Thanks to the instant success of deVOL’s first London shop just half a mile away, it had quickly become clear that one showroom couldn’t keep up with the amount of customers waiting for design appointments. Because of the high demand for beautiful kitchens, it wasn’t long before deVOL took the plunge and bought the entire building in St. John’s Square, with the intention to bring it back to its former glory. “As we explored not only the shop but the house above, we just thought it would be a fantastic place to display our kitchens and all the other amazing stuff we make and sell. From the derelict basement right up four stories to the roof garden with views of this historic square and beyond to St.Pauls, it was just an untouched, original property full of charm, character and history,” says Helen Parker, Creative Director at deVOL.
Advice for people thinking of doing the same: Be prepared for weirdness in the house. Our floor was not level by 1.5″, which wreaked havoc with a design that had no trim to hide uneven lines. Our contractor, Dave Rannala, actually jacked up one corner of the kitchen from the basement below in order to even things out. All the counters and shelves are totally level, but then there are all sorts of little things they did, like tapering the ceiling beams to hide the house irregularity. They did an amazing job. It is really important to have an experienced builder. Also, plan the layout beforehand and test lots of ideas. We did five different kitchen layouts before we settled on the final one. Doing that forced us to answer all the questions about the type and size of appliances and where the work stations would be. Those questions have to be answered at some point, but planning first meant that the actual reno was way less stressful. One final thing: Use simple, good quality materials that are timeless and bridge the modern and historic influences
Image above: My Ittala pot (all of my pots are by them) on the induction burner, my favorite source of heat now. The dining table was designed by the architect David Cook at and I initially wanted solid ebony but it was not environmentally friendly so I went for veneer and both the top and the legs were custom made. The gorgeous orchids come from my lovely florist, Witchet from Aflorum.