Name one color that's become ubiquitous with a modern kitchen, and it's likely white. This crisp lack of color has covered innumerable cooking spaces, so much so that deciding against it can feel like a rebellious act. When all the tones and finishes of white have covered cabinetry, walls, and countertops, opting for any other color—like "new neutral" blues and grays—playfully bucks the trend.
But what if you were to take a leap in the other direction? Black can be especially appealing to those who want a moodier feel to this space, and even if it is dramatic, this shade accomplishes the key goal of all kitchen designs: It makes a statement.
This roundup of our nine favorite black kitchens sets out to prove the merits of this enveloping shade. We'll share our tips on how you can incorporate this hue around the room, either by degrees or by going all in, and maybe you'll end up giving an all-white kitchen the cold shoulder after all.
Try It: As a way to highlight architectural features.
Let's start small for those who need some convincing. This Brooklyn carriage house uses black as an accent in various forms—along the countertop, in the artwork, and on the lighting—but it looks particularly bold as an architectural highlight on the door frame. Keep this in mind as a way to provide plenty of character to a design without making it feel overwhelming.
Try It: To conceal a refrigerator.
While there are plenty of features to catch your eye in this kitchen—including the exposed wood on the island and ceiling—it's hard not to notice the Sub-Zero refrigerator, which is encased in charred cedar cladding. It's one unique solution that ensures this appliance won't take away from the rest of the design.
Try It: As an unexpected backsplash.
The thing we all know about black is that it can complement almost any color. So if you have a small space—like this compact Berlin kitchen—and you'd like to use a bold shade on the cabinetry, balance out that shade with a raven-hued backsplash. Not only will it look decidedly rock 'n' roll, but you're also sure to conceal various cooking blunders, too.
Try It: As a sleek take on a kitchen island.
Aiming to create a Kondo-like kitchen? Let this kitchen be your muse. The black stone and oak island is an unassuming star in the room, making for a focal point that perfectly contrasts with the light wood cabinetry. And better yet, the range and sink match the dark shade so that everything feels cohesive.
Try It: As a link between farmhouse and industrial styles.
If you can't say no to the classic style of white subway tiles no matter what, then don't feel forced to deprive yourself. It's still possible to embrace some black in the form of striking cabinetry and hardware. In this Texas kitchen, the color acts as a middle ground between farmhouse and industrial touches, perfectly uniting the two different looks.
Try It: As a backdrop for a focal point.
Photographers Tim and Merrill Melideo did something unusual with the kitchen inside their Yucca Valley California rental, dubbed "The Coyote House." They painted the small kitchen almost entirely in black, and used these starburst tiles as a focal point on the main wall. The results are effortlessly stylish, without feeling too over-the-top.
Try It: To foil to eye-catching fixtures and countertops.
One of the ways black can be used to bring in a dramatic edge is in the form of a matte finish. In this design by Catherine Kwong, simple black cabinets balance the shinier finishes of the hardware and marble countertops. They also maximize the impact of this small yet stylish kitchen.
Try It: As simple hardware.
While this Boulder, Colorado kitchen has lots of black touches, its use of raven-hued hardware against walnut cabinetry is a trick worth repeating. The streamlined fixtures bring out the grain's various details without competing for attention.
Try It: To accentuate midcentury modern design.
When California architect Walter Thomas Brooks designed this Napa property in 1962, he likely didn't know that his midcentury style would still feel current decades later. Owners Janet and Mark Hall honored his original vision by keeping the kitchen's footprint as is—and saving the redwood walls, too. The black island and cabinetry modernize the space while accentuating its timeless design, which succeeds in making the changes seem like they always belonged.
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