Smeg & deVOL Handmade Kitchens
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An interview with deVOL Kitchens

Smeg has been working alongside DeVOL kitchens for a number of years. We sat down with Creative Director Helen to find out first-hand what inspires their designs and what she loves to cook in her own kitchen.

An interview with deVOL Kitchens

Your kitchens range from the beautiful new mid-century inspired ‘Haberdasher’s Kitchen’ to traditional and classic collections. Do you see a trend for any of these in particular in the coming year?

Our Shaker range is our most popular range, because it is so simple and easy to incorporate into so many styles of interiors, but with the opening of our London and New York showrooms, we have introduced a little more of our Classic English furniture. This Georgian furniture is very traditional and again simple, with a focus on beautiful handmade cabinetry. We have seen a trend in opulent, eclectic rooms, yet still understated and this embodies our Classic cupboards, so we hope to see the revival of our Classic English Kitchens. Our latest creation, the Haberdasher’s Kitchen, is a leap out of the traditional painted kitchen market. Inspired by mid-century English retail interiors and gentlemen’s outfitters; this has become a completely new and exciting direction for deVOL. 

A number of your show kitchens at Cotes Mill, Loughborough showcase Smeg appliances. Why do you think our appliances complement your kitchens so well? 

Smeg appliances are simple like deVOL cupboards, good quality, understated and well-priced. They suit our customers perfectly and a testament to our confidence and love of Smeg is that all three of our directors have Smeg ranges in their homes. For me there is nothing, really nothing, that beats a Smeg FAB fridge, they are just so spot on. A fridge is always a tricky appliance to fit nicely into a kitchen design, but with a Smeg FAB it's easy, they always look good, which is why we sell them to so many of our customers . I have a pink one at home and I love it, it’s got character and style and without it my kitchen just wouldn’t be the same.

When it comes to appliances, do you think you can mix modern and traditional styles together in harmony?

We love to mix it up in our kitchen showrooms, new cupboards, vintage furniture, it all helps to make every kitchen unique. With careful choices, mixing old with new or traditional with modern can really make the difference.

Do you believe technology and style are equally important in a kitchen or is one more essential than the other? 

Well I do believe that style is most definitely more important, whether it is style in the home, in a product or in a piece of clothing. However, technology in your kitchen can definitely make life a whole lot easier and having a hi tech cooker or extractor can make things cleaner, easier or more efficient. So, of course it is sensible to make the most of technology but we should never allow this to take over from style. Having said this there are of course many products that incorporate technology and style. So style over technology, yes, but don’t be a slave to it, style should be easy.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, the social hub and cooking central. What’s your favourite dish to cook for the family?

Oh a cooking question, I love those! Well, my family don’t live at home anymore so cooking an evening meal for the kids is a distant. yet happy, memory. My children have lots of favourites but now they have to feed themselves and live away from home it seems the thing they really crave when they come is a Sunday Roast. Simple I know, but it’s the best. With all the trimmings too, especially homemade bread sauce which is a family favourite. The smell of roast chicken, stuffed with lemons, fresh thyme and garlic, rubbed with Olive Oil and sea salt is the best. I love the whole spectacle, peeling, chopping, mixing, laying the table and making sure everything is ready at the same time, it’s always a joint effort.

The DeVOL brand seems to be constantly expanding, now including handmade ceramics and flooring. What does the future look like for DeVOL? 

deVOL is always on the move it’s what makes the company so dynamic and exciting. If you overthink and plan too much it can seem hard work and forced, but here at deVOL it’s all a bit more spontaneous. We see someone who makes great pots so we open a ceramics studio, not planned just sounds fun so let’s give it a go. We meet a blacksmith and create a little forge at Cotes Mill, making beautiful hand-forged hooks and brackets. We employ talented design graduates to work in our ceramics studio, making the prettiest range of lighting. Of course it involves a lot hard work and dedication to make it all happen but it's new and exciting and with so many talented designers here it's bound to result in something special. 

Find out more about deVOL
An interview with deVOL Kitchens