The deVOL Journal

Love at First Sight

5th April 2016

By Sophie Mitchell

Sometimes you walk into a house and you instantly fall in love. It’s hard to put your finger on why, but some homes just seem to give you a big hug as you cross the threshold, usher you in and invite you to make yourself at home and stay a while.

This is exactly how I felt on our most recent photo shoot. Nick, our competition winner in February, kindly opened his home to us and allowed us to explore and take pictures of his not one, not two, but three rooms laid with Floors of Stone tiles.

His gorgeous, period cottage is set in the Derbyshire countryside, nestled between Melbourne and Ashby de la Zouch with stunning views out across the fields and scenery. Parts of the house date back to the 1700s and it is believed to have, at some point in time, been three cottages which have been knocked through into one.

Nick is in the process of lovingly and sympathetically restoring this house, as well as extending to the rear to create more space and make the most of the gorgeous views. When he came to us looking for the perfect flooring to use throughout the ground floor and complement the exposed bricks and original beams, one tile came to mind. The Umbrian Limestone is a large, chunky flagstone which has a wonderfully textured surface and a hand dressed edge, which gives the appearance of a well-worn stone that has been laid for years.

The gentle mix of grey and olive tones are warmed by the earthy umber hues throughout, creating a traditional flagstone floor that still has a lot of warmth and character. The riven textures of the stone add to the charm and help create a rustic floor.

The Umbrian Limestone has been used throughout the kitchen, dining room, hallway and cellar (although the latter two are still a work in progress!) using the 560 x free-length size. However, instead of laying the tiles in rows, the tiler created his own ad hoc pattern, laying the tiles completely randomly, keeping in with the age of the house and all of the not-quite-square rooms and nooks and crannies.

Upstairs, an en suite has been created in the master bedroom and laid with our Light Tumbled Travertine. The tiles were used on both the floor and walls, with the aged appearance of the tiles making the bathroom look as though it has always been part of the property. The light streaming through the single window picks out the creamy beige tones and the natural pitting in the stone, creating a really atmospheric room and highlighting the weathered nature of the travertine.

In the main bathroom the Villeroy and Boch Crossover Anthracite tiles have been used, with the dark tiles contrasting brilliantly with the cream walls and light bathroom suite. Throughout the bathrooms, these fab stone sinks were used, which work perfectly with the tiles and the age and style of the house, and help add even more character.

Nick is still in the process of finishing off renovating this great property, with yet another en suite soon to be tiled in our Premium Classic Travertine and travertine mosaics and the hallway and cellar to be finished off as well, but already you can see what a wonderful home he has created and how picking the perfect tiles can really add to the finished look of your home. Even though all of the floors and tiles are new, he has cleverly chosen finishes that complement and suit the age of the house and blend in seamlessly.

If you would like to enter this month’s competition, send across pictures of your finished project through to and you could win £100 rebate on your order and a photo shoot. For more information and our terms and conditions, click here.