Anyone who follows photographer Rachael Wilshaw on Instagram will know she loves to decorate her home with bold, dark shades - and her beautiful new kitchen is no different.

Rachael has created a stunning open space where the whole family can eat, do homework and relax together.

She chatted to us about what she wanted to achieve with her dream kitchen - and how she makes her trademark bold colours work.

“The design of our kitchen is very important to me and my family.

“That’s why we’ve gone through this renovation as - although the old kitchen wasn’t small - it was divided into three separate rooms.

“It was important to us to create a larger space we could do everything in - we wanted to spend time together as a family.

Rachael's kitchen plan

“Now it’s all opened up, that’s exactly what we do: it’s become a modern, family space - plus I’ve incorporated all the design touches I love.

“For example, I’ve always wanted a marble work surface - but I wasn’t sure it was the right choice for us as it would need a lot of looking after.

“Then quartz worktops from Gemini Worktops caught my eye. I got in touch and it was a really fast and efficient service - I was really impressed.

“Gemini’s Calacatta Silver Superior was the perfect solution as it has the same heavy-veined marble look I love, but there’s a lot less maintenance needed.

Rachael Wilshaw Showroom

“The worktops and the walls are light colours, which is a good contrast to the dark green worktops I’ve chosen.

“My kitchen is south-facing, so it's a light, bright room and the dark colours really work.

“A lot of people are afraid to use dark colours, especially in small rooms - but I think they can add some interest.

“It’s important to also add some contrast, though, so you’re not just walking into a black box.

“You can have a light-coloured ceiling, flooring and furniture, for example.

“Colour confidence comes with experience - I first tried decorating with darker shades a long time ago, when I was living in Dubai with my friend.

“Our apartment was very bare and modern - so we thought ‘let’s just try painting a wall black’!

“We loved it! Since then, in each house I’ve lived in, I’ve always gone dark.

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“I love how moody and cosy it can make a room, especially a big room. I think it kind of draws it in.”

Rachael chose Gemini Quartz in Calacatta Silver Superior for her kitchen worktops, island and upstands - plus a floating shelf to make the most of an unused corner and a handy little additional shelf behind the range cooker.

She also opted for an AXIX sink, supplied and fitted by Gemini Worktops.

You can follow Rachael on Instagram @beetrootandblack.

Read Part 2 of Designer kitchens feature big, brave colour choices to see Rachael's finished kitchen!

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