early 80’s. We lived in a beautiful but primitive house with thick walls made of flint stone and chalk. Inside we just had one cold tap that lived in the kitchen. The toilet and bathroom were outside and had no plumbed water, we had no TV or fridge and lived very close to nature where I spent all my time playing and using my hands. We milked our goats and collected eggs from our chickens and ducks. We had two wood fires, learned not to waste a thing, learned the value of resources, produce and where they came from. This closeness to nature has never left me and teaches me a lot of what I know about sustainability today.

What is the Milo and what makes it so special?

Milo is a small coffee or bedside table that is made of off-cuts left over from making our fitted furniture, as well as unwanted furniture that we take out of peoples homes. It saves space in landfill and avoids dangerous glues decomposing and seeping into the environment and new raw wood from having to be processed and manufactured to make new materials. And even more importantly in the grand scheme of things, it isn’t about one or a few tables, it is about making people think about waste, materials, their possessions and to be more aware of where they come from, what it has taken to bring those to life, the resources it has taken, the power to produce them and the environmental footprint on the whole. We must not take things for granted and them away without thought. Everything we consume has an effect on the environment and ultimately our health.

How did you come up with the idea for Milo?

I came up with Milo because I was very upset with seeing all this waste go to landfill, it really broke my heart to see this good wood be wasted, so I made a table that only needed small pieces of wood because offcuts are usually small and useless for anything else.

What has been your proudest moment to date?

My proudest moment to date is a hard one because I struggled a lot in the past with seeing what good I had in me, not because I am bad but I take what I do for granted and don’t value myself. I think… though it has nothing to do with creating furniture, it was creating my first real baby boy, because I didn’t think I could produce something so beautiful.

eco-friendly products

What has been your biggest success to date?

My biggest success to date is doing my first eco wardrobe project this year for a Home makeover programme on ITV, we had to remodel an existing wardrobe and all that we took off were the doors that we recycled ourselves, and replaced them with clean modern style ones that we specialise in, they were made of formaldehyde free mdf and painted with voc free eco paint. Instead of ripping the whole wardrobe out we were able to reuse the old carcass and save material from being potentially wasted.

What are your plans for 2012?

My plans for 2012 are to publish my book called “Eco (furniture) Choices” which focuses on home furnishings and everything that they affect in our environment. I give people tools, techniques and examples of how you can understand if something is sustainable, good for you and the environment.

Where can people buy/ find out more about your product?

To find out more or buy Milo contact us at recut@customcarpentry.co.uk, head over to our Custom Carpentry Facebook page

Finally, we are very excited to announce that Tristan has kindly offered us one of his unique Milo coffee tables worth £475 to give away as a competition prize.

Details of this fantastic prize and how you could win one of these totally unique coffee tables will be announced soon …


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129 Comments
sharon griffin

i would love to have more space in my lean to so that i could store my craft materials better, at the moment they are crammed into an old chest of drawers ;]

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Tristan Titeux

Sharon, there is something satisfying about each thing you own having it’s own space, rather than cramming everything in one place and having it all visible which is not very healthy for the mind to look at!

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Marion

I would love more storage in my kitchen – the cabinets are never enough, no matter how many one has!

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Rachel Ray

As unimaginative as it is I’d like more storage in my kitchen…or more innovative storage in my kitchen. In my head I have a huge farmhouse kitchen but in reality my kitchen is half the size…occasionally I forget, dream about an appliance (a new mixer for example) and can’t fit it in. I need a new take on kitchen storage so I can concoct and brew with more ease! :)

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Lisbeth

I need more space in my bedroon, preferably to store even more things under the bed such as summer clothes (didn’t really need to take themout this year did I?) and xmas essentials. so if I had a bed on stilts or maybe even more booksehlfs over the doors that should sort the clutter out.

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Tristan Titeux

I think if you made some mini stilts that would be easy enough? Then you would have all that space under the bed as you say. You would just need 4 nice thick blocks of wood under each leg. To connect them turn your bed upside down, hammer 3-4 small nails in the bottom of the leg, cut the heads off the nails to make them pointy, then put some glue on and hammer your little block on!?

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Evelyn johnston

I would love more storage space in our flay anywhere as my husband fills it with his junk. I would especially like racks and boxes in our loft space to hide all his stuff and on occasions him up there!

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Tristan Titeux

Very funny, I was going to suggest the solution to your storage problem sounds like your husband, so getting rid of him may solve your storage problems! Don’t tell him I said that! I am just being practical!

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Tristan Titeux

Good luck with it, and please look up Baby Calm, my partner is studying to be a teacher, she is a Doula, and she is reading me snippets of her book constantly which is fascinating, all about natural parenting, why you should sleep with your baby, that kind of thing if you are interested.

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Jay

After looking at the link, definitely in our front room. We have two really deep alcoves at either side of the fire, and I’d love to have something custom made there to hide all the DVDs & CDs away!

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Phil Darling

I would lovesome more storage room in my Daughters room – as there obviously isn’t enough as she has to use the floor to store everything

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Anna

I’d like more starage in the hal – without it where are the ironing board, hoover and coats supposed to live???

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Ileana F

I would love more storage space in the kitchen for all my impulsive pots, pan and dishes buying! xxx

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Vic

I need more space ater having my second son a few months ago!! Two boys (who are the first grandchildren) generate a lot of toys and treats!

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Nick

More space everywhere as I love books and running out of places to keep them – I think more living room storage would be great as I could keep all my most loved things in the most used room!

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Jen

More space in my bedroom. I collect things, so my room is a bit of a mess! If I could have it all tidily organised, with my collections neatly displayed, and some shelves that don’t limit the small space there already is, it’d be fantastic!

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ali thorpe

I would like more storage space everywhere but, if I have to narrow it down, I would choose the bedroom and more space for clothing … although what I would really like is a walk-in wardrobe!

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heidi wilmot

i would like more storage space in my bedroom, i gave my son the bigger room and i am struggling to fit all my belongings in mine :(

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NATALIE

I would like more room in my bedroom because at the moment my dressing table is on the other side of the front door in the middle of the front porch because when we moved in it just wouldn’t fit in my room and most of my clothes are in my babies room which is ok now while she is still a baby but very soon she is going to find her voice and say, “mum, can you get your rubbish out of my room now please” lol.. ;) so that’s where I’d like some more space.

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lorraine polley

i would love more bedroom storage space for my grown-up sons, they are 25,23, 21, although if im honest, if they left home and got a place of their own id have more space anyway!!!! just kidding boys!

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kc

We do a lot of DIY, and I really need to get round to making some storage for all the cut-offs and bits of wood that come in handy for the next projects…and another tool rack for all of our tools!

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Julie

I desperately need more book storage in the living room. Have 10 crates of books in the garage!

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Teresa

would love more storage space in the box bedroom, we tend to dump everything in there instead finding a way to store it properly

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Susie

We are short on space in general. The bed’s been raised, bookshelves built over the doors, baskets installed on top of the kitchen wall units. Now really need something innovative to increase storage in the bathroom!

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Emma

I would love more storage pace in my living room, it was fine until our son now age 2 came along with his toys and ball pit we just don’t have a living room anymore!

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Heather

I need more storage space in my bedroom as it is in the roof of the house and the ceiling is too low for a wardrobe.

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Vicky Carter

I’d love to have more storage for my clothes in the bedrooms, I seem to have acquire a large number of new thick knits this winter, along with my newly acquired blazers and ever expanding coats. I just don’t have enough hanging space, I hate having to put things in the garage, but sometimes that’s the only place to store them.

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laura jones

MY FLAT IS TOTALLY LACKING IN STORAGE SPACE BUT ID LOVE THE LIVING ROOM TO HAVE MORE STORAGE SO I CAN KEEP MY MUDDLES HIDDEN

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Lisa

My bedroom is in desperate need of some more space.Just not enough room for all the clothes,shoes,makeup,hair items and everything else a woman needs lol.

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Christine Johnson

The hallway would be a good place for storage, all the bits and pieces you have to take up the stairs everyday, would be great to have storage, then take everything up in one go

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Kelly Wiffin

I would love more storage space everywhere in my home as we are in the middle of a full house renovation but I would especially like some in my bathroom!

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kim corke

I need more room in my bedroom it is very small and with the double bed and wardbrobe there is not much room left. I need some over head cupboards to solve the problem

Liked on facebook

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Elizabeth

It’s a bit of a case of where wouldn’t I like/need more storage! It would particularly nice to have someone permanent to keep all the dog’s stuff as it doesn’t have a proper ‘home’ and I seem to move it from room to room.

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Melanie

I need more storage space in my bedroom for my clothes and shoes. Guess I find it hard to part with things.

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Becky Downey

Love to win the SPACE RACE in the kitchen. Hate being SCATTERbrained, more space would be a DISH come true!

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Julz

Storage for my son’s bedroom would be a dream – even though he is now in his twenties, his room looks like that of a typical teenager and he says there isn’t enough storage …

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Piper and Daisy

I’ve got a spare bedroom that I want to turn into a cosy reading room. I’d love to have storeage for books and DVD’s all around the walls. I particularly like the white blocky shelving unit shown on the ‘I like rude customers’ section of the web page.

Of course, ideally, I’d like one of those libraries they used to have in old films where you need a stepladder to get to the top….but in a relatively small bedroom that’s perhaps not very practical :-) @piperanddaisy

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Kevin Smith

I could really do with more storage space in the hallway and near the door. Something to keep the space tidier, more imaginative than just some hooks.

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June Lord

I could really do with more storage in the bathroom. It’s so overcrowed at the moment and my 18 month old has gotten into the habit of throwing everything into the bath. Sometimes when it’s filled up too!!!

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Sara Friend

I could really use more storage space under the stairs (we currently keep most of our shoes, the recycling boxes, the ironing board etc and need a way of organising it)

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Gabrielle Svensson

I would like more storage in the spare room, I work from home selling over the internet, and the stuff is just piled up, it’s so
un-organised!

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Joanne

I would love more space in the bedroom to put all my bits and pieces and pile of books I love to read!!

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Deborah

Would love ore storage in the master bedroom – don’t have any bedside cabinets so my book alarm clock etc all live on the floor

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phillippa lee

I run a small business working with glass in a tiny bunglow. I would love to turn a deep cuboard into a work space so fab creative storage going up to the ceiling would be a pleasure.

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Holly Green

I could do with space in the whole house! But mainly in the kitchen – the cupboards don’t all have doors, and are overflowing with stuff, the rest of which is piled on the table (which now has no chairs!) Haha, it’s terrible.

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Nicole

I would love more storage space for my little girls toys in both her bedroom and the livingroom. Feel like all I do is pick them up when we are at home haha… It only takes her a few mins to make the house look like a bomb has hit it ;)

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Joanna Coleshill

I’d love more storage for all the bits and pieces my husband and I have acquired. we have far too much and are expecting our first baby so really need to get organised!

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Pamela Cook

I would really like more space in the kitchen – which is so small I just cannot see how to do it!

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Claire Trevor

I would love more wardrobe space in my bedroom, and also some extra cupboard space in my kitchen for all my baking tins.

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Jamie

I would like more space in our Kitchen, its quite small and most of out food and equipment is left on the side :( :P.
Thanks :) X

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esther

I would love some storage under my stairs for all my shoes. Currently they are just rammed in one of my cupboards and I can never find the pair I am looking for

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