A beautiful kitchen is on most people’s wishlist. Here are some picture perfect kitchens in real Irish homes

What is the recipe for a breathtaking kitchen? An impressive island, statement lighting and clever features to suit different tastes. Here are some of the different kitchens we have visited over the years.

Ruth McGahey’s spacious kitchen

Ruth and her husband purchased this house and worked with Renova in Wicklow to make it work for their growing family. In the kitchen, Ruth decided to remove the patio doors to allow for more storage space along the walls. She replaced the curved island for a streamlined island with lots of storage, with a bookmatched Calacatta marble counter by Miller Brothers Stone. 

“Renova introduced us to Noel Dempsey who did our kitchen. David that works there suggested the Buster and Punch handles on the doors, and the gold trim,” Ruth says. “He also suggested having two dishwashers, which I thought was the most over the top thing ever, but now I love it. I come down in the morning and I can put the stuff from breakfast straight in one and worry about emptying the other one later.”

A playful space in Leitrim

Jane Gilheaney-Barry’s bright space is full of fun details and standout features like the pink Smeg fridge and hanging fixture over the kitchen island. Follow Jane on Instagram here.

A mix of textures

The Belfast home featured in our current issue, available to download here, is a creative blend of different materials. Mike and Laura wanted their home to have lots of personality, and also were keen to finish it on budget.

“There are so many things you need for the house that are so expensive for what they are. And if you rush into something, you end up throwing money at it,” Mike says.

“We could have looked at dining chairs that were £60 to £160 to buy new, and we ended up finding ours on eBay for £30 each. We got the kitchen in Homebase when there was a 30% sale on. It’s so much better to take your time.”

Country charm in Cork

Catherine Barry’s home in Cork is inspired by traditional Irish farmhouses. “I didn’t want a modern house, because my style isn’t minimalistic or anything. I drew on a piece of paper for the architect and I had scraps of paper of cottages and houses I liked, and they all kept looking like an old farmhouse.” A neighbour built the kitchen units.

The calm and organised kitchen at Cherington House

Triona moodboarded the kitchen of her dreams and worked with a local carpenter to make it.  “I had a lot of pictures, we printed them all out, had them in a folder, we took elements of everything that we liked and sketched it out. I wanted the island, the double belfast sink, the two larger cupboards, it is bit of different kitchens I have seen on Pinterest.”

“I wanted a really dark navy so we went with Colourtrend Inkwell paint. Then the quartz worktops, I was really particular about that, some of them had a lot of vein in it and I wanted it to to look quite white with the vein. We got the Quartz Verona from Leinster Stone.

“The backsplash of the kitchen is wooden panelled instead of tile, the carpenter thought I was mad but we have no water being used around there so it works and it is different.” Having a dedicated space in the pantry for coffeemaking is another feature she loves.

The traditional kitchen and dining room at The Old Monastery in Cahirsiveen

Used as a holiday home and sometimes an Airbnb, the Old Monastery in Cahirsiveen is full of original details and antique furniture. We love the Aga stove, red brick wall and hanging pots and pans of this busy kitchen. Follow here.

Emily’s charming kitchen space

The cream kitchen was fitted by Louth-based Peninsula Kitchens. “We really believe in giving business to local people when you can,” Emily says. She selected an assortment of tiles from National Tile in Dundalk for her splashback. She continued the mismatch effect by having the herb and spice rack made up after seeing similar styles online, and found a little unit for their glasses on eBay to add more contrast. We love the space-saving sliding door into the utility.

The home of the couple behind Juvi jewellery

Julie Danz and Vincent Tynan’s house is stylish and contemporary. The kitchen has proved to be timeless. “The kitchen is Porter and Jones, and I think it looks amazing for ten years old. Wooden kitchens can start to wear but this has held up so well. It helps that it is neutral too,” Julie says. “This is a north-facing room, so in winter it can be dull. The lights are generally on all the time, and while I’ve debated painting the walls I think it is better to keep it white to keep the brightness.” 

The dining table is a stunning piece, that is hard to believe is a decade old as well. “The amazing table was made by our close friend Billy Hosford. He is a carpenter and he actually now lives in Barbados,” Julie says. “This is a table for life. He did a beautiful job. It’s walnut, and he made the two benches too. The banjaxed but lovely chairs I picked up on Francis St in a yard that is closed now. I remember I paid €150 for six of them. They’re not original but they are replica 1920/1930 bucket chairs.” Over the dining table sits a striking piece of art by Julie’s sister Mariechen.

Paula Geraghty’s kitchen

As a nutritional therapist, the kitchen was Paula’s main priority. She met with lots of kitchen suppliers, but decided to go with Ferghal O’Reilly from Shalford Kitchens in Kildare, as he genuinely took the couple’s wants into consideration. “It may seem like a small thing, but we specifically wanted the corner window in the kitchen, so that we could see up to the yard and keep an eye on the horses and that. But every other kitchen maker we spoke to said it had to go and would never work for the kitchen layout. We even went back to our architect and told him that people were saying it wouldn’t work,” Paula says. “But when we spoke with Ferghal he instantly said to keep it in, he was happy to work around it and I’m delighted with it.” The bespoke kitchen cabinetry was hand painted with Farrow and Ball in strong white, with Colourtrend in Smoke Brush on the island and the trophy cabinet. The picture frame-effect splashback was sourced from Stone Surfaces, and is a Calacutta Marble from the Avantgarde exotic natural stone collection.

Katrina’s peaceful kitchen

@vintageirishkat is known for her colourful DIY projects, but she also knows how to create a timeless and tranquil kitchen. She and her daughter painted the mismatched kitchen chairs, which is so sweet.

Scandi charm and contemporary details

Owners of The Old Mill Stores in West Cork, Claire and Tom’s kitchen is housed in an impressive basement conversion below the shop. It gave them a light-filled kitchen and living room overlooking their garden and the River Roury which runs behind their home. The large glass doors fold back creating an indoor outdoor space that is used throughout the summer. “The basement was a storehouse for the old mill, it had a mud floor, small windows and thick walls. I didn’t want to prettify it too much, because it was quite industrial,” Claire says. “Tom wanted to leave some of the walls exposed but I didn’t think they were in good enough condition, which is why we did the concrete on the floors instead. It is so warm and practical, we were amazed. We had a fantastic local builder, Dan Hodnet.” 

The kitchen lights are from Copenhagen. The antique stoves are another popular item in the shop, especially as they supplied some stoves for the set of the last two Harry Potter movies. “We have a Danish model in our kitchen, it dates from 1930. All the stoves are original restored antiques, they’re not repro. We use that stove everyday in the winter. I love things that work and do what they’re supposed to. I love the whole Bauhaus concept of form and functionality, that really interests me.”

Bernie’s classic kitchen

Bernie Connell’s traditional cream kitchen has some individual touches, such as the in-island sink and diagonal subway tiles.

The Lighthouse Keeper’s nautical kitchen

This stunning home in Youghal overlooks the sea and so the nautical theme is very fitting. The Smeg fridge is a refurbished one sourced in the UK, and the shelves were made from salvage.