Renovating An Old Schoolhouse Into The Coolest deVOL Kitchen

23rd April 2021

By Holly Bishop

Laura and Nora of ‘Our Food Stories’ have done it again, they have created the most beautiful and welcoming and truly inspiring kitchen and I am so excited to share it with you here on the deVOL Journal. These two get it so right every time, they have that natural ability to create magic with whatever they’ve got and this space is no exception, in fact, it might just be my new favourite…

Wonderful photography & styling by Our Food Stories.

Stylish and memorable, this Shaker kitchen has become an instant favourite for so many.


Back in May 2020, Laura and Nora got their hands on an old schoolhouse in the German countryside that needed bringing back to its former glory. Walls needed tearing down, floors ripping up, windows replacing and the whole attic hadn’t been touched in decades – so all in all, it needed a lot of tlc!!

We were so chuffed and honoured when they turned to us for help with the kitchen. This is the third project we have worked on with the couple and it’s always a dream, they’re the kindest and most creative people and it’s such a joy seeing them use our simple furniture in the very best way.

A stainless steel range cooker by Bertazzoni and aged brass accessories, this mix of metals is so cool.


I have included a couple of ‘before’ photos of this place too. It really is such an impressive transformation but I love that you can still get such a great sense of the beauty of it from these shots, just look at that soft light streaming in and the lofty ceilings, perfect.

That sumptuous light streaming in, what an amazing place to call home.


The room was actually an old classroom within the schoolhouse. The previous owners had turned it into two separate spaces with a little bathroom but Laura and Nora knew they wanted to open it back up to the original structure for their kitchen, bringing back some of the original charm and character and just giving them both plenty of space to cook and eat and hang out.

Knocking down walls to create one big open and airy space was such a wise move, it gave Laura and Nora so much space to work with!


When looking around, Laura and Nora noticed the original windows had been replaced with ugly plastic versions. Changing these to traditional wooden windows with little brass handles was one of the first jobs on the renovation list, as was replacing the floor after soon discovering the original wasn’t salvageable. It had very sadly been covered with layers of concrete and cut-outs for pipes over the years so the owners opted for Floors of Stone’s ‘Beaumanor Oak’ parquet instead. You really can’t go wrong with parquet and this one is particularly lovely, it’s classic and traditional and so authentic, you really wouldn’t know this floor had just been laid and we think that is such a triumph.

What an incredible floor, parquet will always be a firm favourite here at deVOL.


This kitchen has been designed using our Real Shaker range, with the addition of a Haberdasher’s pantry on one wall. Our Shaker collection was the one Laura and Nora chose for their first kitchen project with us and Haberdasher’s was the second, so it’s very lovely to see both in their third! Our collections mix together so seamlessly and it’s always really exciting seeing new and original combinations, this one is so spot on.

‘Ibiza’ lime wash paint by Bauwerk Colour on the walls and our ‘Sheer Stocking White’ finish on the pantry, a match made in heaven.


The colours in here are very good. ‘Mushroom’ on the Shaker cupboards, one of the oldest shades in our Shaker collection and still one of our most-loved, it’s the perfect neutral. A little cool, a little warm, stylish without trying too hard, there’s just something about it and it works in pretty much all settings. The pantry has been finished in our ‘Sheer Stocking White’ tinted oil. This gives the oak a pale, soft wash of colour and I think it was the absolute perfect choice, especially against that gorgeous wall colour – ‘Ibiza’ by Bauwerk Colour for those, like me, coveting this look and dreaming of replicating it someway in their own home!!

Such a happy and welcoming kitchen, I bet the view out of that huge window is incredible too.


Ahh and now the worktops. The island has been topped with our own bespoke copper, it’s aged by hand using natural ingredients by our very talented metal team and really is such a wonderful addition to any kitchen. The surface is mottled and left unlacquered so it will continue to age and change and gain even more personality, it adds instant warmth to a kitchen and is perfectly practical too due to its naturally antibacterial and antimicrobial properties – a win-win!

Rich, glimmering, mottled copper, it looks so good with our ‘Mushroom’ paint colour.


The rest of the cabinetry has been topped with incredible Arabescato Corchia marble. Pale stone with dark, thick swirls of veining, this marble really packs a punch and I just think it is the coolest. Laura and Nora didn’t hold back and that is always the best way to do it. If you like something, don’t be the ‘dip your toe in’ type, plunge straight in and you will be rewarded with a space that is truly special and original and personal to you.

Our handmade Crackle Metro Tiles make the most perfect splashback.


And of course, this kitchen is made even better with the matching Arabescato sink!! This really is the sink of my dreams, carved from one piece of fine Italian marble, two bowls and a fabulous fluted front. Now, I know marble isn’t for everybody, but if you can handle the nuances of this stone and you like beautiful things crafted from natural materials, this sink is perfect for you.

Our aged brass Ionian tap looks good everywhere but I’m especially loving it with all this marble.


Oh and it’s all the other tiny details that make this such a wonderful kitchen too. Aged brass taps and shelf brackets and our iconic Bella Brass hardware, a few of our new Creamware Pendants, some simple oak shelves washed in the same soft shade as the Haberdasher’s pantry, a splashback of our beloved Crackle Metro Tiles… and of course that incredible vintage arched door, just beautiful.

This kitchen is full of the prettiest little details.

Can you spot the Shaker butcher’s block peeking through the arched door? It’s actually a piece from the owners’ first deVOL Kitchen!


This place is just beautiful in every way and I hope it leaves you feeling happy and excited for any renovation project you may be embarking on soon. Dreamy interiors don’t happen overnight, they take patience and dedication and time, you need to be willing to do your research and also be brave and get a little creative… and a few expertly crafted deVOL cupboards help too, of course!!

It was such an honour to work on this kitchen, it is just brimming with charm.


Thank you so much to Laura and Nora of ‘Our Food Stories’ for choosing deVOL and once again showcasing our cabinetry and accessories in the most marvellous way, we feel so lucky to be able to work with you both and we can’t wait to see what’s next!


– All images used were taken by Our Food Stories.

– If you would like to see more of Our Food Stories, you can find their website here.

– Keep up to date with our latest projects on our Instagram here.