A Quick Guide To Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 – Part 2: What Not To Miss

Posted on May 24th, 2016 by

Well, it’s finally here…Clerkwenwell Design Week has begun! We’ve set up shop in The British Collection surrounded by amazing designers from all over the UK. The bare brick barrel roof of the historic church crypt works perfectly with our “urban rustic” design and the smooth copper worktop just looks so cool, in fact everything does! I’m so excited for everyone to see what the team have been working so hard to create, so if you are planning on visiting CDW 2016 please do pop by!

As well as manning the stand, I can’t wait to explore the jam-packed programme of events over the next three days. Sometimes it’s best to get a little lost wandering around and discovering your favourite new designer or stumbling across an installation that completely inspires you. It’ll be interesting to see if Giles Miller’s billboards designed to ‘subtly evoke the movement of visitors to the next festival destination’ will subconsciously map out our route. But whichever direction you choose, here are 5 things you definitely do not to miss this year…


A vicar may seem an unlikely collaborator but Andrew Baughen of St James Church saw the potential for this majestic 17th century building to be used as a workspace for Clerkenwell’s residents and who better to transform the space than award winning British designer, Tom Dixon OBE. His installation will bring to life the co-working environment that Baughen envisaged including a new kitchen and a spectacular chandelier from his latest ‘Materiality Collection’, all of which will be donated as permanent fixtures following the festival.

The amazing stone, wood and stained glass backdrop of the historic church are set to provide the perfect contrast to his innovative designs whilst being perfectly in-keeping with the new collection which celebrates the “raw materials” that underpin the inspiration for the brand’s designs.


This year we see Clerkenwell Design Week’s first education and community project. A talented bunch of GCSE students have got together through a series of workshops run by Scale Rule to design and plan the construction of this summer pavilion that will sit in the gardens behind St James Church. I really love the idea behind this, how cool would it be to see your school project amongst pieces from the best designers from around the globe!?


Get involved with a series of hands-on workshops taking place in this ‘exploded barn’ pavilion in St Johns Square. Celebrating Clerkenwell’s rich heritage of making and crafts, the workshops will be spread across the three days and will see local makers teaching you everything from punching a pendant to creating beautiful cards. The temporary museum will also host a selection of ‘sofa talks’ on the final day of the festival discussing the future of remaking in a circular economy with some impressive names in the world of design.


There’s been a lot of hype surrounding the launch of the ”world’s first 3D-printed consumer wheelchair” created by Benjamin Hubert’s studio, Layer. A combination of beautiful design, clever functionality and cutting edge techniques have created a huge buzz that the London based studio are hoping will attract the attention of manufactures who can help bring the product to the market.

The technology allows them to create a made-to-measure seat and foot bay, providing the ultimate comfort. The design also includes lightweight carbon spokes and wheel surfaces that lock into custom made goods for easier mobility. 3D printing seems so space age to me that this is automatically cool and I can’t wait to discover more.


This year saw the tragic loss of design legend Zaha Hadid. To commemorate her extraordinary talent her Clerkenwell gallery will be showcasing ‘The Seamless Collection’, an exploration of ergonomic design mixed with complex curvilinear geometrics. Her signature flowing style will be mixed with contrasting materials and colours, an interesting homage to a true design legend that is well worth a visit.

- For part 1 of our Guide to Clerkenwell Design Week, click here

- See the full programme of events here

- To visit Clerkenwell Design Week and discover all these amazing designs you simply need to register here

- The Sebastian Cox Kitchen by deVOL will be exhibited in The British Collection at stand BW1


I love this arts and crafts kitchen in Kent

Posted on May 19th, 2016 by

It’s been a busy few weeks of photo-shoots across London and the home counties for Tim and I. Such a great thing to do, be welcomed into peoples homes and see their deVOL Kitchens, I love my job. We have lots of projects to show you but I couldn’t resist a quick blog on this one.

Imagine a big country house in the pretty village of Chislehurst, a row of independent shops and cafes, tree lined streets and winding country roads. Yet just a stone’s throw on the train to London, the perfect spot to set up home, a home for the long time.

This beautiful Arts and Crafts house built in 1887 was impressive, high ceilings, beautiful big spacious rooms full of light and original wood paneling. The owners found this new spot for the kitchen and it was like walking into a very cool restaurant or old school dining hall. Big double doors and leather club chairs for relaxing in the sun, a skinny long refectory table with an assortment of old school chairs and benches looked just the part. A bank of four of our pantry cupboards, sat against the back wall, they are big deep cupboards, housing a full height fridge and freezer and two pantries, yet in this kitchen they were quietly understated yet perfectly proportioned.


The styling of this room was centred around a beautifully renovated parquet floor, the warm colours of the woods on the floor, table and Island all gave a lovely tactile feel to this kitchen. Hardwearing, light coloured Silestone worktops around the sink and cooker contrasted really well with the wood and gave the room a little touch of industrial to go with the selection of vintage lights hanging from the ceiling on chains that must have been five meters long. The ceilings were very high and just to add to the atmosphere there was an original minstrels gallery at one end of the room that gave a magnificent view of this very special kitchen. The Pantry Blue base cabinets, glazed London wall cupboards and Island all made up of standard Shaker cupboards meant this kitchen was an instant hit, racking up more Instagram likes in 24 hours than any other deVOL kitchen ever.


The family who lived here had chosen a wonderful mix of old and new accessories to make this room come to life and the addition of a big plasma tv on the wall and the constant sound of Ibiza chill out tunes made it a place you really didn’t want to leave. We love this room for its complete look and the care that has been taken to make it fit so well into this grand house, what a fabulous room to come home to.


A Quick Guide to Clerkenwell Design Week 2016: Part 1; A New Direction

Posted on May 19th, 2016 by

I can’t quite believe that Clerkenwell Design Week is starting again next Tuesday! I remember my first CDW last year, I’d joined deVOL the week before, was sleeping on my friends floor and still couldn’t quite grasp London tube rules, but I loved every second of it. I was just amazed by all the cool stuff that was going on, there was so much to explore! I also got to be part of the launch of our latest range; The Sebastian Cox Kitchen by deVOL. I’d never been involved with a launch before, it was so exciting rushing around and meeting a bunch of new and really interesting people. I definitely jumped in at the deep end, but it was the best start to an amazing year, and now we’re returning as a key figure in British design with an award winning kitchen range, and I’ve even become transport-savvy enough to know that it’s best to just avoid the tube at all costs.

Celebrating its 7th birthday CDW is back with a new look, new venues and, of course, some amazing new design spectacles. With their previous Farmiloe hub up for development and no longer available, the show has branched out adding extra exhibits, temporary pavilions and opening the doors of more local design showrooms. Their ‘new masterplan’ aims to improve flow and navigation around the event allowing visitors to see more and for everyone to get involved, a true reflection of this creative district’s community spirit.

As well as a large collection of open showrooms, a programme of inspiring talks and lots of fascinating fringe events, the festival will be celebrating 7 years of innovative design across 7 exhibitions including 3 new shows hosted by 3 new local landmarks. So here’s part one of our quick guide to Clerkenwell Design Week looking at this years new exhibition spaces…


T  H  E      E  X  H  I  B  I  T  I  O  N  S 


Usually filled with hungry workers in search of sunshine, this beautiful green will be transformed into the new hub of the festival. A purposefully constructed two story pavilion will house the most exciting furniture, lighting and product design from around the world as well as providing a space to connect relax and recharge. If you do visit you should pop into our showroom, we’re just down the road opposite the wonderfully eclectic Exmouth Market, a great place to stop and sample some delicious lunch stalls or lots of really great restaurants. I can personally recommend the Moro stand…especially if it’s spiced lamb day!


This unique show celebrating the most exciting emerging designers returns to the subterranean holding cells of Clerkenwell’s past prisoners. It was one of my favourite venues last year, full of eerie atmosphere mixed with really innovative design, a definite ‘must visit’.


The beautiful gardens of St James’s church will be the new host of not one, but two amazing exhibits. Last year the space did house a couple of fringe events including a rather tasty Jamie Oliver FoodTube truck, but CDW 2016 sees these lovely grounds graduate to become an official exhibition space. The much loved Additions exhibit, filled with small design pieces and interior accessories, has moved from the crypt out into the open and has been joined by the new show Project which will showcase the best of international furniture, lighting and contemporary product design.


We are so excited to be exhibiting in The British Collection amongst some of the UK’s most exciting home grown talent! Our beautiful new Sebastian Cox Kitchen will sit in the well, whilst the rest of the collection will spread out into the amazing barrel-ceilinged crypt. It’s so cool to be recognised as a key figure in British design and we can’t wait to show you what we have planned…



Returning to the impressive church and picturesque cloister, the Detail exhibit allows you to ogle at luxurious interiors from the best and most prestigious names in the business. Mixing fine craftsmanship and high glamour it’s a great one to explore. Make sure you also head out to the pavilion on the square, which this year is focusing on luxury and decorative surfaces.



I’m not much of a clubber, so despite celebrating my year anniversary in London last week, I am yet to venture to one of the cities most iconic venues, Fabric nightclub. And so, I was pretty excited when I heard that London’s famous party spot is opening its doors for CDW 2016. Illustrious design magazine, Icon, will once again stage an impressive show featuring a curated selection of top international brands in this beautiful Victorian building. I really can’t wait to see this one.


Look out for part 2 of our ‘Quick Guide to Clerkenwell Design Week 2016′ where we’ll be sharing the things that we’re most looking forward to seeing…


- Clerkenwell Design Week 2016 will run from Tuesday 24th until Thursday 26th May. To attend, all you need to do is register here.

- To download the full CDW2016 map, simply click here.

Images sourced from www.clerkenwelldesignweek.com and www.residentadvisor.net.



A trip to Hoxton Mini Press

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by

As we veered off from London Fields into what appeared to be an industrial estate we couldn’t help thinking, ‘are we in the right place?!’ That is until we saw railway arches filled with quirky cafes, upcycled mismatching furniture, bearded gents and the odd vintage bicycle, suddenly it all felt very east London. It’s the sort of place you would never really go unless you knew it was cool, which only makes it cooler. It’s here amongst corrugated steel and the trendy ankle-baring elite that you can find one of London’s most exciting, yet still very small, publishing teams; Martin, Ann, Ruth and their two completely adorable dogs Moose and Bug, otherwise known as Hoxon Mini Press.


Those London-savvy bunch amongst you may be thinking that this is Hackney not Hoxton, so where did the name come from? Well Hoxton was where it all began. It actually began with an 86 1/2 year old man stumbling amongst the Hoxton hipsters in London’s trendy east district, a sight so intriguing to photographer Martin Usborne, he felt compelled to take the old man’s picture. From there came a whole book filled with beautiful pictures and fascinating stories about born and bread east Londoner Joseph Markovich’s life and his relationship with the ever-changing East End. Martin’s self published I’ve Lived In East London For 86 1/2 Years is a truly heart-warming and honest observation of my new home, needless to say I instantly fell in love with it.


Following the success of his first publication, Martin and his wife, Ann, founded Hoxton Mini Press, an independent publishing company making amazing photography and illustration books, most of which still focus on the wonderfully eclectic and eccentric east London. Their latest venture sees their second big coffee table book. We absolutely love their first, The Makers of East London, which we’ve stocked it in our Cotes Mill showrooms for some time now, so when we heard about this latest big release we were excited to get our hands on a copy.


East London Food is far from your usual city grub guide, authors Rosie Birkett and Helen Cathcart capture the spirit of this vibrant and rapidly evolving gastro-community. Although a more ‘commercial’ subject, the book, much like 86 1/2 years and many of Hoxton Press’s collection, has a distinctive humanistic quality, filled with stories about people rather than just places and, of course, with page upon page of the most beautiful pictures. From community projects, to family run hidden gems, to Michelin-star chefs, it’s a diverse insight into a huge cultural aspect of the East End, with the added bonus of having a little pull out book of some of their favourite recipes.


One of my favourite ways to explore a city is through my stomach, I spent a recent 8 hour stopover wandering around the back alleys of Beijing in search of the weirdest and most delicious treats I could find. So to me this book is the perfect way to get a flavour of one of London’s coolest areas, a taste that can be taken away and recreated in your own kitchen. In fact we left so inspired we had to go on a google maps treasure hunt to find some of the places we’d read about. We didn’t have to go far, E5 Bakehouse, an independent organic bakery, sits nestled under one of the railway arches a stone’s throw from the office. Not only did this cute cafe open up to the bakery in the back, but next door they even had a stone mill so they can mill everything on site. It looked so cool and it’s probably one of the best sourdoughs I have ever eaten! A little further up the road we found Raw Duck, Duck Soup’s bigger and bolder sister restaurant that celebrates culinary curiosity, seasonal produce and a passion for fermenting and pickling. It has a quirky yet simple menu and a decor to match – we loved these big concrete slab tables and carefully selected tableware, all very urban rustic.


Now armed with their E8 postcode and a fast growing reputation, I was keen to find out what exciting new projects the team had up their sleeves. True to form their next series is completely different from East London Food; a mini series of collectable photography books by photographers loved by the team. From the most hilarious botched repair jobs to 24 ways to peel a banana and other tales from the world of hand modelling, the collection takes a step away from the east London community yet still has the light-hearted, fun style that makes them feel distinctively ‘Hoxton Mini Press’. Their fans seemed to think so too, as it was their donations from the recent kickstarter campaign that meant the books were able to be published.


With more plans to branch out of the east, including a few books in the pipeline centred around London and bigger dreams to move on to the rest of the world, I asked Ruth if there was a fear they would lose that special community spirit that seems to resonate so heavily with their readers. “Not really” she replied, “or at least I hope not. Our readers are from here there and everywhere, it seems to be more of the style of the book rather than the location.” And it’s true, we’ve been selling quite a few of their books for some time at Cotes Mill. It may seem a little strange for a Leicestershire company to be selling books about the people and places of a corner of London, but our customers love them. It’s like peeping into someone’s life, it doesn’t matter if you share their city if you share their passion.

I for one cannot wait to see what’s coming next…


- ‘East London Food’ and a selection of our favourite Hoxton Mini Press books are now available from our Cotes Mill Showrooms.

- To see the whole of the Hoxton Mini Press collection, visit their website here.


Clerkenwell Design Week May 2016

Posted on May 11th, 2016 by

We are excited to announce that we are exhibiting later this month at Clerkenwell Design Week. When deVOL first moved to Clerkenwell to set up our London Showroom just over a year and a half ago, all I knew about this area was the Clerkenwell Design Week show. I had visited the show myself in my first year of University and got to walk around in awe of all the designers and companies presenting their new and innovative furniture and designs. Now, for the second year, deVOL Kitchens are able to exhibit some fantastic new designs from our recently launched Sebastian Cox Range. We are excited for you to come and see them.


The show runs from 24th to 26th May 2016 and I would like to welcome everyone to join us. We are exhibiting in the lower ground floor level of St James Church, next to the ‘British Collection’. We will have kitchen designers and deVOL staff available to help with any questions about the Sebastian Cox furniture or any of our ranges of furniture. We always love to hear about any upcoming projects and to have a good chat, so please do pop by.

I would also encourage all visitors to explore the whole area. Clerkenwell is a design hub and is a great place for getting inspiration for any upcoming home renovations and projects. ‘Design Fields’, another Clerkenwell design week venue, is just around the corner from our Clerkenwell showroom on Tysoe Street. You could follow the suggested trail below, finishing with a quick visit to our showroom and then have a coffee and a cake or an amazing lunch down Exmouth Market.


Pre-register at the address below or register on the day at specific registration sites around Clerkenwell. The exhibition is open daily from 10:00 – 21:00 and the British Collection is at Crypt on the Green, Clerkenwell Close, EC1R 0EA. The closest tube station is Farringdon.

We look forward to meeting you!







Objects of Desire

Posted on May 9th, 2016 by

Just a super quick blog today to show you a very special feature. Country Living Modern Rustic have picked our beautiful Sebastian Cox Pantry Cupboard as their Object of Desire for issue 05, so awesome!!


At the very beginning of the year I received an email from the design editor of Modern Rustic, she told me how everybody at the publication had fallen totally in love with this cupboard and asked if we wouldn’t mind lending it to them so they could shoot it for their upcoming issue. Of course we said yes! and now 6 months or so down the line, it’s been photographed and printed on a full page in the journal, and we think it looks just perfect. I love all of the photography in Modern Rustic, they just get it so spot on; their photos are beautifully moody and atmospheric, but they’ve still got that uncomplicated and authentic and effortless vibe, just dreamy. The team dressed our pantry cupboard, handmade from rough sawn English Beech and stained with an inky blue/black dye, with simple ceramic pots and porcelain storage jars by Sun Kim.


If you’re after a few ideas for your own home, or just love to collect beautiful books filled with beautiful things, I think you’ll love Country Living Modern Rustic. It’s the kind of journal you’ll want to keep on your bookshelf forever, whenever you’re feeling a little short of inspiration you’ll go back to it and get lost in all of its loveliness, you’ll want to read it again and again and again.

We stock issue 5 (and also have a few copies of the previous issues left… if you’re quick!!) at both our Cotes Mill and Clerkenwell, London showrooms. They are priced at £9.99 each.


- To find out more about these lovely journals, or to place an order for a copy online, just click here.

- For more information on The Sebastian Cox Kitchen by deVOL, please click here.