Published on January 19, 2019

Think about what the ultimate popular dream kitchen might look like: white subway tile, white Carrara marble countertops, a large waterfall island, white cabinets, plenty of natural light. Yes, all-white kitchens have dominated the décor world for quite a few years now, so much so that any bold color can typically be associated with an outdated space. Colorful cabinets are associated with bold midcentury kitchens while warm woods or darker marbles can be reminiscent of the Mediterranean-inspired kitchens of the ’90s and early aughts. But some recent kitchens are suggesting a shift in kitchen trends might be on the horizon.

First, there were matte black appliances, which largely replaced stainless steel as the finish of choice. Then, there was the resurgence of black marble as an alternative to the wildly popular (and rapidly depleting) Carrara marble. There were honed soapstone countertops, blackened oak, and powder-coated steel—all surfacing in modern kitchens. Lately, there were even matte black fixtures replacing the ever-popular brass finishes favored in past years.

Yes, all signs point to black kitchens being the new gold standard, but just how much black you decide to introduce in your space is up to you. While we are on board with an all-black monochrome space, others might be more comfortable starting with just black kitchen cabinets, a countertop, a sink faucet, or a matte black refrigerator. Whatever your preference is, you’ll likely find inspiration in these beautiful and bold black kitchens.

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Photo by Cody Guilfoyle

Start small

Going black from floor-to-ceiling is a bold choice in the kitchen, so consider smaller ways to incorporate the dramatic hue, like in backsplashes or by painting the cabinets—something that can easily be undone without a full renovation. In this small kitchen, a black subway tile backsplash helps delineate the space from the adjacent entryway.

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Photo courtesy of Helsingo

Go monochrome

A monochrome space with black kitchen cabinets and a matching countertop and backsplash sets a dark and dramatic mood that’s perfect for dinners with friends or your S.O. This is a great option for an eat-in kitchen where you want to set the tone for an intimate evening without feeling like you’re feasting next to your dishwasher or stove.

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Photo by Nicole Franzen

Bring in color with accents

Incorporating black tones in your kitchen seems a little more achievable in smaller doses, like by adding a black countertop or shelving. But even with small doses of black, a space can feel a little austere. The solution? Incorporate color with smaller accents, like with an assorted collection of ceramic vases or a small gallery wall.

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Photo by Bess Friday for Catherine Kwong

Play with varying dark hues

Contrary to popular belief, not all black tones are the same. There are black hues with blue undertones, others with brown notes, and some black paints are simply pitch dark. To give your black kitchen some dimension, consider mixing varying dark hues by incorporating a black terra-cotta tile with blue undertones as a backsplash, for example, and painting the cabinets in a warmer black paint.

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Photo by Aaron Bengochea

Mix black with warm woods

If you’re worried about your black kitchen appearing too cold and austere, warm up the space with warm wood tones like birch or white oak. Together with white walls, this color combo creates a bright but tailored look. Painting cabinets in a black hue is also a great solution to update rental kitchens with warm wood tones by giving them a more elevated appearance.

More ways to incorporate dark hues: 

This Moody Cambridge Home Will Make You Want to Paint Every Room Black

Trend We’re Loving: Dark Wood + Deep Blues

A New Hotel Inspiring Us to Decorate More Dramatically