Mood board in mustard and grey for farmhouse kitchen with skylights

Transforming a dark farmhouse kitchen with skylights

Last year I had the pleasure to work with a family in Aberdeenshire who were looking to update the kitchen in their 18th century farmhouse. A lovely old house in beautiful countryside, but when I arrived, I immediately felt claustrophobic. The kitchen was a very dark space, with low ceilings and small windows, which was probably ok for slightly shorter owners a few centuries ago, but not for 21st century people of 5ft 8″. So before taking out my notebook and discuss any colour schemes and styles, the first question I asked my client was:”What’s in the roof space? Can we break through and add some skylights?” I could literally see their eyes light up.


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Opening up the roof with skylights can make a difference of day and night – literally. Imagine the lack of light in this example, if it wasn’t for the large windows in the ceiling. Image: Hege in France


Now, while they went off to find a builder and get some quotes, I put my design hat on and came up with some ideas. They wanted a liveable, modern space that would function as the centre of the house – for meals, homework and reading the paper. They wanted light, neutral and timeless colours, nothing too ‘trendy’, but also not something “boring and too grey or beige”; a room that would be unique and enjoyable for years to come.  Oh, and it needed a big, chunky farmhouse table! This is what I came up with:

Mood board in mustard and grey for farmhouse kitchen with skylights


I chose grey as basic colour, but added mustard yellow as accent colour in the style board (who doesn’t love that combo?), and rustic natural wood to go with the farmhouse theme. They already had original slate flagstone tiles on the floor which is a great original feature and will make a great contrast with the contemporary white kitchen they were going to order.

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The craquele glaze pastel/grey tiles are ones we selected for our own kitchen a few years back and are just a great choice if you like the metro tile look, but are looking for a softer, less industrial style.

I would add some Scandi’ style pieces such as a clock, pendant ‘barn’ lights, a patterned blind and contemporary dining chairs to bring the farmhouse look up to date. The large rustic table and some vintage pieces add uniqueness to the room. The skylights would likely be on one side of the kitchen (near the windows and patio door), to leave space for storage in the attic.

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My clients were pleased with my suggestions and I can’t wait to catch up with them to see if the roof lights are in and how much difference it has made so far. What do you think?

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