For The Love Of Kitchens – Big Dreams For A Small Kitchen

17th September 2021

By Lydia Winkfield

Perhaps one of our most asked questions on social media is whether we design kitchens for small spaces, and the answer is, of course! That’s why we were so excited to dedicate a whole episode to Joe and his delightfully mini kitchen in County Durham. Joe’s home is located in the charming village of Sadberge which can actually be traced back to a Viking settlement or Wappentake, and he decided to carry out almost every part of the renovation project himself.

Helen chats about our love for small kitchens and owners who take on the whole project themselves.


The first stop for Joe, and his friend and partner in crime, Jude, was Cotes Mill to chat to Helen and senior designer Frankie about his kitchen. With a small kitchen, there are a lot of ways to make the space feel bigger, such as choosing light flooring and cupboards, including skylights and French windows and painting your window sills white, in fact, we have a whole blog about this, do check it out if you’re interested. But Joe was also keen to save money wherever possible on his kitchen, so instead of designing some deVOL wall cupboards for his kitchen, Helen took Joe and Jude for a nosey in our antiques cellar. As soon as Helen started rummaging around, she spotted the perfect vintage glazed wall cupboard. In fact, she found it so quickly that it almost looked like we’d set this up for the show, but this was actually totally genuine, and so felt a little like kitchen fate!

Joes antique glazed wall cupboard.


Ooh and on the topic of antiques, this week Helen, Paul and Joe all took a trip to our favourite antiques fair, Newark. Collecting old, beautiful and quirky pieces is a real passion of ours and we love nothing more than heading off at the crack of dawn and coming home late at night with a van full of treasures. Paul also gave us a little lesson in vintage buying; look at the underside and back of a piece of furniture to check its quality and always check for dovetails on the drawers to determine the skill of the craftsperson.

Paul gives us a lesson in antiques shopping.

Helen and Paul explore Newark antiques fair.


Back at Cotes Mill, we got to meet a few more of our incredible makers, including our blacksmith Alun and one of our ceramicists, Claire. It has long been a dream of Paul’s to have a forge at Cotes Mill creating beautiful handmade iron accessories, and last year this dream became a reality when Alun joined our team after 20 years working in IT! I think there’s something really special about seeing these traditional crafts being continued and incorporated into new kitchens, and it was such a joy to watch Alun hammer and bend hard black steel into a rustically elegant hook rack for Joe.

Alun working in the forge.


Next up, Claire invited us into the ceramics studio for a rare glimpse at how she makes our iconic Emerald Green London Tiles. These glimmering tiles were the focal point of Joe’s kitchen and were actually inspired by the East End pubs that surround our London showrooms!

Claire makes our Emerald Green London Tiles.


Green tile inspiration in Exmouth Market.

Deep green tiles near our London Showrooms.


Just before we take a look at Joe’s finished kitchen, we re-visit one of our most popular small deVOL Kitchens, the Edwardian Villa in Cardiff. This kitchen is only 3.3m x 3.3m but some careful design means this room feels open and airy and spacious. Rosie, the lovely owner, really wanted to keep the walls free of cabinets to maximise the space and allow the original arch to shine unobstructed. Luckily the Edwardian Villa has a little utility room for extra storage and our clever designers got extra creative and transformed an alcove in the dining room into the perfect spot for a freestanding pantry cupboard to integrate the fridge and freezer. Just like Joe, Rosie was keen to save her pennies wherever possible and spent hours trawling through eBay and charity shops for vintage furniture, crockery, and even floorboards! The finished result is a kitchen that feels truly authentic to the age of the home as well as bright and personal and not at all small.

The Edwardian Villa in Cardiff.

Rosie’s integrated fridge and freezer in a freestanding pantry cupboard.


And now the moment that we’ve all been waiting for… Joe’s finished kitchen! After initially thinking he wanted a neutral ‘Mushroom’ coloured kitchen, Helen and Frankie convinced Joe to go bold, and we’re so glad they did because now we have another incredible green kitchen to obsess over!

Joe’s finished kitchen.

Cosy vibes at Newbank Cottage!


If you’re ready to create your own atmospheric green kitchen, check out the kitchen directory I put together for Joe’s small but perfectly formed kitchen!


J O E ‘ S  K I T C H E N  D I R E C T O R Y

Kitchen RangeThe Real Shaker Kitchen
Cupboard Colour‘Bakehouse Green’ by deVOL
Wall Colour‘Arsenic’ by Farrow & Ball
Worktops‘Helix’ Silestone
Handles deVOL’s Bella Brass Original Cup Handles & medium Bella Brass Knobs
TapdeVOL Aged Brass ‘Ionian’ tap
SinkdeVOL 600 Fluted Ceramic Sink
Range CookerSmeg ‘Symphony’ 600mm oven with ceramic hob
Lighting – The Large Creamware Pendant by deVOL
TilesEmerald Green London Tiles by deVOL
ShelvesdeVOL Shaker Shelves with Peg Rail
Wall Rack27” Iron Hook Rack (6 hooks), hand-forged at Cotes Mill by deVOL
Wall Cupboard – Vintage, from the cellar at Cotes Mill


Jude and Joe in the finished kitchen!


Ohh I know I keep saying it, but this might be my favourite episode yet! To watch this episode or binge the whole series head to discovery+ or the Magnolia Network and if you need a little help finding the show, please do check out my watching blog!