A black kitchen (with black kitchen cabinets) is neither for the faint of heart, nor a design novice. We’ve all seen these kitchens, and it’s impossible to deny that they are 100% fabulous. Whether paired with white, stainless steel, brass, or wood, a black backdrop creates a super stylish and striking space to spend time, eat, and cook.
Before you bust out your black paint, however, there are many design elements you’ll need to consider in order to achieve a black kitchen that actually works– and by “work” I mean “looks amazing.” Check out these 16 kitchens with black kitchen cabinets, done 16 entirely different ways, each paired with an important design element to consider ahead of attempting a dark and dramatic kitchen transformation.
Determine how the cabinets will come to be black in color. Cabinets can be either be laminated, painted, or stained black.
Cabinets that are painted or laminated in black are less expensive than black-stained wood-grain cabinets. Note that cabinets can be stained a very dark color, but a stain will never be as black as paint. Paint and laminate are the only ways to achieve a solid black color.
Image Source: At Home in Arkansas. Interior Design: Goddard Design Group with Susan Latta Designs.
If you opt for painted cabinets, a paint finish will need to be chosen. Paint finish options include: matte, satin, semi-gloss, gloss, or high-gloss.
A gloss finish is reflective and will show more smudges and fingerprints than a matte or satin finish. The light absorption qualities of each finish will also be different. Consider whether you would like light to reflect and illuminate the room, or if brightening up the space is even needed. There is such a thing as too much light and reflection.
Image Source: My Favorite and My Best.
The cabinet color has to harmonize with the color of the countertops, too. I know – a lot to think about.
Black and grey play well together. When cabinets are black and appliances and other features in the kitchen are a stainless-steel-grey, the kitchen will feel calm and subdued in a way that it won’t with a higher contrast of black and white.
Image Source: Hoo Residence.
Pay major attention to the level of lighting when working with black surfaces. Black surfaces tend to either absorb too much light (and make the room feel dark), or reflect too much light (so that it’s hard to tell what you are working on, due to the glare). Muted lighting may seem appealing, but can leave you literally standing in the dark, as it might not be bright to work with.
Muted lighting may seem appealing, but can leave you literally standing in the dark, as it might not be bright to work with.
Image Source: Marcia Margolis.
Think about how countertops and back splashes will complement black cabinets.
Image Source and Interior Design: Fiona Lynch.
For dramatic effect, try black for an island or for one wall of cabinets, with the remainder of the room done in a more standard combination. If you opt for white in contrast to the black cabinets, why not play with black and white throughout?
A balance of light and dark is important in the kitchen. Large expanses of cabinetry painted dark can be overwhelming to the eye and brain. Windows will help to balance light and dark, as will a large kitchen. Regardless of the square-footage or windows in the kitchen, carefully consideration of how much black to use is required.
Image Source and Interior Design: deVOL.
Black cabinets are lower maintenance than lighter-colored cabinetry, but they are by no means zero maintenance. Recognize that even black surfaces show dirt, stains, smudges, and finger prints.
Too much of one color can be overwhelming, rather than fashionable. Again, aim for overall kitchen balance when considering black kitchen cabinets.
Black kitchen cabinets for an island or for lower cabinets are great for someone who wants a black accent to counteract a completely white kitchen.
As you’ve seen throughout this slideshow, black cabinets work with any accent color. Mix and match as you like.
Black cabinets work beautifully in counterpoint to a brighter backsplash or floor tile.