The comfort of colour
Country Life UK|October 06, 2021
When decorating kitchens, colour is now definitely on the menu, says Arabella Youens
Arabella Youens

SOME traditionalists might balk, but a variety of rich or vibrant hues is finding its way into kitchens. ‘In country-house kitchens of old, the emphasis was on the practical rather than decorative,’ points out interior designer Edward Bulmer, who has worked on a number of Grade I-listed houses. ‘The kitchen at Burghley, Lincolnshire, with its painting of a butchered ox by Frans Snyders, was perhaps an exception. In the main, the priorities were that materials were fireproof, serviceable, sturdy and washable.’

Mr Bulmer notes that painted cabinetry became a necessity when softwood timber was more commonly used. A clear coating of linseed oil was required to protect the wood, but it tended to yellow over time. ‘Adding some pigment became a well-trodden route,’ says Mr Bulmer, an expert in natural paint-making methods. ‘It was down to budget, of course; spaces that were largely used for servants wouldn’t be painted with expensive pigments. Hence the ubiquitous use of browns and off whites in kitchens.’

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