old things have soul

17th October 2017

By Helen Parker


So yesterday it was all about books and cards and today I wanted to inspire you with some of the more unique and old items that we have for sale at Cotes Mill. This building where we all work every day, designing kitchens, making kitchens and building on the deVOL lifestyle that we are continually creating and adding to, is a wonderfully atmospheric place, inside and out. Before we even moved into the Mill we had an idea of how we wanted the place to be, we imagined floors of beautiful kitchens but we wanted more than that, we wanted a place to find treasures and beautiful objects to fill your home with and to give as gifts.


The things we like are often old and a bit weathered, some call it vintage but I like to call it things with soul. The cupboard above is something quite special, not really rare or valuable but interesting and original, it’s just right for displaying anything and this week we have chosen to fill it with shells, it comes alive. There’s something special about a shell that would make it a beautifully simple gift, that’s what gifts should be about, simple thoughtful and with a little soul.

Japanese Drawers

These tiny sets of drawers are from Japan, they are just so fascinating, little handles, delicate ironwork, naive carpentry and a worn look that could tell some wonderful stories I’m sure. They are old and probably at over £100 each a little more expensive than other pieces of a similar size but they are totally unique. I love the idea of filling them with delicate and precious pieces of jewellery and trinkets, old things your Grandma gave you.


You may be lucky and find an old French Armoire, or a big school cupboard or a long pine table from Victorian times. We are keen to stock items that will work well with your deVOL Kitchen as well as gifts, again having some old and some new gives your new kitchen depth and interest and individuality.

Rolling Pins

As I was looking through and choosing from all the beautiful photographs Tim takes everyday, I was excited to show you many of the simple objects we have for sale. A bowl of old rolling pins, only a few pounds and so beautifully worn and tactile, a simple object that has become better with age, if only that were so for us too.


I love the image above, it completely encapsulates everything I love about old things, it even smells exotic. From India, this huge heavy cupboard is just a delight, the chipping layers of paint, the completely beautiful and un-recreatable colours and the handmade intricate catches and handles, heavy and in perfect condition. Unfortunately this beautiful beast of a cupboard is sold, I hope the customers will be transported to another world each time they gaze at it, maybe the bustling streets of Mumbai or Jaipur and the heady smell of spice. I may be getting carried away but isn’t it fun to imagine these stories and adventures.


Now an old copper pan is so full of soul it actually shines, probably from years of being in constant use, strong and sturdy this french one is so right it makes you wonder why we don’t all have one.

We love copper and have lots for sale at our St. John’s Square showroom, it’s a kind of unwritten sign that says you love to cook, you can cook and you want only the best tools for your kitchen. A handsome copper pan set is with you for life and although we don’t sell new and complete sets, we have lots of shiny pieces to take home and hang above your cooker.


This shot is down in the cellar, once a pub beer store and before that an actual working water wheel that goes deep into the ground under the Mill. It’s probably beyond repair but it’s sheer size and obvious power make a visit down to the cellar pretty memorable and again a place to imagine how life might have been. The cellar is full of soul, the wheel and an ever-changing selection of cupboards and drawers and pots and tables. These Turkish olive oil containers are quite beautiful, varying colours and sizes but substantial and bold, I love them for inside or out, filled with stems or left plain and simple, a little piece of the Mediterranean in your home.


Cotes Mill is a never ending opportunity to take a wonderful image, to show off the simplest of things in an atmospheric and moody spot, even a worn old spoon looks like a little work of art. I hope for the next few months you will remember to pop in and have a wander, explore the rooms full of things to buy for yourself or for a gift. You can even buy the wrapping paper and card to complete the purchase, it’s a good place to enjoy a calm and special shopping experience that will leave you feeling good about what you buy.

Shoe Stretcher