When I remodeled my condo, I was set on all white kitchen cabinets and a crisp, bright effect. My kitchen had no windows so I was determined to keep things as light and airy as possible. But, my new Brooklyn rental has rich, espresso-colored cabinets. Even though this kitchen doesn’t have windows either, the overall effect is chic, modern, and luxe. Part of great design is taking bold risks; here are 13 principles to keep in mind to make the leap easier.
1. Outline black cabinets with white
These glossy cabinets are the height of sophistication with white detailing rimming the inner edge of the woodwork. You can actually DIY this look – all you need is a thin paintbrush, white paint, and a steady hand! Choose cabinet knobs that are just as delicate.
2. Keep appliances + cabinets monochromatic
Chrome appliances are usually de rigeur, but if you’re doing a complete kitchen overhaul, consider choosing appliances that blend into your cabinetry color family. Visually, this kitchen has no breaks, just glossy black cabinets and shiny black appliances that all seamlessly blend in together. The result is a unified, cohesive look that is deliberate and striking.
3. Slay with black in small, windowless spaces
You don’t have to wait until you acquire a colossal country estate to experiment with this bold style. This narrow galley kitchen is outfitted in midnight black cabinets that create an ultra dramatic effect. The brass drawer pulls and marble countertops provide rich contrast and contribute to the glamorous vibe. The white mosaic tile floor adds a pearlescent glow to the space.
4. Use it in your beach house
It’s typical to find light hued kitchens in beach homes. Totally makes sense with all the sand, sea, and whatnot. But black isn’t always so serious. In this Venice Beach pad, black cabinets anchor the room while the open shelving and light marble backsplash and counter add levity. Achieve a chic boho vibe with natural wood materials, plenty of greenery, and a colorful vintage rug.
5. Make a statement with your island
Limit black cabinetry to your kitchen island to create a stunning focal viewpoint. In this Melbourne home, the owners opted to highlight the expansive island with lacquered black cabinets in the same style as the white ones they face. To keep everything cohesive, be sure to keep the drawer pulls the same regardless of cabinet color.
6. Accentuate with brass
While these cabinets are a deep pantry blue, adding brass accents to dark colored cabinets make them pop. We love that the cabinet knobs and handles match with the faucet and light fixtures as well. Incorporating brass throughout your kitchen provides a rich contrast and luxe effect. The finishing touch is the Belgian blue limestone countertop which blends in seamlessly with the cabinets.
7. Get friendly with marble
In this Salt Lake City home, white Carrara marble countertops look stunning against the black lower cabinets. Again, this space features brass accents which complement the classic style.
8. Offset a surprise element with black
This Scandinavian-inspired kitchen is outfitted in brass, marble, timber, and black wood textures. The black cabinets and chairs keep the show stopping brass cabinets from veering into gaudy territory. If you have a standout piece in your kitchen, try incorporating black to maintain a sophisticated, ultra-cool atmosphere.
9. Remember: black, white, wood, green
Repeat after me: blackwhitewoodgreen. Without fail, this color combination will always win. Black and white are the dominant hues in this space, with wooden furniture accents and pops of greenery. For cabinets, any kind would look great; here, the woodwork is kept super minimalist.
10. Play with color-blocking and two-toning
Installing different colored upper and lower cabinets is a beautiful way to update a kitchen. The obvious choice is black and white cabinets, but this turquoise and dark wood-stain combination is jaw dropping. Note that the color blocking is only effective when the upper cabinet color matches the backsplash, and the bottom cabinet color blends in with the floor.
11. Keep it classic
In this charming kitchen, the white cabinets on top blend in with the traditional subway tile, making the room feel airy and open. Meanwhile, black bottom cabinets anchor the space and give a grounded effect. Consider adding open shelving in between cabinets for a more modern spin.
12. Don’t forget matte black
This is one of my favorite looks. Usually black is done in gloss or high lacquer, but this matte finish is understated and on trend. The wall, appliances, and counter are all the same, serving as a backdrop for beautiful wooden furniture and elements.
13. Mix metals in
This D.C. home boasts gleaming black cabinets and shining chrome appliances. The idea of having a stainless steel table in lieu of an island is brilliant and wonderful for cooks who need plenty of counter space. Tip: get the best price on top of the line appliances by asking for floor samples sold at a fraction of the original cost.