Me ol mucker

9th October 2012

By Paul OLeary

This interesting looking character hard at work on some bit of sun baked dirt in the middle of nowhere is my oldest and dearest friend Phil. Phil and I started deVOL 20 odd years ago, actually 25 now, sheesh. Philip deVries is the deV of deVOL, I am the OL in case you wondered. Coincidentally deVOL just happens to be Loved backwards.

Phil and I spent ten years setting up deVOL. To start with we were design consultants, then we got into antique furniture and eventually started making furniture and then specialising in kitchens in the style that we had grown to love. We had a lot of laughs but times were hard and we never had any money. We watched companies like Plain English enter the market place and throw oodles of cash at beautiful showrooms, photography and brochures and could only wince. We had already learnt a lot about what you should and shouldn’t do when making kitchen furniture and could see other kitchen companies hadn’t figured some of those things out yet, but with no resources to let everyone know we seemed destined to always be the little guy.

How things have changed. Elle Deco phoned us again today wanting more images to run a feature that will occupy 2 or 3 pages of their beautiful magazine. The Woodhouse kitchen that Helen featured on her blog will be in Elle Deco in the New year. What’s more impressive is that they are happy to use our photo’s. No photographer and stylist required. This is an absolute first; magazines like Elle Deco and Country Living don’t use your photo’s ever. So I thought anyway; but what’s clear is that the standard of our photography has reached a level that puts us on the map. Over 15 magazines are featuring us between November and March, not just the not quite there mags, but the very best ones: Elle Deco, Wallpaper and Country Living. I have a feeling that next year will be the year that deVOL becomes known to a much wider audience. About time, because we’re bloody good and totally dedicated.

So what happened to me ol mucker Phil.

Well, Phil left 10 or 12 years ago to set up a gift shop with his now wife Claire. Then they ran some student lets in Loughborough and Phil came back to work part time helping out and being there for me to lean on. Phil and Claire had done a lot of travelling and their explorations went beyond visiting far flung cultures. They explored their very being. They introduced to me a very different way of thinking. Something that I have embraced and something which has changed my life as a result. Just being, without thinking is the most blissful state you can imagine. And you don’t need money, a long haul flight or a flashy car to get there. You just need a bit of peace and quiet and a comfy chair.

Phil and Claire have escaped. They sold up and bought a small holding in Portugal; well and truly escaped from everything that messes with your mind. Look at him toiling in the heat to irrigate their vines and olives and figs. Imagine their day and the satisfaction of those baskets of almonds. His brothers and sisters (all famous) are still getting crushed on the tube or pleading with traffic wardens.

Take your hats off to Phil and Claire, because they have truly embraced life and rejected all the fear and guilt of being different.

Need any help?

Cotes Mill
01509 261000


St. John's
020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street
020 3837 5900


US Showroom

New York
+1 212 210 6269

Need any help? Please email:

Cotes Mill 01509 261000

St. John's Square 020 3879 7900

Tysoe Street 020 3837 5900


US Showroom

New York  +1 212 210 6269

  UK & Rest of World

Change to US & North America
© 2022 deVOL Kitchens.
Cotes Mill, Nottingham Road, Cotes,
Loughborough, LE12 5TL.