Missing the Mill

15th April 2020

By Collette Black

Anyone else missing the office?! Who thought we’d ever be saying that!! Our photographer, Tim, sent over some shots of a very quiet and eery empty Cotes Mill and it made me miss hearing about everyone’s weekend shenanigans, Pret lunches and all the tea rounds. Cotes Mill isn’t even my normal office, I’m mainly at St. John’s but I’m lucky enough to venture up to the Mill once or twice a year. If you’ve never been, it is a must-visit if you ever get the chance!!

My favorite view of our Cotes Mill showroom from the millpond.


An amazing old water mill surrounded by acres of rambling English countryside on the banks of the River Soar. There are peacocks and chickens and guineafowl and swans wandering around and a few friendly rescue cats too. You can find the cosiest cabin built out of an old lorry (check out Paul’s incredible transformation blog if you haven’t seen it), makers studios, a brand new greenhouse that we’re hoping will flourish into a delicious kitchen garden and even a very special secret garden in the making that I can’t wait to explore on my next trip. All that and I haven’t even got to the kitchens yet!!

Our lovely new greenhouse, full of seedlings waiting to grow into a kitchen garden.


A secret garden in the making.


Before deVOL, I pictured a showroom as a bunch of sterile, brightly lit, perfectly put together displays. The thought never really appealed to me, it’s not the way I live or the way I want to live and I just couldn’t relate. Growing up, my house was full of hand-me-downs, random paintings my dad liked hanging on the walls (and some my mum hid behind the sofa), mismatched pots and pans, colour and a collection of mine and my sister’s handmade creations, many of which are still proudly displayed on the dresser. It was random and a bit messy (mostly because of me) but it was home and it was comforting. The idea of a sparse, over-styled showhome was boring and the thought of spending hours there seemed like the afternoon from hell.

Helen’s beautiful lived-in styling in the Loft Kitchen at Cotes Mill.


Our new handmade Amber Glaze Pottery in and amongst a hotchpotch of vintage goodies.


I very distinctly remember walking into Cotes Mill for the first time for my interview, even though it’s about 5 years ago now!! I’d never been anywhere like it. It wasn’t just somewhere I wanted to live but it was somewhere I could actually imagine living. It wasn’t bare with a few very precisely placed white bowls, it was filled with a collection of kooky and charming pieces, old tables and wardrobes, handmade pottery, toys and books and, of course, the most beautiful kitchen cupboards I’d ever seen.

The latest addition to our lighting collection, deVOL Creamware Pendant Lights.


I love that it feels like you could just step into this photo, this room has so much character.


Cotes Mill has changed so much over the years and I somehow manage to get lost in this maze of loveliness every time I visit as new rooms or studios open, but I still get the same feeling every time I walk through the big blue doors and up the old wooden staircase.

A peek into our Shaker showroom, one of the oldest displays at the Mill.


The completely timeless freestanding Classic English display.


Our doors may be closed for now, but these rooms are looking as beautiful as ever, ready and waiting for you to come and explore when we’re open again. It’s not what we wanted or planned for but in these strange times it’s nice to think about the positives too. The grounds will benefit so much from a time of rest after a cold and rainy start to the year. Phil is still living at the Mill, taking care of all our plants and animals and the birds are pretty happy to have the place to themselves for a bit!! It’s so peaceful and I hope that these photos bring you a feeling of calm and maybe a little inspiration.

Wobbly old walls and impeccably made Shaker cupboards.


The dreamiest sink set up – deVOL Mayan Taps, a copper sink and luxurious San Simone worktop.


You can get happily lost for hours wandering around this old building.


We will be back as soon as we can but for now, our designers are continuing to work from home. If you have been dreaming of a deVOL Kitchen, it’s the perfect time to gather together your room plans and wish lists and mood boards and pop them over to us in an email, ready for us to get started on designing some beautiful kitchens and utilities and boot rooms.

– enquries@devolkitchens.co.uk

– 01509 261000

Or if your project is in the US, please contact our team working from home in New York:

– usa.enquiries@devolkitchens.com

– 212 210 6269