13 Black Kitchen Cabinets That Will Give You Serious Design Inspiration

Use open shelving

Oh, how we swoon for this black kitchen cabinet idea. For their Great Encino Estate kitchen, Bre Hance, principal designer at InHance in Los Angeles, created a harmonious medley of white marble countertops and backsplash, light white oak floors, and brass hardware. “My favorite part about incorporating black kitchen cabinets into the design is the way they seamlessly flow into the black and brass, Lecornu Range,” she says. Her best advice for creating a look like this that neutralizes the starkness of the black cabinets are to keep the shelving open to break up the heaviness and use reflective, white countertops to lighten the space.

Celebrate modern design

In this pied-à-terre, Wertepny and her colleagues designed for a repeat client, the homeowner requested a full gut renovation for a “modern, functional” layout. The result is one of the most crisp and clean black kitchen cabinet ideas we’ve seen to date. “Recognizing the prominence of the kitchen in the open floor plan, we swapped out the outdated yellowing white laminate kitchen with custom charcoal-stained walnut cabinets that extend all the way up to the ductwork,” she elaborates, adding that a Corian box inset juxtaposes the matte black finish and provides open shelving for display to create more contrast.

Incorporate stone or other natural materials into the mix

A kitchen with black cabinets works wonderfully if you’re seeking a contemporary look, per Barnard. “When paired with lighter counters, backsplash, and flooring, it can also create visual contrast, helping raise the eye and contributing to a clean and tidy aesthetic,” she shares. “Coupling black cabinets with natural materials like stones or ceramics can also contribute to more variation, helping to blend more traditional and modern aesthetics.”

Balance with tile

“Black kitchen cabinets are an excellent option for pairing with decorative elements like tile. For wood cabinetry, using a black stain will help to create a less textured backdrop that lets the texture and patterning of more ornate materials shine while still having enough weight to balance more elaborate designs. Staining helps maintain the warmth of the wood, softening the look of more solid black surfaces for a space that still feels dramatic without feeling cold,” Barnard says.

Just use black accents on your cabinet doors

The entire cabinet doesn’t need to be painted black to make a statement. “We took the opportunity in this kitchen to draw your eye upward, added the black grained oak frames around the glass cabinetry doors, the recessed base cabinets under the kitchen island and the added touch into the crown, comments Samantha Pratt founder and principal designer of Samantha Ashley Designs, LLC, in Chester County, Pennsylvania. “By using these black accents sparingly, it ensures they stand out as striking focal points, enhancing the overall design,” she says, highlighting that the added texture of the oak helps make it feel less formal.

Opt for a dual-tone design

“There are many ways to pull black kitchen cabinets off where it does not feel overwhelming and dark,” says Monica Rivas, founder and principal designer of Enliven Interiors, in Las Vegas, citing the example of using a dual-tone kitchen cabinet design. “When strategically selecting the proper ratio of black cabinets with a natural wood look, the eye is able to rest from the dark color introduction,” says Rivas, pointing to the minimalist kitchen design with flushed panel doors and drawers in Las Vegas pictured here. “We were able to create a gorgeous rich in color kitchen with brown walnuts, blackened wood, and white stone top with crisp surrounding walls,” she says.

Befriend jewel tones

“Pairing black cabinetry with rich jewel tones like emerald green or deep navy can create a striking, luxurious mood,” says Emily Yeates.

Embrace matte black finishes

“In a lot of homes, the kitchen is the heart of the home, but at my loft, I tucked the kitchen away,” says Wertepny of her galley-style space complete with a seamless oak cabinet system by Bontempo from Armazem flaunting a matte black lacquer finish in charcoal and elegant JennAir appliances.

Add some marble countertops

Are black kitchen cabinets and marble a good idea? Design experts certainly think so. Thomas shares that one striking way to incorporate black cabinets is to pair them with bold marble countertops for contrast, as is pictured here. “The rich black stained cabinets pop against the bright white veining of the marble,” he says, adding that he’s a fan of how the two luxurious materials play off each other in this modern kitchen. “The backsplash is a simple white subway tile that allows the cabinets and countertop to shine,” he continues.

Go bold with black on black

Aimee Wertepny, founder and visionary of PROjECT. Interiors, based in Chicago, believes that if done correctly, a black kitchen can really make an impact and still be a surprisingly welcome space. Here, Wertepny and her team worked with Demeter Millwork to outfit the kitchen of this Lincoln Park condo with custom black cabinetry. “Then we used brass accents to punctuate the ebony kitchen and paired the cabinetry with leathered black granite countertops from TM Supply to commit to the black-on-black aesthetic,” she offers.

Or, pair black and white design elements together

…And preferably with mountain views too. “Black kitchen cabinets are a surprisingly welcome choice due to the way they effortlessly create a statement while maintaining an air of timelessness. The deep hue provides comforting contrast that serves as a backdrop for traditional neutrals and even fun colors,” says Lauren Farrell

Throw in some brass hardware

One of the most beloved kitchen projects Kronberger has worked on is a midcentury kitchen design with black cabinetry. “We combined the deep tone of the built-ins with industrial brass hardware (Buster & Punch), navy and teal backsplash tiles (Patricia Urquiola for Mutina) and a walnut and black kitchen island,” she says.

Or, go gold

“Less sterile than the all-white kitchen, black cabinets offer a sophisticated and dramatic look,” says Leigh Spicher, national director of design studios, Ashton Woods Homes. Spicher emphasizes that kitchens with black cabinets can create a real show-stopping moment especially when paired with gold hardware and statement lighting. “Black is used best when contrasted against whites or lighter tones. Dark door handles on a light door, black plumbing fixtures against lighter tile, for example,” she adds.

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