For The Love Of Kitchens – A Kitchen With Form And Function

10th September 2021

By Lydia Winkfield

Today I’m diving back into ‘For The Love Of Kitchens’, and this time I’m taking a closer look at the second episode; ‘A Kitchen With Form And Function’. This week the design team faced the challenge of a few mispositioned pipes in a beautiful Victorian home in Wimbledon, but first, we got to take a walk down memory lane with Paul and Phil and see how deVOL first started!

Looking at our website, and our beautifully curated Instagram and brochure, it’s hard to believe that deVOL started life in a little workshop in Loughborough, with just two young graduates stripping pine furniture. So it was a real treat to take some cameras and go back to a few of the key places in deVOL’s history and hear Paul and Phil’s memories of that time.

Paul and Phil visit their first workshop.


Plus it was amazing to see young Paul and Phil rocking some amazing eighties outfits and hairstyles!

Paul and Phil remember their first handmade kitchen.


And from old to new, we got to take a peek inside our current workshop with our Managing Director, Robin, who explained how we’ve been able to expand our business whilst still staying true to the handmade ethos that is at the very core of deVOL. I don’t know about you, but I find it so satisfying watching the process of a kitchen being made, and as Paul says in this clip, it really is amazing to see so many skilled craftspeople under one roof!

A peek inside our current deVOL workshop.


Okay, back to the kitchen! This week Senior Designer, Francesca, worked with Helen and Paul to design a kitchen for an amazing Victorian property, located in Wimbledon in London. Whilst this area is perhaps best known for tennis, it’s also full of incredible Victorian mansions, townhouses, and terraces and is considered one of the London ‘villages’, with a community atmosphere and a strong European café culture. The owners, Bridget and Christopher, were keen to have a kitchen island, but due to a little mishap with their builders, their water pipes had been placed 30cm outside of where they should have been. After a little thinking, and a strike of rather British inspiration at his local pub, Paul suggested they go for an aged brass bar that would run along the bottom of the cupboards and connect the island extension, making the new shape look intentional.

The island with a hand-aged brass pub bar.


We also got to take a peek inside another of our favourite deVOL kitchens, The Cheshire Townhouse, for a little island inspiration. We first met Ben and Nicola back in 2016, not so long after they took on the mammoth task of turning a beautiful Georgian mansion into the perfect family home. Several years, and few more children later, we came back to install the family’s second kitchen island. This spot is now an area for Ben and Nicola to work and hang out whilst the original island is used for the children to eat and play and do homework without having to worry about mess or beloved crockery breaking.

The original kitchen island is now for the children.


The new island and a little oasis of calm for Nicola and Ben. Beautiful picture by @vinehouseneston.


Back in Wimbledon, Bridget and Christopher were keen to have one of our beautiful decorated backboards, so Helen and Paul took a trip to Charleston, the home of the Bloomsbury Group, to get a little inspiration. Charleston’s artistic presence began in 1916 when Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant rented the farmhouse in East Sussex and wasted no time in covering tables, chairs, headboards and bookcases with their signature swirls and spirals in bright and bold colours. Since then, the house has become quite the art lover’s dream, with fairytale gardens, an annual literary festival and artist workshops throughout the year. Paul and Helen were lucky enough to have the whole house to themselves when they visited, plus the most glorious English weather too, what a treat!

Beautiful painting at Charleston. Photography by Helen, @hapdesigns


Helen enjoying the sun between filming at Charleston. Photo by @devolpaul.


Inspired by her visit to Charleston, Helen decided to add a handpainted touch to Bridget and Christopher’s ‘Rambling Wild Roses’ decorated cupboard, shading the flowers in a bespoke terracotta colour to add some depth. The back panel was finished with a coating of our crackle glaze to give it that aged look we love so much and voila, it was done!

Bridget and Christopher’s elegant decorated backboard, hand-finished by Helen.


To us, a kitchen is so much more than a place to prep food and store cooking accoutrement, and whilst the practicalities are important, this space should also be a reflection of you and the things you love. As Helen explains in this clip, when you focus on designing a kitchen full of beautiful things, the function seems to fit in naturally, and we think Bridget and Christopher’s decorated cupboard is a perfect reflection of this.

Helen talks about how we design kitchens deVOL.


Finally, we got to take a look at the owners’ finished kitchen! We were especially pleased to see that they had chosen one of our new deVOL paint shades, Bakehouse Green. In such a big and bright room this colour was really grounding and fit perfectly with the warm tones of their aged brass bar rail on the island, the perfect marriage of form and function!

Bridget and Christopher’s completed kitchen.


The incredible Carrara marble sink.



This little pantry wasn’t shown in the episode but it might be my favourite part of the renovation!


Paul and Helen reflect on the completed Wimbledon kitchen.


When it comes to making a kitchen, there are lots of different challenges that can be thrown up but it’s amazing to see how these issues can inspire some of the most creative designs. From mispositioned pipes to the perfect family home, this kitchen is fast becoming my new favourite! And just in case it’s yours too, I’ve made a little directory with all the details of this dreamy space.


T H E  W I M B L E D O N  K I T C H E N  D I R E C T O R Y

Kitchen Range – The Real Shaker Kitchen
Paint ColourBakehouse Green and a bespoke terracotta on the decorated cupboard
Worktops – Honed Carrara marble and oak
Handles Bella Brass knobs (medium), cup handles and classic cabinet handles
TapsdeVOL Aged Brass Ionian Taps with Rinse and the deVOL Parthian Mini Instant Hot Tap
SinkdeVOL fluted Tuscan Farmhouse 1000 double Carrara marble sink and the deVOL Villeroy & Boch Farmhouse 60 Ceramic Sink (pantry)
Cooker Black Aga
Shelf BracketsdeVOL Aged Brass Classic Shelf Brackets
TilesdeVOL Emerald Green London Tiles (pantry)
StoolsHelen’s Stool

The Dawson family in their lovely deVOL kitchen!


I hope you enjoyed my whistlestop tour through this episode of ‘For The Love Of Kitchens’ but if you’d like to watch the full thing, please do check it out on discovery+ and the Magnolia Network, and if you need a little help do read our watching guide for all the information you’ll need.