A short film: The deVOL Ceramic Kitchenware collection

Posted on December 7th, 2016 by

It started out as a plain old garage sitting in the grounds of the Mill and after a little restoration and a whole load of ideas it became the Cotes Mill Ceramics Studio. A space filled with soft light and the calmest vibe, old kilns, potters wheels, kooky tools and every kind of ceramic accoutrement, tubs of coloured glazes in the prettiest hues and bags and bags of different clays. A space filled with lovely, passionate people who truly care about their craft, making practical, simple and beautiful things. Things that will be around forever and just get lovelier with every use, things that feel comforting and oh so good to hold in your hands. Things to make your kitchen and home that little bit more beautiful.

Tim has filmed this very cool short film about the making of our new deVOL Ceramic Kitchenware collection. It captures the feel of the Cotes Mill studio so perfectly and takes you through each process and each step that our ceramicist, Claire Fowler, takes to create these little things of beauty…

 

 

The deVOL Ceramic Kitchenware collection is on display and for sale at our Cotes Mill showrooms and prices start from £12. They make the most special Christmas presents, so why not take a look and come and visit us at the Mill… you can pop your head into the ceramics studio to see Claire and Ed and Hannah and get lost in our four floors of magical showrooms.

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– If you’d like to view the deVOL Kitchenware collection online, please click here.

 

Cotes Mill; a true winter wonderland

Posted on December 6th, 2016 by

The Christmas countdown has begun, a strange combination of that warm festive feeling and the looming dread of the last minute present panic. This weekend me and my friends decided to embrace the holiday spirit and head to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park; a crazy mix of bright lights, fairground rides, cheesy songs and sickly sweet mulled wine. Overcrowded?, yes. Overpriced?, most definitely. But I do have to admit there’s something oddly charming about seeing a load of Brits joyously singing Sweet Caroline at the top of their lungs along with an Oompah band. Still, I couldn’t help leaving feeling a little queasy (and not just from the copious amounts of Nutella covered churros I ate). Is this what Christmas has become, a gimicky extension of Octoberfest with fairy lights?

This morning I came in to an email from our photographer Tim with all the latest pictures he’s taken around Cotes Mill. A world away from the tacky tourist trap, Cotes Mill has transformed into the most magical winter wonderland. Me and Zoe always love getting these emails, it’s so nice to have a little nosy around the Mill and see what’s going on (there’s always something going on!) But these new snaps made me feel so wonderfully Chritstmassy that I wanted to share some with you.

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The first frost seems special somehow, a small teaser of the white Christmas you dream of as a kid, it still makes me feel a little giddy with excitement. I love the mix of the crisp white frost and golden winter sun. The light is so memorising, it completely transforms the landscape. A frosted fence becomes a piece of art and a misty morning is simply unforgettable.

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The wildlife at Cotes Mill is just amazing, what started with just a few birds has now become an expanding collection of peacocks, guinea fowl, chickens, swans, doves, bunnies and even a beautiful family of fallow deer… not quite Rudolph, but pretty close!

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It’s easy to get a bit carried away with all of the superficial baggage that comes with Christmas nowadays. Sometimes it’s nice to go back to basics and remember what’s so charming about this time of year. So thanks Cotes Mill and Tim and his amazing photography skills for reminding me why I love this beautiful festive season so much. What a magical time of year…

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If you would like to visit us at Cotes Mill, please do! It’s an amazing place to explore and is sure to get you in the festive spirit. As well as our idyllic country grounds, we have four floors filled with the most beautiful kitchen inspiration, cool antiques and lots of really special and unique gifts.

– Discover how to find us and all our Christmas opening hours here.

Our latest photoshoot… The Henley on Thames Kitchen by deVOL

Posted on December 2nd, 2016 by

Every time Helen and Tim go off for the day to shoot another lovely deVOL Kitchen I get very excited. One of the biggest parts of my job is sharing all of our latest photos and kitchens on our social media pages… so when Letty and I know that we’re about to have a brand new set of lifestyle photographs to share with you all it makes us very happy!

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This Shaker kitchen was nestled in a pretty town on the River Thames in Oxfordshire and the lady who owned it was truly lovely. She really did love her deVOL kitchen and had done the best job of making the space feel like a home, with a really well-considered and stylish collection of old and new pieces of furniture and bits and bobs, it’s the kind of place you just want to spend time in. Isn’t it something so lovely, when you walk into a room and it instantly makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit more relaxed and at ease.

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I think the thing I like most about this kitchen is its neutral colour palette and calm feeling. Lots of our customers have been going for very dark blues and greys and greens recently, so this new kitchen, painted in a pale and soft shade of grey, is a nice break from those deeper colours and proves neutral kitchens are still as beautiful as ever.

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Not only was this a very pretty kitchen to look at, but it was practical too; the long cooker run featured a large Mercury range cooker, a dishwasher and a mixture of pan drawers and open and closed base cupboards, providing plenty of storage whilst still allowing this family to display their collections of crockery and glassware.

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Two white Shaker shelves ran along the back wall, removing the need for any wall cupboards. We always love the look of simple shelves and encourage our customers to go for one whenever possible; they keep the kitchen feeling uncluttered, light and airy.

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The choice of sleek white quartz worktops was so spot on for this space. Quartz is always a great option for families with small children, or for people who don’t want to have to give their worktops too much attention! It’s super hard-wearing, durable and non-porous, so you won’t end up with pesky marks everywhere.

And the addition of an old vintage wooden dining table and a couple of kooky chairs were the perfect finishing touches to this tranquil kitchen, what a totally beautiful place.

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Helen always sends us sneaky little behind the scenes pictures throughout the day when she’s on a shoot with Tim… Letty and I sit there coveting every little thing we see and from then on wait in anticipation to see the final photos…. So I’m very happy to be able to share them with you today and I hope you love them as much as we do.

– The owners of this kitchen actually run their own little store selling unique furniture and home accessories, so if you’ve spotted something you like in this kitchen you may be able to find it on their website here… www.vintagebarninteriors.co.uk 

deVOL directory: The Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods

Posted on November 29th, 2016 by

I love this kitchen so much. It’s got a lovely and very uncontrived feel to it, it’s authentic and charming and it’s not trying too hard, it’s just a good old simple Shaker kitchen filled with nothing but beautiful and useful things. This kitchen is proof that you don’t need a huge budget or a big fancy home in London to create a really special space and I think that’s the coolest thing about it.

We’ve had a crazy amount of questions on social media about the Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods, so I hope this blog will be helpful. The handmade cupboards are from our Real Shaker Range and here’s a little info on the rest…

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1. Beautiful Worn Grey Limestone flooring by our sister company Floors of Stone (currently on special offer!)

www.floorsofstone.com

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2. Stacks of shining copper pans from our Cotes Mill showrooms

For more info please call Cotes Mill on 01509 261000, email enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk or of course pop in to see us!

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3. Two ‘Our French Friend Brass Lights’ by French Connection hanging above an antique dining table

www.frenchconnection.com

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4. A super cool Smeg Fab 50 Fridge/Freezer in Black

www.smeguk.com

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And now for the second half of this beautifully simple kitchen…

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5. Shaker cupboards painted in ‘Pantry Blue’ by deVOL

(our paint colours are only available as part of a deVOL Kitchen)

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6. The worktops were cleverly made on-site from old wooden scaffolding planks

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7. A Smeg ‘Symphony’ range cooker, paired with a Smeg extractor & stainless steel splashback

www.smeguk.com

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8. A Villeroy & Boch Farmhouse 60 sink & old garden taps up-cycled to make cool kitchen taps

www.villery-boch.co.uk

 

9. deVOL’s ‘Bella Brass’ catches, cup handles and knobs

(only available to purchase as part of a deVOL Kitchen)

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The eight base cupboards, sink and brass fittings in this kitchen came to just over £5,000, so I really hope this shows that if you’ve been dreaming of a deVOL Kitchen, or thinking about contacting us but thought we might be a little over your budget, just get in touch and have a chat with one of our designers! We’re always more than happy to put together a rough quote for you before we start any design work and can work to lots of different budgets, it’s all about clever design and enhancing the room you have without filling every possible space with cupboards, something our team of designers are amazing at.

 

Oh, and as always, if there is anything I’ve missed or anything else you would like to know about this kitchen please do email us at enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk or of course pop over to one of our social media sites, we’ll be really happy to help.

 

– You can find us here… TwitterInstagramFacebook & Pinterest

– Check out the full Leicestershire Kitchen in the Woods project here.

– To chat to a designer about your project please call 01509 261000 or email enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk

 

buying presents can be a lovely day out, in fact something quite special and memorable if you go to the right place……………

Posted on November 11th, 2016 by

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It’s that time of year again, the time when you either get super excited or want to run away and hide in a cave. It’s been such a beautiful summer, long warm days that are now fading into cooler but startling sunny and bright ones. It seems a little churlish to start complaining, so I’m not going too. I notice the light much more than I used to since taking photographs with Tim, you realize the joy of a crisp sunny morning and what a difference it makes to a photograph. Images are so important to us, they are like paintings, they have to lure you in and make you feel something. Seeing something as a picture is meant to give you a sense of the place where it was taken and make you long to go there.

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At Christmas people can get anxious and stressed and the thought of parking in a multi storey car park on a busy cold wet Saturday and pushing your way through the crowds just isn’t appealing. There is a sense of people coming together and beautiful sights and sounds and smells in the city and that’s the fun bit, but weighted down with bags and lists, that’s no fun. I think Christmas should be something we look forward to and buying and giving gifts should be something we enjoy,  it’s so exciting when you find something special for a special person and you can’t wait to see them open it. Something special to me is something they wouldn’t buy themselves, something which makes them feel special. It’s not easy I understand that, finding the perfect treasure that you know will be kept and loved.

 

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I have a few things that I have been given that I treasure, a special piece of jewellery, a beloved book, an adventure trip or a simple mug. The things you remember are because they have been bought with thought and care. When we buy or make things to sell at Cotes Mill we try to think in the same way as you do when you buy a present, we want everything to be beautiful, or different or interesting or just plain lovely. You won’t find every conceivable option for Grandma or the newest little baby in your world, but you will find something special for them. It may be a beautiful book full of colour or it may be a wonderful bag of heirloom seeds that will give them a garden full of flowers next year. 

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Inspiration is important in the purchase of any gift, sometimes it just comes to you and you know you have found or imagined the perfect thing for the person you are thinking of. But, sometimes you need a bit of help and a nice place to contemplate. At Cotes Mill we are lucky, we have so much space inside and out so you can take time to make your choices. The car park is big and we have acres of meadows and river banks, so if you get a fuzzy head from too much thinking you can take a mug of coffee outside and have a wander. You can bring the dog too, he may have to stay on a lead though!

 

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I wish I could arrive for the first time at the Mill and to have never been before. There is so much to see and find and I know I would be wide eyed with excitement, maybe it’s because I choose the things we sell!! When Tim and I do a collection of photographs I always notice a new beauty in something I never really gave much consideration to before, a simple stool with paint splatters suddenly becomes the star of the day when it features in a new and beautiful photograph and I want to take it home with me because it has become special.

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Something for everyone, even the eccentrics in your world will be happy with gift from deVOL.

The winter days and the dark evenings and the cold icy air can be enough to make you feel properly melancholy, but then think of an open fire and all of a sudden it’s all a bit more romantic and exciting. Everything in life has a way of being good or bad depending on how you look at it. Some people are lucky enough to look on the bright side of everything but others are a little more selective in their decision to be positive. I think if you feel good about what you do for your friends and family, if you know that you have something special to give them at Christmas you will feel good about life. Making people happy puts a spring in your step and is the best antidote to winter blues. So please make a trip to deVOL and Cotes Mill and try a different way of Christmas Shopping this year. Try unique and different, try special and laid back, try original and hand made. Try stress free and chilled and a world away from the high street.

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We are open weekdays from 8.30am until 5.00pm, except Saturday when we open a little later at 10am. 

deVOL directory: The Guildford Dairy Kitchen

Posted on November 9th, 2016 by

This has to be one of the coolest spaces we have ever installed a deVOL Kitchen. A huge oak framed barn full of the loveliest natural light, it’s the perfect place for our solid, beautifully proportioned pieces of Classic English furniture. I love that this kitchen is made up of just five individual cupboards; a spacious glazed dresser, a couple of sturdy pot cupboards either side of the AGA, a pantry cupboard complete with a Carrara marble cold shelf and a big prep table in the middle. The perfect mix of style and function, nothing too much, just a big traditional family kitchen with a modern vibe.

This kitchen was the most popular on our Instagram page last month, with one image racking up over 1,900 likes and lots and lots of comments, so I thought you might like to see a directory for this one too.

The cupboards are from deVOL’s Classic English Kitchen Range, and here’s a little info on the rest….

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1. Sleek honed black granite worktops around the perimeter, oiled oak on the island

(worktops can only be supplied by us as part of a deVOL Kitchen)

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2. A huge 5-Oven AGA in ‘Black’, perfect for big family meals and keeping the room cosy

www.agaliving.com

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3. Norwegian fishing floats from Cotes Mill. A cool alternative to baubles this Christmas.

For more info please call Cotes Mill on 01509 261000, email enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk or of course pop in to see us!

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4. White Crackled Bowls from deVOL’s new handmade ceramic kitchenware collection

Available to purchase at our Cotes Mill showrooms, or to view online here www.devolkitchens.co.uk 

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5. deVOL’s ‘Aged Brass’ taps by Perrin & Rowe in the ‘Ionian’ style

For ordering info please call our Cotes Mill showrooms on 01509 261000 or email enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk

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6. Lovely big pendant lights hanging above the prep table, from Whitedown Interiors

www.whitedowninteriors.co.uk

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7. deVOL’s ‘Bella Brass’ hardware (only available to purchase as part of a deVOL Kitchen)

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8. The island is painted in our own ‘Flint’ colour, the other cupboards are painted in a bespoke colour mixed especially for the customer

(our paint colours are only available as part of a deVOL Kitchen)

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9. Gorgeous warm terracotta floor tiles by The Terracotta Tile Company

www.bakedearth.co.uk 

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And I think that’s all of the main bits! I really hope this directory has been helpful and answered lots of your questions, but as always, if there is anything else you would like to know please do email us at enquiries@devolkitchens.co.uk, or of course pop over to one of our social media sites, we’ll be really happy to help.

 

– You can find us here… TwitterInstagramFacebook & Pinterest

– And if you would like to check out the full Guildford Dairy Kitchen project, just click here.