Meet the Staff

At deVOL we believe that our team of highly qualified staff is our best asset. Our customers appreciate putting a friendly face to a name. Click on the pictures of our staff below to read about them and read their entries on our award winning blog.


Paul O'Leary


BA (Hons) Product Design

Paul graduated from Loughborough University in 1987 with a 2:1 and co-founded Insight Design Consultancy, which had a strong ergonomic bias and won commissions from The M.O.D, The Royal National Hospital Bath and Cranfield Business College. In 1989 Paul followed his yearning for design and production with one of the design partners, Philip deVries and co-founded deVOL (the name being an amalgamation of their initials). deVOL began specialising in freestanding kitchen furniture in 1993.

The emerging style was a reflection of Paul and Philip's affinity with simple Georgian and Victorian furniture from Ireland, England and Wales. Some other notable influences include Shaker, Scandinavian, French and Eastern European cabinetry. In 2004, 2005 and 2006 Paul received a commendation in The Kitchen Designer of the Year Awards.

Paul became sole proprietor in 1998 and has continued to build on deVOL's reputation through his determination to produce the highest quality cabinetry and maintain a strong design ethic. deVOL now design kitchens for clients all over the world, as far afield as Hawaii, Ghana, New York and Iceland and even ship their furniture over to two showrooms in Japan, opened by Japanese entrepreneur Masaya Fujita.

Since many of deVOL's clients would ask advice on other aspects of interior design, deVOL began recommending and then selling the flooring that complimented their furniture. Floors of Stone Ltd became a company in its own right in 2008. Paul also spent 3 years working closely with a friend who is a leading fashion designer and together with investment from de Montfort University and a number of lingerie designers, developed and patented a range of healthcare underwear, which won the ACA 'Look Good Feel Good' Award and were featured in the book 'The History of Men's Underwear'. Paul formed Shreddies Ltd in 2008 which retails his underwear and other healthcare garments.

Paul appointed a Managing Director for deVOL Kitchens Ltd in 2011, but still plays an active role on a daily basis, particularly on the creative side, directing the design office and writing and designing deVOL's brochures. Paul has been a regular commentator on kitchen design and underwear design in the press; with ask the experts articles in interior magazines and interviews for radio, TV and newspapers. Paul's designs and comments have been featured in wide ranging media coverage from Country Living, Elle Deco and House & Garden to Radio One and from The Financial Times to The Daily Star.

Paul bought Cotes Mill, a historic 16th century water mill on the banks of the River Soar, in 2012. Some might have thought he was crazy taking on such a huge project in the midst of a recession, but taking risks is what Paul does best, he just has that knack of getting it spot on. With his vision and utter determination Cotes Mill was transformed into a stunning design destination and kitchen showroom and it now attracts visitors from all over the country to see the four floors of lovely handmade kitchen displays, special collections of antique and vintage furniture and beautiful grounds full of wildlife, including a lovely family of fallow Deer.

After the incredible renovation and success of deVOL’s Cotes Mill showrooms in Leicestershire, in 2014 Paul decided it was time for deVOL to open a showroom and design office in London. Such a large percentage of our customers were already based here, so it made perfect sense for us to open up shop in the capital, we were so excited that our London customers would now be able to visit us easily and see our furniture in the flesh.

Paul will forever be a product designer at heart, solving the simplest and most complex of design problems, always considering style, form, function and comfort. His innovative and unique ideas were key to the design and making of our award-winning Sebastian Cox Kitchen range, which launched in 2015 and took the design world by storm. This urban rustic kitchen, made completely from sustainable British timbers, is unlike anything else on the market and has been awarded a Design Guild Mark and named as Homes & Gardens ‘Kitchen Design of the Year’, a truly great achievement for Paul and the deVOL Design Team.

Carrying on his love for product design, at the beginning of 2016 Paul opened up a small ceramics studio at Cotes Mill and employed a few very talented graduates from local universities. They went on to create a collection of handmade ceramic kitchenware, tiles, pendant lights and sinks. Most recently, Paul has designed his very own stool, “A graduate furniture designer’s dream is to design an iconic chair or stool and to say ‘There, that’s my stool’ and to be proud of it.” says Paul, and he’s done just that. Machined from one lump of solid oak, this is the comfiest stool you will ever sit on.

One London showroom has now turned into two, with Paul recently buying a beautiful new deVOL shop and townhouse in the historic square of St. John, in Clerkenwell. The building feels timeless and full of history and charm, it’s set out over five floors with a very cool roof garden, lots of original features and very high ceilings, it’s the perfect space to display cupboards from our bespoke Classic English range.

Paul loves his garden, playing with the kids, country walks and country pubs, and would, one day, like to write a book and make a film.

Paul O'Leary's blog entries >

Robin McLellan

Managing Director

BSc (Hons) DPS Industrial Design & Technology

Robin started a one year placement at deVOL in 2005 and returned as a permanent member of staff after completing his degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree.

Robin started selling his wood turnings at a shop in Worcester at the age of ten. By the age of twenty, Robin had acquired an extensive home workshop, including two lathes. He has an incredible knowledge of the properties of even quite rare timbers, as well as a thorough knowledge of traditional carpentry techniques.

With the practical skills he has at his disposal, Robin quickly became a highly regarded member of our design & development team and became influential in streamlining production, working closely with Ben Creed. He also ensured that each cabinet met our specifications to minute tolerances.

Robin was promoted to Production Manager in 2008 and to a share­holding Managing Director in 2011. From the moment Robin walked into my shop as a student with an oar sticking out of a hold-all, he has never ceased to impress. Robin is as ambitious and dedicated as he is talented and trustworthy. deVOL kitchens Ltd will no doubt continue to flourish as Robin slowly but surely takes responsibility for everything that makes deVOL special; the most important being our staff, who are an exceptional bunch of creative, honest and hardworking people.

Robin’s interests include renovating property, white water kayaking and building vintage motorcycles.

Robin McLellan's blog entries >

Helen Parker

Creative Director

Helen joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer in 2004 after a lengthy sabbatical raising a family, she quickly proved that she has the wherewithal to guide prospective clients through the kitchen design process.

Helen was promoted to the position of Creative Director in 2011 after showing an innate ability to forecast trends and give deVOL a style direction. She was given the task of redesigning deVOL's kitchen displays both at Cotes Mill and our first London showroom, this included designing new pieces of furniture to add to our existing Classic and Shaker ranges. One of our favourite of Helen’s designs is the beautiful deVOL Curiosity cupboard which launched in 2016 and has already become a firm favourite with our customers. Designed with the ‘old museum’ cabinets in mind, this piece is simple, functional and works in just about every room of your home.

Although Helen no longer designs kitchens directly for our customers, she oversees and helps with the training of all deVOL’s kitchen designers both at Cotes Mill and in London and is still very involved with all aspects of the kitchen design service.

deVOL’s easy, cool and understated style is Helen's inspiration and her original approach to our look is quite unique. Over the last thirteen years that Helen has been with the company it has changed from a small Leicestershire business, to a household name. Helen's passion and desire to create a special look for deVOL has proved to be the making of this company.

She works with Tim, our photographer, on all the styling and imagery for the company, organising photoshoots both in-house and in customers’ homes. deVOL’s timeless, original and impeccably styled photography is one of the key things which have helped us to become such a well regarded name in the design and interiors industry.

Helen is also involved with the design and writing of text for all deVOL brochures and advertising, regularly being asked to submit editorials for local and national magazines and newspapers such as Elle Decoration, Homes & Gardens, Livingetc and The Sunday Times, she has become a voice of knowledge when it comes to interiors and stylish living.

When we design new kitchen ranges and work on collaborations and new projects Helen is a key member of the deVOL Design Team. Her amazing eye for style and knack for getting things just spot on were very important in the design and launch of our Sebastian Cox Kitchen range in 2015, which has gone on to win multiple awards for its unique urban rustic look.

Helen is also responsible for styling, sourcing and buying all the antiques and gifts on display here at the Mill and has introduced an exciting and eclectic range of products old and new. As well as sourcing products from all over the world, Helen has been working closely with our deVOL potter and ceramicist to create a small but growing collection of classic stoneware in the most beautiful soft muted colours, the pieces are practical and simple and they will be around forever.

Most recently, Helen has been responsible for designing our incredible new London showroom and townhouse in the historic square of St. John, Clerkenwell. A design that has already got the media and interiors world talking; with soft pink and green walls, cupboards painted in our new ‘Clerkenwell Blue’, a wall covered in our very own dark green metro style deVOL tiles, oil paintings hanging from the walls, quirky palm trees and houseplants, antique chandeliers and kooky Majolica pottery, Helen’s brave and inspired choices have created an evocative and carefully considered space in which to display our bespoke Classic English cupboards.

Helen is a keen blogger and is always actively ensuring deVOL and its image is kept classic, on trend and eclectic. She loves food, unusual ingredients, exploring markets and local restaurants, spending time gardening and watching world movies. Helen’s hobbies are a kind of extension of her work at deVOL, all of the things Helen loves are a part of her job. She is hoping to get the deVOL food truck up and running this year and create a lovely vegetable garden at the Mill too; all of these things are intrinsically linked to her home life in the loveliest way.

Helen Parker's blog entries >

Cotes Mill Kitchen Designers

Katie Creed

UK Sales Director

BA (Hons) Textile Design

Katie graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2009, specialising in print and embroidery; her style focused on graphical line drawings of iconic London imagery. Soon after graduating Katie started working in our flooring business, Floors of Stone Ltd. Katie was excellent with customers and gained expertise in all aspects of sales, logistics and customer service. Katie became office supervisor as the business grew, until she was offered a place on the kitchen design team at deVOL. Katie had always been interested in interior design, so the move satisfied her desire to use her creative skills in her job. Katie quickly got up to speed designing on CAD and guiding clients through the kitchen design process.

In 2015 Katie was appointed as Head Kitchen Designer, her friendly and approachable personality, design flair and impeccable organisational skills made her the perfect person for this job. She now works closely with our team of designers at the Mill, discussing their projects and helping each designer create the very best and most practical design for their customer’s space.

Katie likes to have a good nosey at all of the potential projects we receive on a daily basis, but the best bit is seeing photographs of the finished rooms and hearing from happy customers who love their new kitchens.

Although Katie spends most of her time helping our team of designers, she still enjoys having her own kitchen clients when she can, there’s nothing better than working closely with a customer and seeing a project through from beginning to end. The Kew and Bath Shaker kitchens are a couple of Katie’s favourite projects that she has worked on. Not only were the customers lovely, making the design process a dream, but the finished kitchens look so clean and beautiful. Simple designs always make the best ones.

Katie loves working at Cotes Mill, being surrounded by friendly and creative people and working in a place where there’s always something new going on. She especially likes seeing all of the new ceramics coming out of our little studio and is looking forward to the very first deVOL jewellery collection. Katie has just bought a new house, which needs some serious renovating, so she can now totally relate to customers in a similar position!

In her spare time she likes to sew, print and makes her own furnishings, most recently, she has started making paper-mache lights, a very messy process but rewarding in the end! Travelling is another of Katie’s passions, with her favourite destinations so far being the USA, Canada, Berlin and Stockholm.

Helen Balshaw

Kitchen Design and Training Manager

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Helen studied 3D Design at Loughborough University, graduating in 2013 with a 2:1 in 3D design. Shortly after graduating, Helen joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer at the Cotes Mill headquarters and in September 2017 made the big move down to London to become a member of the design team in our Tysoe Street showroom. She has since returned back to Leicestershire to work at Cotes Mill.

Before joining deVOL, Helen worked as an assistant at The Lightbox Gallery, The Eden Project and also spent time teaching as a volunteer in Sri Lanka. Alongside her degree, Helen also undertook internships with product and furniture designer Michael Marriott and at Next in their homeware department.

Not only does Helen spend her days designing deVOL Kitchens, but she also helps to train our new Kitchen Designers, teaching them everything they need to know to design a practical, beautiful space that fulfils the customers’ needs and upholds deVOL’s principals and aesthetics. Discovering the things that our new staff excel in, as well as the things they find a little trickier, and helping them to grow in confidence in all aspects of their job is something Helen finds really rewarding.

Helen’s favourite project that she has worked on so far is The Peckham Rye Kitchen, a wonderfully bold, daring and eccentric room and the most talked about deVOL Kitchen ever. This space was different to anything Helen had ever designed before and it reminded her that the most challenging projects are always the best and the most rewarding.

If Helen had to pick one of her kitchen designs that she would most like to have in her own home, it would be The Park Kitchen Nottingham. It’s such a light and bright and open space with so many interesting details like the little round window seat and wonderfully high ceilings. The perfect mix of practical fitted furniture and freestanding bits and bobs, this kitchen is a delight and also features a retro Smeg fridge, something Helen has dreamed of having ever since she was little!

Helen’s absolute favourite thing about working at deVOL is all the lovely people she gets to work with, as well as having the opportunity to meet lots of interesting customers and help them to create lovely kitchens that they will get to enjoy for many years to come.

In her spare time, Helen loves doing lots of creative things. Since specialising in paper folding design in her final year at university, she’s been a bit obsessed with origami and making decorations, homewares and cards out of waste paper. Helen is also passionate about going to church and getting involved with volunteering projects. At the moment she is volunteering with a night shelter that her church helps to run in London, this is something Helen has always wanted to do.

Francesca Froggatt

Head Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Francesca graduated in 2017 with a 1st class honours degree in 3D Design: New Practice from Loughborough University. She harbours an innate passion for the Arts and has worked as a creative across the creative industries in Eindhoven, NL and the United Kingdom. During her time in Eindhoven, Francesca worked on humanitarian design projects at Hassani Design BV and at Studio Nacho Carbonell, Eindhoven, leading a small team of interns in the creation and manufacture of surreal, sculptural artworks and furniture pieces using a diverse range of materials and processes.

In London, Francesca worked as Studio Manager of Kennedy Woods Architecture, a rapidly growing Architecture studio in the heart of Peckham, where she gained experience in 2D CAD drawing, interior design, and furniture specification. In her hometown of Lincolnshire, Francesca has helped to pioneer numerous creative endeavours to encourage interest in and engagement with the Arts across the county.

Francesca joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer in 2017. She loves to get to know her clients and designs every kitchen to perfectly suit each customer's individual needs and tastes. Francesca's sense of style is influenced by her nomadic lifestyle, growing up in fields, up mountains, or on horseback, and trawling Lincolnshire's treasure-filled antique shops for gems. She loves to be at one with nature and is most at home covered in dirt with her dog Peanut.

Emma Wraithmell

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

Emma graduated from De Montfort University in 2008 with a degree in Furniture Design. She joined deVOL towards the end of 2014. Her role focuses on drawing up customers kitchen plans and guiding them through the design process turning their ideas and requirements into their dream kitchen. Prior to working for deVOL she worked in Liverpool as an Interior Designer where she enjoyed working on a variety of projects and gained a greater understanding and love of interiors.

Emma has a passion for cooking and travel and loves to experience new foods and cultures. She is also an avid viewer of The Great British Bake Off and enjoys recreating what has been baked on the show. In her spare time Emma loves being outside and enjoys visiting the Lake District to go on walks. Having recently purchased her first home, Emma can't wait to take on the project of re-designing the interiors.

Hannah Vincent

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture

After graduating from Buckinghamshire New University, Hannah Joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer at our Cotes Mill showrooms. During her time at university her designs were chosen to exhibit at both May Design Series 2015 and New Designers 2016.

Hannah has worked with a number of Public Art Groups including ‘Future City’ and ‘Public Works’ and has been a part of projects, such as ‘A Masterclass in Sitting’ and the ‘Last Chair Arch of High Wycombe’. She also won a public seating competition in 2015 commissioned by Berkley Homes, in partnership with Future City, Public Works and High Wycombe Council.

As a big fan of craft and wood working, Hannah enjoys learning about and experimenting with a whole range of materials and even specialised in the use of alternative materials in her final year at university.

Hannah also loves to fill her home with an eclectic mix of handmade, one-off ornaments and furniture.

Josephine Bell

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Fashion Communication

Josephine studied Fashion Communications at Northumbria University where she particularly enjoyed exhibition design and visual merchandising. Before joining deVOL as a Kitchen Designer, she worked at as a Visual Merchandiser and then as an Interior Designer. Josephine’s best experience so far has been working in Älmhult, Sweden, on an exhibition that focused on the new home furnishing products for the coming year. She loved discovering the identity of Swedish design and getting inspired by the amazing shops in Malmö and Copenhagen.

Now, she loves creating beautiful and functional kitchens for deVOL’s customers that reflect the period and style of the property.

In her spare time, Josephine enjoys walking in the Peak District with her dog, Fenton, Interior Design and styling, shopping for antiques and going on holiday to Northumberland.

Joe Taylor

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Joe studied Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, before joining deVOL as a Kitchen Designer at the beautiful Cotes Mill headquarters in September 2018.

Joe's final project at university focused on embracing the use of technology within the home office – designing a desk that featured a hollow leg in order to facilitate a cable for plug sockets and USBs, making it easy to power devices. Combining traditional woodworking skills with modern design, Joe obsessed over every little detail to create a piece that had oodles of understated beauty. Find out more about Joe’s work at:

Working as a Kitchen Designer here at deVOL, Joe spends his time meeting and chatting to our lovely customers, guiding them through each stage of the design process, drawing up plans and quotations and helping them to create their dream kitchen.

Outside of furniture, playing guitar takes up most of Joe’s time; from church to national conferences and even festivals. He also loves to build and ride mountain bikes.


Lucy Bedford

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Fashion Management

Lucy graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2018 with a First Class Honours degree in Fashion Management, where she attained a knowledge of the retail market and business strategies. Whilst completing her degree, Lucy also gained her Diploma in Professional Practice and her dissertation was selected to be shown at Graduate Fashion Week.

In April 2021, Lucy joined the team at deVOL's historic Cotes Mill home as an Assistant Kitchen Designer. This role includes assisting the senior designers in every aspect of creating beautiful kitchens for our customers all over the world, including working on the room layout and design elevations, as well as putting together itemised quotations.

From a young age, Lucy has enjoyed drawing and designing. In 2014, she won first prize in the ISA Area & National Art Competition. Since then, she has developed her love for design, including upcycling antique pieces of furniture.

In her free time, Lucy enjoys cooking and creating new recipes with her partner. A typical Sunday includes visiting her family, going on a long dog walk with their sausage dogs, Darcey and Belle, finished with a Sunday roast dinner.

Michael Wenban

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Product Design

Michael graduated with a 2:1 in Product Design from Nottingham Trent university in 2021. Using his artistic flair, he was able to take an innovative approach to solving the problems faced in design briefs.

Finding a way to bridge a keen interest for art and problem solving, Michael spent a year on placement in the kitchen design industry where he developed a strong interest in all things 'interiors'. Michael joined the deVOL team as a Kitchen Designer at our Cotes Mill showrooms in Leicestershire in 2021. Although a lot of the design process takes place behind a computer screen, Michael loves interacting with deVOL customers all over the world. He particularly enjoys being able to bring all the elements of a new kitchen together to create a space that is not only beautiful but functional too.

Art, particularly drawing portraits, is one of Michael's passions, as well as exercise and enjoying the outdoors. Cotes Mill is a constant source of inspiration and he feels very lucky to be able to enjoy the lush, sprawling grounds and countryside surrounding the historic building.

Jessica Yarnall

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

Jessica graduated from Northumbria University in 2015 with a BA Honours in Interior Architecture, a course that led her to museum design. As a Museum Designer, Jessica worked on projects throughout Europe, the Middle East and America including the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC.

Before joining deVOL, Jessica used her spare time to freelance on a diverse range of projects including an inflatable art installation and remodeling a local church. In 2019, Jessica spent six months in Australia continuing her design work whilst volunteering building yurts, permaculture gardening and restoring furniture to facilitate her travels along the East Coast.

As part of the deVOL team, Jessica draws on her experience working with heritage architecture to design kitchens. She enjoys the challenge of smaller cottage kitchens in particular, creating humble, harmonious spaces.

Outside of work, Jessica can be found lake swimming, climbing or cycling on the back of the tandem with her partner. She always looks forward to packing up the campervan and heading to the Peak District for peace, quiet and a good pub!

St. John's Square, Clerkenwell

Matteo Allodi

St. John's Square Showroom Manager

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Matteo graduated from Loughborough University in 2015 with a first class degree in Fine Art. During his final year, he designed a series of sculptures ranging in scale and size, which explored the materiality of wood, concrete and glass, some of which were added to Loughborough University's private collection.  Matteo's work has been exhibited across the country, and he was invited to exhibit his work at the Affordable Art Fair in Battersea in 2015.

After graduating, Matteo returned to Loughborough University as part of the marketing team for the engineering department, before joining deVOL in 2017 at their Cotes Mill showrooms as a Kitchen Designer. In June 2018 Matteo made the move down to London and is now designing kitchens from our Tysoe Street showroom, which is located just off the fabulous Exmouth Market.  

During his weekends off work, Matteo enjoys visiting friends and binging on good food! With a strong interest in crafts, he still makes sculptures in his spare time and has also recently purchased leather making tools as he is eager to learn a new skill!

Georgia Clark

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Graphic Design & Illustration

Georgia graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2013, specialising in freehand illustration. Joining deVOL straight from university she worked her way from office assistant to part of the kitchen design team at Cotes Mill. In 2016 Georgia made the big move down to London and became a member of the design team in our Tysoe Street showroom, she fell in love with the city life but will always be a country girl at heart!

This summer Georgia left the city life behind her to do some travelling, something she has always been passionate about. Taking some time off work she travelled through Colombia, Panama, Guatemala, Belize & finishing in Mexico before heading back home to Leicestershire & back to where it all began at Cotes Mill! There are lots more places on her bucket list, but these will have to wait for another day!

Guiding customers through the design process from beginning to end is one of Georgia's favourite parts of her job. She also really loves the variety of different kitchen projects she gets to work on, from cool city flats, lovely period properties, to little holiday cottages & projects across Europe & America.

In her spare time, Georgia is interested in photography, art exhibitions, loves a countryside walk, especially one ending at a pub! She also loves to spend time in North Wales beachcombing, walking along the cliffs & wakeboarding.

Iain Chatburn

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Photography

Iain graduated in 2008 with a 2:1 from Falmouth University. He first worked in deVOL’s Creative Design Office from 2013; managing magazine advertising, updating websites, proof-reading brochures and also photographing floor tiles. Iain is now one of our kitchen designers based in the new London showroom. He is fascinated in the design process where a customer’s initial ideas become a finished kitchen design. After graduating Iain was involved in the Nottingham Arts scene, with a role as Digital Coordinator at Surface Gallery. Here he curated several exhibitions, including an international exhibition of short film, subject which he has a great interest in.

Iain's own art practice take cues from nature, with a strong grounding in Fine Art. A degree project combined photography stills and computer graphics to create an interactive point-and-click adventure game. Living in Cornwall gave the chance to dive regularly and learn underwater photography. A passion for travel also has helped produce a portfolio of photos in East Asia as well as a year teaching English in South Korea. Other hobbies include foraging wild mushrooms and cooking.

Iain Chatburn's blog entries >

Kristina McIntyre

Senior Kitchen Designer

BDes (Hons) Textile Design

Kristina joined deVOL after graduating in 2019 with a First Class Honours degree in Textile Design. As part of her course, she studied abroad in Milan and completed an internship with THE UNSEEN, a material innovation R&D house based in London. As part of her final year at university, Kristina developed a collection of tactile interior surfaces inspired by minimalism and Scandinavian culture.

As a Kitchen Designer and coming from a background in textiles, Kristina really enjoys getting to know her clients and helping them choose the perfect colour and finishes for their new kitchen. The best part of the job for Kristina is hearing lovely feedback from her clients and seeing the final finished deVOL furniture looking beautiful in her customer's home.

In her spare time, Kristina enjoys cycling and visiting her parents in Scotland and taking her two Australian Shepherds, Maisie and Luna, on long dog walks in the Scottish countryside. Kristina also has Scandinavian roots and enjoys frequent trips to see her family in Norway and tries to go snowboarding whenever she gets the chance!

Sam Atkins

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Sam graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2020 following a four year Furniture and Product Design BA Honours degree, including the completion of a 13 month internship - project managing and designing bespoke fine English cabinetry with a cabinetmaker in Guildford. His dissertation explored defining ‘classic’ design, how and why individual perspectives differ and the importance and power that design can have. Sam’s final piece was a Shaker-inspired sideboard following principles of quality, craftsmanship and functionality. This piece caught the eye of the Conran Shop and was shortlisted at New Designers for the Conran Shop Design Award.

Sam joined deVOL in July 2020 at Cotes Mill where he worked for six months before joining the team at the St. John’s Square showroom, London.

Sam loves working with his customers, taking their initial ideas and developing these into beautiful spaces. He has always loved designing and making pieces of furniture and was fortunate enough to be awarded a Young Furniture Makers Design Prize (sponsored by the Furniture Makers’ Company) in 2016 for his final piece for Product Design A level, a folding table.

Sam has always been a keen artist and photographer and has exhibited his work in a number of venues. He also has a real passion for music and is an accomplished classically trained singer. He was a tenor scholar throughout his time at university and still performs regularly with choirs and as a soloist. In his spare time, Sam often travels to visit and catch up with friends and family across the UK.

Emma Winchester

Junior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Business Administration

Emma graduated with a degree in Business Administration where she studied an array of subjects from marketing, economics, strategy, logistics, accounting and more. After her studies, Emma began working in marketing but soon decided to follow her passion, retrain and pursue a career in interior design.

Whilst completing an interior design course at KLC School of Design, Emma worked at Little Greene as a colour advisor, before joining deVOL as a Junior Kitchen Designer in May 2022.

Working from our historic St. John's Square townhouse in Clerkenwell, London, Emma helps our design team with all customer kitchen projects, as well as showing visitors around and being a friendly face in the showroom.

In her spare time, Emma loves cooking, painting and exploring new places, with past trips including a few months travelling around South America where she hiked and camped through the Andes.



Isabel Poland

Junior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Industrial Design and Technology

Isabel graduated from Loughborough University in 2022 with a degree in Industrial Design and Technology. In the same year, Isabel won the 2022 RSA Student Design award for a service design project that helped to facilitate closer community connections through a food delivery and recipe sharing solution. As well as becoming a fellow of the Royal Society of Art, Isabel’s project was featured in Wallpaper Magazine.

Having worked as an interior designer during her placement year, Isabel developed a strong interest in helping people create beautiful spaces in their own home, which led her to kitchen design and deVOL. As a Kitchen Designer, Isabel meets with our customers in our lovely St. John’s Square showroom, and helps to bring their ideas to life, drawing up plans and quotations for all sorts of different projects.

When she’s not at work, Isabel enjoys taking her dog, Leo, on walks along the river in South West London, playing tennis, and cooking. Always on the lookout for new pubs and restaurants, Isabel also loves to spend her time visiting art galleries and exhibitions, particularly those related to the Bauhaus, having written her dissertation on it!

Tysoe Street, Clerkenwell

Alexa Jacobs

Showroom Manager and Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Architectural Studies

Alexa graduated from the University of Nottingham with a 2:1 degree in Architectural Studies in 2012. After deciding architecture wasn’t for her, she decided to focus on her favourite room in the house; the kitchen.

After four years of working as a Kitchen Designer, Alexa joined the deVOL design team as Assistant Manager of the Tysoe Street, London showroom. In 2017 saw her promoted to the Manager of our Tysoe Street showroom. As well as ensuring the smooth running of the London showroom, Alexa enjoys helping to guide customers through the kitchen design process.

In her spare time Alexa loves to visit art exhibitions and spend time eating and drinking with family and friends. She also loves travelling and is always planning her next sunny holiday.

Jordan Mulley

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Product Design

Jordan joined deVOL in 2017 as a Kitchen Designer after graduating from Nottingham University with a 2:1 in Product Design. During his final year at university, Jordan designed and created products that utilised natural materials and made the most of both modern and traditional production methods. Jordan’s major project was a Shaker-inspired bar stool with a hidden rotating seat mechanism, designed to add functionality and comfort to a traditional bar stool without taking away from its natural, simplistic beauty. This design was selected to be exhibited at the 2017 New Designers exhibition which is where Jordan met the deVOL team.

Jordan began working at our main showroom in Cotes Mill for his training period, before joining the team at our Tysoe Street showroom in October 2017, where he takes customers' project ideas and inspirations and helps them to create their dream kitchen.

In his spare time, Jordan likes to keep active, going rock climbing and to concerts with his friends. To relax he enjoys taking trips to the cinema to see the latest films.

Katie Alderson

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Decorative Arts

Katie graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a First class honors degree in Decorative Arts, designing and creating lighting, homewares and jewellery. Her graduate collection was awarded Highly Commended at New Designers and labelled by Trend Bible as 'One to watch'. She exhibited at various galleries and shows across the country including Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair and Lustre.

Following her degree collection’s success, Katie was one of four applicants accepted onto the YA Silversmithing programme in Sheffield completing orders and developing new products in her own studio.

Before joining deVOL as a Metalware Designer, she worked as an interior designer and visual merchandiser. She spent the last 2 years travelling across 12 countries and driving around Australia in her self renovated campervan. Out of work, Katie enjoys discovering cosy coffee shops and beautiful interiors, watching documentaries and planning her next trip away.


Amelia Walburn

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Product Design

Millie graduated from Nottingham Trent University in the summer of 2021 with a 2:1 in Product Design. For her final year project, Millie created a design ‘Pebble’, which aimed to enhance the mental health and wellbeing of healthcare staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This piece went on to be selected as part of the The Lost Graduation show in Milan in September 2021.

Having spent her placement year working in sustainable contract furniture, Millie went on to design luxury and bespoke sofas and chairs before joining deVOL in November 2022. This experience with high-end furniture meant she was perfectly placed to join our incredible team of kitchen designers in London.

Day-to-day, Millie is based in our Tysoe Street showroom, meeting with our customers and drawing up beautiful plans for their new space.

In her free time, Millie enjoys exploring London with friends and finding new places to eat, as well as playing tennis at the weekends. In summer you can find Millie sailing on the coast of Devon and walking through the Somerset countryside with her dog.


Megan Wright

Junior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture

Megan graduated in 2017 from Oxford Brookes University with a degree in Interior Architecture.

Before joining deVOL, Megan worked as an in-house interior designer in private members clubs which she helped to set up in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

In April 2022, Megan became part of our Tysoe Street, London team where she is training to be a Kitchen Designer. While assisting our design team with customer projects, Megan will learn everything she needs to know to design a functional and beautiful kitchen that both fulfills the customer's needs and upholds deVOL's design principles.

When Megan's not at work, she makes little lino prints and spends lots of time sketching and doodling, cooking for friends and family, running and swimming in the sea at any opportunity! An office full of cyclists here at deVOL has also encouraged Megan to get a bike, which she now commutes to work on every day.


Elise Barlow

Assistant Showroom Manager

BA (Hons) Early Childhood Studies

Elise graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2009 with a 2:1 in Early Childhood Studies, with a focus on development, inclusion, and the health and culture of children. This gave her the chance to experience a variety of early years settings as well as the opportunity to spend 6 weeks working in a school and orphanage in Mumbai.

Although she will always have a passion for working with children, her career path shifted when she became a Brand Development Manager for the luxury interior brands Sanderson, William Morris & Co, Zoffany, and Harlequin. Being surrounded by beautiful fabrics and wallpaper sparked her interest in interiors and design, something she used in her personal life to renovate and design her own house. This passion for interiors and design then transitioned to a professional career when she started working for deVOL as a Design Coordinator.

In her spare time, Elise enjoys spending time in nature, camping or keeping active, by climbing, running or attempting to surf! She’s a keen cook and has been enjoying the chance to explore all the great food spots that London has to offer, but most weekends you will find her escaping the city in search of the best wild swim spots.

Jack Beck

Kitchen Surveyor

BSC (Hons) Computer Aided Product Design

Jack graduated from university with a degree in Computer Aided Product Design, with his final project focusing on methods of improving the surface finish on 3D printed parts. In August 2019, Jack joined the deVOL team as a Kitchen Surveyor. This role sees Jack travel all over the UK to our lovely customers' homes, where he measures up their kitchens with true precision prior to installation to ensure a perfect fit each and every time. Old properties, wonky walls and unexpected structural changes on site are a common occurrence in kitchen projects, so Jack's skill and attention to detail is vital. Once the rooms are measured, Jack will then create the CAD drawings for our project management team before the furniture goes into production in our Leicestershire workshops. Outside of work, Jack's hobbies include football and playing guitar.

Martha Flavin

Junior Design coordinator

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Martha graduated from Central Saint Martins University (UAL) in 2021 with a First Class degree in Fine Art. Whilst studying, she specialised in postmodern, conceptual art and was particularly interested in the relationship between art and architecture, a practice which explores and challenges the way we interact and think about spaces.

Joining us here at deVOL in early 2022, Martha’s role involves helping to manage our London showroom appointments. Liaising with both designers and clients, Martha arranges design appointments and answers any customer queries. Additionally, she helps to draw up customer floor plans and ensures all client information is ready for consultations and meetings.

In her spare time, Martha is enrolled in a part-time course developing her skills in Computer Aided Design software (CAD), she also pursues her artistic interests, experimenting with different crafts, working with stone, stained glass and now trying her hand at lino-printing. When she's not being creative, Martha loves festivals, travelling and running.


Bond Street, Manhattan

Paul Endacott

US Sales Director

BA (Hons) Industrial Design & Technology

Paul studied Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University, graduating with a 2:1 in 2013. During his studies he took a placement year job where he helped to produce products, merchandise and furniture for Coca-cola for use at the London Olympics.

After graduating, Paul worked for a small product design consultancy where he worked on a diverse range of products from high-tech medical products all the way to coffee packaging.

Paul joined deVOL at its Cotes Mill offices to learn the ropes as a Kitchen Designer before heading to the Tysoe Street, London showroom in September 2015 where he undertook the role of Assistant Manager. Paul quickly worked his way up to become Manager of the Tysoe Street showroom, and in June 2017 moved over to manage deVOL's amazing St. John's Square showroom and townhouse.

In April 2019 Paul made the move to New York to become the manager of deVOL new Bond Street showroom in Manhattan, as well as spending time designing the most beautiful kitchens for our lovely customers. His friendly personality, impeccable organisational skills and passion for design make him the absolute perfect person for this job. 

Paul is a very active person. He has swam competitively at a national level, played for Loughborough University’s water polo 1st's team and has taken to competing in triathlons since finishing university. Most of his holidays revolve around skiing, golf and tennis.

Jennifer Guest

Assistant Showroom Manager

BA (Hons) History

Jen graduated from Warwick University in 2008 with a degree in History. She then took an intense law conversion course before undertaking a training contract at a London based international law firm. In 2013, Jen qualified as a solicitor and spent the next five years practising real estate law whilst living in London.

In 2018, Jen left England behind and relocated to New York with her husband where she has enjoyed pursuing her more creative interests, photography, painting and interior design courses too. Not long after her move, Jen joined the deVOL team at our gorgeous showroom on Bond Street in Manhattan.

In December 2020, Jen was appointed Assistant Manager of the New York showroom and helps to organise the smooth and happy day to day running of the shop.   

Jen understands and knows first-hand the needs, hopes and requirements of all our customers as she actually went through the design process with our NYC Showroom Manager, Paul Endacott, and had a deVOL Kitchen fitted in her London home a few years ago! Jen is highly motivated and has become an integral part of this small team.

In her spare time, Jen loves to travel - from active holidays hiking and skiing to chilled city breaks with plenty of delicious food... and now she has one the best food scenes right on her doorstep in NYC! 

Tom Riddell

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Tom graduated from Bath School of Art and Design with a 2:1 in Three Dimensional Design. For his final university project, he created a functioning radio on the surface of a teapot to highlight the utilitarian beauty of electrical circuitry.

He developed an intense curiosity from an early age about how things are made, often dismantling many objects in his family home, much to his parent's despair. His continued curiosity has led him to explore many areas of art and design.

Tom’s previous roles include Artworker, Draughtsman, Industrial Designer and 3D Visual Artist. He has worked with a diverse list of clients including; airliners, multinational construction firms, clothing brands and international artists.

He has brought his expansive knowledge of different processes and disciplines to create beautifully and meticulously thought through kitchens. He joined the deVOL team as a Kitchen Designer at Cotes Mill in 2017 and finds immense pleasure in guiding customers through the process of creating their perfect kitchen. In January 2018 Tom made the move down to London and now designs kitchens from our fabulous St. John's Square showroom and townhouse.

In his spare time Tom can be found either riding or building bicycles, exploring the local landscape or attending concerts. He is passionate about film photography and an avid collector of vintage toy cameras. He hopes to soon set up his own darkroom to explore the photographic developing process further.

Annah Morrish

Senior Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Annah graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2017, specialising in Furniture & Product Design. Her final project and dissertation focused on consumers' perspectives of materials in the home, in which she designed and built a coffee table that marries together industrial concrete and natural live edge wood. Annah joined deVOL at Cotes Mill and after learning the ins and outs during her training period, she moved to join the team at the St. John's Square, London showroom in November 2017.

In her spare time, Annah plays a lot of hockey and is a member of a hockey club in London. She also enjoys playing music, having learned the trumpet and the piano as a child. Although Annah had a calling for city life after finishing university, the calm of the countryside will always hold a place in her heart, and she can be found in London's royal parks at the weekends.

Gabby Fabbri

Senior Kitchen Designer

BS in Communications

Gabby graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in Communications. She soon after decided to pursue her passion for interior design and spent two years working in the industry, before deciding to focus closely on cabinetry design. Gabby then spent four years at a Philadelphia firm working on whole house interior design and cabinetry projects.

In the spring of 2022, Gabby joined deVOL's New York team as a Senior Kitchen Designer.

Her day-to-day involves working directly with her wonderful customers to help design the kitchen they have been dreaming of and ensuring their process with deVOL is enjoyable and seamless.

Outside of work, you will most likely find Gabby in Central Park with her adorable dog Melo, cooking new recipes or long distance running - she got into it a few years ago and recently completed her first of hopefully many half-marathons!

Phoebe Menear

Kitchen Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Phoebe graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2020 after studying for her BA (Hons) in Furniture and Product Design. During her second year of university, Phoebe entered a design competition where the brief was to design an object suited for small homes. She won, and got the opportunity to have the design made and sold in John Lewis’s across the UK!

Phoebe grew up doing art and crafts, slowly refining her passion over the years through school, Art Foundation, university and working at her family's pottery business. These experiences, alongside a year working for a bespoke kitchen company at university, meant she was keen to pursue a career in the design industry. As a Kitchen Designer at deVOL, Phoebe loves to combine a mixture of our accessories and antiques throughout the kitchen to provide our customers with a beautiful yet functional space they can relax and spend all day in.

When not designing, Phoebe likes to go on hikes in national parks across the UK, including climbing Raven Crag, Mam Tor and Snowdon. When not outdoors she likes brewing her own wine, going to life drawing classes and gardening, including growing herbs and vegetables that she uses to create delicious recipes!

Corbin Morgan

Kitchen Designer

BFA Industrial Design

Corbin graduated from Brigham Young University in Utah in 2021 with a degree in Industrial Design. One of his final, and favourite, projects involved designing and selling bar stools made from beautiful reclaimed wood from a local barn. 

Corbin joined deVOL as a Kitchen Designer and helps the design team with all customer projects, as well as being a very friendly face around the showroom. 

He loves language and travel and spent two and a half years living abroad completing his religious mission in the Balkans, studying biology in South Africa, studying global leadership and engineering in the UK and studying design in the Netherlands.

In his spare time, Corbin loves baking, photography, playing the guitar and hiking in national parks. He is also currently training for his first ultra marathon, 100 miles long!

Jasmine Mahboob

Design Coordinator

BFA Acting

Jasmine graduated from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City in 2011 with an honours degree in Acting. She then worked as a production coordinator and line producer for projects on Broadway, digital shows and with Cirque du Soleil.

In 2021, Jasmine joined the NYC deVOL team in our Bond Street showroom as Design Coordinator.

She deals with all enquiries over the phone, email and in person, guides our customers through the first stage of our design service and liaises with our UK team.

Outside of work, Jasmine enjoys all the food amazing New York restaurants has to offer and as a little bit of a wine connoisseur, she loves travelling the US and beyond to find the most delicious things to drink.

Holly Bishop

US PR Coordinator

BA (Hons) English Literature & Language

Holly graduated from the University of Nottingham with First Class Honours in English Literature and Language in 2017. She has always wanted to work in PR and has a keen interest in interior design, so joining the little PR & Marketing team at deVOL in 2018 was perfect.

Holly works with Zoë, Letty and Lydia, helping to manage the social media platforms, dealing with editorial requests, helping with press releases, writing content for the deVOL Journal and much more. She loves every aspect of her job, from watching the social media following continue to grow, to seeing deVOL's latest projects in the top magazines and on the best blogs.

In September 2019, Holly made the move to New York! She loves working in our beautiful Bond Street showroom and is having the best time exploring this incredible city and the rest of the States.

Project Management Team

John Purcell

Senior Projects Manager

BSc (Hons) Furniture Design & Manufacture

John achieved a First Class Honours degree from Buckingham Chilterns University College in 2005 and worked as a Kitchen Designer and Project Manager for Laings in Edinburgh until joining deVOL in 2010. It soon became clear that John's manufacturing knowledge and project management experience qualified him to not only design kitchens but to oversee the whole project through to completion.

For a project to run perfectly to plan requires a meticulous approach and an unflappable attitude. John has proven himself to be the perfect man for the job and customers are reassured by his obvious expertise and warm and friendly manner.

John enjoys helping his family out on occasion, making furniture and doing interior refurbishments, but mostly is happy going to the odd gig and having a night out with friends.

Olivia Smith

Head UK Project Manager

BA (Hons) Interior Architecture and Venue Design

Olivia graduated from the University of Derby in 2017 with a BA Honours in Interior Architecture & Venue Design, where she gained a thorough knowledge of the technical aspects to building as well as producing socially, culturally and environmentally responsive design proposals.

Whilst completing her degree, Olivia also attained her Diploma in Professional Practice and Project Management. Throughout her course, Olivia particularly enjoyed working with clients on current projects, including Urban Regeneration schemes which worked towards improving Derby and Nottingham city centres. During her final year, Olivia worked on the full architectural and interior renovation of Derby Assembly Rooms with Marketing Derby, where she used her creative flair and technical eye to create a design proposal that was not only innovative and practical, but also fully sustainable.

Now, Olivia loves managing our kitchen projects where she uses her knowledge and eye for detail to make sure every project runs smoothly from the sale to the installation and to deVOL’s extremely high standards. As an Assistant Project Manager, she liaises with our customers, Production team and Kitchen Designers on a daily basis to ensure our customers are happy throughout every step of the kitchen manufacture, delivery and installation process.

Olivia began travelling to places all over the world from a young age, experiencing the diverse cultures of Japan, India, Kefalonia, Belize, Costa Rica, Aruba, Jamaica and many more. Her plans for travel in the future include more exploration of countries closer to home such as the South of France, Switzerland and Sweden.

In her spare time, Olivia loves baking, antique shopping for her new home and keeping fit with a British Military Fitness group. She also has a passion for classic cars and enjoys driving her Nissan Figaro, with her Wire Haired Hungarian Vizsla, Worcester, as her passenger.

Alice Ball

Head US Project Manager

BA (Hons) Decorative Arts

Alice graduated with a First Class Honours in Decorative Arts from Nottingham Trent University. Before joining the deVOL team as a Project Manager in the summer of 2019, she worked in fashion and textiles manufacture.

Overseeing the smooth running of deVOL projects all over the world is the main focus of Alice's role and after working at our Cotes Mill headquarters for a little while, she is now based at our Shepshed workshop where she is able to see the process of our furniture being made on a daily basis. Alice really enjoys working with the deVOL project management team and being so closely connected to the workshop. She also loves meeting and connecting with many different people during the whole kitchen design process and, of course, seeing the beautiful finished kitchens.

At the weekend, Alice enjoys cooking and taking her spaniels out for lovely long walks.

Abdul Maniyar

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Abdul joined deVOL in 2020 after graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Fine Art. During his studies, Abdul was particularly interested in notions of construction and deconstruction, and the way we consciously or unconsciously perceive art. Throughout his degree, Abdul experimented with video, sound, painting, collage, film and digital photography, sculpture, and print, and so we were very excited to see him apply this creativity to his work at deVOL.

As a Project Manager, Abdul is used to juggling several strict deadlines at once, all whilst helping our customers with any queries they might have about their project.

In his spare time, Abdul enjoys visiting the cinema or heading out on long walks across the UK. He’s also a keen sportsman, regularly playing football, basketball, tennis and badminton.

Charles Oyediran

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Product Design

Charles joined the project management team at deVOL in 2019, where he is a key member of the staff offering technical support to our customers and making sure each project meets the level of excellence we expect.

Before coming to deVOL, Charles studied Product Design at Nottingham Trent University where he developed a strong interest in material process and properties. His degree project focussed on furniture, with the aim of reducing waste during a product lifecycle, and he was invited to display this work at the “New Designers” show.

Even when he’s not at work, Charles loves to take on small craft projects, particularly bladesmithing and metalwork.

Emily Taylor

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Furniture: Design & Make

Emily first started her training as a furniture maker at the young age of 15, working with a local company and learning the processes of design conception all the way to fitting new pieces in the home. Emily then went on to study at Rycotewood Furniture School, where she worked on several projects, focusing on minimalism and collaborating with Ercol, the Gordon Russell Museum, and the AHEC Foundation. She even took on some commission work for Oxford Council where she designed and made several of their museum cases.

In 2021, Emily joined our project management team, where she helps to ensure that each and every deVOL project runs smoothly and to our exacting standards.

Emily’s passion for furniture design spills into her life outside work, where she enjoys taking on furniture projects for her own home as well as collecting houseplants to go alongside them. When she’s not designing, Emily is a keen cook, and enjoys walking with friends and going camping.

Katy Sluman

Project Manager

BEng (Hons) Product Design Engineering

After graduating from Loughborough University with a degree in Product Design Engineering, Katy joined deVOL as a Project Manager in January 2022.

This is a key role at deVOL and includes problem solving and offering technical support to our customers, as well as liaising with our designers and production team to ensure each and every kitchen is completed on time, and to our extremely high standards.

Katy is a keen painter and also describes herself as a big environmentalist, with a passion for nature and sustainability. She also likes to keep active by playing Ultimate Frisbee, and has received Duke of Edinburgh and Jack Petchey awards for her dedication to scouting.

Matt Fern

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

Matt has a wealth of experience in many areas of kitchen design and manufacturing which made him a great addition to the deVOL team. He trained as a cabinet maker before undertaking a degree in Furniture Design, which focused on mass manufacturing techniques and design innovation. After graduating with a First Class Honours, he worked as a Project Manager and Designer for a number of years, producing designs and layouts for our clients and liaising with the workshop.

Before joining deVOL at the start of 2015 as a Kitchen Designer and Project Manager. Matt has a young family and loves to play a bit of squash when he gets the chance.

Sophie Collins

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Fashion Buying & Merchandising

Sophie joined deVOL in March 2022 after working in London for 11 years as a senior buyer for a British heritage fashion brand. Pursuing her love of interior design, Sophie decided to make a change in her career and become one of our invaluable Project Managers. Her role involves interacting with our lovely customers all over the world on a daily basis to help make their vision for their space come to life.

Outside of work, Sophie loves to travel and cook, especially authentic Mexican dishes. Any other spare moments are filled with renovations of her farmhouse in the Welsh borders and looking after two goats, six chickens, two cats and her lovely Brittany Spaniel; Buddy.

Shaun Clark

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Interior Design

Shaun joined deVOL in July 2022 after working for several years across many different disciplines, including educational design, student accommodation furniture and bespoke joinery. This, combined with his degree in Interior Design, made him perfectly placed to join our incredible team of Project Managers here at deVOL. Day-to-day, Shaun makes sure that all the logistical aspects of our kitchen projects run smoothly, liasing with our lovely customers and answering any questions they may have about their new deVOL cupboards.

Even when he’s not at work, Shaun doesn’t stray far from a renovation project and has recently finished doing up his own Victorian semi-detached home - he actually taught himself to fit a kitchen during lockdown! With any spare moments, you can find Shaun at the golf course, catching a Leicester Tigers game, or holidaying on the Northumberland Coast with his family.

Reception and Customer Services

Scarlett Wheeler

Cotes Mill Showroom Manager

MSc Applied Equine Science

Scarlett emigrated to Australia with her family when she was 17 where she lived for 5 and a half years. Whilst living in Australia she completed a Bachelor of Media at the University of Adelaide. Scarlett took the opportunity to explore the vast country whilst living down under and visited Sydney, Melbourne, Ayers Rock and The Great Barrier Reef. Upon returning to the UK, Scarlett studied for an MSc in Applied Equine Science from Writtle College Essex whilst working as a horse groom.

Shortly after completing her MSc, Scarlett joined the deVOL team in June 2015 at our Cotes Mill showrooms. Scarlett's friendly, helpful and smiley manner makes her the perfect person to work on our reception desk, greeting all of the lovely customers that visit us each day and making them feel welcome. Scarlett's hard work and dedication saw he promoted to showroom manager in October 2018 where she continues to keep everything running smoothly.

Scarlett also deals with all deVOL Accessories purchases, she liaises with customers to take their orders, arrange delivery and ensure this process is smooth and enjoyable. This can be orders for anything from our popular Aged Brass taps, Handcrafted Knobs and Handles, our beautiful Hanging Rails and Hooks, right down to oak Chopping Boards and Laundry Maids from the Wooden Accessories range that we launched many years ago.

Another of Scarlett's roles at deVOL is organising, pricing up and displaying all of the deliveries of beautiful new stock, the lovely and unique extras that are intermingled and for sale around the Cotes Mill showrooms. Gifts, cards, books, stationery, unusual things for your home and garden, and of course a selection of fabulous vintage and antique pieces that we source from all over the world.

In her spare time, Scarlett loves spending time with her horses, Archie and Pogo, as well as seeing her friends and family and going on holidays!

Scarlett Wheeler's blog entries >

Georgina Wrench

Assistant Showroom Manager

BA (Hons) Photography

Georgina graduated from Nottingham Trent University in 2011 with a 2:1 in Photography. Her final project went on to win two awards and inspired her to create two books and stage her own solo exhibition.

Georgina joined deVOL in 2019 as a Showroom Assistant and was quickly promoted to Assistant Showroom Manager in 2020. Her day-to-day tasks involve welcoming customers to our lovely Cotes Mill showroom as well as assisting with customer enquiries and orders. Georgina's favourite part of her role is helping to create inspiring displays, using her visual experience to make sure our showroom is reflecting deVOL's creative vision at all times. Georgina loves seeing how our Creative Director, Helen, works first-hand.

In her spare time, Georgina enjoys spending time with her family, taking beautiful photographs, spending time camping in nature and learning new creative skills.

Cara Salsbury

Customer Liaison and Showroom Assistant

BA (Hons) Fashion Communication

After graduating with a 2:1 in Fashion Communication from Northumbria University, Cara joined the deVOL team in 2020. During her studies, she realised her interests leaned towards sustainability, trend and interior design so she was thrilled to see a Showroom Assistant position open up at deVOL the same week she completed her degree.

In her new role, Cara loves making each customer feel welcome as she shows them around our beautiful Cotes Mill showrooms, answering any questions they may have. As well as being a friendly face in the showroom, Cara also liaises with customers across the globe with enquiries about our handmade accessories and antiques and is keen to continue learning all the technical elements of designing and making a deVOL kitchen so she is able to give our customers the very best experience.

Cara is a keen photographer and hopes to travel more soon but she also really enjoys the Leicestershire countryside, jogging, going on long walks with her new puppy, Bonnie, or even just a lunchbreak by the riverbank at Cotes Mill, watching the amazing array of wildlife is a definite work perk!

Rhys Cory-Lowsley

Customer Service Manager

BA (Hons) Social & Political Science

After completing a degree in Political Science at the University of York, Rhys went on to be a manager at a local chain of pubs. Following this, he worked at a local gin company as a distiller before moving on to looking after UK sales & brand management there. 

Rhys joined deVOL in 2019 as our Customer Service Manager at the Cotes Mill headquarters. This very important role sees Rhys looks after all aspects of the customer experience, from giving tours around our beautiful showroom and grounds, to helping people popping in to look at our eclectic range of gifts and vintage furniture, right through to those who are having a full deVOL Kitchen fitted. As the general point of contact at Cotes Mill, Rhys will do his very best to help you out or point you in the direction of the best person for your query, ensuring you have an easy and enjoyable experience with deVOL. 

Cozy pubs, cool bars and big meals out are some of Rhys' favourite things, and he also makes a great cup of tea, so if you ever do visit us at Cotes Mill, look for Rhys! One day, he would love to own his house and maybe even have a deVOL Kitchen! 

Jess Bennett

Design Coordinator

BA (Hons) Textile Innovation and Design

Jess graduated in 2019 with a First Class degree in Textile Innovation and Design from Loughborough University. As part of her course, Jess interned at design companies such as Jenny Packham and Anna Valentine to name a few. As part of her final year of university, Jess developed a collection inspired by her interest in Scandinavian design principles - the pieces focused on function and sustainable design and were selected to be shown at New Designers, London in 2019.

As well as her degree, Jess also completed a Diploma in Professional Studies, achieving a high first in her dissertation, entitled: ‘Integrating Eco-Design Practices in the Design Industry’. This discussed the complexities of current manufacturing processes, alongside exploring new and improved methods of production such as ‘cradle to cradle’ and closed-loop methods.

In 2021, Jess joined deVOL as a Design Coordinator. This is such an important role as Jess is often the very first person our customers make contact with as she guides them through our famous kitchen design service and collects all the information our designers will need in order to create a beautiful design that suits the client, stays within their budget and stays true to our design principles. 

Design has always been a key part of Jess’s life. Before joining deVOL she worked as a stylist and visual merchandising coordinator at the luxury interiors brand Sanderson Design Group, coordinating location photoshoots and designing visual concepts.

In her spare time, Jess can be found at her potter’s wheel attempting to make the odd vase or bowl and experimenting with different glazes. She also loves spending time hiking in the peak district,  making her own clothes (patterns and all), and most of all browsing local antique shops to find mid-century treasures.

Furniture Production Team

George Smart

Manufacturing Director

BA (Hons) Industrial Design & Technology

George joined deVOL in 2010 on a one year placement and returned as a permanent member of staff after completing his degree in Industrial Design and Technology at Loughborough University with a First Class Honours degree.

During his placement year George held various responsibilities including being part of the design team, managing dispatches and dealing with orders for accessories. Since returning to the company full time, his role has developed and he now manages the everyday production at our workshops on Jubilee Drive and at The Locks.

It is George’s responsibility to ensure that the manufacture of every deVOL Kitchen runs as smoothly as possible. He maintains a strong link between Project Managers, the production team and all of the workshops to ensure that everyone has the information they require to complete each stage of manufacture. Working closely with our Workshop Managers, George puts quality control checks in place; these ensure all of our furniture passes through each process at deVOL’s impossibly high standards with no exceptions. George also helps to develop new processes and improve the production methods already in place to push the company forward.

The problem solving aspects of George’s job is something he particularly enjoys and knowing just how much effort is put into every single deVOL cupboard means he takes a lot of pride in the furniture we design and make.

George has always had a keen interest in furniture and wood due to his Grandad, who made a career in carpentry. He has always enjoyed constructing his own pieces of furniture and during his final year at University George designed and made a plywood bicycle for children that had an adjustable frame to allow it to be raised as the child grows.

In his spare time George enjoys a wide range of sports including cycling, running and skiing. Since buying his first house he has taken on many new projects and spends most weekends decorating or building things to fill it with.

Alex Shephard

CNC Workshop Manager

BSc (Hons) Genetics

Alex studied Genetics at Manchester University. For his final year project, he studied the development of fish circulatory systems. Alex oversees the operation of our CNC machines, during his studies he designed and constructed laboratory equipment rigs.

Before working supervising deVOL’s CNC department, Alex spent time working in our Shaker kitchen workshop, learning the production processes of our kitchens and then working as part of the production team. This also allowed Alex to develop an understanding of the workings of the warehouse and the dispatch system for kitchens.

Alex is an avid rugby fan and regularly plays for for Loughborough Rugby Club 2nd team. He also enjoys watching American football, which he played throughout his time at university, and has recently taken up archery and scuba diving.

Dominic Madden-Kennedy

Production Manager

BA (Hons) Illustration

Dominic joined the production team at deVOL after graduating from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 2014 with a 2:1. He spent a few months in the workshop building up his carpentry and joinery skills which helped develop an understanding of the company and its processes. Dominic then joined the production team where he now produces cutting lists for bespoke furniture and helps with the general day to day workings of the office and workshop to keep things running smoothly.

Dominic is a very practical and creative individual and is always working on one creative project or another, anything from making picture books, animations and even a life sized mdf yeti. His passion for woodwork stems from his grandad who was building currachs (fishing boats) for local fisherman up into his mid 90's.

Adam Giles

Production Manager

BA (Hons) Product Design

Adam grew up in London before heading up north to Derby University where he achieved a 2:1 in Product Design. The main focus of his degree was furniture and industrial design with a particular interest in woodwork and model making.

Adam joined deVOL as a Production Assistant where he will use his extensive knowledge of woodwork to assist with the production of our kitchens.

In his spare time Adam enjoys a plethora of sporting activities including cycling and swimming as well as drawing and sketching.

Ben Shephard

CNC Production Manager

BA (Hons) Architecture

Upon finishing his A levels Ben went to work for Caterpillar Building Construction Products in Leicester on a year's placement where, as a Manufacturing Engineer, he was responsible for designing and prototyping tooling and jigs for use on the production lines. Ben then went on to study Architecture at the University of Plymouth, graduating in 2011, with particular interests in vernacular architecture, materiality and the use of emergent design systems.

Whilst studying, Ben also took part in several student workshops and led a design and build project in which a team of students created outdoor showering facilities from locally grown bamboo and reclaimed wood.

After graduating Ben spent several months working and travelling in Europe, first building yurts and a round-wood timber framed roundhouse for use as holiday accommodation in the Dordogne, and then on a large scale restoration project turning an old stone farmhouse into accommodation and teaching spaces for an arts retreat in Italy.

Ben's interests include cycling, photography and greenwood carpentry and he has recently completed a willow weaving course, learning to make hurdles and salmon traps.

Peter Dale

Production Assistant

Pete studied Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent University before moving to Devon to study and work alongside some of the UK's best bespoke furniture makers. Whilst in Devon, Pete learnt the intricacies of furniture making, from the raw timber to the finished piece, all created by hand. 

After running a small bespoke furniture business for a while, hand-making pieces for clients, Pete went on to help out local art and design galleries with installations. Pete utilised CNC technology and married it with hand-finishing methods to produce elegant solutions for his clients' needs, some of which Pete took to Designjunction in 2015 to exhibit and sell. 

Now at deVOL, Pete's love for designing and making with real wood is coupled with his love for one-on-one client-based customer service. Pete enjoys getting to know the customer to fully understand what each individual project needs. 

Out of hours, Pete loves to play the drums and has been lucky enough to tour around the world playing shows with friends and some more well-known artists. This has provided him with amazing opportunities to live in New York and Los Angeles and see many other countries, which have inspired his creativity and passion for design. 

Josh Bass

Production Supervisor

CHE Furniture Design

Josh joined deVOL in 2017 as a Production Assistant after graduating from Sheffield Hallam where he received a CHE in Furniture Design.

After completing his degree, Josh went on to work in the design and manufacture of student accommodation. In this role he was administering projects in the UK and Ireland, producing cost plans, manufacturing orders and designing bespoke pieces which required attending site for meetings and fitting progress reports. He also took part in a couple of short courses in Architectural Modelling and CAD at Nottingham Trent University.

During his spare time Josh enjoys restoring classic cars, is currently working on a few wood and metal projects, and enjoys going clay pigeon shooting.

Sam Bend

Production Supervisor

BA (Hons) Furniture: Contemporary Design

Sam graduated from Bucks New University in 2014 where he had studied Furniture: Contemporary Design. Sam has always had passions for woodworking and technology so during his time at University he particularly enjoyed experimenting with CAD software and CNC machines as well as developing skills in fine cabinet making. He has since showcased ranges of furniture at both the New Designers exhibition and the May Design Series.

Based in our office at Cotes Mill Sam works as part of the production team creating both CNC programs and technical drawings for the workshop to make our designs into reality. During his time at deVOL Sam has used his extensive material knowledge to get involved in the manufacture of all kitchen ranges and furniture.

Outside of furniture & woodwork Sam enjoys getting into a project and getting his hands dirty especially if there is an engine involved. He has a passion for old vehicles and motorcycles and frequently attends events all over the country with like-minded individuals.

Tom Best

Senior Workshop Manager

After spending three seasons working as a ski technician in Les Deux Alpes and running his own catering business in the Isle of Man, Tom joined deVOL in August 2005 to assist with the development of deVOL's new offices. Tom is such a warm and supportive character and after a few years of training and making furniture at deVOL he became the natural choice for new apprentices to turn to for help.

Tom was promoted to Assistant Workshop Manager in 2008 and then to Workshop Manager when deVOL opened it's second workshop.

Tom is a keen snowboarder, blues guitarist and vocalist. Since joining deVOL Tom has become a proud father of two lovely daughters.

Ryan Brind

Senior Workshop Manager

Ryan has ten years of experience in the woodworking and manufacturing industry and is a very highly motivated member of our team who is always pushing himself and the workshop he manages. Ryan has an exceptionally broad range of skills that equip him to tackle any job and he is instrumental in the continuing development of deVOL’s Real Shaker range of furniture.

In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing rugby and is a talented golfer with an impressive handicap.

Ryan has just completed the renovation of his house and is now undertaking the construction of an extension, of which he will carry out a large portion of the work. There seems to be nothing that Ryan will not take on and excel at.

Justin Whelband

Workshop Manager

Justin has always had a keen interest in DIY after spending lots of time learning from and working with his father, who shares his love for carpentry. After leaving college he spent 9 years working and gaining experience within the family business, making UPVC windows, doors and conservatories.

In 2014 Justin joined deVOL as a bench joiner and after showing great skill and utter determination to create furniture of the absolute best quality, he was given the position of Assistant Workshop Manager.

Justin continued to show his skill and great attention to detail and was promoted to Workshop Manager in early 2016. Now in charge of our Real Shaker Kitchen production, Justin ensures every single kitchen that leaves our Loughborough workshop is made on time and to deVOL’s impossibly high standards.

A year and a half ago Justin took on the challenge of buying his first home and renovating it single-handedly from top to bottom; a very testing and demanding project, but so worth it in the end. Justin loves getting stuck into these types of projects and is always thinking of what he can put his hand to next.

In his late teens Justin played semi professional football and although he’s no longer playing, he still enjoys keeping fit by running, regularly going to the gym and walking his dog. Travelling is another of Justin’s passions; he’s been on trips to Asia and America and also loves visiting the Lake District for a piece of the good old English countryside!

Gavin Jennings

Workshop Manager

Gavin studied classical guitar making at Newark and Sherwood College. Circumstances, however, put him on a different path, leading him to have a long career as a merchandiser in retail.

Since joining deVOL in 2015, Gavin now manages the production of our Shaker Kitchen range. With a passion for wood, Gavin enjoys designing his own furniture using reclaimed timber.

Gavin lives in Nottingham with his wife and two children, although he is the biggest kid in the house! He collects nostalgic toys from his childhood and is also an avid fan of cinema and has an impressive collection of vintage theatre posters and vinyl sound tracks.

Despite his hard work managing the production of the Shaker range, he believes that success is largely down to his wife's homemade chocolate brownies, which the workshop team greatly appreciate!

Kyle Barfield

Workshop Manager

Kyle joined deVOL as a Finishing Shop Assistant in 2015. Before joining the team in our Loughborough workshop, he previously worked two jobs as a Decorative Glass Manufacturer and at Aldi as a Night Stock Assistant. The decorative glass company also owned a mechanical rodeo bull and surf simulator business, which Kyle assisted with during quieter periods and thoroughly enjoyed.

Whilst working for these companies, Kyle took real pride in his jobs which required lots of attention to detail. An interest for DIY and wood working projects lead Kyle to join deVOL. Remaining enthusiastic at work allows Kyle to do the best possible job and ensure every piece of furniture is finished to deVOL's very high standards. Kyle's dedication and passion for work made him a great addition to our team and lead him to become a Workshop Manager. 

In his spare time, Kyle enjoys playing the guitar and going for long country walks and is currently learning to snowboard too. Having recently become a father, Kyle is enjoying family life and he amazing experiences this brings. 

Tom Morris

Workshop Manager

Tom studied and completed Level 2 NVQ in carpentry and joinery, as well as a Level 2 NVQ in maintenance. Throughout his studies, Tom worked as a baker at Morrisons, before starting his first full time job on a site.

He worked on site for a few years, working from the ground up, digging trenches, building walls, hanging doors and putting roofs on were all skills he gained whilst working there.

Since joining deVOL as a bench joiner in 2015, Tom has thoroughly enjoyed his new role. He developed quickly with a positive approach and a hunger to learn, which led to Tom becoming the Workshop Manager. He's enjoying managing his team and seeing the beautifully finished products go out to customers all over the country.

Tom is a family man with a young daughter, Olivia. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports and has a competitive streak when it comes to a game of table tennis!

Gemma White

Workshop Manager

Gemma completed a National Diploma in Healthcare at Stephensons College in Leicestershire, before pursuing her passion for food and working as a chef for four years. Gemma loves everything to do with food, from cooking to baking to eating out, and always picks her holiday destinations based on the cuisine! 

After a slight career change, Gemma joined deVOL to help hand-paint all of our beautiful furniture and quickly proved herself to be an extremely skilled and hard-working member of the team, now working as deVOL’s Workshop Manager.

Gemma will always have a love for hand-painting and still gets to use her skills from time to time, going on site to customers’ homes to complete any painting remedial work, from a full repaint to the last little finishing touches.  

When she’s not in the spray shop, Gemma has also been polishing and ageing all of deVOL’s gorgeous mottled copper worktops. Her wide skill set and amazing work ethic make Gemma a highly valued member of the deVOL team. 

In her spare time, Gemma loves to read, particularly Shakespeare and books based on true historical events, such as the Second World War. She also loves spending time with her husband and dog after a long day at work! 


Simon Griffin

Classic Furniture Supervisor/Senior Hand Painter

After completing an NVQ in Electrical Installation, Simon worked for a local carpentry company before joining deVOL at the age of 20. 

Simon has been an integral part of the team ever since, working in a number of different roles from hand-painting, spraying and finishing to assembly of cupboards across all four of our kitchen ranges. Simon is now a Classic Furniture Supervisor and Senior Hand-Painter, his experience, meticulous attention to detail and impressive skill make him the ideal person for this very important role, ensuring all Classic English cupboards that leave our workshops are beautifully finished to deVOL’s extremely high standards.

Simon has two children and is very much a family man. Football is another big passion, Simon used to play every single Saturday before becoming a father, but he still gets in a game of 5-a-side whenever he can!


Ceramics Production Team

Claire Fowler

Claire Fowler

Ceramics Studio Manager

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Claire joined deVOL after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in 3D Design, specialising in ceramics.

For her final project she worked alongside deVOL to create a collection of functional kitchenware that explored simple and utilitarian forms with a focus on coloured clay to add a contemporary twist. A project that won her First Prize for Enterprise and Innovation at Loughborough School of the Arts Degree Show and the prestigious Runner Up Prize at the New Designers exhibition in London.

Claire became part of our small but growing ceramics team at Cotes Mill in the summer of 2016 and began developing a new range of kitchenware and tableware for deVOL. Each piece is handmade by Claire onsite at our little ceramics studio.

In her spare time, Claire enjoys being outdoors and staying active, as well as gardening and cooking. She has recently found an interest in film photography after inheriting her late grandfather’s 50-year-old camera.

Ellie Barton

Assistant Ceramics Studio Manager

BA (Hons) Design Crafts

Ellie joined deVOL in the summer of 2019 after completing her degree at De Montfort University. She gained a first class degree in BA (Hons) Design Crafts, specialising in mould-making and slipcasting.

For her final collection at university, Ellie created a range of slipcast tableware and lighting, drawing inspiration from the juxtaposition between Brutalist architecture and traditional Japanese calligraphy. She used decorative techniques such as brushstrokes and the layering of coloured casting slips and exhibited this body of work at New Designers 2019. Ellie was also awarded the Albert Thomas Roberts Art & Crafts Scholarship Award 2019 at her degree show. In her second year of university, Ellie won the Sainsbury’s Home AW18 Live Project with DMU, which resulted in a placement.

In 2019 Ellie joined the growing ceramics team at our Cotes Mill headquarters. Her primary focus is on the production of our beautiful collection of handmade Porcelain Pendant Lights, but Ellie will be assisting with lots of other new and very exciting projects to come out of our little studio too. 

Outside of work, Ellie spends time in her home studio, where she has her own kiln. She takes part in many craft fairs selling tableware, homeware and jewellery. Ellie's work is also stocked in a few local shops and she soon hopes to be selling her pieces online. One of her plates, which features a delicate pink brushstroke, is going to be featured in Country Living Modern Rustic’s online 'Objects of Desire' section in February 2020.

Kat Major Janes


BA (Hons) Fine Art

Kat joined our small team of ceramicists in the summer of 2017 after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Fine Art. Throughout her degree, she specialised in ceramics, creating a large body of work that explored the place of functional pottery in a fine art gallery setting. 

Now based in our little studio at Cotes Mill, Kat is experimenting with porcelain, working to create a collection of lampshades that will be displayed in one of the new mill house showrooms. 

Outside of work, Kat helps to organise "The Pig and Applestock Festival". This fun family festival is run by a small team of volunteers and is held every August in aid of Leicestershire's local MS Therapy Centre. When she isn't working on some sort of DIY project, Kat enjoys visiting family, spending time outdoors, learning tunes on the accordion and playing with her cat, Clementine!

Metalware Production Team

Stephanie O'Leary

Metalware Production Manager and Designer

BA (Hons) Jewellery and Accessories

Stephanie joined deVOL in October 2016 after achieving a First Class Honours in Jewellery and Accessories at Middlesex University, London.

During her time at university, she experimented with combining a wide range of materials and techniques. Mainly influenced by London architecture and scaffolding, Stephanie’s graduate collection ‘Fragments’ was inspired by geometric structures, industrial materials and minimalistic design. After exhibiting her collection at New Designers, Stephanie was invited to show her work across the UK in galleries such as Gill Wing in London, Kath Libbert in Saltaire and Lustre in Nottingham. Stephanie’s work was also selected amongst the top international jewellery graduates to show at Galerie Marzee in the Netherlands, the largest jewellery gallery in the world! Since then she has continued to show internationally and is soon exhibiting at Amsterdam and Munich Jewellery Week.

Stephanie now spends her days at Cotes Mill in her new metals studio, fettling, casting and hammering away at metal. Everyone has watched in awe as Stephanie showed us the basics of jewellery making, restored our amazing antique chandelier for the new London showroom, created the fixtures for our lovely new ceramic pendants and took on the task of making a brand new range of beautiful handmade door furniture for deVOL. Check out a video of Stephanie making our beautiful new brass cup handles here.

Having grown up in North Wales, on the stunningly picturesque Isle of Anglesey, Stephanie enjoys a wide range of outdoor activities and exploring Snowdonia National Park. In her spare time you’ll find her making jewellery in her studio, at the local climbing wall or travelling back to Wales to see her family.

PR Team

Zoë Parker

PR & Marketing Manager

Zoë joined the deVOL team in 2012 after completing her A-Levels at Loughborough College where she studied English Literature, Art and Photography.

After working at deVOL’s beautiful Loughborough showrooms for a couple of years, Zoë’s dream of moving to London came true when we opened up our lovely little Tysoe St. shop in Clerkenwell.

Now working from the London showroom, Zoë manages all of deVOL's PR and marketing with the help of our PR and Marketing assistant, Letty. They gain deVOL great exposure in all of the top magazines and on the best blogs across the world. Zoë’s jobs include writing, designing and sending out press releases on our latest kitchens, products and news to journalists and bloggers, regularly contributing to the deVOL Journal and responding to the many editorial image requests we receive on a daily basis.

Managing all of deVOL’s social media platforms is one of Zoë’s favourite parts of her job, starting all of the accounts with zero followers, to seeing them grow to tens of thousands of followers is amazing. Interacting on a daily basis with customers, industry professionals and people who just love what deVOL do is such a cool part of her job.

Zoë is also responsible for booking, creating and sending off all of deVOL’s national and local adverts, reviewing our advertising offers and chatting with new magazines and journals to see if they’d be the perfect fit for deVOL.

In her spare time, Zoë likes to go out with her friends, go to gigs and festivals and help Letty tick things off her forever expanding London bucket list! Zoë also loves to travel, with recent trips to Berlin, Budapest, Amsterdam and Paris, next on her list is LA and New York!

Zoë Parker's blog entries >

Collette Black

Marketing Analysis Manager

LLB (Hons) Law

Collette, also known as Letty, graduated from Nottingham University with a 2:1 degree in Law. In search of a more creative career, she joined deVOL's London team in 2015 to assist Zoë with all of our PR and marketing.

As a team they aim to gain the company amazing exposure in the top magazines and on the best blogs. Letty also enjoys helping Zoë manage all of deVOL's social media platforms, organising our photoshoots and regularly contributing to the deVOL blog.

When she's not at work, Letty can usually be found discovering new restaurants, perusing Church Street's antique stalls and ticking things off her forever expanding London bucket list. Her travels have taken her on adventures all over the world, from learning to cook in Thailand, to teaching kids in Peru, to seeing one of her best friends get married in New Zealand.

Collette Black's blog entries >

Lydia Winkfield

PR Assistant

BSc (Hons) Human Geography & MSc Development Studies

Lydia graduated from the University of Exeter with a First Class Honours in Human Geography and then went on to study for her Master's in Development Studies at SOAS University of London, gaining a Merit. Looking to move away from academia into a more creative field, Lydia joined deVOL's PR and Marketing team in December 2020, working from the beautiful St. John's Square showroom. 

Having worked in social media previously, Lydia really enjoys creating engaging content for deVOL's Instagram and Twitter feeds, writing for the deVOL Journal and connecting with our customers online. She also helps the team to keep on top of all editorial features and contributes to the quarterly deVOL newsletter.

Outside of work, Lydia loves to travel. Recent trips have included visits to Malaysia, Singapore and Ghana, next up it's Japan! Closer to home she enjoys hunting down French bakeries, playing the piano, and spending time with friends.

Creative Design

Tim Cooper


BA (Hons) Photography and Video

Tim Graduated with a 2:1 from Lincoln University in May 2007 and joined deVOL that June. Tim's portfolio of work showed varied interests, social documentary and experimental film photography as well as stunt BMX videos taken during trips to Spain and Texas.

Tim has stayed with deVOL since graduating, photographing beautiful kitchens at our studios, showrooms and on location at our client's houses. His photos have appeared in numerous national and international interior magazines and newspapers including Elle Decoration, House & Garden, The World of Interiors and The Sunday Times. As well as Tim’s photos appearing in some of the best magazines in the world, they have also appeared on some of the top and most well respected design and interiors blogs such as Remodelista, Apartment Therapy and Dezeen.

Tim has also taken nearly all the photographs and videos for our other companies, with work ranging from filming our underwear model striding around a Nottingham shopping centre in his pants to the incredibly detailed photos of natural stone floor tiles that show every subtle difference in hue and texture.

Working closely with our Creative Director, Helen Parker, Tim has taken some of the highest quality interior and still life product photos we have ever produced; photographs which finally do our products justice. Our beautiful photography is what sells our kitchens, it’s so important to us to get every photo just right, whether it’s for our social media pages or a full page national advert. Tim has worked incredibly hard to perfect his art and his photos just keep getting better with every shoot.

Working with an in-house photographer on a daily basis seems to be the only way to achieve such stunning results. Tim's dedication and versatility has earned him the position of Design Office Manager and he now oversees the work of our other graphic and web designers as well as helping with our IT support, on-going SEO and kitchen brochure design and printing.

One of Tim’s favourite shoots was of our Classic English Clapham Kitchen, the cupboards were stunning and so substantial, they really did feel like they’d last a lifetime and it was a space you just wanted to spend time in. The Arts and Crafts Kitchen photoshoot is another highlight for Tim, with tall vaulted ceilings, huge windows and beautifully soft light; it was a photographer’s dream.

Most recently, Tim has been working on a series of beautifully shot short films to show the making process of some of deVOL’s newest products, including our handmade ceramic tiles, kitchenware collection and our brand new aged brass cup handles, some of which have been viewed over thirty thousand times each on our social media pages.

Tim has just finished a complete home renovation, gutting the whole house from top to bottom and starting from scratch. He even laid a parquet floor by hand over the whole ground floor, a long and meticulous task but so worth it in the end.

In his spare time, Tim is a very keen cyclist and has cycled in the French Alps and Pyrenees. He likes walking and landscape photography, particularly in the peak district, working on his garden and hanging out with his cats, Barney and Betty. Exploring European cities is another of Tim’s loves, with his favourites so far being Berlin and Barcelona.

Tim Cooper's blog entries >

Huw Major Janes

Creative Design Manager

BA (Hons) Fine Art

Huw joined deVOL in November 2015 after graduating from Loughborough University with a First Class Honours in Fine Art. His education and many different creative hobbies have allowed him to develop a keen eye for design.

Huw has quickly worked his way up to become Creative Design Manager and is a key member of the team, overseeing all of deVOL’s graphic design work and putting his enviable patience and amazing teaching skills to work when training and helping new members of our graphics team.

It’s crazy how much stuff Huw knows, he is great at maths and is an absolute fountain of knowledge; we no longer use Google in the office, we now use ‘Huwgle’! Huw excels at anything he puts his mind to, he’s just really good at everything and is a true asset to deVOL.

Recently, Huw has been heavily involved in a lot of deVOL’s product and furniture design projects. Using 3D modelling software, he designed and created the curved seat pan for our beautiful new Bum Stool, the comfiest solid oak stool you will ever sit on.

Huw has been helping our jeweller, Stephanie, model and 3D print the master patterns of her cup handle designs to be used in the sand casting process for our range of beautiful brass door furniture. He has also been working on lots of other projects that we have in the works, including new lighting products, a deVOL table and chair and our vintage VW camper van, which we hope to transform into the deVOL food truck.

Proving that Huw really can do anything, late last year he travelled down to our lovely new London showroom and townhouse to hand-paint the deVOL logo above the showroom door. We watched in awe as he kept an impossibly steady hand and painted every little detail, every shadow and every highlight just spot on.

In his spare time, Huw remains a practising visual artist and musician; he designs and produces intricate geometric colour compositions, each responding to a specific piece of music. These designs have been executed as paintings, mosaics, digital images, prints and large-scale kinetic installations. Shortly after graduating, Huw’s work was shortlisted for a number of national and local graduate prizes – winning the runner-up prize for the LSA Student Award 2015.

Huw has a highly active presence in his local music community. Since 2010, he has been regularly recording and performing around the country in a hillbilly-style blues band called The Anteloids; playing drums, washboard and the saxophone. He is also one of the organisers for The Pig Applestock Festival; a local charity music festival held at Naseby reservoir in August. All of the funds raised by the festival are donated to the MS Therapy Centre in Leicestershire.

Find more about Huw’s work at his website:

Max Szyrmulewicz

Graphic Designer

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

Max graduated from De Montfort University with a First Class Honours in Graphic Design where he enjoyed exploring his interest in art and illustration, as well as communication through the use of design.

Having previous experience supporting and working with local and independent brands such as Buddha Belly and Charles Bentley, Max joined deVOL in 2021. As part of the graphic design team, Max helps to create deVOL's advertising and brochures whilst working on lots of other exciting projects. He has loved the challenge of adapting his experimental and distinctive style to fit with deVOL's unique aesthetic.

He particlarly enjoys working at Cotes Mill and being able to walk around the showrooms and peek at the new products and books on display, as well as admiring the beautiful lighting that shines through the kitchen showrooms, especially in the very early morning.

Outside of work, Max is passionate about fashion and loves to travel around the world and the UK, with one of his favourite trips being to Brighton & Hove. As a massive foodie, Max enjoys coming up with new recipes, exploring different cuisines and getting taught how to cook by his partner.

Millie Leech

Graphic Designer

Millie joined deVOL in the summer of 2021, with a big passion for graphic design, interior design and all things creative, as well as three years of experience working in a marketing and graphic design role, and two years within the design team at a furniture manufacturer.

Growing up in a busy household, surrounded by makers and craftspeople, Millie is very familiar with the smell of sawdust, the sound of tools and the sight of people crafting the most beautiful things from wood, which is what makes her feel so at home here at deVOL.

Within the Creative Design team, Millie produces artwork for advertising, creates branded materials, assists with keeping the website up to date, and helps out with lots of other exciting projects too.

Millie's keen interest in design has led her through various courses and classes, including a Foundation Diploma in Art & Design and a Diploma in Graphic Design, as well as taking part in short courses to learn new creative skills.

At the weekend, Millie likes wandering around antique shops looking for treasures for her home and spending lots of time outdoors, walking with her dog, running or biking, just as long as there is a coffee shop on route!

Product Design Team

Ben Creed

Product Development Manager

BA (Hons) Multimedia, City and Guilds Cabinet Making

Ben qualified with distinction from Hereford Technical College as a cabinet maker in 1989 and worked for Paul Somers Interiors and Woodgate Woodcraft Ltd gaining valuable knowledge from experienced craftsmen.

Ben returned to college in 1992, and excelled in successive courses, namely: a BTEC in Art Design, a HND in Textiles and finally a First Class honours degree in Multimedia. Ben's college work was selected for 100% Design and the New Designers exhibition where he won the prestigious 1997 Design Guild Award. Ben's chubby carpet scooter sculptures and other imaginative works have been exhibited in London's Mall Gallery, as well as Durham, Berlin and The Maze Gallery, Turin.

Following his graduation, Ben worked for a year designing, making and fitting boat interiors before joining deVOL in 1998 as one of our cabinet makers. After 3 years Ben proved his passion, skill and determination to create beautiful furniture of the absolute highest quality and earned a promotion to Workshop Manager.

Ben is responsible for maintaining production levels and ensuring that the quality of materials, construction and finishing meet deVOL's extremely high standards, with no exceptions. Ben's unique blend of talents and experience are highly valued, and his creative input is regularly sought by the design team.

Ben’s impossibly broad knowledge of carpentry techniques and just about every type of wood there is made him a key part of the team when designing and making of our award-winning Sebastian Cox Kitchen range. Launched at Clerkenwell Design Week 2015, this kitchen has totally taken the design world by storm and has been awarded a Design Guild Mark as well as being named as Homes & Gardens ‘Kitchen Design of the Year’. Ben and the deVOL Design Team created a truly unique and innovative kitchen, something to be very proud of.

Ben's charming and unassuming nature endears him to all of our clients who clearly appreciate his attention to detail and his aesthetic viewpoint; he is a true asset to deVOL.

Ben Creed's blog entries >

Matt Hill

Product Designer

BA (Hons) Furniture and Product Design

Whilst studying Furniture and Product Design at Nottingham Trent University, Matt designed a modular furniture system called 'ARRAY', which intended to challenge perceptions of furniture in a throw-away society as each design could be easily repaired or adapted to become usable in other pieces in the collection. The ARRAY Coffee Table was awarded the prestigious Innovation Award at the Young Furniture Makers' Awards 2018. 

Matt joined the deVOL team in 2018, two weeks before graduating from university. He is responsible for managing the manufacture and dispatch of all deVOL seating as well as helping with the development of our new Haberdasher’s Kitchen range. Matt has also been instrumental in setting up and running deVOL’s first 3D printer, helping to print a variety of components used in the casting of metalware and the development of other products too. 

Matt is really interested in traditional woodland crafts such as Windsor chair making, steam bending and spoon carving. He also still enjoys picking up a pen and sketching design ideas in his own time. Aside from design, Matt takes part in competitive shooting as part of the Nottinghamshire County Team for Small Bore Prone Target Rifle. 


Dan Mart

Product Designer

BA (Hons) Product Design

Dan graduated from Nottingham Trent University with a First Class Honours in Product Design. During his studies, Dan designed a multifunctional lamp and a folding lounge chair, both of which were imagined for small space living. Dan showcased his chair concept at the 2019 'Young Furniture Designers' exhibition and 'New Designers', where his work caught the eye of the deVOL team.

In the summer of 2019, Dan joined deVOL as a Product Designer, creating and developing new ideas for our ranges of furniture, lighting, ceramics and metalware, including the coveted Heirloom range. Dan has a keen interest in homeware and furniture, making him an ideal person for this important and varied role.

Outside of designing, Dan has a passion for sport and particularly enjoys playing and watching hockey and football.

Key Staff

Robin Chappell

Finance Director

With over 25 years of experience, Robin joined the deVOL team as Head of Finance in 2019. His previous roles saw him working in a variety of industries from FTSE 100 FMCG business to construction services to pharmaceuticals to civil engineering and even leisure.

During his time at deVOL Robin has been instrumental in supporting our finance department to keep up with the growth of the company, overseeing all financial matters both here in the UK and for our new venture in the USA. His strengths in financial modeling, as well as his ability to manage specific areas such as commercial, HR, pensions, risk and governance, have made him an invaluable member of the deVOL team. Robin particularly enjoys mentoring and coaching our finance team to give them the foundations to fulfill their potential.

When Robin's not at work, he enjoys spending time with his family and two very lively little dogs. He's a keen cyclist and sits on the committee of his local cycling club where he was, unsurprisingly, chosen to be treasurer.

Milly Wemyss


AAT (Level 2 Diploma) Accounting

After finishing her A-Levels, Milly spent a year working and travelling around Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Laos, before coming home to work at a Gastro Pub where she quickly became the manager.

A short break in France to experience the ski season in Les Gets gave Milly the chance of a new environment. After returning from her ski season, Milly began working at another Gastro pub as a supervisor whilst saving for an AAT Accountancy Course, which she started in late 2012.

Milly quickly completed her course and is now a fully qualified AAT Accountant. Milly started working at deVOL in early 2013 as a Bookkeeper, working alongside Andrew to assist him with the day-to-day finances and accounts for deVOL Kitchens and also helping with the accounts for deVOL’s other companies; Shreddies and Floors of Stone.

As Milly has gained experience every aspect of her job at deVOL has become more in depth. She now manages deVOL’s payroll and works on month ends and year accounts for all of our companies.

In her spare time, Milly loves to go skiing and travel to experience new cultures. Extreme sports and water sports are also a passion as well as socialising with friends and family for drinks or nice meals out.

Jake Goddard

Accounts Assistant

BSc (Hons) Accounting & Financial Management

Jake graduated from Loughborough University with a 2:1 in Accounting and Financial Management. As part of his degree, he spent a year in industry working for the NHS as an Accounts Assistant.

In September 2018, Jake joined the deVOL accounts team. He is also currently studying an ACCA professional qualification to become a financial accountant.

Jake loves to travel and has recently been interrailing around Europe. Berlin and Vienna were his favourite cities for their interesting mix of attractions, history and nightlife. At the weekends he enjoys watching football and is a big supporter of local team Leicester city.

Casey Stieger

HR Manager

Originally from Queensland, Australia, Casey moved to England in 2013 after meeting her husband. Although she had spent over ten years as a specialist dental nurse, emigrating to the UK gave her the opportunity to pursue her interest in art and design. She began working as a Studio Manager and Artist for a traditional screen printing company in Leicester focusing on point of sale prints for big brands. Her favourite job involved working on a six foot cornetto!

Casey joined deVOL in 2019, as part of our lovely showroom team she enjoys welcoming customers and ensuring that they have the best possible experience visiting Cotes Mill. She is also responsible for enquiries relating to deVOL’s new Porcelain Pendant Lights, liaising with our customers and the ceramics studio to take orders, arranging deliveries and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Since moving to the UK, Casey has fallen in love with the English countryside and loves to visit Europe. She has been bay hopping around Greece and loved riding bikes around the beautiful streets of Bruges. She also enjoys gardening and baking in her spare time.


Harriet Girgis

HR Advisor

In 2012, Harriet moved to the Netherlands to study International Fashion and Design at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute. During her five year stay in the country, she completed internships at two fashion houses; firstly at the Dutch streetwear brand GSUS and later at the high-end fashion brand Chalayan. Her main responsibilities included print designing, assisting with technical drawings and prototyping. In her time at Chalayan, she enjoyed helping to develop the AW16 prints and knitwear collection as well as the designer’s Japanese line. Harriet also had the privilege of being backstage at the SS16 Chalayan show in Paris and the AW16 collection shoot.  

Harriet joined deVOL in early 2018, assisting our showroom team in ensuring that everything at Cotes Mill runs smoothly and that our customers have the best experience visiting us. She is also responsible for organising some of deVOL’s accessory orders, liaising with customers, arranging deliveries and making sure the whole process is easy and enjoyable.

In her spare time, Harriet enjoys making her own clothes, playing netball, travelling and visiting local craft fairs.


Samuel Mitchell

IT Manager

Sam joined the deVOL team back in 2013, working for our sister company, Floors of Stone, as a Showroom Assistant. After leaving for a year to hone his skills and set up his small web and app development business, Plus One Productions, Sam was given the opportunity to come back and work for deVOL, to help run the IT for the business.

Sam’s day-to-day jobs include making sure all of the electrical equipment and computers are up-to-date and running smoothly at our showrooms and workshops, purchasing and setting up computers for our new members of staff and upgrading, taking apart and reassembling PC’s if they have any issues.

Finding solutions to unique problems is one of Sam’s favourite parts of his job, he also enjoys travelling down to London to help out with any technical issues and the set up of our beautiful new showroom.

Sam has a keen interest in music and carpentry, which recently lead him to design and build his own Telecaster styled guitar and begin writing his own music. Sam enjoys skateboarding, rock climbing and kayaking and his interest in outdoor activities gave Sam the opportunity to do the Coast to Coast walk in the summer of 2014.

Lizzie Shephard

Purchasing Manager

BA (Hons) 3D Design

Lizzie joined the deVOL team shortly after graduating from Loughborough University in 2015 after developing a keen interest for interior design during her 3D Design degree.

Lizzie initially started working with both the production and design deVOL teams, allowing her to gain a better understanding of the full kitchen making process. 

Lizzie then moved on to become our Purchasing Manager which involves looking after the Purchasing team as a whole and ensuring everything from timber to appliances arrives on time.

She has gained a wealth of information over the years and has been able to build fantastic working relationships with our key suppliers.

At the weekend, you will find Lizzie outdoors or spending time with her family back in Yorkshire. In the colder months, you'll find her curled up with a good book, a cup of coffee and her cats, Luna and Monty. 


Louise Marsden

Purchasing Supervisor

After completing an NVQ in Business Administration at Loughborough College and an advanced certificate for Compliance in Financial Services, Louise began working in a compliance department in the financial services industry. In search of a more creative environment, Louise joined the deVOL team in 2019. As Purchasing Supervisor, Louise is responsible for ensuring everyone has what they need to create our beautiful kitchens, from sourcing timber and appliances to finding things for our four amazing showrooms… and everything in between. 

Louise has always had a creative flair, completing courses in floristry and calligraphy and putting her skills to use creating bouquets for family weddings as well as her own later this year. In her spare time Louise enjoys playing the drums and exploring the English countryside and European cities on her motorbike. When she’s not travelling, Louise loves decorating her house and hopes one day to have her own deVOL Kitchen.

Barnabas Pitts

Dispatch Manager

BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Physics

Having taken a gap year where he worked for a youth work charity in London, Barnabas moved to Loughborough to study Mathematics and Physics in 2015. In his final year, he specialised in quantum and solid-state physics. Barnabas graduated in summer 2018 and went on to work in sales for a promotional products company in Leicester, before joining deVOL in May 2019.

Barnabas works as part of the Dispatch Team at our workshop in Shepshed organising and ensuring the smooth running of kitchen and accessory deliveries to people all over the world is Barnabas’ primary role. This includes liaising with our designers, production team and customers, arranging appropriate delivery methods and times and ensuring the whole process is easy and enjoyable for everybody. Alongside this, Barnabas also looks after our growing fleet of deVOL vans! 

Barnabas has been a keen musician since school, playing guitar, piano, trumpet and singing, he now teaches piano too. As well as a passion for music, Barnabas has always played some kind of sport. He is currently part of the management team for Loughborough Churches Football Club and plays in the squad as their goalkeeper too.


Sam Felts

Purchasing & Logistics Assistant

Alongside working at deVOL, Sam is currently studying Computing and IT with the Open University. Having always been very scientifically minded, this is the perfect way for Sam to gain a very useful qualification in a subject he is passionate about while also building his career. 

In July 2019 Sam joined deVOL and took on the very varied role of Purchasing Assistant. He helps to ensure the correct appliances and accessories are ordered for our kitchen customers, gets them all ready for dispatch and keeps a close eye on their delivery. Sam is also in charge of sending out all our tap orders, both UK and worldwide, most of which are finished in our iconic deVOL Aged Brass, a finish we created in collaboration with British company, Perrin & Rowe. 

Outside of work and studying, Sam enjoys keeping up with all the latest tech, going to gaming expos and travelling around the UK with his partner, most recently visiting the Lake District.

Ella Taylor

Installations Manager

After completing her A Level studies in Chemistry, Biology and Psychology, Ella spent a gap year working and travelling around Australia. She spent the majority of her time in Melbourne working with and riding Olympic standard horses as well as maintaining the stud farm.

Ella joined deVOL in 2015 following two successful years working in the sports industry with a number of commercial and admin roles in League One and Championship football. Although out of the football industry now, she still makes it to games on the weekends to get her football fix.

An underlying interest in architecture and interior design prompted the move to deVOL. Ella’s job here entails the dispatch of our kitchens and managing our installation teams. She absolutely loves her role and especially receiving pictures from our clients of their beautiful deVOL kitchens in situ.

On the weekends, as well as riding and taking care of her own horse or going to watch Notts play, she always seem to be up and down the country visiting friends.

Lucy Barnett

Head of Project Coordination

BSc (Hons) Retail, Marketing and Management

Lucy joined deVOL in 2019 after graduating from Loughborough University, where she honed her skills in production planning and data analysis. She then went on to become a Homeware Buyer for Next, where her daily perusal for interiors inspiration first put deVOL on her radar.

Lucy is now one of our incredible Project Coordinators, so her day-to-day involves chatting to our customers and booking them in for site surveys, organising the delivery and installation of their kitchens, and managing our dispatch schedule.

Despite this busy timetable, Lucy finds the time to be our resident baker, frequently treating the team at Cotes Mill to delicious brownies! But when she’s not in the kitchen, Lucy can be found at the gym or walking her Hungarian Vizsla.

Phil de Vries

Estates Projects Manager

BA (Hons) Design Technology

Phil graduated from Loughborough University in 1988 and joined Insight Design Consultancy. He worked closely with Paul O'Leary on prototyping and was responsible for project administration and marketing insight's design services. Phil co-founded deVOL in 1989. Initially, much of the work involved furniture and architectural restoration which proved to be an excellent grounding in the traditionally accepted proportion and methods of construction.

Phil and Paul developed the deVOL style together over a period of ten years and built a reputation for delivering consistently high quality, cabinet made, freestanding kitchen furniture. Philip chose to take a sabbatical in 1998, but thankfully returned to take on the role of Customer Services Manager. Phil is renowned for being honest, fair and reliable which made him a natural for providing customer care. Phil also managed deVOL's sister company, deVOL Products, which sold decorative kitchen accessories and the deVOL Laundry Maid.

A few years ago, Phil and his wife, Claire, decided it was time for a new direction, and bought a 5 acre orange and olive farm in Portugal, with the long term vision of offering a spiritual retreat centre. Phil now works as deVOL’s Estate Project Manager, working on a wide variety of projects for deVOL. Phil continues to support the business, which he was so influential in nurturing, in a collaboration which has flourished for over 20 years.

In Remembrance

Rhys John Jenkins

London Production & Projects Manager

BA (Hons) Industrial Design and Technology

A gentleman, a gifted artist, a friend, a colleague, a whirlwind of exuberance and fun.

Rhys came to deVOL in September 2015 and made an unforgettable impression on everyone he worked with.

He began his career at deVOL Cotes Mill and then moved to begin a life in London still working for deVOL. Every single person who met him, fell for his charm, they were smitten by his disarming ways and speechless of his limitless energy and enthusiasm for life.

Rhys tragically lost his life in a motorbike accident while in India on holiday in April 2019  and we want to keep him on our staff page, just to keep him in our thoughts and to remind us what a special person we all have lost.

His work friends in London have organised ‘A Picnic in the Park’ this summer and plan to celebrate Rhys in this way every year from now on.

James Griffin

Project Manager

BA (Hons) Furniture Design

In 2012 James travelled around Asia for 6 months before beginning a new job as a Project Manager at a construction company. Eager to see more of the world, James continued his travels for another 11 months in 2016 before joining deVOL as a Project Manager shortly after.

James managed our kitchen projects right through from the sale to the installation and ensured every single one ran smoothly. He liaised with customers on a daily basis, kept in constant touch with our kitchen design and production teams and made sure our customers were happy throughout every step of the kitchen manufacture, delivery and installation process.

A proud moment for James was exhibiting his handmade wooden furniture and accessories at both ‘Handmade in Kew’ and ‘Handmade in Chelsea’ and he hoped to take part in more national exhibitions in the future.

James was an expert climber and many of deVOL’s staff regularly climbed with him and he enjoyed, to the full, every social event.

James continued to work at Cotes Mill as a project manager until he was struck down with a rare and undetected stage 4 cancer in 2019. During his treatment, he only divulged his terrible situation to the Directors, preferring to be able to come to work and for everyone to be relaxed and chatting as usual, with no fuss or sympathy. Even laughing off people joking about how much holiday he was having.

He was grateful for our support and regularly chatted to Robin and me about his treatment and he pragmatically informed me of the chances of success. When all other treatment options had been exhausted, and there was just a slim chance of being accepted on a new trial drug, James was still unbelievably positive “Well, you’ve got to give it a go haven’t you, no matter how slim the chance.”

That was our last conversation; we hugged, and I hoped against hope that a miracle would happen. It was only 3 weeks later that we received the heart-breaking news from his newly married wife, Nicola, that James had lost his battle with cancer. When Robin announced to all the gathered staff at the Mill that James had passed away, they had no idea that he was that ill and I watched their faces break into horror, confusion and grief.

Everyone at deVOL knew James, everyone loved his cheerful and down to earth ways, and he made everyone laugh, even when he knew they might never see him again. I recognised the strongest human being I have ever met, and will probably ever meet, during those precious 6 months. They carried his coffin in to the sound of Wild Horses by the Rolling Stones and finished the service with Abba’s S.O.S. Having fun to the last, God bless a free spirit.

We will be creating a memorial to James in the grounds of Cotes Mill, for those of us who don’t want to forget.


Need any help?

New York
212 210 6269


UK Showrooms

Cotes Mill
+44 (0)1509 261000

St. John's
+44 (0)20 3879 7900

Tysoe Street
+44 (0)20 3837 5900

Need any help? Please email:

New York  212 210 6269


UK Showrooms

Cotes Mill +44 (0)1509 261000

St. John's Square +44 (0)20 3879 7900

Tysoe Street +44 (0)20 3837 5900

  US & North America

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28 Bond Street,
New York, NY, 10012.