Black Kitchen Cabinets

Sleek and bold, black kitchen cabinets make the ultimate statement.
Transitional Kitchen With Black Cabinets & Copper Vent Hood

Transitional Kitchen With Black Cabinets & Copper Vent Hood

Choosing dark cabinets was a bold move in this kitchen renovation but the added use of copper, with a custom copper vent hood and bar area copper countertop and backsplash, adds warmth.

and John Colaneri Kitchen Cousins

The key to having black kitchen cabinets as your color choice is in how you blend it with the countertops, floors, walls and lighting to create a bold and unusual statement instead of a dark and depressing dungeon-like tomb.

Crave-Worthy Kitchen Cabinets

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Form and Function

This kitchen was designed to accommodate an enthusiastic cook and entertainer who wanted a contemporary feel that would not be at odds with her colonial townhouse. To create this look, NVS Remodeling & Design used frameless Dura Supreme Cabinetry in maple, painting the perimeter units in a creamy white and the island in a surprising splash of yellow (Sherwin Williams Butterfield with Espresso glaze). "To maximize storage, we stacked the cabinets to the ceiling, and specified deep drawers and tall pantries," say the designers. "The open corner and ribbed glass doors prevent that wall-to-wall cabinetry look."

Young At Heart

"Creating a hip, young kitchen while respecting the architectural heritage of an old house can be a challenge," says designer Jason Ball. To meet the twin needs of this particular project, Ball chose cabinets in a traditional raised-panel style, but gave them a fresh look with a trendy color: Behr's Dark Granite, in a rich semi-gloss finish. Hidden storage features complete the clever design. Deep drawers under the range keep pots and pans handy; cabinets extend to the ceiling for maximum stow-away space; and a pullout on one side of the kitchen keeps dog food easily accessible.

Real Steel

For a client who owns a company that manufacturers steel scales, Hufft Projects designed cabinetry that would reflect his business and his life. "We used metal panels throughout the house," says the designer. "The kitchen cabinets are one example. The gunmetal cabinets are made from galvanized hot-rolled steel with a clear-coat finish over an MDF substrate. They have integrated edge pulls to maintain a clean, seamless appearance."

Classic Cottage Charm

For a homeowner with a deep love of gardening and a fondness for English cottage style, Wright-Ryan Millwork created custom cabinets of white pine finished with a specially mixed stain of brown and yellow hues. "Concealed storage was important in this highly functional space," say the cabinetmakers. "Flat panel cabinets have adjustable, roll-out shelving inside, and concealed European hinges and soft-close drawers." Decorative feet beneath the sink adds cottage flavor.

Light Effects

In this open-plan kitchen, a combination of glistening white lacquered upper units and a striated wood style below creates a tailored, contemporary look. "Storage and functionality were both key to the design, so we optimized storage space by continuing cabinets along the bottom and into the adjacent dining room," says the designer. Design by DKOR Interiors.

Summerhouse Sophistication

In this luxurious Hamptons-style kitchen, designer Jamie Herzlinger created an updated traditional look that's long on luxury. Acres of white marble top the dual islands, complementing the custom millwork's graphic interlocking diamonds, a motif repeated on the upper cabinets that line the long walls. Panels cover the built-in refrigerators, for a sleek, integrated look.

Contemporary Cabin Style

Set on a wooded waterfront property on Lake Superior, this contemporary cabin shows a close connection to its natural setting. Architect Nils Finne used eco-friendly materials throughout the design, including in the kitchen. "We used PLYBOO, an FSC-certified bamboo product, for the cabinets," he says. "The end panels are mahogany, as is the dining table."

European Elegance

Inspired by the homeowner's love of Old World design, Ron and Martha Wolford created a rich, traditional look with frameless, raised-panel cabinets painted steel blue and accented with a creamy glaze. Important extras include in-cabinet puck lighting, under-cabinet lighting, mirrored glass mullioned doors (not pictured), and marble countertops. For a cohesive look, "the kitchen's cream, gold, and blue palette flows into the family room and covered porch," say the builders.

Bright Idea

In this long, narrow house, Kariouk Associates Architects used walls of glass to usher in light and designed sleek custom cabinets in bold yellow to help to capture and reflect the sunshine. Walnut paneling and accent cabinets offer a warm contrast to the splash of color, keeping the kitchen grounded within the open plan.

Fresh Outlook

For the heart-of-the home kitchen in this traditional Massachussetts home, designer Maqued Barsoum created custom cabinets with rich detailing: inset doors and drawers; deep, stepped crown moldings and a custom range hood canopy. The soft, sage finish lends softness to the look, and helps to highlight the island's dramatic Via Lattea granite.

Black-and-white kitchen cabinets help give your kitchen a clean contemporary look, whereas a subdued gray will give you something more elegant and calming to tone down the drama of the black. Too much black, as with too much of any color, can be overwhelming. It really is all in the statement you want to make and the tone and feel you want to convey in the room.

You should keep in mind the other features in the room surrounding the cabinets. The countertops will have to blend with the floors, which will have to blend with the paint on the walls, which are emphasized in the lighting; and all of it mixes and matches with the black in the cabinets for beautiful results. An expert designer can help you make it all work together for a look you'll love. You can also work with designer software or try your hand at the interactive features from home improvement websites.

In a kitchen with black cabinets, the lighting is as important as the color choices to maintain a balance between the dark of the cabinets and the light of the room. So you'll need to take into account the amount of windows and natural lighting already in the room and what additional lighting you'll need to achieve the desired effect.

For a large kitchen with many cabinets, consider placing an island with black cabinets in the center, and then make the rest of the cabinets white. This will give you a clean, contemporary look without going totally dark or overwhelming the senses. A splash of color, like red mixed in with the black, makes for a dramatic, fun look as well.

The type of paint you use is also very important with black because, contrary to what people assume, everything shows up on it. A high-gloss black will show fingerprints and smudges more easily, so a flat black may be your preferred choice for easier maintenance. Both will require careful planning and placement for a kitchen design you'll love for years to come.

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