Styling a contemporary kitchen

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Fleetwood interior designer Alison Dunne ensured this open plan space has impact thanks to daring colour choices

The brief: Create a visually striking kitchen, living and dining area

In partnership with Fleetwood

An impressive open plan room requires clever design and bold choices. There are a lot of critical decisions involved – furniture that is the right scale for the room, impactful colour and just enough pattern and texture to add warmth without dominating.That perfect blend can be difficult to achieve without a professional eye.

This Tipperary home had lots of potential. Interior designer Alison Dunne’s plan was to create more light and a better flow, and incorporate some modern details. “The design brief was to brighten and open up the room, and really bring the space to life. This is an old property, but I wanted to add a contemporary twist to it,” Alison says.
“People can still be afraid of a dark colour. But it pays to be brave.”

This is why the black kitchen became the focal point of the space, inspiring a structural overhaul and a fresh design scheme.
“We achieved this with the handleless, streamlined kitchen from Pat Bergin Kitchens and Bedrooms in Co Laois. We contrasted this with a beautiful gold vein quartz from Portlaoise Stone Centre,” Alison says.
“I wanted something really dramatic for that space, so for me it had to be black. The colour is Black Cat CP1947 by Fleetwood, it has that oomph as soon as you walk in. The contrast with the white walls is just amazing, and the wooden presses above the stove is a small feature that adds just enough warmth.”


For the white walls, Alison used Polar White by Fleetwood.
“Polar White really works in this room because it is crisp, without being too bright or too creamy. It’s a south facing room, so on a sunny day it would be too stark if it was a brilliant white.”

Some construction work was needed to help optimise the layout. Alison knew that if they moved the kitchen, which was positioned where the orange sofa is now, over to the corner near the patio doors, it would make the most of the amazing views of the Silvermine Mountains.
“This is the part of my job that I really love doing. I love thinking outside of the box when doing renovations and going through different options with the clients to come up with the best solutions possible,” Alison says.

“Sometimes small structural alterations like taking down or adding on to a wall can be a game changer for the overall design. We added length to the wall behind the island, which allowed us to fit in a bigger pantry and it makes the room look more symmetrical,” she adds.

“We also took the wall down between the living room and the kitchen, just leaving the chimney breast in the centre. It was a bit of a nightmare to do to be honest, but seeing how well it looks now, it was really worth it. It makes such a difference when you can open up those patio doors to that view.”

To avoid feeling like the kitchen is tucked away in the corner, the generous island draws people in to linger and chat. The large dining table is perfectly positioned to appreciate the views outside and the design details inside. To help connect the kitchen with the living space and to add texture, Alison had vertical panelling fitted by the sofa. Painted in Black Cat CP1947 as a base, it gives the illusion that it is floating on the wall.

“It adds another dimension. Sometimes when you’re doing a contemporary space it can be a little bit boring and bland, but adding texture really works,” Alison says.
The flooring covers the entire space and looks really rich, but it is actually a laminate, sourced from Looby Tiles in Roscrea.
“To add a pop of colour, I added this orange velvet Baltimore couch from Finline Furniture, along with a one seater in a contrasting fabric. The stunning artwork commissioned for this project is by Morris Reidy, a Limerick artist that I absolutely love.”

The white marble coffee table and two end tables from Design Options in Portlaoise and accessories from Hummingbird Interiors in Portarlington help to complete the scheme.
“Now this room has ample room for entertaining, and it feels fresh and up to date.”

To find your nearest Fleetwood Prestige stockist, visit Fleetwood Prestige is exclusive to the Vogue, Ventura and Pantone Colour Collections, and any colour can be mixed into Fleetwood Prestige;