Going to the Dark Side: Kitchens

Houstonian Lisa Epley used a mirrored backsplash and Calcutta Gold countertops to balance out the darkness of her cabinets. You can see the rest of her fabulous home in my post, The House of Mirrors.

I have been keeping a file of black kitchens since I first saw the kitchen in Gwyneth Paltrow's Hamptons House in House & Garden a couple of summers ago. I remember thinking that I really liked the look, but being on the fence about it. It seems like darker kitchens are starting to gain in popularity now that some people are growing tired of white kitchens (I for one, have not). However, I do think that a lot of the black kitchens I have seen look pretty fabulous. I can't help but feel a little nervous about it, though. Not only does it take moxie to own a black kitchen, you really have to consider how black cabinets will affect the overall space. It is imperative to have an abundance of natural light from windows to counteract the darkness of the cabinets. What do you all think? Is this something you could envision in your own home?

This kitchen has all of the basics: a nice layout, fantastic cabinetry, hardware, and appliances. However, it feels a bit sterile. I would change the pendants over the island and infuse some color into the space, but overall it does feel bright. Unfortunately, I must have saved this photo in a frenzy and do not know the source. Any ideas?

Gwyneth Paltrow's black Hamptons kitchen as featured in House & Garden

This cool kitchen is from Farmhouse Modern.

This kitchen by Betsy Burnham features an interesting backsplash.

Kelly Wearstler's glamorous take on the black kitchen features black cabinets, black countertops, and a black backsplash.

This image comes from Alkemie and features shiny black cabinets for a more modern approach. The crystal chandelier keeps the space from looking too stark and gives it a hint of glamour. I love the industrial faucet!

This image is from Shelter. This kitchen must be in Europe or New York because it is so tiny! Despite its size, it is very stylish and organized. Check out the cool display with the glasses and bottles of Pellegrino.

Windsor Smith's kitchens are a favorite amongst bloggers. She frequently opts for a dining table in the middle instead of an island, as you can see here. This kitchen features black cabinets, walls, and mouldings against Carrara marble. Does the pot rack make anyone else feel anxious? I am so OCD!

This cool kitchen was featured in House Beautiful. The flooring is very cool, but I would have preferred Carrara marble instead of black on the island.

Erinn Valencich designed this lovely black kitchen. I love that she infused it with color! Notice the turquoise backsplash and flooring.

Angie Hranowsky's gorgeous kitchen feels very bright despite the use of dark cabinetry. Aside from the abundance of natural light in the room, she opted to use only lower cabinets, and chose Calcutta Gold marble for the island and reflective stainless steel countertops for the rest of the kitchen. I love the Mother of Pearl backsplash tiles and lucite stools! All of these elements make the space look vibrant and keep it from feeling cumbersome.

Lindsey and Kristin Buckingham's kitchen features cabinets painted with Benjamin Moore's "Night Shade". The kitchen has the same bohemian vibe as the rest of their home.

I really do wonder if going to the dark side is better if done gradually. Is it best to start off with a nice shade of grey and eventually make it to black, or should one just dive right in? I think I am still partial to white kitchens and would probably do grey before black. This home is from a post I did on this house entitled, "The Lovely Bones".
The builder opted for a greyish-green hue on the cabinets with a dark wood island.

The gold hardware in this kitchen by Katy Elliott gives the space such a glam 1970s feel, don't you think? I really like the color of the cabinets.

This kitchen is from Things That Inspire. I believe it was from a real estate listing in Atlanta. I love the library style ladder along the back wall! The owners of this home opted for a blue-grey hue for their massive island.

I am in love with this kitchen by Baden and Baden. The paint color, the counters, the shelving, faucet, appliances, and abundance of storage...perfection!

So what are your thoughts on black kitchens? Do you think they will be the next hot thing (i.e. today's white kitchen with carrara countertops, stainless appliances, and scoop hardware)? I do think that they will increase in popularity, but believe that if the masses do decide to move away from white kitchens, they will probably gravitate towards grey rather than black. Personally, I do think that white can be timeless if done tastefully and grey kitchens are usually quite lovely. I think the black kitchens would require meticulous planning because one misstep could lead to a design disaster. I think it takes a lot of gusto to do it but when done correctly, the result can be fabulous!

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