This British Rental Kitchen Is Moody in All the Right Ways

updated Apr 30, 2019
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(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Have you ever attended a neighborhood Open House for no other reason than sheer curiosity? That’s how I feel about nosing around the House Tours on our sister website, Apartment Therapy. This particular rental house in the U.K. caught my eye with its daring color palette that totally breaks all the “rules.”

Edgy-yet-relatable renter Pati Robbins describes her space in Cadiff, Wales: “[It’s] dark, eclectic maximalist with a touch of rock glam — with the occasional dog hairs thrown in.”

These days, you don’t see many bold kitchens in our current design landscape (which seems to be a wasteland of white). A minimal kitchen can be both lovely but monotonous at the same time, so it’s fun to see something bold every once in a while. As for the Robins’ kitchen … are you ready for it?

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Pati and her husband, Colin, have certainly made their mark on their rental home (if their initials on the kitchen wall aren’t any indication). The dark paint color is a discontinued Valspar hue (Charcoal Sketch) and the floor tiles are from Tile Mountain.

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

The couple made shelves out of reclaimed scaffold boards, where they store things like decanted pantry staples, dried pasta, and their spice collection. The clean white metro tile backsplash provides a fun contrast to dark accents and pops of color.

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Across the way sits this eating nook, complete with metallic bar stools from Amazon. According to Pati, “My family and myself feel relaxed in dark colors; it’s not a look for everyone but it works for us.”

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Pati made the kitchen table herself, and the chairs are courtesy of Thrills of the Emporium. The large print on the wall is from Light Up the North.

Back to the paint: Pati has a few words of encouragement for people who are afraid of paint that isn’t white. “If you want to try something like painting your walls a zesty color — just go for it — it’s only paint. If you don’t like something, you can always repaint it — and if you don’t try it, you will always wonder what if?

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

The outdoor dining space is an added perk, but was not without its challenges. “I had to try and plan how to build and assemble a simple pergola by myself — ladders, clamps, and random pieces of wood that I used to support beams were a huge help. The pergola might not be perfect, but it’s my first more serious build and I am really proud of it.”

(Image credit: Pati Robins)

Their biggest indulgence, according to Pati? “Lighting! I am a sucker for pretty lights — and I always try and source them cheaper than a standard price. It takes longer and requires some patience for the item to come up on offer or sale.”

If it wasn’t already apparent, Pati and Colin dare to do things differently. “We love all things quirky, and using pops of color, which seem to lift our dark walls that serve as a backdrop. I believe that homes should represent people who are living there and not be decorated because something is ‘in’ or popular — decorate for yourself.”

See the full tour: A Delightfully Dark & Dramatic DIY Rental Home at Apartment Therapy

Would you ever paint your kitchen a dark color?