Venturing to the Dark Side of Cabinets
The color black may not be synonymous with an upbeat room design, but designers say black cabinets can create a dramatic look in your kitchen.
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In her own kitchen, Jennifer is using black cabinetry to set off a wood island of Macassar ebony, which has a distinctive linear grain of black mixed with brown and gold tones.
"I didn't want too much of the patterned wood grain, so I added black as a complementary color," says Jennifer.
Whether you choose to go black all the way or merely toss it in on a kitchen island, there are some things to keep in mind when you go over to the dark side of cabinetry.
A kitchen with a lot of natural light is a natural for black cabinets. If your kitchen is short on sunshine, then make sure you have a good lighting plan for it — pendant lights, under-cabinet lights, even in-cabinet lights if you decide on those metal grid inserts or glass-paneled fronts. One caveat from Jennifer: Don't put lights too close to the cabinet doors because this will create a "hot spot" where the light hits them. Even if you do have a lot of natural light, more of the man-made kind will keep the kitchen from becoming a black hole. Jennifer's other caveat is that black cabinetry may show smudges and fingerprints more easily than wood ones, so consider your cleaning style in your decision.
As for countertops, if you're set on Absolute Black granite or soapstone, then don't opt for black cabinetry. Light-colored countertops such as pale granite with some dark veining or marble — if you're up for the upkeep — will pop against the dark cabinetry. Butcher block will give a warm, traditional look. A metal countertop, such as stainless steel or a less common choice such as zinc, pewter or copper will really stand out against black cabinets, as would a granite will lots of color.
The same goes for your backsplash; don't fade to darkness there either. Take advantage of the black stage and go with that intricate, bright tile design you've been eyeing.
As for appliances, black and stainless steel is a made-to-order marriage. If you're using black as an island or single cabinetry wall, then black appliances would be the perfect complement. For floors, Jennifer suggests white marble or limestone tiles, or a medium oak floor also makes a warm combination.
Whatever kitchen accoutrements you choose, Chanel had it right: You can't go wrong with a little black ... kitchen cabinetry.
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