The Journey of a deVOL Shaker Kitchen – Part 1
11th January 2019
If you follow us on Instagram then this blog post may sound a little familiar to you!! Just over a month ago we did the #JourneyOfAShakerKitchen takeover and it went down oh so well. We wanted to take you on a little journey, showing you the whole process of a Shaker kitchen from start to finish. It’s true, a lot goes into our humble cupboards and remodelling can be such a crazy minefield, but we always like to keep things simple here at deVOL and really want to give you an insight into all the work that goes into the fabulous kitchens you see on our website and social media and brochures too. We had lots of messages asking for us to turn the takeover into a blog, just so all the information is in one easy place – a great idea and one that I’ve finally got around to putting together for you… I’ve split it into two parts so there’s not too much information all in one go! Part 1 pretty much sums up everything you need to know prior to a kitchen design appointment, as well as all the fun stuff you’ll discuss during your meeting like layout, colours, appliances, worktops, sinks and taps and hardware…
It all starts with a plan. Whether it’s technical architects drawings or a basic scribble on a scrap of paper, there is no better way of getting an idea of how you want your kitchen to look and feel than seeing it on paper. It simplifies the space and lets you forget what’s already there and instead concentrate on what will work best. This is the first thing we ask for. Your designer will then draw up your room in 2D CAD and start to work on designing your dream kitchen…A design appointment right on the top floor of the Mill in our Loft Kitchen, brochures, colour and tile samples and some little pieces of inspiration.
2. A DESIGN APPOINTMENT
We invite you to one of our three beautiful showrooms for a design appointment. You will have two designers working with you, they will talk you through the procedure and the furniture, show you around, draw up designs and quotes and feed you tea and biscuits. These meetings usually last between two and three hours. Our designers are not salespeople but graduates with a genuine interest and passion in design and lots of experience transforming your ideas into the kitchens you see in our brochures, the magazines and on Instagram. If you’re based a little too far away to visit one of our showrooms, then we are happy to go through this process with you via email and over the phone!! but always encourage that if you can, it really is worth seeing our beautiful furniture in person.Just one of the lovely design appointment spots at Cotes Mill.
The first thing to discuss in your design appointment is layout… The Real Shaker Kitchen is a modular range of furniture, meaning individual standard sized cabinets that are combined to make beautiful sink runs, islands or banks of storage. Our designers know this range inside out, they are experts in using our simple Shaker furniture to create amazing spaces. It’s not about cramming in as many cupboards as possible and bumping up costs, it’s about getting a beautifully simple, practical and cohesive design that works for you, your space and your budget. We try to make our Shaker furniture to standard sizes to keep costs low but every single cupboard is made to order, so there is always the option to make something bespoke. The owners of the Strawberry Hill Kitchen wanted floor-to-ceiling storage made to measure for the space and we even created a little library ladder that could be added to reach those top box cupboards.Floor-to-ceiling cupboards made the very most of the available space in our Strawberry Hill Kitchen.
So, along with your kitchen cupboards you are going to need some appliances – a fridge, a cooker, an extractor… do you want integrated or freestanding? Choose your appliances carefully, be selective and spend your money on quality. We can supply appliances from a few companies who we’ve worked with for years and trust to make good, lasting pieces for different budgets and that work perfectly with our furniture. These can be delivered by us alongside your cupboards, easy and much less stressful than having to sort everything yourself. If you’ve already got appliances that are good and working then we’ll incorporate those into your designs, why fix something if it isn’t broken!?A sleek integrated stainless steel Smeg oven in this ‘Mushroom’ Shaker Kitchen in Bath.
Worktops are always a tricky decision, do you go natural or man-made? Do you want something that will change and age with time and use or do you want a no-hassle surface that will stay pristine for years and years? Well, we like to keep it natural and especially love marble and all the little niggly bits and nuances that come with it but understand it’s just not for everybody, so we’ve curated a small but beautiful selection of wood, stone, quartz and our hand-aged metal worktops for you to pick from. We’ve got samples in all our showrooms so you can come and touch and feel and see these lovely surfaces in person and chat about each one with your designer – the good and the bad bits!! We offer a full supply, template and fit service (more on this in Part 2!) or if you’d prefer to source your own worktops then we’ll happily provide plans for your supplier to work from.Luxurious Carrara marble worktops were the perfect choice for the beautiful Brighton Kitchen.
6. SINKS AND TAPS
Now would be a good time to talk sinks and taps… one of the most important parts of your new kitchen but one that you probably don’t want to spend hours trawling the internet searching for – the options are totally endless!! We like to make it easy for our customers, if you don’t have to make too many decisions then everything is just less stressful and more fun. We supply taps from a favourite British brand, Perrin & Rowe, there’s the deVOL branded traditional sinks, our new and totally luxurious marble sinks and of course our iconic aged brass taps – perfect if you want something that looks vintage but works like new!! The windows here in the Millhouse showroom are amazing and the view, real English countryside at its best – so the copper sink had to be facing out of the window and with a pair of deVOL brass taps, this sink area is envy-inducing.A pair of deVOL’s Aged Brass ‘Mayan‘ taps, copper sink and San Simone quartzite worktops.
7. KNOBS AND HANDLES
Knobs and handles can lift a simple cupboard and give an air of quality to the whole room, make sure the ones you choose are really well-designed and really well-made. We have a standard range of different sizes, shapes and finishes – all perfect for our Shaker cupboards… but if you’re after something extra special, we recommend these little things of beauty – our handcrafted deVOL knobs and handles. If your design appointment is at Cotes Mill you can pop your head into the metal studio and see Steph making these by hand while your designer is drawing up your plans and quote! And if you’re a bit further away then hopefully this video will show you just how much time and love goes into each and every handle… besides, a beautiful kitchen most certainly deserves beautiful hardware. Click here to watch Steph make these fabulous handles in the metal studio at Cotes Mill.A collection of our handmade deVOL Hardware looking like little pieces of shining jewellery.
Colour is everything, it is visible everywhere and is very important to us and our customers. We have developed a small range of beautiful and timeless paint colours for our Shaker cupboards, they sit happily alone or used in combination… well this is one part of the process that maybe we haven’t made so easy for you, all twelve colours are so lovely we don’t know how you will choose which ones to go for!! This decision, in fact all the things we’ve mentioned so far, won’t need to be made in your design appointment though, there’s plenty of time to mull things over and change your mind and then change it again. It’s also good to know that if you’ve been dreaming of a colour for your Shaker cupboards that isn’t in our standard range then that’s no problem… we can mix a bespoke colour especially for you for a small added cost.The Petersham Kitchen, winner of Designer Kitchen & Bathroom’s ‘Kitchen Design of the Year 2018’.
9. OUR HANDMADE EXTRAS
It all started with beautiful, simple cupboards, that’s our speciality, but we care about every aspect of a kitchen and over the years have become more and more passionate about the overall look of a space. We love quality things, handmade things, unique things, and after searching for these things for our customers and not having much luck we decided to start making our own. The little extras that decorate and finish off a kitchen design perfectly… lighting, brass hanging rails, ceramic tiles, comfy and stylish stools and chairs, perfect tables, peg rails, shelves and even the brackets for the shelves too. All made by our talented team here in Leicestershire and all things that your designer can add into your plans, as many or as little as you like… all things with real function and a simple, classic design, things that will look and feel good forever and another aspect of deVOL that really sets us apart from the crowd.Image credit to our friends at ‘Our Food Stories‘ – this is their beautiful deVOL Kitchen, just outside Berlin!
Click here to check out Part 2 which will take you through everything you’ll need to know after your design appointment, from meeting your deVOL Project Manager to organising flooring and lighting to the delivery and installation of your beautiful new kitchen cupboards.