A slower pace of living in the most beautiful home in Edinburgh
14th February 2019
Last year we stumbled across this dreamy deVOL Kitchen on Instagram. It instantly grabbed our attention as we’d never seen an all natural Sebastian Cox Kitchen before and we were in awe of how incredible it looked, in fact the whole apartment is stunning! It’s just so tranquil, a little bit rustic but still very clean and simple and filled with the most beautiful natural materials and soft textures. The simplicity of the design works so well with the grand proportions and ornate details of the property… I mean, just look at those windows! Can you imagine curling up in this little window seat to enjoy your morning coffee whilst wistfully gazing at the bustling streets of Edinburgh below?! Absolute heaven!!
Rough sawn Sebastian Cox cupboards, a Smeg dual fuel range cooker and a wonderful selection of kitchenalia from Ingredients LDN.
This little haven of serenity belongs to the very cool couple behind Ingredients LDN – an online homeware store that offers a gorgeous selection of handmade goods made from natural materials. Not only did we fall in love with their utterly charming deVOL Kitchen, but their way of life and the ethos of their business really resonated with us. I think we’re all becoming more conscious of our effect on the planet and the problems that come with a throwaway lifestyle. At deVOL we have always loved beautiful and simple things made by people who have a real connection to what they are making, things with soul that will last a lifetime… or longer! Ingredients LDN shares this passion, advocating a slower pace of living, taking time to do things with care and intention and cultivating a more mindful approach to consumption and everyday life in the most beautiful way. So I thought I’d chat to Nina Plummer, one half of the Ingredients LDN team, about creating such a special place to live and work as well as a little bit about their philosophy and style to see if I could pick up a few tips to share with you…
Plug it, twist it, hang it – the new deVOL Porcelain Pendant can be moved wherever a little extra light is needed.
Why did you choose Sebastian Cox cupboards?
The Sebastian Cox Kitchen was on my mind before we had even found our apartment. From the materials to the aesthetic, everything about this range is perfectly aligned with our values and the values of our store. From the sustainably harvested wood it is made from to the beautifully textured finish that gives it a completely natural feel to the warm neutral colour, all of these different elements work perfectly together to tell a story and create a warm comforting atmosphere. The addition of deVOL’s natural honed marble worktops and aged brass and copper details alongside an antique wooden cupboard we found in Amsterdam served to create the exact feeling and aesthetic we were after: warm, comforting and natural.
The kitchen island is on brass casters so it can easily be moved, here below a handmade deVOL Crackle Pendant.
Were there any design challenges that you had to overcome?
We went to visit the Cotes Mill showroom and had the loveliest day meandering around the beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces. We were very clear on what we wanted and Matteo, who helped us design the space, couldn’t have made the process easier. We had a somewhat unusual request for deVOL to create a movable kitchen island. Because our home is also my studio and serves as the backdrop to all of the images for our store and blog, we tried to design everything in it to be as flexible as possible. I wanted to be able to move the island, both for more flexibility in the kitchen and so that I could have a marble surface to serve as a backdrop for product photography. I think this was challenging for Matteo, Steve and the rest of the deVOL team who worked on our kitchen because marble is so incredibly heavy. Additionally, they set themselves the challenge of not only making it functional but also beautiful and so had to find and then customise wheels that would complement the aesthetic of the rest of the kitchen. It took us a few trials but we’ve ended up with a truly bespoke, beautiful and functional piece of furniture that I can move around by myself as needed. It makes our kitchen completely flexible so it can serve as both a working kitchen and a versatile studio space.
Hand Forged Copper Cups, a Tallow Candle and Pearwood Dusting Brush – just some of the beautiful pieces Ingredients LDN offer.
Why do you think it is important to use natural materials?
When we consider the rate of consumption in Western societies and our attitudes to disposability, materials like plastic present a huge challenge. While natural materials can come with their own set of challenges, if obtained in a sustainable way, they can present a more environmentally friendly alternative to plastic. There are some organisations like Cradle to Cradle that challenge us to reconsider the way we design products to take into account their entire lifecycle at the point of design. This idea encourages us to give consideration to what will happen to a product once it is no longer in use. Unlike most synthetic materials, natural materials tend to be biodegradable. But in addition to environmental factors, for me there are emotional and aesthetic considerations as well. At a time when many of us live in cities and can be starved of contact with the natural world, designing our homes using tactile natural materials can have wonderfully soothing emotional benefits. Bare, unpainted wood, smooth cooling marble and organic textures like linen, wool or ceramics can add warmth to an interior in a way that is difficult to replicate with plastic. In addition, natural materials tend to age beautifully preserving the traces of use in a unique patina that adds further warmth to an interior.
A lovely mix of natural materials – smooth Carrara marble, textured English beech and a deVOL Aged Brass Ionian Tap.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
The store is a combination of many of my interests: design, visual story-telling, and a conscious approach to daily life. I have worked in diverse fields from neuropsychology to branding before starting this business but always found some part of me to not be fully satisfied by my work. We are very fortunate to live in a time where it is possible to craft our own jobs if we can’t quite slot into pre-existing moulds. The store is an attempt to create a business in line with my husband’s and my values and a lifestyle that can serve as a creative outlet and connect us to a wider community of like-minded people.
Have you always practiced slow living?
My background is in clinical neuropsychology and I have always had a deep interest in consciousness and philosophical and psychological perspectives on what constitutes a life well lived. For me slow living is not so much about the temporality of speed versus slowness but much more about a mindful approach to daily life. It’s an encouragement to give deep consideration to what we value most in life and why. Once we can define the direction we want our life and our character to develop in, it becomes easier to let go of all of those tempting things that, with deeper consideration really aren’t what will lead to a sense of meaning and fulfilment. You’ve used precisely the right term here: practice. A mindful approach to living is indeed a practice and one we need to cultivate throughout our life. At times we do well and other times we do less well at this practice. But this ebb and flow is a natural part of growing and the result of continuing to set ourselves the kinds of challenges that make life meaningful.
Soft textures create a really comforting and cosy feel, even in such a big room. I love these velvet cushions!
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to adopt this lifestyle?
To reflect deeply and with honesty on all aspects of our life and personalities. Learning to reflect mindfully on how we feel and why is a practice we can develop but the honesty part is the difficult bit. Our minds are very skilled at presenting only partial or distorted information to us. Learning to identify what is really driving us and why is not an easy feat. Curiosity and humility are the only inoculations I have discovered against this but I’m still learning so I’ll get back to you if I ever feel I have learned enough to give advice.
The perfect mix of old and new, ornate details and simple styling.
Looking into this all natural Sebastian Cox Kitchen, there is a real sense of tranquillity.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog and having a nosy around this incredible home. I just want to thank Nina for taking the time to answer my questions and for sharing these gorgeous photographs with us and the rest of the Instagram world. Make sure to follow @IngredientsLDN for more inspiration.
You can also check out their website and online store here.
The Sebastian Cox Kitchen by deVOL is handmade in Leicestershire, England using native English beech. Prices for this range start from £15,000. For more information, please take a look at the brochure.
All photography courtesy of Ingredients LDN.