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Tips on Using Black Kitchen Cabinets in Your Home

Getting your kitchen design right can be stressful particularly if you’re embracing the open plan look which is so popular today. More and more homeowners are choosing an open floor plan where the kitchen is part of the open area.

Many of these open floor plans are designed in a contemporary or high tech style, and it is this type of environment where you’re likely to find black kitchen cabinets. There’s no denying that these cabinets can make a kitchen look dynamic.

Black kitchen design; image source: pexels.com

Whether they’re part of a large scale kitchen remodel or a quick fix in a rental property, they will always have a huge impact. Sure, black can be a little intimidating but the colour is timeless and provided it’s done well in the kitchen it will always look appropriate whether used as an accent colour or all over.

In the main, high tech kitchens tend to have stainless steel sinks and appliances which work exceptionally well with black cabinets. Steely grey or black countertops, white walls and bamboo wood flooring can all help to round out the area. Although black and white are neutral colors, used incorrectly they can look dreadful.

For example, a galley kitchen filled with black cabinets will look like a black hole and on the flip side a kitchen filled with white kitchen cabinets will appear clinical and sterile. It’s getting the balance right which is so important. Since the kitchen is the hub of the home and a place where families cook, eat, and generally spend time together, it’s essential that you create a relaxing ambience through a careful use of color.

There is a fact about these cabinets which we can’t ignore, we often get fooled into thinking that black cabinets are an easy option and won’t require much maintenance, however. Dust shows up more on black as do soap and water stains, so frequent wiping down will be necessary, although that’s not a bad thing in a kitchen anyhow.

Design Ideas

Black is surprisingly versatile and looks great with many different colours. Try pairing your new kitchen cabinets with a sleek grey countertop and using pops of yellow to brighten the look. Alternatively contrast your cabinets against white walls for a funky retro look. Doing away with upper cabinets also allows in more natural light and opens up the visual space. If you can’t afford to be without upper cabinets, then try replacing wood doors with glass fronts which will bring your cabinets to life.

Wallpaper is back in fashion and a vintage inspired sumptuous patterned wall covering teamed with black kitchen cabinets can make for a really dramatic, elegant and glamorous look to your kitchen. Black cabinets also showcase unusual hardware, so if you’ve bought cheap cabinets, then why not replace the hardware with some ultra sleek and stylish handles or pulls to give your cabinets that custom made appearance.

Contrasting Island

A traditional white kitchen cabinets can be made to look edgy and high style with a contrasting island. Try grouping black cabinets together beneath a gleaming white countertop and add some black and chrome bar stools. This creates a feature which is both good looking and functional too. Of course this could be reversed too, with a black kitchen having a brighter and lighter island where people sit to eat and chat. Install a downlight to flood the area with light, and it’s also the perfect work station for crafts projects or homework.

Balancing Color

Kitchen cabinets can account for as much as 75 % of your kitchen space so you really need to think carefully before settling on the color of your cabinetry and kitchen décor. Contemporary kitchens often use a black and white color scheme, balancing one color against the other.

For example you may choose white cabinets, black appliances and white walls or black cabinets, white walls, white appliances with a black and white chequered floor. Both looks work well and have a classic elegance. For a retro look you could use black cabinets against white walls and pop some colour with red appliances and red bar stools. Choose either a black or white table and this will round out the look.

Matching your color doesn’t just stop at the cabinets, floors and walls. Using black crockery and accessories on a white table looks modern and chic. The food always looks fantastic served on this colour crockery too. Just check out top cookbooks to see photos of food on black plates with the real wow factor.


Solid wood has to be one of the most popular choices since it is durable and can withstand heat and moisture found in busy kitchens. Don’t be worried that your budget won’t stretch to solid wood; if you look at buying your cabinets online you can make some impressive savings. Online stores sell cabinets wholesale direct from the manufacturer and can pass these savings on to their customers in the form of discounts. Other cabinet choices could be metal, stainless steel and melamine.

Good Lighting

Kitchens need good lighting and this is especially true of black and white kitchens. Try installing spot lights beneath your upper cabinets so that the light shines down on your countertops and consider having a pendant light hanging down over the dining table to cast a warm glow over the table.

Another good idea to break up some of the darkness associated with black kitchen cabinets is to have glass fronted cabinets which let the light in and show up the contents sitting against the white walls. A cheaper alternative could also be to leave the doors off your upper cabinets for an open plan look which is both modern and interesting.

If you’re looking for quality kitchen cabinets, but on a budget, then try looking online. You’ll be surprised at the money you can save. Because online stores have lower overheads than bricks and mortar stores, they can pass on their savings in the form of cheap kitchen cabinets, when compared to box store prices. Just take your time when designing your kitchen so that the end result is as good as you imagine it to be. You might like to look through some interior design magazines for inspiration. Don’t be afraid to use black and white in your kitchen but do make sure you use them wisely.