Meet the Staff

At deVOL we believe that our team of highly qualified staff is our best asset. Our customers appreciate putting a friendly face to a name. Click on the pictures of our staff below to read about them and read their entries on our award winning blog.

Paul O'Leary

Director

BA (Hons) Product Design

Paul graduated from Loughborough University in 1987 with a 2:1 and co-founded Insight Design Consultancy, which had a strong ergonomic bias and won commissions from The M.O.D, The Royal National Hospital Bath and Cranfield Business College. In 1989 Paul followed his yearning for design and production with one of the design partners, Philip deVries and co-founded deVOL (the name being an amalgamation of their initials). deVOL began specialising in freestanding kitchen furniture in 1993.

The emerging style was a reflection of Paul and Philip's affinity with simple Georgian and Victorian furniture from Ireland, England and Wales. Some other notable influences include Shaker, Scandinavian, French and Eastern European cabinetry. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 Paul received a commendation in The Kitchen Designer of the Year Awards.

Paul became sole proprietor in 1998 and has continued to build on deVOL's reputation through his determination to produce the highest quality cabinetry and maintain a strong design ethic. deVOL now design kitchens for clients all over the world, as far afield as Hawaii, Ghana, New York and Iceland and even ship their furniture over to two showrooms in Japan, opened by Japanese entrepreneur Masaya Fujita.

Since many of deVOL's clients would ask advice on other aspects of interior design, deVOL began recommending and then selling the flooring that complimented their furniture. Floors of Stone Ltd became a company in its own right in 2008. Paul also spent 3 years working closely with a friend who is a leading fashion designer and together with investment from de Montfort University and a number of lingerie designers, developed and patented a range of healthcare underwear, which won the ACA 'Look Good Feel Good' Award and were featured in the book 'The History of Men's Underwear'. Paul formed Shreddies Ltd in 2008 which retails his underwear and other healthcare garments.

Paul appointed a Managing Director for deVOL Kitchens Ltd in 2011, but still plays an active role on a daily basis, particularly on the creative side, directing the design office and writing and designing deVOL's brochures. Paul has been a regular commentator on kitchen design and underwear design in the press; with ask the experts articles in interior magazines and interviews for radio, TV and newspapers. Paul's designs and comments have been featured in wide ranging media coverage from Country Living, Elle Deco and House & Garden to Radio One and from The Financial Times to The Daily Star.

Paul bought Cotes Mill, a historic 16th century water mill on the banks of the River Soar, in 2012. Some might have thought he was crazy taking on such a huge project in the midst of a recession, but taking risks is what Paul does best, he just has that knack of getting it spot on. With his vision and utter determination Cotes Mill was transformed into a stunning design destination and kitchen showroom and it now attracts visitors from all over the country to see the four floors of lovely handmade kitchen displays, special collections of antique and vintage furniture and beautiful grounds full of wildlife, including a lovely family of fallow Deer.

After the incredible renovation and success of deVOL’s Cotes Mill showrooms in Leicestershire, in 2014 Paul decided it was time for deVOL to open a showroom and design office in London. Such a large percentage of our customers were already based here, so it made perfect sense for us to open up shop in the capital, we were so excited that our London customers would now be able to visit us easily and see our furniture in the flesh.

Paul will forever be a product designer at heart, solving the simplest and most complex of design problems, always considering style, form, function and comfort. His innovative and unique ideas were key to the design and making of our award-winning Sebastian Cox Kitchen range, which launched in 2015 and took the design world by storm. This urban rustic kitchen, made completely from sustainable British timbers, is unlike anything else on the market and has been awarded a Design Guild Mark and named as Homes & Gardens ‘Kitchen Design of the Year’, a truly great achievement for Paul and the deVOL Design Team.

Carrying on his love for product design, at the beginning of 2016 Paul opened up a small ceramics studio at Cotes Mill and employed a few very talented graduates from local universities. They went on to create a collection of handmade ceramic kitchenware, tiles, pendant lights and sinks. Most recently, Paul has designed his very own stool, “A graduate furniture designer’s dream is to design an iconic chair or stool and to say ‘There, that’s my stool’ and to be proud of it.” says Paul, and he’s done just that. Machined from one lump of solid oak, this is the comfiest stool you will ever sit on.

One London showroom has now turned into two, with Paul recently buying a beautiful new deVOL shop and townhouse in the historic square of St. John, in Clerkenwell. The building feels timeless and full of history and charm, it’s set out over five floors with a very cool roof garden, lots of original features and very high ceilings, it’s the perfect space to display cupboards from our bespoke Classic English range.

Paul loves his garden, playing with the kids, country walks and country pubs, and would, one day, like to write a book and make a film.

Paul O'Leary's blog entries >

Robin McLellan

Managing Director

BSc (Hons) DPS Industrial Design & Technology

Robin started a one year placement at deVOL in 2005 and returned as a permanent member of staff after completing his degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree.

Robin started selling his wood turnings at a shop in Worcester at the age of ten. By the age of twenty, Robin had acquired an extensive home workshop, including two lathes. He has an incredible knowledge of the properties of even quite rare timbers, as well as a thorough knowledge of traditional carpentry techniques.

With the practical skills he has at his disposal, Robin quickly became a highly regarded member of our design & development team and became influential in streamlining production, working closely with Ben Creed. He also ensured that each cabinet met our specifications to minute tolerances.

Robin was promoted to Production Manager in 2008 and to a share­holding Managing Director in 2011. From the moment Robin walked into my shop as a student with an oar sticking out of a hold-all, he has never ceased to impress. Robin is as ambitious and dedicated as he is talented and trustworthy. deVOL kitchens Ltd will no doubt continue to flourish as Robin slowly but surely takes responsibility for everything that makes deVOL special; the most important being our staff, who are an exceptional bunch of creative, honest and hardworking people.

Robin’s interests include renovating property, white water kayaking and building vintage motorcycles.

Robin McLellan's blog entries >

Helen Parker

Creative Director

Helen joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer in 2004 after a lengthy sabbatical raising a family, she quickly proved that she has the wherewithal to guide prospective clients through the kitchen design process.

Helen was promoted to the position of Creative Director in 2011 after showing an innate ability to forecast trends and give deVOL a style direction. She was given the task of redesigning deVOL's kitchen displays both at Cotes Mill and our first London showroom, this included designing new pieces of furniture to add to our existing Classic and Shaker ranges. One of our favourite of Helen’s designs is the beautiful deVOL Curiosity cupboard which launched in 2016 and has already become a firm favourite with our customers. Designed with the ‘old museum’ cabinets in mind, this piece is simple, functional and works in just about every room of your home.

Although Helen no longer designs kitchens directly for our customers, she oversees and helps with the training of all deVOL’s kitchen designers both at Cotes Mill and in London and is still very involved with all aspects of the kitchen design service.

deVOL’s easy, cool and understated style is Helen's inspiration and her original approach to our look is quite unique. Over the last thirteen years that Helen has been with the company it has changed from a small Leicestershire business, to a household name. Helen's passion and desire to create a special look for deVOL has proved to be the making of this company.

She works with Tim, our photographer, on all the styling and imagery for the company, organising photoshoots both in-house and in customers’ homes. deVOL’s timeless, original and impeccably styled photography is one of the key things which have helped us to become such a well regarded name in the design and interiors industry.

Helen is also involved with the design and writing of text for all deVOL brochures and advertising, regularly being asked to submit editorials for local and national magazines and newspapers such as Elle Decoration, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc and The Sunday Times, she has become a voice of knowledge when it comes to interiors and stylish living.

When we design new kitchen ranges and work on collaborations and new projects Helen is a key member of the deVOL Design Team. Her amazing eye for style and knack for getting things just spot on were very important in the design and launch of our Sebastian Cox Kitchen range in 2015, which has gone on to win multiple awards for its unique urban rustic look.

Helen is also responsible for styling, sourcing and buying all the antiques and gifts on display here at the Mill and has introduced an exciting and eclectic range of products old and new. As well as sourcing products from all over the world, Helen has been working closely with our deVOL potter and ceramicist to create a small but growing collection of classic stoneware in the most beautiful soft muted colours, the pieces are practical and simple and they will be around forever.

Most recently, Helen has been responsible for designing our incredible new London showroom and townhouse in the historic square of St. John, Clerkenwell. A design that has already got the media and interiors world talking; with soft pink and green walls, cupboards painted in our new ‘Clerkenwell Blue’, a wall covered in our very own dark green metro style deVOL tiles, oil paintings hanging from the walls, quirky palm trees and houseplants, antique chandeliers and kooky Majolica pottery, Helen’s brave and inspired choices have created an evocative and carefully considered space in which to display our bespoke Classic English cupboards.

Helen is a keen blogger and is always actively ensuring deVOL and its image is kept classic, on trend and eclectic. She loves food, unusual ingredients, exploring markets and local restaurants, spending time gardening and watching world movies. Helen’s hobbies are a kind of extension of her work at deVOL, all of the things Helen loves are a part of her job. She is hoping to get the deVOL food truck up and running this year and create a lovely vegetable garden at the Mill too; all of these things are intrinsically linked to her home life in the loveliest way.

Helen Parker's blog entries >

Ben Creed

Workshop Manager

BA (Hons) Multimedia, City and Guilds Cabinet Making

Ben qualified with distinction from Hereford Technical College as a cabinet maker in 1989 and worked for Paul Somers Interiors and Woodgate Woodcraft Ltd gaining valuable knowledge from experienced craftsmen.

Ben returned to college in 1992, and excelled in successive courses, namely: a BTEC in Art Design, a HND in Textiles and finally a First Class honours degree in Multimedia. Ben's college work was selected for 100% Design and the New Designers exhibition where he won the prestigious 1997 Design Guild Award. Ben's chubby carpet scooter sculptures and other imaginative works have been exhibited in London's Mall Gallery, as well as Durham, Berlin and The Maze Gallery, Turin.

Following his graduation, Ben worked for a year designing, making and fitting boat interiors before joining deVOL in 1998 as one of our cabinet makers. After 3 years Ben proved his passion, skill and determination to create beautiful furniture of the absolute highest quality and earned a promotion to Workshop Manager.

Ben is responsible for maintaining production levels and ensuring that the quality of materials, construction and finishing meet deVOL's extremely high standards, with no exceptions. Ben's unique blend of talents and experience are highly valued, and his creative input is regularly sought by the design team.

Ben’s impossibly broad knowledge of carpentry techniques and just about every type of wood there is made him a key part of the team when designing and making of our award-winning Sebastian Cox Kitchen range. Launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, this kitchen has totally taken the design world by storm and has been awarded a Design Guild Mark as well as being named as Homes & Gardens ‘Kitchen Design of the Year’. Ben and the deVOL Design Team created a truly unique and innovative kitchen, something to be very proud of.

Ben's charming and unassuming nature endears him to all of our clients who clearly appreciate his attention to detail and his aesthetic viewpoint; he is a true asset to deVOL.

Ben Creed's blog entries >

Andrew Collins

Company Accountant

CIMA Qualified (ACMA), BSC (Hons) Financial Economics & Accounting

After graduating with a 2:1 from Swansea University, Andy travelled around Central and Eastern Europe for a few months before joining deVOL's sister company Floors of Stone as a Bookkeeper in February 2008.

Andy’s hardworking and friendly nature saw him be promoted to Manager later that year, until leaving in June 2009 to continue with his accountancy qualifications at Warwickshire firm ‘telent Ltd.’

Andy was invited to re-join the deVOL group of companies as our Company Accountant and is now responsible for the financial management of deVOL, but also oversees the accounts of deVOL's other companies with the help of our lovely team of Accounts Assistants.

In a job that requires patience, organisation and utter attention to detail, Andy has proven to be a conscientious and trustworthy member of the management team in his previous and current position; he is a true asset to deVOL. It's always a good sign when a valued member of staff returns to the fold.

In his spare time Andy likes working on his house, playing football, reading and following Arsenal.

Katie Creed

Head Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Textile Design

Katie graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2009, specialising in print and embroidery; her style focused on graphical line drawings of iconic London imagery. Soon after graduating Katie started working in our flooring business, Floors of Stone Ltd. Katie was excellent with customers and gained expertise in all aspects of sales, logistics and customer service. Katie became office supervisor as the business grew, until she was offered a place on the kitchen design team at deVOL.

Katie had always been interested in interior design, so the move satisfied her desire to use her creative skills in her job. Katie quickly got up to speed designing on CAD and guiding clients through the kitchen design process.

In 2015 Katie was appointed as Head Kitchen Designer, her friendly and approachable personality, design flair and impeccable organisational skills made her the perfect person for this job. She now works closely with our team of designers at the Mill, discussing their projects and helping each designer create the very best and most practical design for their customer’s space. Katie likes to have a good nosey at all of the potential projects we receive on a daily basis, but the best bit is seeing photographs of the finished rooms and hearing from happy customers who love their new kitchens.

Although Katie spends most of her time helping our team of designers, she still enjoys having her own kitchen clients when she can, there’s nothing better than working closely with a customer and seeing a project through from beginning to end.

The Kew and Bath Shaker kitchens are a couple of Katie’s favourite projects that she has worked on. Not only were the customers lovely, making the design process a dream, but the finished kitchens look so clean and beautiful. Simple designs always make the best ones.

Katie loves working at Cotes Mill, being surrounded by friendly and creative people and working in a place where there’s always something new going on. She especially likes seeing all of the new ceramics coming out of our little studio and is looking forward to the very first deVOL jewellery collection.

Katie has just bought a new house, which needs some serious renovating, so she can now totally relate to customers in a similar position! In her spare time she likes to sew, print and makes her own furnishings, most recently, she has started making paper-mache lights, a very messy process but rewarding in the end! Travelling is another of Katie’s passions, with her favourite destinations so far being the USA, Canada, Berlin and Stockholm.

John Alan Purcell

Senior Projects Manager

BSC (Hons) Furniture Design & Manufacture

John achieved a First Class Honours degree from Buckingham Chilterns University College in 2005 and worked as a Kitchen Designer and Project Manager for Laings in Edinburgh until joining deVOL in 2010. It soon became clear that John's manufacturing knowledge and project management experience qualified him to not only design kitchens but to oversee the whole project through to completion.

For a project to run perfectly to plan requires a meticulous approach and an unflappable attitude. John has proven himself to be the perfect man for the job and customers are reassured by his obvious expertise and warm and friendly manner.

John enjoys helping his family out on occasion, making furniture and doing interior refurbishments, but mostly is happy going to the odd gig and having a night out with friends.

Tim Cooper

Design Office Manager

BA (Hons) Photography and Video

Tim Graduated with a 2:1 from Lincoln University in May 2007 and joined deVOL that June. Tim's portfolio of work showed varied interests, social documentary and experimental film photography as well as stunt BMX videos taken during trips to Spain and Texas.

Tim has stayed with deVOL since graduating, photographing beautiful kitchens at our studios, showrooms and on location at our client's houses. His photos have appeared in numerous national and international interior magazines and newspapers including Elle Decoration, House & Garden, The World of Interiors and The Sunday Times. As well as Tim’s photos appearing in some of the best magazines in the world, they have also appeared on some of the top and most well respected design and interiors blogs such as Remodelista, Apartment Therapy and Dezeen.

Tim has also taken nearly all the photographs and videos for our other companies, with work ranging from filming our underwear model striding around a Nottingham shopping centre in his pants to the incredibly detailed photos of natural stone floor tiles that show every subtle difference in hue and texture.

Working closely with our Creative Director, Helen Parker, Tim has taken some of the highest quality interior and still life product photos we have ever produced; photographs which finally do our products justice. Our beautiful photography is what sells our kitchens, it’s so important to us to get every photo just right, whether it’s for our social media pages or a full page national advert. Tim has worked incredibly hard to perfect his art and his photos just keep getting better with every shoot.

Working with an in-house photographer on a daily basis seems to be the only way to achieve such stunning results. Tim's dedication and versatility has earned him the position of Design Office Manager and he now oversees the work of our other graphic and web designers as well as helping with our IT support, on-going SEO and kitchen brochure design and printing.

One of Tim’s favourite shoots was of our Classic English Clapham Kitchen, the cupboards were stunning and so substantial, they really did feel like they’d last a lifetime and it was a space you just wanted to spend time in. The Arts and Crafts Kitchen photoshoot is another highlight for Tim, with tall vaulted ceilings, huge windows and beautifully soft light; it was a photographer’s dream.

Most recently, Tim has been working on a series of beautifully shot short films to show the making process of some of deVOL’s newest products, including our handmade ceramic tiles, kitchenware collection and our brand new aged brass cup handles, some of which have been viewed over thirty thousand times each on our social media pages.

Tim has just finished a complete home renovation, gutting the whole house from top to bottom and starting from scratch. He even laid a parquet floor by hand over the whole ground floor, a long and meticulous task but so worth it in the end.

In his spare time, Tim is a very keen cyclist and has cycled in the French Alps and Pyrenees. He likes walking and landscape photography, particularly in the peak district, working on his garden and hanging out with his cats, Barney and Betty. Exploring European cities is another of Tim’s loves, with his favourites so far being Berlin and Barcelona.

Tim Cooper's blog entries >

Rhys Jenkins

Production & Projects Manager

BA (Hons) Industrial Design and Technology

Rhys graduated from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree in Industrial Design and Technology. At university he developed a particular interest in design for sustainability, with a focus on emotionally durable design, highlighting the desire for high quality products that are built to last. His graduate project of premium, modular hand tools was heavily based around these values and earned him a place at London’s New Designer's exhibition. This led on to help him secure a job working within the production team at deVOL.

Rhys started out as Production and Projects Manager, taking care of customer kitchen orders and providing technical support. Keen to learn and develop his overall knowledge, he quickly began to understand the whole kitchen design to manufacture process, allowing him to oversee customer projects and help manage the efficiency and effectiveness of the whole process.

Rhys now helps to manage the Cotes Mill production line, ensuring that customer jobs are completed on time and to the correct specifications.

Outside of work, Rhys likes to make the most of his time, exercising his skills as an artist and embarking on personal design projects. He also has a passion for D.I.Y and landscape design, currently working with his father, designing and building a holiday home in his family's town of Pembroke, West Wales.

Rhys also enjoys keeping fit, regularly going to the gym and training for the next marathon! He also enjoys travelling, exploring different languages and cultures when he can. Being a patriotic Welshman, the game of rugby often governs his time on and off the field!

Nik Bignell

Project Manager

HND Electrical Engineering

Nik joined a technical apprenticeship as a post 16 school leaver with Brush Electrical Machines and Loughborough College, studying GNVQ Advanced Engineering and NVQ II Engineering Principles. Throughout the apprenticeship he completed an ONC, HNC and HND at Loughborough College and Stephensons Technical College, Coalville. Nik then moved from Site Maintenance Electrician through to Product Electrical Insulation Engineer, gaining 10 years of engineering experience via Brush Electrical Machines. From here Nik decided on a career side-path and got involved in residential social work to help young people without the necessary family or support network to give them the best start.

Nik's current role at deVOL is to assist the production management team and to support production development and quality control. Working with customers ideas through to production whilst staying in close contact with manufacturing and the design team.

Nik has a keen amateur interest in aspects of interior design and has visited Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan, Italy on three occasions. This has inspired him to create some of his own simple interior designs which include wall features, abstract style shelving and one-off decorative items.

Outside deVOL Nik's interest lies in cycling locally and throughout Europe, hill walking and indoor and outdoor climbing. Mostly Nik enjoys spending time eating great food with friends at dinner parties, going to festivals and concerts, travelling and definitely the odd drink in the pub!

Anthony McLean

Assistant Production Manager

BA (Hons) Product Design

Anthony graduated in 2015 from Nottingham Trent University with a degree in Product Design.

Throughout his time at university he worked on a range of different projects, from packaging concepts to consumer electronics such as headphones and smartphones. His final year project was a new type of business class airline seat which aimed to maintain luxury and comfort while still being space and cost efficient for airlines.

During his placement year, Anthony worked for Asselle Products as a Kitchen Designer. He worked on creating plans and assisting in the project management of contract kitchens in Greater London. This gave him great experience of working in a professional design company, which proved invaluable when he started work in deVOL's project management team.

In his spare time Anthony loves watching movies, going for bike rides, and occasionally flying light aircraft.

Ella Smith

Administrators & Operations Manager

After completing her A Level studies in Chemistry, Biology and Psychology, Ella spent a gap year working and travelling around Australia. She spent the majority of her time in Melbourne working with and riding Olympic standard horses as well as maintaining the stud farm.

Ella joined deVOL in 2015 following two successful years working in the sports industry with a number of commercial and admin roles in League One and Championship football. Although out of the football industry now, she still makes it to games on the weekends to get her football fix.

An underlying interest in architecture and interior design prompted the move to deVOL. Ella’s job here entails the dispatch of our kitchens and managing our installation teams. She absolutely loves her role and especially receiving pictures from our clients of their beautiful deVOL kitchens in situ.

On the weekends, as well as riding and taking care of her own horse or going to watch Notts play, she always seem to be up and down the country visiting friends.

Helen Robson

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Helen studied 3D Design at Loughborough University, graduating in 2013 with a 2:1 in 3D design. Teaching art and design is one of Helen's passions and before working at deVOL Helen was working as an Art Teacher at a summer school. She has also been a workshop assistant at The Lightbox Gallery, The Eden Project and particularly enjoyed teaching as a volunteer in Sri Lanka. Alongside her degree, Helen also undertook internships with product and furniture designer Michael Marriott and at Next in their homeware department. Helen works as a Kitchen Designer here at deVOL, helping to guide customers through the kitchen design process.

Working directly with the customer to design a product that truly fits their needs as well as working for a company that manufactures locally are two of the things that Helen loves about her job. Helen also works on her own design projects, most recently for cards and gift company Tigerprint as well as for Upcycle Preston, creating a design that could be replicated by people to help them generate income and learn skills. Outside of work Helen enjoys spending time with friends, playing bass guitar and rock climbing.

Matt Fern

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

Matt has a wealth of experience in many areas of kitchen design and manufacturing which made him a great addition to the deVOL team. He trained as a cabinetmaker before undertaking a degree in Furniture Design, which focused on mass manufacturing techniques and design innovation. After graduating with a First Class Honours, he worked as a Project Manager and Designer for a number of years, producing designs and layouts for our clients and liaising with the workshop.

Before joining deVOL at the start of 2015 as a Kitchen Designer and Project Manager. Matt has a young family and loves to play a bit of squash when he gets the chance.

Emma Wraithmell

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

Emma graduated from De Montfort University in 2008 with a degree in Furniture Design. She joined deVOL towards the end of 2014. Her role focuses on drawing up customers kitchen plans and guiding them through the design process turning their ideas and requirements into their dream kitchen. Prior to working for deVOL she worked in Liverpool as an Interior Designer where she enjoyed working on a variety of projects and gained a greater understanding and love of interiors.

Emma has a passion for cooking and travel and loves to experience new foods and cultures. She is also an avid viewer of The Great British Bake Off and enjoys recreating what has been baked on the show. In her spare time Emma loves being outside and enjoys visiting the Lake District to go on walks. Having recently purchased her first home, Emma can't wait to take on the project of re-designing the interiors.

Charlotte Garner

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Charlotte joined deVOL in 2014 after graduating with a 2:1 in Fine Art degree from De Montfort University. During her studies Charlotte’s main focus was on photography, particularly how people connect to certain hues and colours within images. At deVOL, Charlotte helps guide customers through the design process to help create their dream kitchen that is both beautiful and practical.

Charlotte currently spends most of her spare time renovating her house and upcycling furniture. When Charlotte is not working on the house, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, going to music concerts, visiting art galleries and exhibitions as well as going on long walks.

Oliver Ramirez

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Industrial Design & Technology

Oliver joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer in our Cotes Mill showrooms after graduating from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Industrial Design & Technology.

For his final year project he designed a posable task light that could be customised using a companion app. Its main focus was around how conditions such as dyslexia, migraines or epilepsy can be eased considerably with the correct lighting conditions.

During his placement year, Oliver worked for En Route International, a graphics and packaging company, and currently has work flying all over the world on United Airlines.

As a bit of a tech-geek, Oliver loves discovering new technology and the latest gadgets. He also enjoys working on small old school animation projects.

Hannah Vincent

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture

After graduating from Buckinghamshire New University, Hannah Joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer at our Cotes Mill showrooms. During her time at university her designs were chosen to exhibit at both May Design Series 2015 and New Designers 2016.

Hannah has worked with a number of Public Art Groups including ‘Future City’ and ‘Public Works’ and has been a part of projects, such as ‘A Masterclass in Sitting’ and the ‘Last Chair Arch of High Wycombe’. She also won a public seating competition in 2015 commissioned by Berkley Homes, in partnership with Future City, Public Works and High Wycombe Council.

As a big fan of craft and wood working, Hannah enjoys learning about and experimenting with a whole range of materials and even specialised in the use of alternative materials in her final year at university.

Hannah also loves to fill her home with an eclectic mix of handmade, one-off ornaments and furniture.

Jessica Parsons

Kitchen Designer

MDes Furniture and Product Design

Jessica joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer at our Cotes Mill showrooms after graduating with a First Class Masters of Design, specialising in furniture and product design.

During her time at university she enjoyed making many pieces of furniture, including an urban kitchen sink unit and upholstered study seat with an integrated laptop table.

At the weekends Jessica loves to visit antique furniture stores and second hand shops, dreaming of one day filling her own home with lots of beautiful furniture. She also enjoys going for country walks and drawing animals and other portraits.

Emily Rumble

London Showroom Manager and Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) 3D Design: New Practice

Emily graduated from Loughborough University in 2013 with a First Class Honours in 3D Design: New Practice. After working in furniture design during her final year in university she joined deVOL to explore the bespoke English company and the discipline of kitchen design. Since joining deVOL she has enjoyed working within such a friendly team and has had the opportunity not only to be involved in kitchen design but also part of the production team as well. Recently she has had the amazing chance to move to London as part of the opening of the Clerkenwell showroom.

Now as Showroom Manager she has been able to immerse herself in the organisation and running of the new showroom whilst still designing kitchens for lots of our new and exciting clients. London has not only led to new experiences within deVOL but also the exciting change to move and live in the big city.

Living south of the river near Brixton and being able to get into central so easily has opened up loads of social, cultural and fun opportunities. Still keen to follow her interest in design she now spends her time visiting London's many exhibitions and design projects. She still tries to continue her keen interest in bouldering/climbing whilst always looking for new and interesting opportunities which London has a lot to offer. The city has allowed her the opportunity to rekindle friendships and relationships from many backgrounds and we are sure it has a lot to offer in the future.

Emily Rumble's blog entries >

Hugh Leader-Williams

Senior Kitchen Designer - London

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Hugh gained a BA Degree in 3D Design Degree with First Class Honours from Loughborough University in 2012. His graduate collection, Spun Furniture, has met with critical acclaim, winning 3 awards at New Designers – The 100% Design Award, The Made.com Award, and The BCFA Lugo Award. Before working at deVOL, Hugh started his own furniture design business, and licensed a range of furniture to Made.com, which has been on sale since late 2013.

In 2015 Hugh moved to our London office to join our growing design team. The objects he designs are simple and intuitive, and characterised by thoughtful details and the imaginative use of high quality materials. Hugh spends his spare time road cycling, mountain biking and hiking.

Iain Chatburn

Senior Kitchen Designer - London

BA (Hons) Photography

Iain graduated in 2008 with a 2:1 from Falmouth University. He first worked in deVOL’s Creative Design Office from 2013; managing magazine advertising, updating websites, proof-reading brochures and also photographing floor tiles. Iain is now one of our kitchen designers based in the new London showroom. He is fascinated in the design process where a customer’s initial ideas become a finished kitchen design. After graduating Iain was involved in the Nottingham Arts scene, with a role as Digital Coordinator at Surface Gallery. Here he curated several exhibitions, including an international exhibition of short film, a subject which he has a great interest in.

Iain's own art practice take cues from nature, with a strong grounding in Fine Art. A degree project combined photography stills and computer graphics to create an interactive point-and-click adventure game. Living in Cornwall gave the chance to dive regularly and learn underwater photography. A passion for travel also has helped produce a portfolio of photos in East Asia as well as a year teaching English in South Korea. Other hobbies include foraging wild mushrooms and cooking.

Iain Chatburn's blog entries >

Amelia Bur

Kitchen Designer - London

BA (Hons) Product Design

Amelia joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer in our London showroom after completing a degree in Product Design at Bournemouth University.

During her placement year she enjoyed getting hands-on making experience with various designer/makers, developing skills in blacksmithing, knitting, paper engineering, leather working, pattern drafting and more.

As well as making things in her own time, Amelia loves to travel, this year taking trips to Ecuador and around Europe. She also enjoys spending time in the kitchen cooking for her friends and so is really excited to help create peoples dream kitchens as part of the deVOL design team.

Paul Endacott

London Showroom Manager and Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Industrial Design & Technology

Paul studied Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University, graduating with a 2:1 in 2013. During his studies he took a placement year job where he helped to produce products, merchandise and furniture for Coca-cola for use at the London Olympics.

After graduating, Paul worked for a small product design consultancy where he worked on a diverse range of products from high-tech medical products all the way to coffee packaging.

Paul joined deVOL at its Cotes Mill offices to learn the ropes as a Kitchen Designer before heading to our London office in Clerkenwell where he has undertaken the role of Assistant Manager. Paul is a very active person. He has swam competitively at a national level, played for Loughborough University’s water polo 1st's team and has taken to competing in triathlons since finishing university. Most of his holidays revolve around skiing, golf and tennis.

Alexa Jacobs

London Showroom Assistant Manager and Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Architectural Studies

Alexa graduated from the University of Nottingham with a 2:1 degree in Architectural Studies in 2012. After deciding architecture wasn’t for her, she decided to focus on her favourite room in the house; the kitchen. After four years of working as a Kitchen Designer, Alexa joined the deVOL design team as Assistant Manager of the Tysoe Street, London showroom. As well as ensuring the smooth running of the London showroom, Alexa enjoys helping to guide customers through the kitchen design process. In her spare time Alexa loves to visit art exhibitions and spend time eating and drinking with family and friends. She also loves travelling and is always planning her next sunny holiday.  

Georgia Clark

Kitchen Designer - London

BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration

Georgia graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2013, specialising in freehand illustration. She joined deVOL as an Office Assistant, keeping things looking neat and tidy in the showroom and speaking to customers.

Georgia then went on to learn how to draw up customer’s room plans and shortly after she joined the kitchen design team at Cotes Mill. In 2016 Georgia made the big move down to London and became a member of the design team in our Tysoe Street showroom, she has fallen in love with the city life but will always be a country bumpkin at heart!

Guiding customers through the design process from beginning to end is one of Georgia’s favourite parts of her job. She also really loves the variety of different kitchen projects she gets to work on, from cool city flats, to huge Georgian and Victorian properties, to little holiday cottages and projects across Europe.

In her spare time Georgia enjoys making one-off pieces using her sewing machine including appliqué cushions, bunting and framed textile pieces. She has also made lamps, coat hooks and boats from driftwood.

Georgia’s other passions include photography, countryside walks, beachcombing and wakeboarding, any excuse to be outside in the countryside or by the sea. Recently Georgia travelled on a once in a lifetime trip to Kenya, she explored everything this beautiful country has to offer, went on wild safaris and slept on the beach under the stars. Keen to do lots more travelling and see as much of the world as she can, Georgia can't wait to plan her next trip.

Jonathan Heard

Kitchen Designer - London

BA (Hons) Product Design

Jonathan joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer after graduating with a First Class Honours in Product Design from Bournemouth Uni. During his studies he developed a passion for furniture and exhibition design, which led him to create his final year project; a tactile children’s den designed to be a calming space for the classroom or the home, which was chosen to exhibit at New Designers 2016.

During his placement year Jonathan worked at renowned furniture designer and manufacturer, Modus Furniture, where he had the opportunity to assist with and attend product launch exhibitions at Clerkenwell Design Week, Design Junction and Salone Del Mobile Furniture Fair in Milan.

After finishing his training at Cotes Mill, Jonathan will be moving down to join the London design team where he’s excited to explore all the cool exhibitions London has to offer.

Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Jonathan loves the outdoors and enjoys spending time surfing and cycling in Cornwall or Dorset. He also has a love for fine art which has transferred into an interest in graphic design and composition.

Petra Baker

Design Coordinator

BA (Hons) Textiles

Petra joined deVOL in 2016 after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Textiles. For her final collection, Petra produced a series of dark sophisticated patchwork surfaces inspired by graphic geometric structures. They were designed to transform interior environments, complement natural materials and inject an edgy sense of luxury to a minimalist space. She also exhibited at New Designers 2016, which was a great achievement and such a cool experience.

Working in the Tysoe Street, London showroom, Petra is the first point of contact for all of our London based customers. Petra answers enquiries emails, books customers in for appointments, prepares appraisals for design appointments, welcomes and chats to customers and helps with the overall smooth running of the showroom. A friendly and approachable personality and impeccable organisational skills make Petra the perfect person for this job.

Working with all of the lovely London staff, representing deVOL and having the opportunity to live and work in London are Petra’s favourite bits about her job.

In her spare time, Petra enjoys outdoor swimming, especially in the beautiful Durdle Door in Dorset, as well as indoor climbing and she is also determined to learn to ski! 

Zoë Parker

PR Manager

Zoë joined the deVOL team in 2012 after completing her A-Levels at Loughborough College where she studied English Literature, Art and Photography.

After working at deVOL’s beautiful Loughborough showrooms for a couple of years, Zoë’s dream of moving to London came true when we opened up our lovely little Tysoe St. shop in Clerkenwell.

Now working from the London showroom, Zoë manages all of deVOL's PR and with the help of our PR assistant, Letty, they gain deVOL great exposure in all of the top magazines and on the best blogs across the world. Zoë’s jobs include writing, designing and sending out press releases on our latest kitchens, products and news to journalists and bloggers, regularly contributing to the deVOL Journal and responding to the many editorial image requests we receive on a daily basis.

Managing all of deVOL’s social media platforms is one of Zoë’s favourite parts of her job, starting all of the accounts with zero followers, to seeing them grow to tens of thousands of followers is amazing. Interacting on a daily basis with customers, industry professionals and people who just love what deVOL do is such a cool part of her job.

Zoë is also responsible for booking, creating and sending off all of deVOL’s national and local adverts, reviewing our advertising offers and chatting with new magazines and journals to see if they’d be the perfect fit for deVOL.

In her spare time, Zoë likes to go out with her friends, go to gigs and festivals and help Letty tick things off her forever expanding London bucket list! Zoë also loves to travel, with recent trips to Berlin, Budapest, Amsterdam and Paris, next on her list is LA and New York!

Zoë Parker's blog entries >

Collette Black

PR Assistant

Law LLB (Hons)

Collette, also known as Letty, graduated from Nottingham University with a 2:1 degree in Law. In search of a more creative career, she joined deVOL's London team in 2015 to assist Zoë with all of our PR and marketing.

As a team they aim to gain the company amazing exposure in the top magazines and on the best blogs. Letty also enjoys helping Zoë manage all of deVOL's social media platforms, organising our photoshoots and regularly contributing to the deVOL blog.

When she's not at work, Letty can usually be found discovering new restaurants, perusing Church Street's antique stalls and ticking things off her forever expanding London bucket list. Her travels have taken her on adventures all over the world, from learning to cook in Thailand, to teaching kids in Peru, to seeing one of her best friends get married in New Zealand.

Collette Black's blog entries >

Ben Flannaghan

Product Designer

BA (Hons) DPS Industrial Design & Technology

Ben graduated with a First Class Honours from Loughborough University in 2011. During his placement year he worked at the renowned Moscow design house, Art Lebedev. He also developed a new concept in footwear, The Zoo Shoe, which allows the wearer to zip on a range of flexible designer uppers to the sole. Ben was awarded an Enterprise Bursary for his innovation to help with the patenting costs. During our annual visits to the degree shows, we were fascinated by Ben's off the wall approach to design. He doesn't just design a product, he scrutinises the whole experience and re-invents it.

After his time in Moscow he found it strange that here in England, supposedly a tea loving nation, the making and drinking of tea is such a lacklustre experience. After all, ordering a coffee from the best high street cafes is all about choice, grinding, aroma and frothiness, with the equipment and preparation deliberately elaborate to entice and caress the consumer. Drinking tea, on the other hand, is generally a mundane affair; a dribbling pot is plonked unceremoniously on the table and you're good to go.

At Ben's degree show, we were drawn to an unidentifiable object that after much deliberation, we all decided was very beautiful, but we didn't have a clue what it was, or what it did. Once we caught up with Ben, we were transported to a fanciful world where having a cup of tea became an ethereal experience of grinding pressed leaf tea bricks with a pestle and mortar, blending and selecting infusing time and temperature with quirky Cleudo type characters around an inlaid radial dial.

Having Ben on our design team has introduced a freshness of style that is not limited by preconceptions or governed by practicality. Working with the best cabinet makers around and with experienced designers that know everything about working with wood, Ben now plays a pivotal role in the creation of our new ranges. It's a mouth watering journey which we hope will lead to deVOL being recognised as a design house and not just another kitchen company.

Ben Flannaghan's blog entries >

Huw Janes

Creative Design Manager

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Huw joined deVOL in November 2015 after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Fine Art. His education and many different creative hobbies have allowed him to develop a keen eye for design.

Huw has quickly worked his way up to become Creative Design Manager and is a key member of the team, overseeing all of deVOL’s graphic design work and putting his enviable patience and amazing teaching skills to work when training and helping new members of our graphics team.

It’s crazy how much stuff Huw knows, he is great at maths and is an absolute fountain of knowledge; we no longer use Google in the office, we now use ‘Huwgle’! Huw excels at anything he puts his mind to, he’s just really good at everything and is a true asset to deVOL.

Recently, Huw has been heavily involved in a lot of deVOL’s product and furniture design projects. Using 3D modelling software, he designed and created the curved seat pan for our beautiful new Bum Stool, the comfiest solid oak stool you will ever sit on.

Huw has been helping our jeweller, Stephanie, model and 3D print the master patterns of her cup handle designs to be used in the sand casting process for our range of beautiful brass door furniture. He has also been working on lots of other projects that we have in the works, including new lighting products, a deVOL table and chair and our vintage VW camper van, which we hope to transform into the deVOL food truck.

Proving that Huw really can do anything, late last year he travelled down to our lovely new London showroom and townhouse to hand-paint the deVOL logo above the showroom door. We watched in awe as he kept an impossibly steady hand and painted every little detail, every shadow and every highlight just spot on.

In his spare time, Huw remains a practising visual artist and musician; he designs and produces intricate geometric colour compositions, each responding to a specific piece of music. These designs have been executed as paintings, mosaics, digital images, prints and large-scale kinetic installations. Shortly after graduating, Huw’s work was shortlisted for a number of national and local graduate prizes – winning the runner-up prize for the LSA Student Award 2015.

Huw has a highly active presence in his local music community. Since 2010, he has been regularly recording and performing around the country in a hillbilly-style blues band called The Anteloids; playing drums, washboard and the saxophone. He is also one of the organisers for The Pig Applestock Festival; a local charity music festival held at Naseby reservoir in August. All of the funds raised by the festival are donated to the MS Therapy Centre in Leicestershire.

Find more about Huw’s work at his website: huwjanes.tumblr.com

Laura Perry

Graphic Designer

BA (Hons) Graphic Communication

After graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Graphic Communication, Laura joined deVOL as part of our creative team at Cotes Mill.

During her time at university she enjoyed developing her skills as a graphic designer and even won the Vice Chancellors Award for Design Innovation for a project where she designed the packaging and branding of a new healthy dessert alternative.

Laura plans to one day build her own business and currently enjoys doing freelance designs in her spare time, including creating a series of posters for a client raising money for the charity ‘Move’.

Her love of travelling recently took her to Cuba where she enjoyed experiencing their amazing culture. Laura’s passions also include health and nutrition, music, exercise and the outdoors.

Samuel Mitchell

IT Assistant

Sam joined the deVOL team back in 2013, working for our sister company, Floors of Stone, as a Showroom Assistant. After leaving for a year to hone his skills and set up his small web and app development business, Plus One Productions, Sam was given the opportunity to come back and work for deVOL, to help run the IT for the business.

Sam’s day-to-day jobs include making sure all of the electrical equipment and computers are up-to-date and running smoothly at our showrooms and workshops, purchasing and setting up computers for our new members of staff and upgrading, taking apart and reassembling PC’s if they have any issues.

Finding solutions to unique problems is one of Sam’s favourite parts of his job, he also enjoys travelling down to London to help out with any technical issues and the set up of our beautiful new showroom.

Sam has a keen interest in music and carpentry, which recently lead him to design and build his own Telecaster styled guitar and begin writing his own music. Sam enjoys skateboarding, rock climbing and kayaking and his interest in outdoor activities gave Sam the opportunity to do the Coast to Coast walk in the summer of 2014.

George Smart

Production Manager

BA (Hons) Industrial Design & Technology

George joined deVOL in 2010 on a one year placement and returned as a permanent member of staff after completing his degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree.

During his placement year George held various responsibilities including being part of the design team, managing dispatches and dealing with orders for accessories. Since returning to the company full time, his role has developed and he now manages the everyday production at our workshops on Jubilee Drive and at The Locks.

It is George’s responsibility to ensure that the manufacture of every deVOL Kitchen runs as smoothly as possible. He maintains a strong link between Project Managers, the production team and all of the workshops to ensure that everyone has the information they require to complete each stage of manufacture. Working closely with our Workshop Managers, George puts quality control checks in place; these ensure all of our furniture passes through each process at deVOL’s impossibly high standards with no exceptions. George also helps to develop new processes and improve the production methods already in place to push the company forward.

The problem solving aspects of George’s job is something he particularly enjoys and knowing just how much effort is put into every single deVOL cupboard means he takes a lot of pride in the furniture we design and make.

George has always had a keen interest in furniture and wood due to his Grandad, who made a career in carpentry. He has always enjoyed constructing his own pieces of furniture and during his final year at University George designed and made a plywood bicycle for children that had an adjustable frame to allow it to be raised as the child grows.

In his spare time George enjoys a wide range of sports including cycling, running and skiing. Since buying his first house he has taken on many new projects and spends most weekends decorating or building things to fill it with.

Ben Shephard

Production Assistant

BA (Hons) Architecture

Upon finishing his A levels Ben went to work for Caterpillar Building Construction Products in Leicester on a year's placement where, as a Manufacturing Engineer, he was responsible for designing and prototyping tooling and jigs for use on the production lines. Ben then went on to study Architecture at the University of Plymouth, graduating in 2011, with particular interests in vernacular architecture, materiality and the use of emergent design systems.

Whilst studying, Ben also took part in several student workshops and led a design and build project in which a team of students created outdoor showering facilities from locally grown bamboo and reclaimed wood.

After graduating Ben spent several months working and travelling in Europe, first building yurts and a round-wood timber framed roundhouse for use as holiday accommodation in the Dordogne, and then on a large scale restoration project turning an old stone farmhouse into accommodation and teaching spaces for an arts retreat in Italy.

Ben's interests include cycling, photography and greenwood carpentry and he has recently completed a willow weaving course, learning to make hurdles and salmon traps.

Jose Domingos

Production Assistant

BEng (Hons) Civil Engineering

After studying Civil Engineering at Leeds University and graduating with a 2:1, José spent 25 years working in the water industry mainly as a consultant in computer modelling of pipeline systems. José worked on many projects across the globe, some of the most high profile projects he worked on include the Channel Tunnel and the London Water Ring Main.

José joined deVOL at the beginning of 2013 and has become an integral part of the production team. José assists with many aspects of production, but his main role is scheduling and organising the deliveries of all our customers kitchens. This involves ordering and liaising with all of our suppliers for appliances, accessories, splashbacks and any other items that our customers require for their kitchen.

José sends out on average three kitchens a day, these go all over the country and sometimes into Europe, the logistics of bringing all the components of a kitchen together for delivery is a responsible role and requires excellent attention to detail.

José was born in Portugal, where he still has a large extended family and has spent many amazing family holidays exploring and travelling around off the beaten track with his wife and five children; the youngest still at school, two at university and two graduates. Away from work he enjoys long family walks with a picnic and is also very happy to get roped into helping with various art projects that his children or wife are involved in. When he gets the chance, José enjoys cycling, playing tennis and watching football or a really great film.

Lucy Jinks

Projects Manager

BSc (Hons) Criminology and Social Policy

Lucy graduated from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Criminology and Social Policy in 2013. After graduating Lucy took a change in direction with her career, spending time working in optics, before joining deVOL in 2015 as Assistant Project Manager.

In her spare time, Lucy enjoys a number of hobbies. Coming from a musical family, she has a always had passion for music, having played the piano and violin since the age of six, and more recently taking up the flute and guitar. Lucy has recently started to develop her carpentry skills, working on projects around her home. She also enjoys bouldering and spending time with friends.

Alex Shephard

Production Assistant

BSc (Hons) Genetics

Alex studied Genetics at Manchester University. For his final year project he studied the development of fish circulatory systems. Alex is a very practical asset to the production team, during his studies he designed and constructed laboratory equipment rigs.

Before working as part of deVOL’s production team, Alex spent time working in our Shaker kitchen workshop, learning the production processes of our kitchens. This also allowed Alex to develop an understanding of the workings of the warehouse and the dispatch system for kitchens.

Alex is an avid rugby fan and regularly plays for for Loughborough Rugby Club 2nd team. He also enjoys watching American football, which he played throughout his time at university, and has recently taken up archery and scuba diving.

Dominic Madden-Kennedy

Production Assistant

BA (Hons) Illustration

Dominic joined the production team at deVOL after graduating from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 2014 with a 2:1. He spent a few months in the workshop building up his carpentry and joinery skills which helped develop an understanding of the company and its processes. Dominic then joined the production team where he now produces cutting lists for bespoke furniture and helps with the general day to day workings of the office and workshop to keep things running smoothly.

Dominic is a very practical and creative individual and is always working on one creative project or another, anything from making picture books, animations and even a life sized mdf yeti. His passion for woodwork stems from his grandad who was building currachs (fishing boats) for local fisherman up into his mid 90's.

Adam Giles

Production Assistant

BA (Hons) Product Design

Adam grew up in London before heading up north to Derby University where he achieved a 2:1 in Product Design. The main focus of his degree was furniture and industrial design with a particular interest in woodwork and model making.

Adam joined deVOL as a Production Assistant where he will use his extensive knowledge of woodwork to assist with the production of our kitchens.

In his spare time Adam enjoys a plethora of sporting activities including cycling and swimming as well as drawing and sketching.

Lizzie Tillett

Administrator

BA (Hons) 3D Design

After focusing mostly on furniture based projects in her final year at Loughborough University, Lizzie developed a keen interest in interior design which she hopes to explore in her role at deVOL.

Since joining the team at our Cotes Mill showrooms, she has enjoyed assisting both the design and production teams, gaining a better understanding of the whole kitchen making process.

Lizzie has always loved dancing, mainly ballet and salsa, and likes to spend her weekends outdoors rock climbing and walking.

Tim Andrews

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Product Design

Tim graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2015 with a First Class Honours in BA Product Design and found his love for furniture whilst working for a design studio in London, where he designed and made organic shaped tables and chairs.

In 2016 Tim joined the deVOL team and now works as a Project Manager, overseeing and looking after customers projects all the way through from the sale of the kitchen to the installation. Tim provides an excellent level of service throughout every stage and interacts regularly with our kitchen designers and production team to ensure the customer’s specifications are being met and everything is running smoothly.

Tim spends his spare time making furniture out of folded aluminium, using traditional origami as his inspiration. He’s currently designing a beautiful chair to go with the origami table he has already produced. Making personalised gifts for friends and family and wooden ornaments is another of Tim's passions.

When he isn’t designing and making, Tim enjoys indoor and outdoor climbing, long weekends in the countryside, art and design exhibitions and galleries, taking road trips around Scotland and Europe and you can always find him at a local beer festival!

James Griffin

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

James graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a BA in Furniture Design in 2008. He has been designing and making his own furniture and wooden home accessories, such as chopping boards, lovely bowls and benches, by hand ever since.

In 2012 James travelled around Asia for 6 months before beginning a new job as a Project Manager at a construction related company. Eager to see more of the world, James continued his travels for another 11 months in 2016 before joining deVOL as a Project Manager shortly after.

James manages our kitchen projects right through from the sale to the installation and ensures every single one runs smoothly and to deVOL’s extremely high standards. He liaises with customers on a daily basis, keeps in constant touch with our kitchen design and production teams and makes sure our customers are happy throughout every step of the kitchen manufacture, delivery and installation process.

A proud moment for James was exhibiting his handmade wooden furniture and accessories at both ‘Handmade in Kew’ and ‘Handmade in Chelsea’ and he hopes to take part in more national exhibitions in the future.

Laura Woolford

Project Manager

BSc (Hons) Medicinal & Pharmaceutical Chemistry

Laura graduated from Loughborough University in 2013 with a BSc (Hons) in Medicinal and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.

In 2016 Laura joined the deVOL team as a Project Manager. Her day-to-day jobs include overseeing all of our customers’ kitchen orders and helping with any queries our customers may have all the way from the sale of their kitchen right up to the installation. Laura ensures every single kitchen project runs smoothly and to deVOL’s extremely high standards with no exceptions.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys escaping Loughborough and travelling back home to Cornwall to enjoy the beautiful beaches. Arts and crafts are another of Laura’s passions and she has recently got stuck into decorating and gardening in her new home. Laura also enjoys being active; she loves to ski and has just taken up road cycling.

Sam Bend

Draughtsman

BA (Hons) Furniture: Contemporary Design

Sam graduated from Bucks New University in 2014. His course mainly involved experimenting with lots of computer software and CNC machines, but also helped him to develop his skills in cabinet making. As part of his degree, Sam exhibited a range of furniture at both the New Designers exhibition and the May Design Series.

Outside of furniture and woodwork, anything with an engine and 2 wheels takes up most of Sam’s time; from full engine rebuilds, to attending events all over the country, to even building his own spray booth in his garage.

Milly Wemyss

Accountant

AAT Level 2 Diploma in Accounting

After finishing her A-Levels, Milly spent a year working and travelling around Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Laos, before coming home to work at a Gastro Pub where she quickly became the manager.

A short break in France to experience the ski season in Les Gets gave Milly the chance of a new environment. After returning from her ski season, Milly began working at another Gastro pub as a supervisor whilst saving for an AAT Accountancy Course, which she started in late 2012.

Milly quickly completed her course and is now a fully qualified AAT Accountant. Milly started working at deVOL in early 2013 as a Bookkeeper, working alongside Andrew to assist him with the day-to-day finances and accounts for deVOL Kitchens and also helping with the accounts for deVOL’s other companies; Shreddies, Floors of Stone and The Pink Pantaloon Company.

As Milly has gained experience every aspect of her job at deVOL has become more in depth. She now manages deVOL’s payroll and works on month ends and year accounts for all of our companies.

In her spare time, Milly loves to go skiing and travel to experience new cultures. Extreme sports and water sports are also a passion as well as socialising with friends and family for drinks or nice meals out.

Moninder Matharu

Administration and Accounts Assistant

BA (Hons) Accountancy

Moninder graduated in Accountancy from Birmingham City University with a 2:1 honours classification in 2015. She now assists the accounts team with the day to day running of deVOL and its sister companies.

A big believer in helping those in need and always going the extra mile, throughout College and University Moninder has taken part in several charity events to help raise funds and awareness for charities such as - The British Heart Foundation, Macmillan Cancer and Leukaemia Care.

Along side of this, she is also part of an Asian Dance Academy which meets once a week for rehearsals, and perform 3 times a year

Jon Hall

Accounts Assistant

Jon joined deVOL in 2012 to help renovate Cotes Mill into deVOL’s showrooms and offices whilst studying for his Accountancy qualifications.

Once renovation was nearing its completion, Jon joined the accounts team as an Accounts Assistant where he helps Andy and Milly with the day to day running of deVOL.

As well as playing and watching football, Jon really enjoys going to gigs all over the UK and European music festivals in the summer.

Sophie Jackson

Showroom Receptionist

Level 3 Diploma in Fitness Instructing and Personal Training Level 2 NVQ Diploma in Hospitality Services

Sophie joined deVOL in September 2015 where she spent the first 3 months assisting in the accounts team. She then began her new role as Showroom Receptionist where she enjoys managing the showroom floor. Sophie’s previous experience managing an artisan chocolatier coffee house and working in events management, along with her attention to detail, creative flair and passion for customer service makes her very well suited to this role.

Sophie has always had a keen interest in fitness and nutrition and fulfils this through running, yoga and crossfit.

Her love of spending time in the kitchen cooking and baking also feeds her creativity, and she loves to share her creations with family and friends.

Sophie loves experiencing and discovering new places - kayaking with orcas in the San Juan islands and travelling around Canada, swimming in Iceland’s blue lagoons, skiing in Italy, kite surfing in Mexico and venturing out to Australia when she was 20. Sophie’s keen eye for unique and interesting places is what attracted her to deVOL and she’s enjoying embracing her new role.

Sophie Jackson's blog entries >

Scarlett Bromwich

Receptionist

MSc Applied Equine Science

Scarlett emigrated to Australia with her family when she was 17 where she lived for 5 and a half years. Whilst living in Australia she completed a Bachelor of Media at the University of Adelaide. Whilst living down under, Scarlett took the opportunity to explore the vast country and visit Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock and The Great Barrier Reef. Upon returning to the UK, Scarlett studied for an MSc in Applied Equine Science from Writtle College Essex whilst working as a horse groom.

At deVOL Scarlett works as a receptionist, greeting customers and making them feel welcome. She is also getting involved with PR for our sister company, Floors of Stone. Outside of work she loves riding her horse and spending time with her friends.

Scarlett Bromwich's blog entries >

Robyn Dunsford

Office Assistant

Robyn joined deVOL’s Cotes Mill showrooms in Leicestershire in 2016. In her role she enjoys chatting with customers and looking after the showrooms. She’s also using the opportunity to learn more about design and using CAD software.   Originally from Germany, Robyn spent five years of her childhood growing up in Connecticut, America before she moved back to England. She still loves to explore and hopes to do some travelling of her own in a few years.   A love of drama and dance led Robyn to undertake a performing arts course at Loughborough college where she enjoyed performing with her team and learning all about practitioners and the history of the theatre. She now enjoys taking regular trips to London to see West End shows.

Robyn Dunsford's blog entries >

Tom Best

Workshop Manager

After spending three seasons working as a ski technician in Les Deux Alpes and running his own catering business in the Isle of Man, Tom joined deVOL in August 2005 to assist with the development of deVOL's new offices. Tom is such a warm and supportive character and after a few years of training and making furniture at deVOL he became the natural choice for new apprentices to turn to for help.

Tom was promoted to Assistant Workshop Manager in 2008 and then to Workshop Manager when deVOL opened it's second workshop.

Tom is a keen snowboarder, blues guitarist and vocalist. Since joining deVOL Tom has become a proud father of two lovely daughters.

Ryan Brind

Workshop Manager

Ryan has ten years of experience in the woodworking and manufacturing industry and is a very highly motivated member of our team who is always pushing himself and the workshop he manages. Ryan has an exceptionally broad range of skills that equip him to tackle any job and he is instrumental in the continuing development of deVOL’s Real Shaker range of furniture.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing rugby and is a talented golfer with an impressive handicap.

Ryan has just completed the renovation of his house and is now undertaking the construction of an extension, of which he will carry out a large portion of the work. There seems to be nothing that Ryan will not take on and excel at.

Justin Whelband

Workshop Manager

Justin has always had a keen interest in DIY after spending lots of time learning from and working with his father, who shares his love for carpentry. After leaving college he spent 9 years working and gaining experience within the family business, making UPVC windows, doors and conservatories.

In 2014 Justin joined deVOL as a bench joiner and after showing great skill and utter determination to create furniture of the absolute best quality, he was given the position of Assistant Workshop Manager.

Justin continued to show his skill and great attention to detail and was promoted to Workshop Manager in early 2016. Now in charge of our Real Shaker Kitchen production, Justin ensures every single kitchen that leaves our Loughborough workshop is made on time and to deVOL’s impossibly high standards.

A year and a half ago Justin took on the challenge of buying his first home and renovating it single-handedly from top to bottom; a very testing and demanding project, but so worth it in the end. Justin loves getting stuck into these types of projects and is always thinking of what he can put his hand to next.

In his late teens Justin played semi professional football and although he’s no longer playing, he still enjoys keeping fit by running, regularly going to the gym and walking his dog.

Travelling is another of Justin’s passions; he’s been on trips to Asia and America and also loves visiting the Lake District for a piece of the good old English countryside!

Adam Ison

Spray Shop Manager

Level 2 NVQ Bench Joinery

Adam developed a keen interest in carpentry at a young age, finding a weekend job at a joinery shop at the age of 15. He continued to study joinery at college achieving a Level 2 NVQ in Bench Joinery as well as a diploma in Site Joinery.

Since joining deVOL, Adam has become a highly valued member of the team, his practical mind, great work ethic and impressive skill saw him quickly progress to be appointed Spray Shop Manager.

In his spare time Adam puts his skills to good use fixing up his own house and working on his car. He is a huge fan of music and loves going to gigs with his friends.

Mat Nurse

Workshop supervisor

Mat is an enthusiastic and driven member of deVOL’s skilled workshop team with a real passion for his work. Having left school at 16, he started work immediately in a number of job roles including as a Stone Mason. In broadening his skill set, Mat left full time employment to retrain as a carpenter which he consistently excelled at. After joining deVOL in 2013, Mat quickly proved himself to be a hardworking member of the team to which he was promoted to the role of Supervisor at our Cotes Mill workshop.

His organisational skills and drive to succeed keep the workshop running smoothly, with no challenge too big. Mat is also responsible for making a wide range of deVOL’s worktops across our whole kitchen range.

Mat is a father of three and enjoys spending quality time with his family. In his spare time he likes to keep active, is a keen rugby fan and will often be seen kayaking on the river just next to our Cotes Mill workshop.

Claire Fowler

Claire Fowler

Ceramicist

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Claire joined deVOL after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in 3D Design, specialising in ceramics.   For her final project she worked alongside deVOL to create a collection of functional kitchenware that explored simple and utilitarian forms with a focus on coloured clay to add a contemporary twist. A project that won her First Prize for Enterprise and Innovation at Loughborough School of the Arts Degree Show and the prestigious Runner Up Prize at the New Designers exhibition in London.   Claire became part of our small but growing ceramics team at Cotes Mill in the summer of 2016 and began developing a new range of kitchenware and tableware for deVOL. Each piece is handmade by Claire onsite at our little ceramics studio.   In her spare time Claire enjoys spending time outdoors cycling and walking, as well as playing football on Sundays for Loughborough Foxes Women’s Football Club. 

Stephanie O'Leary

Accessory Designer

BA (Hons) Jewellery and Accessories

Stephanie joined deVOL in October 2016 after achieving a First Class Honours in Jewellery and Accessories at Middlesex University, London.

During her time at university, she experimented with combining a wide range of materials and techniques. Mainly influenced by London architecture and scaffolding, Stephanie’s graduate collection ‘Fragments’ was inspired by geometric structures, industrial materials and minimalistic design. After exhibiting her collection at New Designers, Stephanie was invited to show her work across the UK in galleries such as Gill Wing in London, Kath Libbert in Saltaire and Lustre in Nottingham. Stephanie’s work was also selected amongst the top international jewellery graduates to show at Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands, the largest jewellery gallery in the world! Since then she has continued to show internationally and is soon exhibiting at Amsterdam and Munich Jewellery Week.

Stephanie now spends her days at Cotes Mill in her new metals studio, fettling, casting and hammering away at metal. Everyone has watched in awe as Stephanie showed us the basics of jewellery making, restored our amazing antique chandelier for the new London showroom, created the fixtures for our lovely new ceramic pendants and took on the task of making a brand new range of beautiful handmade door furniture for deVOL. Check out a video of Stephanie making our beautiful new brass cup handles here.

Having grown up in North Wales, on the stunningly picturesque Isle of Anglesey, Stephanie enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities and exploring Snowdonia National Park. In her spare time you’ll find her making jewellery in her studio, at the local climbing wall or travelling back to Wales to see her family.

Martin Morrell

Estate Manager

Martin joined our sister company, Floors of Stone, as their Yardman in March 2010. When deVOL moved to Cotes Mill, Martin joined deVOL to maintain the expansive 12 acres of grounds.

Martin has a strong military background and served for 8 years in HM Armed Forces, having achieved the rank of Lance Bombardier in the 1st Regiment Royal Horse Artillery. Martin’s vast practical knowledge has also seen him become a key member of the deVOL group of companies and he is a friendly, welcoming face for our visitors.

Married, with two grown up children and two young grandsons, he now enjoys his free time off-roading and spending time with his family. Martin lives here at Cotes Mill so his work continues into the weekend ensuring the grounds are maintained and the animals fed. He takes great pride in his work and looking after the wildlife which can be found in the large ponds, central to the natural beauty of Cotes Mill.

Phil de Vries

Estates Projects Manager

BA (Hons) Design Technology

Phil graduated from Loughborough University in 1988 and joined Insight Design Consultancy. He worked closely with Paul O'Leary on prototyping and was responsible for project administration and marketing insight's design services. Phil co-founded deVOL in 1989. Initially, much of the work involved furniture and architectural restoration which proved to be an excellent grounding in the traditionally accepted proportion and methods of construction.

Phil and Paul developed the deVOL style together over a period of ten years and built a reputation for delivering consistently high quality, cabinet made, freestanding kitchen furniture. Philip chose to take a sabbatical in 1998, but thankfully returned to take on the role of Customer Services Manager. Phil is renowned for being honest, fair and reliable which made him a natural for providing customer care. Phil also managed deVOL's sister company, deVOL Products, which sold decorative kitchen accessories and the deVOL Laundry Maid.

A few years ago, Phil and his wife, Claire, decided it was time for a new direction, and bought a 5 acre orange and olive farm in Portugal, with the long term vision of offering a spiritual retreat centre. Phil now works as deVOL’s Estate Project Manager, working on a wide variety of projects for deVOL. Phil continues to support the business, which he was so influential in nurturing, in a collaboration which has flourished for over 20 years.