A weekend in Devon

13th September 2017

By Robyn Dunsford

A few weekends ago, my Dad and I drove down to visit my lovely grandparents in Devon. I don’t get to see them too often, although I do feel kind of lucky that they live down South, as it means I get to explore all the little seaside towns and have a nice short break in the countryside.

They live in a small village called Higher Ashton, a short while out of Exeter. I love my grandparents house so much, they live in a very homey converted barn, and are the first ones to have lived there since the conversion 20 years ago. I love going down to see them and having a few days to chill and spend time with family. And every time I visit I am treated how any typical granddaughter is treated, with copious amounts of food, hugs, walks and more food.

A very neat and maintained flower garden in to Torquay, before Steak frites and fun in the arcades.



Since working at deVOL, I have noticed myself looking at kitchens everywhere I go, just noticing the material, finish, quality, and of course style. I love getting to see our beautiful kitchens every day, and what makes a kitchen a good one. Well, once arriving to my grandparents and sitting down with a cup of tea, I began to realise that their kitchen was actually a very traditional Shaker kitchen! I almost had a sigh of satisfaction as I had seen my Grandma had made some great design choices.

It’s probably worth mentioning that the kitchen has been there as long as I have, and I am 19…but I think that just proves how traditional style kitchens are timeless! A carpenter had made these cabinets on site with wood recovered from the site or close by. Of course, it isn’t in perfect condition, but the style has remained contemporary and here’s a few of reasons why..

1. A big Belfast sink with a couple of aged brass cross head taps. My favourite thing in a real farmhouse kitchen! They are the focal point in any kitchen, they stand out against painted cabinets and create a cosy farmhouse vibe. Not to mention they are really practical in size and considering my grandma has had this for around 20 years, they must be really sustainable too. The taps remind me of our Aged Brass Mayan style taps, it made me happy knowing that we still sell so many of those taps!


2. A chunky AGA! This 3 door AGA has also sat comfortably for a number of years, but of course they are known for their longevity, and also their ability to heat up the room/house. They definitely create a warm and inviting space and are a great addition to any farmhouse or contemporary kitchen.

agahanging rail

3. An eccentric mix of tiles as a splashback. There is a lot of colour and commotion going on in this splashback. I definitely think these kind of spalshbacks are becoming super popular, they add drama and add visual interest. Contrasting colours are more energising and can bring a room to life. These tiles remind me of sun-drenched countries like Spain or Morocco, where they have pretty patterned floor or wall tiles in crazy bright colours. Each tile could come from somewhere different and I find that a way more interesting and special way to incorporate things in to the kitchen.

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4. A couple of hanging pot rails. Pots, pans and spoons hang above the AGA for easy access whilst creating visual interest. I think one day when I have my own kitchen, I’d love to have some sort of hanging pot rail, it seems such a great idea, especially if you’re running low on storage space for things like big pots and pans, just hang it up! Not to mention it’s super practical, everything is in easy reach and it’s a fun way to display things in the kitchen too.


When I decided to stop inspecting my grandparent’s kitchen, my Dad and I had a trip out on his little boat. We drove to Teignmouth with the boat towing behind us, before dragging it into the water and setting off to Torquay.  I love being on the water, it is a lovely feeling to be out on the open water with the wind blowing past you, that is until your dad exceeds the 6 knot speed limit and you get pulled over by the harbour police (luckily that did not happen this time), good times.



I hope you enjoyed reading this short blog with a few design tips to help make your kitchen feel homey and welcoming, for lots more inspiration have a little look here!