Real Homes: In the Kitchen with Katy Barraclough

If you’ve checked out our Blog Loves page, you would have noticed Folly & Bloom in the list of favourite reads. It was probably Katy’s gorgeous photos on her instagram feed that first caught our eyes, and her blog didn’t disappoint either. Katy lives in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, and runs her PR agency, Conway PR, by day; by night, she writes design+lifestyle blog Folly & Bloom. We thought it’d be great to sneak a peek into the kitchen of this creative mind!


Thanks for having me! I thought I’d share a few of my styling tips for creating colourful, quirky yet practical kitchen spaces.

I’m not what you’d call a ‘dab hand’at DIY. Painting, yes. Knocking through walls and ripping out units? Not so much. So when the time came last year to do something with the kitchen (three years is just too long to have to endure lilac wallpaper and matching tiles), it was a case of examining what we could work with and what really had to go.


In the end, we decided to keep the kitchen units because, while they’re not amazing, they’re well-made and pretty inoffensive. The floor could stay too. It wasn’t my dream choice, but again, good quality and neutral. Even the bright pine doors stayed because all they needed was some wood stain to make them look a bit more charming.


So the two main things that changed were the tiles and the walls. Whatever went on the walls, had to complement the units so we went for a light grey paint matched with off-white, matt subway tiles, held together by dark grey grout.


The only other change we made was to add a space-saving fold-down kitchen table (from Ikea) and two fold-away chairs. With space so limited, the idea of a fold-away table seemed like a savvy move as there’s never more than two people eating together at the same time so it seemed silly to take up unnecessary space with a big table.

To style the kitchen up, I drew on these few (self-created) guidelines which I hope spark some ideas for your own kitchen revamp:


  1. Tell a story – why not dot souvenirs and memorabilia around your kitchen which tell tales of holidays or special meals out? I have a magnetic strip notice board above one of my units and I update it every now and again with postcards, photographs, nicely designed flyers and handwritten notes. Similarly, I love to collect beautifully designed menus, flyers or business cards from restaurants I’ve been too which I often frame.


  1. Curated collections – whether it’s candles, plants, bottles, fruit bowls or jars, I like to curate kitchen items in small groups. I like that it creates little points of interest and also helps the room feel more ordered and avoids stuff being scattered everywhere.


  1. Up-cycled style – why not re-use quirky glass bottles, jars, tins or boxes as vases or storage containers? I found this great beer bottle in Booths the other day and because the artwork is painted onto the glass, and not stuck on as a label, I can wash it and keep reusing it. I’d say the key to keeping this look non-studenty, is to only have two or three reused vessels out at a time and mix them up with more contemporary pieces too.


  1. Neutrals and brights – I love to go big on colour but to avoid the kitchen looking like a children’s play den, I try to keep the ratio of colours to neutrals (whites, greys, metallics, woods etc), 30:70. Having more neutrals means you can go bigger and bolder with the colours you do choose and I think they have more impact that way.


  1. Space savers – perhaps not a style tip as such but I think being savvy about the space you have and what you use it for, can help create a more pulled together look. I think you have to ask yourself how often you actually use something, whether it’s a table, a bread maker, a coffee machine or, in my case, a kitchen table. If it’s not something that you use on a daily basis, have a think about whether it can be downscaled, stored somewhere else or removed completely. Less clutter means more room for living!

I hope these little insights and tips help in some way when creating your kitchen space. Happy styling!


Thanks so much for showing us your bright and unique kitchen! I love the dining area, and definitely want a Springer Spaniel in my home.

For more of Katy’s style, visit her at:


3 thoughts on “Real Homes: In the Kitchen with Katy Barraclough

  1. Pingback: Kitchen styling tips with Courage & Dash | Folly and Bloom

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s