Trending Now: Black Kitchens

While white kitchens will always be the most classic choice for cabinetry, black cabinetry is having a BIG moment right now. A little bolder than the popular gray, black is still traditional but with an edge.  This choice works especially well in bright, open kitchens, but can also make small kitchens feel more special and interesting.  One thing I wish I had done with my own kitchen renovation is be braver with the lower cabinet color- I went with a light/medium grey when I REALLY wanted to go charcoal.  But I was scared and went the safer route, since my kitchen is small and on the dark side.  Perhaps in a couple years I’ll repaint the lowers if I still like the idea.  In the meantime, take a peek at these inspiration images utilizing black cabinetry in big and small ways and let me know what you think about black cabinetry in kitchens!

These windows are so fantastic and made the focal point by the black cabinetry.

Another shot of the kitchen above, I adore this space! The high ceilings keep the black from being overwhelming.


This color looks like it’s a black with a hint of green to it. I love it paired with the brass accents and wood and the recessed shelving is really unique.


That buffalo plaid roman shade adds such a fantastic pop of pattern!


A small kitchen done in black.


The black lower cabinets here are offset by a great expanse of white tile. How killer is that Smeg?


This kitchen by Blair Harris is a favorite (I blogged this whole project before).  The black mixed with the brass and wood beams is just everything.


A super classic look combining black lowers with white uppers.  Painting the french doors black helps balance the black in the room.


This fun kitchen by Naomi from Design Manifest mixes white uppers with black lowers that have a cool white detail to them. And that HOOD! Swoon.


Simply using a black island can add a fantastic contrast to a kitchen like this one!


This kitchen combines the black island with black accents on the uppers for balance.


No island? No problem. In this tiny kitchen a set of separate cabinets on an opposing wall are made to feel special with black. LOVE this space (the floors!)


What’s your take on this trend? Do you love it? Hate it?




  1. Love it, especially the ones where there is an earthy, warmer tone brought in, like the ones shown toward the top, the Blair and Smeg kitchens. The first one is gorgeous too. I am not there yet on the bottom few, and think perhaps I just find the white detailing worked into the black more formal than I like for a kitchen area. Great piece, thanks Erin.

  2. I’m really into black interiors, so I love a black kitchen. But to keep from going blind while cooking, I would have to off set the darkness with white uppers and of course, white quartz or Carrara marble.

  3. Looks good in photos shoots – but mere mortals proceed with caution.

    Got the HB Kitchen of the Year issue yesterday and I thought that kitchen was about as unappealing as anything I could imagine. You need a healthy dose of contrast – with wood or a light color. I don’t think I could ever consider black for lower and upper cabinets. I spend a lot of time in the kitchen and the idea of my eye constantly moving through a black box does not sound good.

  4. I’m in love with black kitchens! In fact, I was going to go the white kitchen route for our recent remodel but decided I needed to get ahead of the trend. We live in a modern townhouse in downtown Charlotte so we went with a sleek, black-faced cabinet with just a touch of wood grain for texture. We finished it off with a light-colored quartz countertop. To keep things edgy, we added a waterfall counter to the island and a white glass tile backsplash. I’m in love!!! The black really stands out from the crowd!

  5. I had our bathroom cabinets painted black and let me tell you, they are hard to keep clean. Granted it is my kids bathroom and they spill a lot – but I wonder about the utility of having black lower cabinets in a kitchen. Seems to me it would be better to have something that hides spills better. I love the look though and I suppose if you don’t have to do your own cleaning then it is worth it.

  6. I agree. There should be a good amount of natural coming in or a very nice balance of light and dark to compliment each other. All black in a small kitchen with no natural light, or very little light (like mine) would be so dark and I would think you’d get tired of it quickly. Now, the kitchens above are quite the exception. They are gorgeous!! I think a big trend right now is black/white/wood. I see a lot of it and it’s spot on. Erin, your kitchen is gorgeous. As is your entire home :)

  7. Beautiful kitchens! A lot of credits are missing though – those designers should be recognized for their inspiring work. The 7th kitchen, with the herringbone floors and giant lantern is by my fellow Canadian Tommy Smythe.

  8. I should have mentioned that I LOVE your blog, it’s the first thing I read when I get up in the morning. I had an unfortunate experience yesterday where I came across images of one of my projects on Houzz, with someone else taking credit (really???). So much work goes into these rooms, and it’s such a nice surprise to come across them online. Especially when you see your name attached :)

  9. I like the idea of a black kitchen but I suppose that the room should have a very big window to provide some natural light. Otherwise I am more likely to combine black and white.

  10. I’m kinda obsessed, and wish I’d been more ballsy about our kitchen reno. Natural light is key, and we don’t have a ton of it, so…
    Also, thank you for this post – no sponsors, no Rstyle links – just good ‘ol design discussion. ;)

  11. I’m with Brandi, unless there is lots of natural light and high ceilings, black cabinets would make the kitchen look like a bat cave.

  12. I like this look a lot. Black and white is such a classic look that it can easily be styled in a more modern, trendy way or dressed up to be more traditional. I love it! Not sure if I would have the guts to do it in my own home though haha

  13. We are about to undergo a kitchen remodel and I am dying over those drawer and door pulls! Any idea where they are from???

  14. Interestingly just last week I posted my black/white with dose of natural wood kitchen inspirations as I am contemplating our kitchen renovation. While all white is always nice and classic, there is something about making statements with black – either through cabinetry or other elements (stove, hood, paint, counters, etc).

    You can see more images here: and here:

  15. LOve it beyond! The BLair kitchen with that striking hardware and the rug, ahh. The herringbone wood floors in the last image…fabulous! I have been pinning away!

    The Arts by Karena

  16. I did a black kitchen with white quartzite counters several years ago and it was very striking. It fit in with the look of the 1890 building we lived in though, I wouldn’t do it everywhere. I also used a lot of glass-paned cabinets on the uppers so it wouldn’t look too heavy, and the kitchen had a lot of natural light. It had an English, kinda Downton feel to it. They were as easy to keep clean as my current white cabinets are. The thing about black cabinets is they are a lot of bang for your buck… you can get a simple, inexpensive cabinet but in black it has a lot of style and oomph, and people are always kind of taken in by the slight unexpectedness of it. And as we have seen on your blog, you can just about never go wrong with black and white. I agree with above post-er about the HB kitchen too – something about it was just too heavy-handed. That is an example of too much black. I like your current kitchen colors, Erin, I think you made the right choice for your space.

  17. I love the black cabinetry and hope someday to submit a photo of my kitchen using these design ideas. The first kitchen photoed, although gorgeous, does not look like hours would be spent making pies or much else in it. It has the look of ‘model home’ decor, that doesn’t appeal to me.

    That being said, when warmth is added into the space, utilizing butcher block, or that gorgeous herringbone wood floor, the space becomes approachable and it has a much more layered look rather than manufactured. I can definitely see myself idling the day away canning jams, baking pies or prepping for a family gathering.

  18. I LOVE black kitchens!!! For one of my client’s we did black lowers and white uppers with grey and white marble slab on the counters and backsplash and brass fixtures and it looks amaze. I’m hoping this is a trend that is here to stay!

  19. LOVE IT!!! All white kitchens are too pristine for me. I love black cabinetry as well as green. If I get brave I’ll do green — see Cameron Diaz’s kitchen by Kelly Wearstler.

  20. I think it is a gorgeous look, especially paired with brass accents BUT, I could not live with the in your face dust. The more natural light, particularly direct sunlight, the more every speck of dust shows.

  21. Erin

    I am doing my new home in Savanah,
    The kitchen will have open shelves and
    the color I choose for the cabinets is what
    I would call a deep loden green.

    I am loving working on my new home at least
    for 5 months of the year. Not to mention so many
    people are calling me to design their home.

    Sorry, I am finally putting my project first… My
    family and I will be celebrating Xmas in Savannah .

    Love this piece .. !

  22. Love it!!! Having just refinished our kitchen and cabs, a bit upset I just went safe with all white…

  23. Hi Erin, I’m loving the black kitchen, especially if there is some warm wood in there too….like an old farm table or a butcher block counter top. Also, if there are some white cabinets too, it just seems a bit happier. Have a great weekend. xo Holly

  24. I painted our icky pinkish oak kitchen cabinets high gloss black about 2 years ago and have not regretted it one day since. I thought it would look too wild but with the brass hardware it just looks classic and has held off the kitchen renovation. It’s made a huge difference. Fingerprints show up easily, but they also wipe off easily.

  25. Hi Erin! These are stunning! I feel like I’m transported to a beautiful Parisian café! We are about to undergo a full kitchen remodel, and I have to say that your current light grey cabinets are a great inspiration for the project. I don’t doubt that charcoal would look beautiful as well! There’s just something about how airy and fresh your kitchen feels, while feeling so warm at the same time.

    You first introduced me to grey cabinets and now I’m in love! I also love a grayish/blue color with the brass hardware, as I’m aiming for a modern farmhouse style (we live in upstate NY surrounded by a lot of beautiful countryside).

    I would love to ask you, as you were researching countertop options (the look of marble but stain resistant), were there other materials you were considering other then the quartzite, such as Cambria Torquay Quartz, Dekton, granite, neolith classstone, or perhaps something entirely different? I’m just starting to do my research and pricing out the different options for a marble style that isn’t marble. I’ve got little toddlers running around and really need this countertop to last for the next 20 something years or so. Thanks Erin! Love your blog and all the beautiful finds and advice you share about design tips! Can’t wait to see your master suite reveal!

    Oh! and lastly, now that you’ve lived with your gorgeous new kitchen for some time, is there any advice you would give to for someone like myself that is about to go through this process? Any features you love or wish you incorporated? Thanks again Erin!

  26. LOVE!! I just did a black kitchen…and have gotten RAVE REVIEWS! The upper cabinets are antiqued glass fronts (my “handy hubbie” added poultry wire which I spray painted antique bronze to these.) The handles are antiqued bronze/black…I have a VERY small kitchen and this black just recedes and made it “appear” so much larger…the first comment I hear. When I saw “Traditional Home” kitchen of the year…I said, Y E S!! franki

  27. So pretty. All of these kitchens seem to have a lot of natural light…where mine does not so I couldn’t get away with it. My favorite is the dark blackish green…maybe one day.

  28. They were as easy to keep clean as my current white cabinets are. The thing about black cabinets is they are a lot of bang for your buck… you can get a simple, inexpensive cabinet but in black it has a lot of style and oomph, and people are always kind of taken in by the slight unexpectedness of it.

  29. I do love black kitchens as well. I think black or even a dark wood make the kitchen look more elegant and deluxe especially with a granite plates :)

    By myself i went from white kitchen into the black and the last one i like most of all.

  30. I’m so loving black on everything, especially the black and brass look. It’s super chic!

    These kitchens are gorgeous. My fave has to be the black cabinets with the brass pulls and wood accents. My gosh so pretty!

  31. I love black & white kitchens…but then again, I love black & white everywhere. In fact, I often think I went over board with it all in my own house. When I was picking out my kitchen back in 2010 I wanted a black & white kitchen, and one person told me it was “too matchy-matchy”. I went with it any way, and I’m still pretty happy with it. Although, now I see them EVERYWHERE and wonder if it’s all just a trend that I will hate eventually. Hopefully not! Here are some pics:

  32. I just discovered a black kitchen, too: by Vipp, from Denmark, absolutely stunning. They manufacture a classic garbage bin (in the MOMA collection) and decided to design and produce a kitchen that goes with the bin ;)

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