The Journey of a deVOL Shaker Kitchen – Part 2
11th January 2019
So we’re onto Part 2 of the #JourneyOfAShakerKitchen (if you missed Part 1, give that a little read here!), taking you through everything to expect 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. Here goes…
10. MEET YOUR DEVOL PROJECT MANAGER
So you’ve been to see us for a design appointment, taken home a beautiful set of designs and a quote, maybe you’ve made a few tweaks and now you’ve been introduced to your very own deVOL Project Manager. Often the unsung heroes, our production and project team are the technical experts and you can turn to them as often as you need, they’re ready to answer any of your questions no matter how little or large the query may seem. They provide technical support, organise site visits and ensure everything is running super smoothly – from the moment you place your order to the day your new kitchen is delivered and beyond.Tall bespoke Shaker cupboards in the most fabulous bluey green colour – this is deVOL’s Upminster Kitchen.
11. LEARN WHAT OUR SHAKER CUPBOARDS ARE MADE FROM…
Now we’ll tell you a little bit about just what our Shaker cupboards are made from… The carcasses are all constructed from a very high-grade birch ply, a strong, solid and water resistant material, absolutely ideal for use in the kitchen. The cabinet frames are made from tulipwood, a lovely and durable straight grained hardwood. The doors are always maple – a very stable, dense and straight timber, and the drawers are tulipwood too with a birch ply base and they run on quality smooth soft close runners. Everything is sustainably sourced and always of the very best quality. We’ve been making kitchen furniture for 30 years now and have carefully honed our construction methods and refined the types of materials we use, we really do believe these to be perfect. We want to give you not only affordable cupboards that look lovely, but ones that can take a great deal of use, ones that will last and last and last. It’s so important to know the provenance of the things you’re buying, where the materials are from, how and where everything is made, so we always encourage you to ask these questions!! And next up we’ll tell you all about where our furniture is made and just why it makes us so proud…This is Sam, just one of the lovely and very talented people who work in our Falcon workshop in Loughborough.
12. HOW DEVOL SHAKER CUPBOARDS ARE MADE…
We’re so very proud to say that each and every deVOL cupboard is made by hand, right here in our Leicestershire workshops, just as they always have been. It’s pretty rare to find a furniture manufacturer these days that can say that!! We’d love you to pop into any of our showrooms and pull out a drawer and open and close a cupboard – it’s always easier to see the quality and true beauty of something when you get to test and try it out for yourself, you’ll notice little details, things that are far too tiny to spot in photos!! Oh and if you’re stopping by Cotes Mill for a design appointment or just a look around then we can make you a cup of tea and give you a little tour of the workshops, you can meet the amazingly talented women and men who make every deVOL Kitchen you see on Instagram!!Simon is adding the finishing touches to this very handsome blue pantry cupboard.
13. …AND HOW THEY’RE PAINTED
So once your Shaker cupboards are all made, it’s time for some paint!! Your chosen colours will need to be confirmed by your final sign off date, which is usually about 6 weeks before delivery. First up the cupboards go to our spray shop, they’ll get two coats in here to ensure an even and really durable layer. Then they’ll be finished by our expert painters with a coat applied by hand to give a wonderfully traditional look. This is Gemma, she’s been working at deVOL for years and years and is such an integral member of our painting team, she’ll make sure your Shaker cupboards are just right. Of course how we paint our cupboards is important, but so is the kind of paint we use – we mix all our paints ourselves to a special formula perfect for our furniture, the paint is water-based and has a 10% sheen. Finishing with a hand-painted coat not only looks beautiful but it also means if your cupboards do suffer a little knock or chip then it’s really easy to touch up yourself and we’ll always provide extra touch up pots on delivery.A final hand-painted coat applied expertly by Gemma, it’s these little details that make our cupboards so special.
Now it’s about time to start thinking about flooring – especially if you’re planning to lay something new as this must be installed before your new kitchen arrives! We always say that if you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful original floor in your home then cherish it… but if you’re not so lucky then do not worry. We have a sister company called Floors of Stone, they sell a wonderful and very vast selection of wooden planks and parquet and stone tiles too – all at highly competitive prices. Our favourites are these terracotta ones, they are an absolute triumph of a tile, and if laid carefully they are completely authentic. Floors of Stone are the real experts in everything floors!! They’ve got a lovely showroom in the entrance of Cotes Mill so you can have a peek at flooring while you’re here for your design appointment, and if you can’t make it to Leicestershire then please do drop them a message or give them a call.The loveliest original wooden flooring and our favourite Terracotta Tiles by Floors of Stone.
You may have noticed from previous posts during our takeover that we’re very happy to work with you on every aspect of your deVOL Kitchen, but we’re also very happy to provide you with the perfect Shaker base and let you do the rest. This is the same for delivery and installation, we have our expert team of fitters that install deVOL Kitchens every day, we’ll tell you a little more about them in the next post, but if you have a team of builders that you know and trust then we can simply deliver your kitchen to your door. If you choose our delivery only option, we will always deliver your furniture with a pack of installation information and guidance to help your fitters… and if they ever get stuck then there is always somebody at the end of the phone ready to help.The outside of our Cotes Mill home, a deVOL delivery van and Dean in the driver’s seat!
Lots of our customers prefer to go with our installation service and it makes sense, we really are the experts. We offer installation on all our furniture, we can also template and fit your stone worktop as well as wooden worktop fitting. If you go for stone, our team will template on delivery and come back with your beautiful new tops about 2 weeks later, and we’ll always leave you with temporary worktops in the meantime! Spending money on beautifully made cupboards should culminate in ensuring that they are fitted carefully and with full appreciation of how the room should ultimately look. Although one of the final steps in the project, installation is so important!! It is always worth spending some time researching and finding the best person with the right experience and knowledge for the job. We have thirty years experience in fitting our own cupboards and we have our own team of deVOL fitters – they work exclusively for us and are exceptional at what they do. Our team understands our exacting standards and we can promise a flawless fit every time.The first project to come out of our Tysoe Street showroom and one of the most iconic deVOL Kitchens ever.
We touched on all our handmade extras in Part 1, but we thought our deVOL lights deserved an extra special mention. Especially as now’s probably the time you’re really thinking about the lighting for your space – you’ve picked your colours and worktops and hardware, you’ve got your beautiful cupboards and the room is very nearly complete. Well, we always recommend to keep it simple with your lighting, you can easily tire of statement pieces and of large bold themes that dominate your room and lighting is a big one! We see so many lighting schemes and it’s always the discreet and understated ones that catch our eye and that we don’t tire of. We designed a range of simple ceramic and porcelain pendant lights that will look good forever. Each pendant is crafted by hand in our ceramics studio and the making process is really quite fascinating… click here to watch a little film on how Claire makes the ever-popular deVOL Crackle Pendant.The Classic Millhouse Kitchen at Cotes Mill featuring a charming collection of our handmade porcelain pendant lights.
18. VINTAGE EXTRAS
For us, the perfect kitchen recipe is always a bit of old and a bit of new – this gives your room depth and interest and individuality. In the very beginning, we always wanted to sell more than just kitchens, we imagined long before deVOL moved into Cotes Mill how wonderful it would be to have room after room of things to buy for your home, things to give it real personality and soul. With a little inspiration and a bit of a hunch, you can come here and fill your rooms with quirky unusual and fabulous things. You may be lucky and find an old French armoire, or a big school cupboard or a long pine table from Victorian times. We are keen to stock items that will work well with your deVOL Kitchen, you can wander the Mill to your heart’s content and your kitchen designer can add anything you fall in love with straight to your order, and it will be delivered along with your new kitchen cupboards. You can also view a selection of our vintage finds on the deVOL website… drop us an email if you have any questions, but do remember we are not an online website selling vintage products, we are a showroom and we encourage you to come and visit us and see these things for yourself.An old farmhouse table, Hungarian settle, wooden ladder and other curiosities intermingled with our Shaker furniture in the Loft Kitchen.
19. AFTER YOUR NEW KITCHEN HAS BEEN INSTALLED…
So the floors have been fitted, the walls have been painted, the kitchen has been installed and the decoration and little details are all complete. How exciting, you made it!! And our job is done. Now, of course, we try our very hardest to make sure everything is absolutely perfect for you and usually it is, but things happen and sometimes a little something can go wrong, it’s life. If this is the case then please never worry, we are always on hand to fix anything and this will never change, we’ll be happy to help whether you get in touch a week after your installation, a year, five years, ten years and beyond.An Edwardian Villa in Cardiff – one of the very best deVOL Kitchens we were lucky enough to shoot last year.
And that’s the end of the journey!! I really hope this has been helpful and will be a good guide to come back to every now and then. If you’re hoping to start work on a kitchen project this year, a little utility, boot room, or anything else, then please do get in touch – just send us your plans and we can get working right away. Oh and if you’re wondering about timescales, we normally say allow 10-12 weeks for the whole process, from design appointment to installation… this can vary quite dramatically during busy times like Christmas but equally, there is often scope to get things sorted sooner if you’ve got a smaller project!