What's cooking in kitchens?
Time to wave goodbye to white and get adventurous with kitchen colours, writes Nathalie Marquez Courtney
Instagram has a lot to answer for. When it comes to design trends, little has shaken things up in the interior design world in recent years as much as the photo-sharing network. It helped fuel the explosion of huge global trends like Scandi chic and cemented the cult status of 'millennial pink'. A trend can live or die by the number of Likes it gathers, giving us a quick and easy way to see what looks are on their way out and which are only just ascending.
For a while now, my feed has been lighting up with increasingly adventurous kitchen designs that really showcase their owner's personality and are a lot more playful with colour.
"What we're seeing on social media - and in the showroom - is that dark colours are certainly alive, from navy right through to black," says Ronan Carey, director at Newcastle Design (newcastledesign.ie), who create bespoke kitchens.
"White just doesn't seem to have the same impact right now, though we are seeing a lot more punchy feature colours like limes and yellows."
Safer bets, which started with creams and evolved into greys, are slowly easing their way out. "There's a definite increase in the 'I don't want grey' trend," laughs Ronan. "Without a doubt, navy is the new grey."
Ciara Elliott, an interiors journalist and hugely popular Instagrammer (@ciaraelliott) who hosts the #ColourMyHome hashtag, sharing top pics posted using the tag with her 18,000 followers, agrees.
"The mood is moving away from the Scandi greys and neutrals, and people are ready to experiment again," she says. "When it comes to kitchens, people are still hesitant to paint their units in anything more daring than a dark blue or dark green, but then when it comes to splashbacks, tiling and other touches like that, we have become a lot more adventurous."
She's noticed a big move away from 'the utilitarian kitchen look' with a more eclectic mix of artwork and vintage pieces coming to the fore. "People are putting a bit more thought into lights and light fixtures, which makes all the difference in embracing a more colourful mix," she says.
If you're going for a custom-built kitchen, don't feel you have to make your colour choice in the showroom either; waiting until it has been installed might encourage you to be a bit bolder and explore more playful finishes.
"We often paint the kitchen after it's installed, which allows you to test various options out," says Ronan.
Ciara is in the process of renovating her own home (follow the #RedHouseReno tag for updates), and turned to her Instagram feed for kitchen inspiration. "I have seen so much cool stuff on Insta," she says. "I love all the exposed brick and the use of salvaged wood for islands and floors."
She explains that even if you're keeping things more budget-friendly with an Ikea fit-out, there are still plenty of ways to add a personal touch.
"We have put in a very simple white kitchen, which I am going to jazz up with custom fronts," says Ciara. "I also love seeing how people pimp a kitchen with new handles, rugs, bar stools, and industrial worktops - it can make all the difference and you really don't need loads of money to do it."
Estate eggshell paint in Cook's Blue, 1.5 litres, €110
A bright, rich pigment that works great as a base hue, farrow-ball.com
Brass handle, €5
These antique-style brass handles will add a warm vintage touch, aprilandthebear.com
Small yellow jug, €62.50
For a quick revamp, add some accessories in vibrant colours, designist.ie
Pendant light, €176
Play with pastel hues with this sleek and stylish light, debenhams.ie
Velvet bar stool, €300
Don't underestimate the power of a few cool bar stools, oliverbonas.com
Reclaimed Antonio Dos tiles, around €6 each
Spanish encaustic tiles are having a moment across flooring, back splashes and even islands, maitlandandpoate.com