What a week! Part 2 – My First Time at The Chelsea Flower Show

26th June 2018

By Collette Black

It’s been a busy time here at deVOL with lots of very exciting (not-so) top secret things going on, so I’m sorry this is a little late but I still wanted to share part two of the blog I wrote a week or so ago. The Chelsea Flower Show is such a big event and one that you hear so much about but a lot of people never get the opportunity to visit. It’s one of those quintessentially British things – you grow up watching coverage on the BBC, seeing the celebrity visitors, the odd Royal or two, the extravagant outfits and lots of incredible gardens that you wish you could explore but never know if you’d actually get the chance. Tickets sell out fast and if you do manage to get hold of some they’re pretty pricey, it’s £105 a pop to visit for the whole day!! So I feel incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to explore this world-famous festival for the very first time to see our brand new “elemental” kitchen that we have created in collaboration with legendary kitchen designer and all-round nice guy Charlie Smallbone.


“elemental” – a kitchen by Charlie Smallbone and deVOL looking gorgeous in the sunshine at the Chelsea Flower Show

Walking in through the large iron gates, I just couldn’t believe how many people there were and how enormous the show was – you definitely need to set aside a good few hours to explore. In the centre of the action, there is a huge tent with loads of different flowers from all over the world, a few ‘best-in-show’-esk stands showcasing the cream of the floral crop and there were even a few very impressive flower sculptures dotted around.

My knowledge of the botany world is pretty poor, but I did really enjoy seeing which flowers they mixed together, the wild looking displays with colourful blooms were so inspiring and something that was very achievable in my own little London garden… I don’t think I’ll be attempting a peacock display any time soon.


RHS Chelsea sign made up of beautiful blooms designed by Lucy Hunter


The perfect colour combination – vibrant purple Alliums and delicate orange flowers


Wild garden displays inside the big tent at the Chelsea Flower Show 



Intricate floral sculptures were dotted around the tent


A very impressive horse and cart set-up

Now for the main event (or the bit I was most excited to see)… all of the fabulous gardens beautifully designed and meticulously executed – they were like big works of art, each with a distinctive look and charm. There were so many dotted around but here are a few of my favourites…


The Pearlfisher Garden by Karen Welman and John Warland


Moroccan vibes in the New West End Garden by Kate Gould

Of course, we had to call by Caulfield’s stunning conservatory to see our brand new “elemental” kitchen and have a quick chat to Charlie and Sue. I had seen pictures before, but there is nothing quite like admiring this kitchen in real life – people literally stopped in their tracks walking past. It was so great to see the stand so busy, I think the resounding comment from the short time we were there was that it was just so different, in a good way….we hope! The elegant black ash cupboards are stained so that the natural beauty of the wood still peeks through, a lovely detail especially with the bold veining of the Arabescato marble sink and the dramatic verdigris patterning on the aged copper doors. We have always loved working with natural materials, the range of patterns and textures you can create is so fascinating and is what makes this new range so special.


Charlie chatting to the lovely people who came to see the new kitchen


“For the ‘gram” – lots of people stopped to take pictures of the stand whilst wandering around

We have had such a fantastic reaction from the press too. It’s already been in two national newspapers including the front cover of The Times ‘Bricks & Mortar’ supplement!! And everyone from KBB to The Kitchen Think have been raving about how much they love this unique design online. Keep your eye’s peeled for this new design in your favourite mags over the next few months too. We can’t wait to see what exciting journey this new collaboration will take us on…


How cool to see the new “elemental” kitchen on the front cover of The Times

– “elemental” is now available as a bespoke service with an initial price guide of £50,000 – £80,000.

– See more of this beautiful new kitchen on Charlie Smallbone’s newly launched website here and follow his Instagram page here.