Creating a Perfect Kitchen Retreat with deVOL
Dec 8, 2023
Our love for reclaimed and natural materials and great craftsmanship has been central in so many projects we have worked on, and none so relevant to this ethos is the home of our founder Lee, and his Yorkshire home restoration.
Lee and his partner Phil worked hand in hand with our design team to create their vision of home with a Californian-Spanish feel, using a mix of materials, furniture and finishes to bring this to life.
One of the most integral spaces in Lee’s home is the kitchen; undoubtably the heart of this home and a space that is so hugely important to his family life.
“The house had a large extension to the rear with a modern plastic kitchen overlooking the rear garden. We immediately knew this could be our main living space, with uninterrupted views of the countryside.” Lee says. “The modern extension already had lots of glass and thus wonderful natural light, so we wanted to embrace this and create a large open-plan living space which felt open.”
This Georgian property, with countless architectural details in every corner, gave the challenge of adding the same abundance of character to a modern extension, so every detail counted to connect the two.
"We wanted to embrace the fact that it is a different era, as it has been more recently constructed, but to bring in elements of the old into the space. So the design of the kitchen really had to compliment the fact that it's a 150 year old property".
“We elected to use our handmade Raw Bejmat tiles on the floor in the kitchen, reclaimed elm boards throughout the downstairs space and a reclaimed oak floor upstairs. We also used reclaimed tiles in the kitchen around a main feature fireplace and this really feels like a piece of art.” Lee says.
Central in the kitchen, of course, is the beautiful deVOL Haberdashers cabinets and prep table island, which Lee and Phil worked hand in hand with Helen Parker, Paul O’Leary and Helen Balshaw of deVOL to design in the space (and was documented in their brilliant series For the Love of Kitchens!)
"We wanted to add character and charm into the space, and something with architectural detail. It was important we worked with a designer who understood our vision and would work with us to achieve this, right to the finer details. The craftsmanship of deVOL kitchens, and ethos around reworking classic designs really resonated with us, and felt akin to the ethos we believe at Bert & May." says Lee.
Paul & Helen spent time with Lee & Phil to design the perfect kitchen in their large modern extension, which featured on their 'For the Love of Kitchens' TV Show.
We spoke to Helen Parker, creative director of deVOL, to ask her thoughts on the final space…
“Lee and Philip's kitchen and living space is actually a dream place to spend time. Spacious, light, minimal but not too minimal, it feels very exotic and calm, huge plants, spectacular views of the natural pool and a wonderfully interesting garden.
I love the colours they have chosen and the natural materials they have used on every surface, making it all feel very calm and comfortable, but also stylish and carefully considered." Helen says.
"The big dining table facing into the garden is my favourite spot, there is nothing I like more than a big family table where you can imagine a Christmas dinner or a lazy Sunday lunch. Creating a room that conjures up moments, celebrations and just comfortable living is always the goal and every part of this kitchen feels useful, beautiful, comfortable and super stylish. ”
The perfect pairing - Bert & May bejmat tiles and the deVOL Haberdashers' kitchen
“The size of the room and the views into the garden really are the perfect starting point for making what has become one of deVOL's favourite rooms to photograph and spend time in. But, without careful design and curating the right furniture and accessories it could have felt quite stark, I think Lee and Philip did such a wonderful job of turning a new extension into a room full of LA vibes, without it feeling at odds with the rest of their old and very characterful home. You often hear people talk about the wow factor, well walking into their home and then seeing the huge expanse of glass and the views really does make you go WOW!!!”
“I think the use of tiles was a great place to begin, adding texture and colour to break up the plain walls. The fireplace is such a statement within the room, the soft vintage colours of the antique tiles is a little piece of femininity and warmth and is a really well-chosen and lovely touch, I always think using tiles on big areas of a wall is the most stunning way to use them as they become part of the structure of the building rather than a little adornment.
There is something quite special about floor-to-ceiling tiles that really feels authentic and characterful, committing to a look big-style always works much better than a little nod to something, it is also very authentic to the Spanish way of life Lee and Philip love so much.”
Discover the Bert & May Design Service here, to help assist with your project, tile choice or interior design direction.
Photography by DeVOL Kitchens & Beth Davis
Floor tiles – Raw Thick Bejmat from Bert & May, Splashback tiles – Hessian Glazed Bejmat tiles from Bert & May, Fireplace tiles – Rio reclaimed tiles from Bert & May (this design is available in our REMADE collection), Kitchen Cabinets & Island: Haberdashers range from deVOL , Wall & Ceiling colour - Roman Plaster by Little Greene Paint Company , Rugs – Zara Home , Dining table – Made from salvaged shutters, Lighting: deVOL , Lights over table - Pooky, Chairs & Bench – Vintage bench, Hans Wegner chairs, Stripy cushion – Zara Home, Painting – mixed over years of collecting, many antique, The range cooker - Smeg, Sockets & Light switches - Corston , Antique vases – Many are from Vinterior.