The kind of kitchens that I love

15th February 2018

By Helen Parker

Rich dark cupboards, bright white walls, crystal in the cupboards and history in the room.


I adore the stark white walls and the rich dark heavy furniture contrast. This image has inspired much of my current vision for our new Mill House showroom and for future new Classic pieces. I also love the idea of a kitchen not really looking too kitcheny.

I’m always looking for inspiration, for myself and for my work as Creative Director here at deVOL. Really they are the same thing I guess, which is lucky for me, my passion outside of work is my passion at work, it’s just all the same. When I’m anywhere I’m always thinking of things I love and how can I create that look or that feel or that emotion. I love Pinterest, because I love the inspiration it throws at me relentlessly, I have to be restrained and go for only my very favourite images, it’s easy to just pin away and then you return a week later and think yuk what was I thinking and hurriedly delete it. The following images are ones I have saved but kept on loving and continually inspire me and keep me on track with my true loves.


High ceilings, ironwork, shutters, patterned tiled floors. I love this image and how much it makes you want to be there, in that room, right now.


The look is old but fresh and new and that’s a skill and much easier to achieve in an old property. You really don’t know if the walls are original, if so lucky people, if not very clever people, distressing authentically and believably is so difficult to get right!! I really love having tiles outside, patterned pretty ones, these tiles look as if they may carry on into a beautifully shaded courtyard with trees and cascading pots and little spots to sit and contemplate. This thrown together look full of textures and styles and simplicity is my perfect look and then a little bit of organisation on the shelves is comforting. I’d love to see the fridge and cooking area and move straight in.


I think there is a cool breeze wafting through this house, helping to make this simple but sophisticated room very gorgeous, perfect windows, perfect floor and no doubt a burning hot sun outside.


Such inspiration here, a gentle reminder to stop yourself from overdoing things, it’s hard for me as I’m naturally a bit of a hoarder and need to be cajoled into parting with useless and unattractive items from my past. It’s also a reminder to invest in a great floor if you don’t have an original. In the Mill House I was determined to have something that looks authentic, there is nothing more of a shame than a beautiful room with a poorly considered floor choice. I’m erring on the side of wood at the moment but as usual I’ve seen patterned tiles and these beautiful black marble ones and the terracotta ones in our Mill House, and I’m wondering again what I really do prefer, or if I need to have a preference.


This is a happy kitchen in Western France, bright green and fun with festoon lights and humble furnishing. The beautifully original double doors and smart staircase make the simplicity of the styling even more impressive.


Another tiled floor, is it original? or not? that’s the test of a perfect floor choice. I love the achievability of this room and the sort of ‘care’ but ‘don’t care’ attitude it seems to convey. I like that, people who love and want their homes to look special, but are not super fussy about every little thing being perfect, organised or expensive. It gives you the ability to easily change a look without feeling guilty, to freshen up a look and change things with the seasons.


Dark cupboards and white walls again, I love the stark metro tiles behind the fancy and very grand old cupboard. Cleverly turning it into a legit kitchen cupboard.


I love this combination, not just in kitchens but in all interiors, the unexpected mix of old and new, or fancy and plain, it pretty much always looks good and in this case very stylish. It looks so grown up and important and almost feels like a bar or restaurant space, which incidentally is my favourite layout for a kitchen. I also love the marble worktop and gas hob, a look we have used in our new Cotes Mill showroom which will be open very soon.


It’s the scale and options this lofty apartment offers that I love so much, living in one big space with everything going on.


I love the way this room conjures up my favourite things all rolled into one space – neat clutter – collections of crockery and a big range cooker. The stripped wooden floorboards give an aged and easy look and the cast iron pillars seem to make the room feel communal and more open and interesting, it’s amazing how much an original or unusual feature is the detail that makes the biggest impression, without the pillars the room would be fabulous but with the pillars it’s even more fabulous. There’s nothing better in life than hanging out at home, cooking and eating wonderful food and reading a book on a comfy couch, here you get to do it all in one big space. I also love this image because it doesn’t shout out any specific look, the colours are all muted and this is all it needs to feel cohesive without being over-styled or unnatural and a bit staged.


This image makes me smile because it’s full of my favourite things: Mediterranean crockery, a kitchen sink and so many tiles you just know it’s somewhere hot.


There is nothing exceptional about the things in this room, in fact, ‘more than the sum of its parts’ is probably a perfect description. A plain sink and taps, some really pretty iridescent wall tiles which shimmer and not what you would immediately think to put with some white brick pattern floor tiles. A nice earthenware jug with simple stainless steel utensils and stacks of dark green wonky bowls and basic glasses, yet it is full of character and undecipherable beauty. I think it’s the expectation of a glass of red wine, a little bowl of olives and a cool feel underfoot.


This dark, elegant, simple and smart kitchen and dining room is less cluttered and more considered. Good taste has prevailed and there is nothing here that isn’t useful and beautiful.

kitchen pics 15

This room is not frivolous, it is somewhere that feels safe and warm, it has an air of quality about it, not expensive or showy just very good taste. The carefully chosen large pieces of furniture make the room feel open and unfussy, in fact quite minimal. The sheer scale of the room means that there is actually a lot of stuff stored in here, but it’s contained and neat. I love this space as much as I love the open, airy, tiled white rooms. I also love the idea that hiding away in this English country home would make the dark, cold and thoroughly miserable winter we are having a little more bearable.

That’s it for now, a little indulgence into my style and how I get inspired. We have lots of new kitchen displays on the way very soon. In St John’s Square we now have a ‘Sebastian Cox’ Kitchen in the upstairs of the house, it’s very nearly ready for customers to visit, it’s dark and moody and rich and glistening and very glamorous. Here at Cotes Mill in Leicestershire, we have a wonderful house that has been renovated and we are opening up the whole downstairs. We begin with a beautiful Classic English Kitchen, then through into a large dining room and finally into a laundry and scullery room. It will be open before the end of February 2018 and it’s definitely worth a trip even if it’s just for the view.

Any questions, queries or things I may find interesting please do email me, I hope I have responded to the mass of emails I got from my last post but if not I’m sorry, I wasn’t expecting such a great response and will be better mannered this time.

Image source: 1. Alex Macarthur via Elle Decor 2. Stefan Ruiz for T Magazine 3. Natalie Kragg via Remodelista 4. Via Inside Out      5. Via Les Maisons 6. Via Catherine Srpunt 7. Via Emily Henderson 8. Matt Lincoln via Remodelista