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My House

House Inspiration – DEVOL KITCHEN


I should have been writing this earlier, but I was too entrenched in the debates to write a proper sentence. So now it’s midnight and all I can think is what is going to happen to us??? With the backup thought being how am I going to design/renovate and install 1 kitchen and 3 bathrooms in our new house in 2 months?? 

Thank God for pinterest and other design companies that I can stare at and admire. Devol is a British kitchen company that does insanely beautiful English-style work that is really inspiring me right now, design-wise. I’ve pinned the heck out of their site, but why keep it a secret?


I’m trying to figure out what is it about these that are so beautiful, and I think it’s because they are inset cabinets (flush with the frames), and the thinner frame is so so simple and delicate, while not necessarily being too shaker (I love a shaker, but I want more traditional style cabinets in our new/old cottage). Plus they often add this secret detailing (see how the the top and bottom have this little piece of wood?).


The reason I’m looking to them so much is that they are all about English-style kitchens, but modern and updated, obviously.


It’s understated, warm, and yet thoroughly high-end. Also are we doing painted knobs?? Maybe.


This green is insane, in all the right ways. We are doing two green kitchens right now (one of which is ours) which makes me worried that it’s such a trend, but I can’t do blue again and our floors are wood so I can’t do a wood tone … and of course I could do white but even Brian was requesting a color. It’s still up in the air (check my FB Live to see me pitch the kitchen design to Brian and his reactions to everything).


Sometimes they do go a bit more modern than we want the house to feel, which is why I need to bring in vintage and things that will patina well. devol-kitchens__english-shaker_traditional-design_kitchen_simple_tudor_country_designer-spotlight_emily-henderson_inspiration_9

This kitchen was just in Canadian House and Home and it’s absolutely stunning. Please note the large scale simple drawers, the small frames of the upper shelving and the bead board in the back of the shelves (we are doing that, by the way).


The biggest decision yesterday was polished nickel or unpolished brass. Both are in my opinion the most beautiful of all the metals, both age and patina, but if not cared for both can corrode and look gross. I’m seriously considering polished nickel….

devol-kitchens__english-shaker_traditional-design_kitchen_simple_tudor_country_designer-spotlight_emily-henderson_inspiration_11  devol-kitchens__english-shaker_traditional-design_kitchen_simple_tudor_country_designer-spotlight_emily-henderson_inspiration_13 devol-kitchens__english-shaker_traditional-design_kitchen_simple_tudor_country_designer-spotlight_emily-henderson_inspiration_14

This picture (below) is seriously making me reconsider painting our window frames and doors black (they are dark brown right now). Stay tuned for a big post on that soon …

devol-kitchens__english-shaker_traditional-design_kitchen_simple_tudor_country_designer-spotlight_emily-henderson_inspiration_17 deVOL-Arts-Crafts-Kitchen-Kent

But then this photo, below, is convincing me of the opposite.


We start demo today (Tuesday) and have to have all the rough-in plumbing on site by the end of the week. The speed at our decision making is olympic and our confidence level not exactly Trump-like. Plus we go on vacation next week (which I’m really just using as a sabbatical to pull together the furniture/accessory plan while the grandparents play with the kids).

We are scrambling but my new executive assistant, Sarah, started yesterday, YAY, so things are already looking up!!! Meanwhile do you love these kitchens as much as I do? I think our’s will lean a bit more country/playful/warm but our cabinets are certainly inspired by this company (and another called Plain English, which I LOVE). I’m hoping that it will inspire cabinet makers in the states to start carrying profiles like this because man, they are special. Thanks, Devol. xx

Oh, on Facebook after our live (where I pitched the kitchen design to Brian) many of you were anti the brass cabinet grills (instead of glass). I think they are so pretty but I am not 100% sold on it either. If any of you have experience with this (people complained of grease/dust) then do share. Cabinet decisions have to be in by the end of this week and I would love to hear your opinions below.

Fin Mark


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Those kitchens are absolutely beautiful!
Regarding the cabinets with grills, I find standard glass/wood front cabinets to be way more practical than any kind of open shelving in the kitchen because the dishes actually stay clean in there rather than getting dusty or greasy/sticky. I guess if you don’t mind cleaning the interior of the cabinets then it doesn’t matter. Maybe you could do the grill with glass behind it?


I second the dust/grease nightmare–we had open shelving two years ago and I swear every few months I find more dishes and appliances holding onto that grime. It’s pretty sad and gag-inducing 🙁


i’ve lived with open shelving (and no kitchen fan/exhaust, don’t ask) for 12yrs.
pretty? yes, very.
until you’re about three ft from the shelves and can see the dust and grease on everything.
every. single. damned. thing. all. the. time.


There is a type of glass called Georgian Wired Glass which is used in industrial buildings. It has the same sort of look but the wire mesh is actually inside the glass. It may lean more industrial than country though.

OOH, that is a great idea. thank you!

I love this idea – best of both worlds. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together 🙂


I love the brass fronts! For something more practical, they make glass that has the wire embedded in it…that could solve the grease/dust issue!

This company does inset cabinetry- and they are really pretty!
I too am obsessed with the inset profile and can’t wait to see your kitchen! It will be amazing and full of inspiration!


Emily, the cabinet grills are so hard to clean! Make that impossible. As long as they are far away from the cooking area they could work, but if they are close enough to get the thin layer of dust and grease it is a nightmare.

I am THE BIGGEST sucker for inset cabinets. Like you, I stared at photo after photo of kitchens that I adored but had a ton of differences before finally figuring out the commonality between them. Now Pinterest knows about my obsession and presents me with inset cabinets all the time.

Plus you can use latch hardware with the inset doors, which I also love!

Ohhh, I love DEVOL kitchens! They were the inspiration for my own kitchen remodel! So classic & cozy but fresh. We went with a green gray color (Ben Moore Arctic Shadows) and while we couldn’t afford the full inset cabinets, I think our budget version gives a similar feel:


Amanda, the m=1 at the end of your url is linking to a mobile version of your site that distorts your layout and shrinks your pictures. If you can edit and take that off, the link will work a lot better.


What a beautiful job you did on your kitchen! I’m a kitchen designer and am so impressed, it is really beautiful!


That dark green with the brass knobs and black framed doors…drool. I am all for the latch hardware as well on maybe something you don’t have tp open and shut everyday like on the back side of the island. No matter what your kitchen will be awesome and completely you so don’t stress. Trust your taste level…its high. ditto on the debate…i wanted to hang myself almost as much as Trump did.


So exciting!
Have you seen Bailey McCarthy’s green kitchen from her Chicago (I think) house? It’s number five in her kitchen round up.

Just painted my mom’s doors, frames and baseboards in her little Tuscan style house. I am now in LOVE with black trim. It looks absolutely fantastic. Do it.


Years ago, when I started planning our kitchen, I fell HARD for Devol. They are the pinnacle!!! Can’t wait to see your progress and final reveal!


we just redid our entire townhome and used polished nickel in the bathrooms. it is stunning! that’s my vote for sure. brass is great, but for timelessness… can’t beat the polished nickel. Kalista makes some really gorgeous faucets etc and the tone of their polished nickel is perfection. we ended up going with chrome in the kitchen because I was worried about maintenance and finding polished nickel cabinetry hardware (it is maddeningly difficult to find polished nickel versions of certain pieces… especially in a more modern style). also for what it’s worth, keeping the polished nickel looking good is no easy feat, so with 2 kids and a busy kitchen.. be prepared.

UGH. I know re the maintenance. The guy at the showroom was like ‘I love unlaquered brass because you’ll be back in here 4 years later buying new faucets!’. I, however, am 1. prepared to pay our cleaning lady once a month to wax them and 2. I love the patina so very much. I don’t want it to corrode but the guy said that if we put in a good water softener (which is great for us anyway) that we can avoid that. It’s a lot of work for timeless beauty, eh?

Sarah H

I don’t have any wise words to offer (sorry!) but I did LOVE this post. Every. single. photo! Loved it. My kitchen was not anywhere near the top of my to-do list… but it may be creeping up that list after seeing these. Thank you? 🙂 Excited to see where your new house ends up!


English style is beautiful – but the colors look so different in England! It’s just a different type of light, very diffuse, very mild, that allows all those gorgeous subtle hues to show, and doesn’t cause them to clash. The exact same colors can look washed out (or very dark) in a place with a lot of sunlight, believe me, it’s happened to me.

Oh, interesting…. Very good to think about …


Since it’s always foggy or overcast, the light is very different. Same reason why crisp white looks so lovely in Swedish homes, it’s the low-slung diffused nordic light 🙂


Agree that open cabinets are problematic unless it’s the stuff you use every day. It could be crazy expensive, but when you showed that I thought of the old diamond shaped leaded glass, which would be amazing and very cottage


My thoughts exactly!

We looked into it and in order for it to be BEAUTIFUL i think the lead time is too long for us (our kitchen has to be done by december 1st). Besides, it can also look really bad and faux. I thought about talking to my stained glass dude and buying a ton of his old beautiful sheets of leaded glass, but I fear its a. too expensive, b. I don’t have the time to properly make it perfect and c. may not end up being worth it. The grills seem like a great new fresh approach and they would only be on 3 uppers – but two of them ARE by the stove ….

Mary C

I love your choices so much – but – make sure you have a toe kick – we lived in London for two years – in a kitchen so much like you have pinned, and the lack of toe kick took a lot of getting used to – try it out in a showroom –


And don’t forget you can put storage drawers in the toe kick!

We are absolutely doing a toe-kick but what is this about a storage drawer in the toe-kick? I’m listening …


Ooh, I just saw this in this month’s Martha Stewart Living magazine on page #103 where the magazine is featuring some swanky kitchen remodels. I remember thinking when I saw a picture of this, “Oooh, I have to remember that for my next kitchen.”

Basically, a toe kick drawer fits under the base cabinets (where the recessed baseboard/trim usually is on the cabinet) and has a soft spring-load opening feature. Give the drawer a gentle push with your foot and the drawer opens. You use them to store wide, flat items like cookie sheets, platters, cutting boards, etc. Great space savers!


BTW, it’s the October issue.


Pretty sure my parents have one of these in their pantry. You literally just push in gently with your foot and a drawer pops out. I think it may use some kind of magnetic latch? It’s a really shallow drawer; my parents use it to store their silver, though I suppose it would also be a good spot for napkins or other kitchen linens. Added bonus: since it’s not visible unless you know to look for it, it’s great for keeping valuables (my mom had her entire set of silver stolenbefore they moved into their new house with the secret toe-kick drawer).


The first picture is the color green I think would be fabulous, though as I said in my earlier comment the other day I would do glossy. Too much? Oh and please please please stay with your Brass. The grills could certainly be put behind old bubble glass. You would get the look plus the cleanliness, no?
Also have you thought of using somewhere Green soapstone on some of the counters? I know dark on dark unless you used it on the island and made the island lighter. I love soapstone. Whatever you do will be fabulous. Oh please stay with the Brass!

All these kitchens are perfection. Can’t wait to see what you do.


I am loving this traditional meets modern look for the new kitchen! Can’t wait to watch it progress. As for the grille…I say go for it. It’s such a classic look, and the dust will be no worse than open shelving, which I find to be minimal because we use our stuff so frequently. And grease? eh, depends on how you cook. Take out isn’t going to make too big of a mess ;p

HA. that’s what think, too!! We don’t really cook that often – like once or twice a week (we “make food” but that’s different than really baking a meal (not sure you even ‘bake’ a meal … )

Emily, I really think that your kitchen is going to be very refreshing and off trend. And clearly you make a living “leading the way” and being a taste maker. I watched your facebook video and you mention to Brian that it will photograph well, and this is a very important aspect of the design for you. So go for it. Honestly, after I watched your video I was telling my husband about it (we both industrial designers and we design kitchens amongst other things.) And we both agreed that that was such a refreshing off trend idea and quote “that’s why Emily is a taste maker and a trend setter and that’s why I love her blog”… So bummed to see that you are reconsidering it. Dusting these shelves will be much less work than polishing and waxing your faucets (and you are prepared to do that.) GO FOR IT!!!! can just see it in my mind – so amazing!

These inset cabinets are really lovely! I also always love the look of black trim; it reads slightly rustic to me in a way I adore. It seems to me that the brass knobs really pop, but then I am not a huge fan of polished nickel. I cannot wait to see what you come up with!


Ok, I have cabinet grills with fabric behind – except mine aren’t brass – they are good old aged chicken wire. And I love them. And everyone else professes to love them too, even my biatchy friends who don’t like anything! ;-)) Have a great vacay!


Any thoughts about using a glaze on the paint? Just saw the black glaze on the green.


I have a butler’s pantry that I want painted and I’m leaning hard towards a dark green like the one you have pictured above. Any go-to paint color suggestions for such a bold color?


How funny, I just looked at Baily McCarthy’s kitchen from the link above and though it is gorgeous, I am totally rethinking my suggestion of glossy cabinets. The black one on that site is my favorite. Glazed though would still be very country. OK I’ll quir.


LOVE Devol! Their images were the inspiration for the kitchen remodel of my tudor home as well. Two thoughts after watching the video and reading this post. First, please don’t get polished marble. You will regret it. Honed is where it’s at! The biggest issue with marble is the etching and that is so much more noticeable with polished. We have lived with honed marble now for two years and couldn’t be happier. My husband is a very messy cook as well and we definitely don’t baby our counters. Second thought, is about the green. Fabulous but too trendy. Especially in the more vibrant shades of green. I think blue or some of the warmer off-white devol kitchens will have more long-term appeal.

The green kitchen is stunning! I know your reno will turn out amazing. Can’t wait! Enjoy your time off.


Hi emily I’m an architect and i’ve designed casework with grills before and yes grease and dust is a concern. Commercially it is a big concern. Just use a pane of glass behind the grill if you want to see the grill. I also used them on a kitchen reno with an adjacent mudroom and on the lockers we went grill only for airflow (sports gear and shoes…yuck!) and it turned out so well. Visually the glass is nearly imperceptible and makes a HUGE functional difference if you are storing more than your daily plates and cups behind the grill. I have the same feeling about this as with open shelving – It works best when you house your frequently used items that don’t have time to get dirty, or if its far from the stove top. Cant wait to see how the reno turns out!!! Since you are working with an architect for this project (and probably engineers) it would be great to have a post about working with other design professionals. Clients seem to have a really hard time with what each professional can do for them and when an designer isn’t enough. There is so much more… Read more »

patty blaettler

Painted knobs will get that certain patina in that the paint wears off from years of being handled. Works for me!

Susie Q.

Hi, I’m giving my feedback–after reading your previous post I feel compelled to :)… I didn’t see your live video, so I had to google “brass cabinet grills” to see what the heck those were. I’ll remind you of something that I know you know: form follows function. Right? I assume grills were originally used on cabinets that store potatoes, onions, etc. Or on cabinets that were locked (liquor cabinet?). Or…they were cheaper than glass at the time they were designed? So my two cents would be, if you use them, don’t use them everywhere. Your kitchen might end up looking like a 1890’s bank vault. Also the deep drawers you mentioned gave me pause. Decide what will go in the drawer before you decide how deep the drawers will be (I know you know this). Re the images, my fave was the third image, the one with the skylight. I like how the upper cabinets seem to merge with the walls. To be honest, I’m not a fan of lots of brass, marble, old portraits of random people, etc. You’re wandering pretty far out of modern territory there, but of course it’s your home. I’ve lived in a lot… Read more »

Michaela Nelson

The blue is stunning and I want it in my home. My fave is the cute green beadboard one you’ve been pinning on Pinterest? Adorable! So stoked to see how your place turns out; it’ll be beautiful. You rock its socks off!

I’m sure this has probably been mentioned, but what about glass with the cabinet grills? That’s what we moved into. For now I still have the “chicken wire” in the cabinets, but it seems to me that it’d be really easy to remove and just leave the glass – if you decide that the grills are too much and/or want another look.


We painted out kitchen Pigeon by F&B and I LOVE it. I’m constantly getting compliments on the color and it’s the one thing in my house I haven’t second guessed or gone back to change.

Oh, I am completely smitten with the second photo with the very light green-gray cabinets (with butcher block, farmhouse sink, and white subway tile).

Do you happen to know a paint color that would be close to theirs? I checked deVOL’s site and found it’s the Pimlico Kitchen:

I just bought my first house and it’s a 1928 bungalow that very light and bright. I’d love to DIY something like this. Droooooool.

OMG! makes me want to demolish my 20 months old all white kitchen LOL so beautiful! can’t wait to see your kitchen, Emily!

Melanie Thomas

Hey there, designing a sort of cottage-y kitchen myself now so these pictures definitely give my old conceptions a run for their money. I find that with a lot of these kitchens, though, there are several other factors at play. Tall ceilings, fireplaces, skylights, cool windows, open beamed ceilings, etc. I feel like if one does not have these architectural advantages (i.e. me), kitchens like these can be a little plain. Maybe jazz it up a bit with a subtle backsplash that isn’t subway tile? But again, personal style AND if you have a cool house with original details and a large layout, refined cabinetry, walls and backsplashes will work a lot better. Anyway, thanks for posting Emily! Can’t wait to see how these ideas manifest in your own remodel! I’m always really intrigued by your style and how it develops 🙂



Love, love: the inset cabinets, floors, marble, painted knobs (!), sink, polished nickel (yes, yes, I vote for yes!)

Love your blue cabinets, but understand the need to move on. If going with the dark olive (tweaked or untweaked), I might just include on the island? (just the lowers?) I don’t know — the one inspiration pin (while beautiful), would feel dark/oppressive to me in real life, day after day.

I would listen to the sage advice re: dirt/dust/ick w/ open (or meshed) cabinets. I have to wash anything from my open cabinets before I use it to remove dust.

And, I say go for the black window trims, etc., to call out that detail! (If it doesn’t spark joy, you can always paint later.)


Coming back to say (as others have) that grill, of course, could be interesting (and, yet, traditional-ish) if coupled with glass — kind of like this:


this is the perfect solution! good find!


OMIGOSH, that emerald green/marble kitchen is to DIE FOR! I think you could completely swing that in your kitchen since it would really compliment the architecture and “old worlde’ English” feel to the house. Plus you get a ton of sunlight into your house, so it wouldn’t feel too dark. I say go for it, but maybe in a richer/darker green.

I just think the black/charcoal cabinets are a little boring (except that kitchen with the sunroom windows – lurrrve!).

As far as the trim, yes paint! I love the drama of the black, but also love the calm of that dove grey. I think a lot of that decision has to do with the color of your flooring though.


Okay, first off- can I just say how much I love you for saying “insane, in all the right ways” when referencing the green kitchen?!!
We just did our kitchen cabinets in a hunter green and for a moment I felt INSANE…until came the voices of many neighbors and friends who absolutely LOVE LOVE the color and the finished product!

Maybe crazy works after all.

I LOVE that last image! Makes me want to repaint all my woodwork in revere pewter then paint the walls a soft white. Classic and modern perfection! We live in a brick cottage/prairie style bungalow. It’s not tudor but it’s not craftsman either so I feel like we can span the difference. Looking to your new cottage for lots of inspiration! THANKS!

Then years ago we custom built our home in TN…on the mountain. We put brass metal inserts in the custom made solid wood closet doors. These inserts are on the upper half only, with solid panels below. My purpose at the time was for ventilation in the closets. Now, however, I wish I had them in some of the upper the kitchen cabinets also. I agree, however, they should never be near the cooking area cuz you will never get the accumulated and often unseen grease off of them. Some of the doors throughout our home are bifold (laundry room, office, large 4 door foyer closet); others are solid doors. All the bifolds have upper metal inserts. We have never had any issues at all with these doors, including dust…never. They are a highlight throughout our house and I would definitely do the same thing again. They give sooo much interest and needed texture throughout the house as well because we have tongue & groove stained ceilings in every room and other T&G accent walls in bedrooms (upper 4′ portions of the vaulted ceilings); in other words, a lot of wood. So, if you like the metal inserts, my recommendation… Read more »


I had a house similar in style to this house…. I planned on painting all the trim. I had the trim refinished in one room… and oh my, I fell in love with it. The old wood refinished beautifully and really was the personality of the house. If the trim is painted brown …. I get the need to paint. But otherwise I would think hard about it….I am a painted wood work person.?


I’ve been designing my kitchen in my head for over 7 years now and it’s a total coincidence that I’ve been leaning toward a herringbone floor (but in dark cork), dark painted cabinets (considering green, tried the blue and don’t love it), and black painted windows. 🙂

Re: the glass – I would look into the glass that has the wire in it, like the old safety wire that you’d see in industrial doors and windows. It’s not brass (unless someone out there can make it custom?) and could be too industrial for your kitchen.

I would have a terrible time making all of these decisions in such a short timeline, but I need to just pull the trigger and make something happen. I thought i was joking when i used to say the renovation was a 10 year plan.


This is probably an expensive proposition as well, but what about camed glass rather than the wire?

Molly white

Pretty sure you would already have knowledge of this but has a cabinet style that’s called Austin with in both a hidden hinge and visible hinge style. At a really reasonable price. Sadly though, you can’t paint them. Love your blog and am totally digging following along on your own home renovation. Thanks for being awesome and sharing great design. You’ve definitely inspired me!


Can you do a floorplan before and after the remodel? That would be fun to see! Thanks!!


I love the English style of cabinetry and furniture look. I also love the very deep drawers. They provide great storage. So happy, but not surprised, you plan some vintage additions. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together.


I truly love the inset cabinets. My parents have inset cabinets, just more modern (without a frame), and I love the look. But of course you may prefer the frame to make them more traditional. So, you get a yes on the cabinet style from me! 🙂 But please don’t do green. I really think it will look dated. You are better than that! Please go with blue or white (or a light grey). I think that would suit your happy personality better. Good luck making all the desicions!


I’m in love with the green cabinets! I almost want to pull the trigger and do this in my own kitchen. Almost…I’m totally scared! What are some greens, with a touch of blue in them??? Hmmm…


I have grills (aka chicken wire) on a large corner cabinet in which we keep our glassware. We use the glasses so often that I have not had a problem with dust or grease, except for the top shelf that holds cake stands and glass bowls that aren’t used often. I think it will depend on how often you use the items in the cabinets.

I inherited the style of the kitchen (french country) when I bought the house and I find the chicken wire to skew too “down-home” for me. That said, the doors of the cabinets are lighter (weight wise) than if they had glass, which is nice for a larger sized cabinet and for kids. I am considering replacing the wire with a brass or copper style.


I was also dying over the Devol site when planning our new kitchen. Such a perfect mix of traditional and modern style. We couldn’t buy that brand where we live so I had to ch


Choose between Grange and Neptune which are the same style. I get so many compliments on our kitchen which is funny since it is nothing like the standard French kitchen and the reason why we had to buy from an Enhlish company. We have the original herringbone floors, honed marble, brass pulls, And vintage brass lights and used dark charcoal paint on the inset cabinets. I think it is really in harmony with our 1905 house but still so modern that I can’t imagine any way to improve.


I love the green but I would always choose green over blue – just a personal preference. The faceframe, flush-inset style cabinets are beautiful and very traditional, but also the most expensive style (I work at a custom cabinet shop). Be sure you use a cabinet maker who has made them before as they require precision. The little pieces of wood you mentioned are an applied molding called smallbone. You could put this detail in the faceframe openings and/or on the inside edge of the door frame like in the picture. I have had polished marble countertops for two years and I really regret it. They are beautiful but already a mess and we are pretty careful. I figured because it was just my husband and I that the warnings wouldn’t really apply and I wanted a natural stone. Everything acidic etches the surface and even water leaves spots if it’s allowed to sit. I have friends with honed marble and it is very vulnerable to staining. Just something to think about since you also have kids who might be rough on your counters. I like the look of the wire grills and it wouldn’t be any more dusty/greasy than… Read more »


What if you did that glass with the wire embedded in it?
I had a client who had the chicken wire thing and it always looked super provincial and granny. Just saying!


We love devol! We just renovated our kitchen and drew upon them for inspiration (you too). In fact we had an English prep table made and used their photos. They blend modern and traditional very well. Why am I wanting to send you photos? House proud?!?! Anyway, thanks for the post and thanks for being you (this sentiment is extended to your entire team). Love from our devol inspired Canadian kitchen.

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