all the beautiful things

Our musings, inspirations, and designs

Trending: Black Cabinets

January 25, 2019

I don’t know about you, but we have been seeing kitchens with black cabinets pop up everywhere we look. Black has always been a go to color regardless of style, but for the last few years, it has been elbowing its way to center stage and is showing up in the mainstream. Maybe because all of those completely white kitchens need some balance!  We hope black sticks around for a while.  It adds depth to any room it’s in and looks fantastic with lots of different wood tones.

Let’s talk about that though. Experience has given us the ability to tell the future. Fun trick, right? Here is the scoop: that “wall to wall” black kitchen cabinet look that is so popular now, will not last.  We won’t lie- it is hot. It makes a statement and guests will be wowed. We doubt you will be bored while making the most mundane of meals. A bowl of cereal will be exciting. You get the point, right?


HOWEVER: When we design with black, it is in layers. Otherwise, in ten years, we will walk into a kitchen like that and know which decade it came from.  Anyone remember cabbage roses? Please know, we are not trying to discourage you if this is your dream kitchen.  It is just that after designing for so many years, we have seen just about every trend come and go. We aren’t the design team that pushes you into the latest and greatest so we can get website photos or sell you something. Instead, we know the best way to help our clients is by creating designs that are timeless and easy to modify if they want to try out the latest trend. Read on for some key elements to pull off this look and ways to really make the statement work for your home.

Light and dark elements strike a perfect balance thanks to the added benefit of natural light.

Natural light adds an airy feeling to this otherwise dark kitchen. Paired with light walls, glass front cabinets and light counters, this kitchen strikes the correct balance of drama and casualness. Credit: Unknown. Google Images .



All dark with no natural light creates a very impersonal feeling in this kitchen.

Big difference from the kitchen above – the finishes are much more dramatic and there is zero natural light in the room. Credit: Unknown- google images.

A full kitchen with black cabinets can be a much harder change down the road.

Credit: Unknown.  This will be a large reno project when the homeowner decides black isn’t the statement they want any longer.  Credit: Unknown.

Making a statement in one place? Try the island. This is a much easier edit when you are ready for a change.

The black island makes a big impact and offers an easier solution when the homeowner wants a new look in the future. Credit: Lovely Lucky Life















A modern black kitchen with brass accents and open shelving.

Black feels very modern in this remodel. It has been done well, though. Look at that transom. This kitchen is so light and airy that the modern look is still very appealing to a wide range of people. Credit: The house of silver lining.



However, there a many ways to pull off this style that gives you all of the drama without creating so much permanency. Our job as designers is to help you create a space that fits your lifestyle, one that you love and will still love as years pass. So here is how to wow:


1.) As you add in the black elements, think about how you might be able to change it up as years pass and your style changes. We would recommend you add pops of black instead of a full kitchen. Try an island, a custom hood, black knobs and pulls and black pendant lights. Black bar-stools and window treatments are statement makers without requiring you to make a long term commitment.

2.) Keep the look of the drama that black can offer in an easier spot- do all white cabinets and paint the walls black.








3.) Make a commitment to black and white with your back splash. While it is more permanently included in the space than say bar-stools, it is a much easier change than cabinets and can still create quite an impact. Same goes for your countertops.


4.) If you absolutely have to have black cabinets, try just the lower half. Most of the light in the room comes from higher sources- light fixtures, windows, anywhere there is glass or mirror to act as a reflector which is what most counter top does as well. It bounces light up. If the upper cabinets are light, you will enjoy the drama of the black cabinets without growing sick of the bold statement. Your longevity to enjoy the space will lengthen.

Lower Black Cabinets

Lower black cabinets might be the best fit for you.
Source Lonny Magazine


5.) There is no denying that black and white make the biggest statement. More so than even red. That said, if you are hoping for the wow without such a commitment, try toning it down. Charcoal or gray are going to make that same statement but they speak softer when they say it.


Charcoal and Gray Cabinets are great alternatives.

Charcoal and Gray Cabinets can offer a compromise that may offer that bold look you are hoping to achieve but their statements are in softer tones.

Gray Cabinets make a big impact with a softer touch.

Credit: All Things Heart and Home. Credit: Etsy JLL


Still ready for an all black kitchen? Let’s do it. You are educated. You have seen your options. You know what you want your home to say. So why not say it loudly?  Go ahead and make the statement you have dreamed of. We can’t wait to see what you cook up!


Whats Your Story?


Kimberly and Andrea







PS If you know who the image belongs to, please let us know. We know how hard designers and DIYers work to create amazing spaces. We are all about giving credit where it is deserved.


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