Love a deVOL kitchen?
Six elements to include in your new kitchen design to get that 'Georgian era/English scullery' look
Okay, so pretty sure Georgian era/English scullery is not an official design term, but if you've been trawling the internet looking for kitchen inspiration lately, you've definitely seen a lot of these quietly upscale kitchens. They look like something straight out of Downton Abby, but prettier, because they're intended for the homeowners enjoyment, not for the servants as a workspace ;-)
Maybe it's part of our current yearning for simpler times and more authentic living, or a reaction against fast-fashion and throw-away consumerism: these kitchens bring us comfort in their natural materials and craftsmanship that are made to last.
Nobody does this better than deVOL kitchens, a British-based company that last year opened their first North American showroom in New York city. And I want to state right now that this is NOT a paid endorsement--I just like to get behind great quality and beautiful design :-)
If you love the deVol kitchen look and want to bring it home, here are the essential elements that you should include in your new kitchen design:
1. Inset doors for cabinets and drawers
This style of door (as opposed to partial of full overlay doors) requires a level of precision that is key to giving the kitchen a handcrafted feel, but of course that comes with a higher price tag for the hours involved.
If inset doors don't fit your budget, don't despair, as there are lots of other ways to add that Georgian era feel to your renovation plans. Like...
2. Unfitted Cabinetry
Fully built-in kitchens are a fairly modern development, so an easy way to add historical depth is with an unfitted piece that doesn't match the rest of the cabinetry, like we did with this new kitchen in a historic home:
Notice the unfitted green cupboard in this creamy deVOL kitchen, and the plate rack on the wall rather than built in upper cabinets. (Love the ventilation holes in the pantry cupboard--an easy customization to add to your kitchen plans!)
I recommend hunting down an interesting vintage or antique piece that can be worked into the kitchen design, or have a new, unfitted piece made by your kitchen fabricator in a colour and style that complements, but doesn't match, the rest of your cabinets.
Another element of the unfitted look is using a lighter looking island than the heavy, solid islands we've been seeing for the last couple decades. Legs and open storage beneath lend islands the same look as the tables that used to anchor the centre of hard-working and homey kitchens.
Another design detail of a deVol kitchen is that upper cabinetry does NOT go all the way to the ceiling, but only as high as is within easy reach. You can see this in the cabinets in the photo above, and also in this kitchen:
3. Natural Materials
Incorporate lots of natural materials to your design, just as a kitchen of the Georgian era would have done. Flooring is good place to lay the foundation (ha ha) for an authentic feel. We're talking wood, clay bricks or natural stone like slate or limestone:
You'll notice in these photos above that a butcher block countertop is a real signature of the deVol style kitchen. Other natural countertop materials that are great to bring in are soapstone, marble, honed granite. These are natural materials that will show their wear--the patina is part of the charm, but if you are not a patina person there are lots of quartz countertop products made to resemble these stones.
Using metals such as unlacquered brass hardware, copper pots and pans will mellow over time to lend an authentic and natural feel to your kitchen.
4. Open Storage
Those old British kitchens were working kitchens, so it was important that food prep equipment and serving dishes were easily accessible. Hiding everything away was not priority. There are lots of ways to include open storage in your kitchen design.
Open shelving has become very popular in the last few years, and it fits perfectly with this look:
The shelf above also includes a brass rail with hooks, another great addition that puts your frequently used (and your prettiest) cooking tools in full sight and within easy reach. DeVOL has many iterations of the hanging rail, from metal S hooks to fixed hooks to wooden peg rail:
5. Statement Ranges and Sinks
A range with an old-fashioned, hardworking vibe to it is perfect for this style of kitchen--little or no digital visible electronics would be ideal. (AGA, Lacanche, LaCornue, Ilve and Bertazzoni all make classic and stunning ranges at a variety of price points that suit the look of a Georgian style kitchen)
This stunning kitchen below brings together many of the elements I've mentioned so far-- statement range, natural materials, open storage and cabinetry that doesn't meet the ceiling.
The stove would have been the hard-working anchor of a working kitchen in a country cottage or downstairs in an English manor. The sink would have been another focal piece, and deVol frequently incorporates a statement apron sink into their kitchen designs, and you can too ;-)
If you're a 'go big, go bold' kind of person, how about this beauty?
You can let the range and sink area really shine by downplaying the fridge and dishwasher. Actually, not just downplaying but hiding completely by deleting panel ready appliances that can blend in with the cabinetry. This adds to the old-fashioned feel, as dishwashers and stainless steel refrigerators were definitely not a part of the typical Georgian kitchen!
6. Adapt the look to your aesthetic
While the foundation of a deVOL kitchen takes a lot of its cues from kitchens of the past, the overriding themes are CLASSIC, QUALITY and AUTHENTIC. These are keystones to all design, and lend substance and timeless beauty to all aesthetics.
DeVOL kitchens can be very spare and modern feeling while still incorporating many of the elements I've mentioned here.
Clean-lined design, with natural wood floors and marble counter, open feeling glass fronted storage, paired with modern lighting:
Clean-lined & moody, with natural flooring and touches of patinated metal:
Rustic, with open storage and plenty of natural materials, this time with an industrial vibe thanks to the lighting and concrete countertops:
Simple country cottage style:
If neutrals and tone on tone are what make you happy, then the kitchen above is a perfect example of how a deVol kitchen can deliver that.
If you like light and cheery, here's one for you, complete with unfitted pieces, open storage, apron sink and natural materials galore:
Love colour? You can do that too:
Dark and moody is your jam?
(Note the feature range and sink, open storage for glasses, knives, cutting boards)
As you can see, there's truly something for everyone in the deVOL world, and if you're looking for a timeless and classic kitchen that will outlive the many kitchen trends that are bound to come along, then a deVol style kitchen may be your answer. If geography (and/or your wallet) mean an actual deVOL kitchen is not in the cards for you, using the tips in this post will help you achieve the look anyway. And if you need help pulling the plan together, reach out to me--I'm here to help!
Until next time,
P. S. If you're planning a new kitchen, these related posts will give you lots to think about:
Wood Kitchens: They're baaack!
Are You Ready to cook up Some Colour?
Before and After: A Beautiful New Kitchen in an Historic Farmhouse