Gwyneth Paltrow's kitchen is sleek and sophisticated thanks to this versatile (but controversial) paint color

The Goop guru utilizes black paint on her cabinets for a subtly dramatic impact in her kitchen, which contrasts her otherwise light color scheme

(Image credit: Dimitrios Kambouris via Getty Images)

Gwyneth Paltrow is often associated with bright, light, and airy aesthetics, and this stands true for her interior design preferences. From her light marble kitchen countertops to her infamous white boucle sofa, light neutrals are commonplace in the Paltrow design universe. However, the actor and goop founder leaves room for the unexpected in her home, as proven by the color of her kitchen cabinets.

In a post recently shared to her Instagram page, we can see Paltrow standing in front of black-painted cabinets, which contast the white-painted ceiling beams above her. While black painting is often avoided to a concern of it looking too dark or intimidating, Paltrow's kitchen proves that when styled effectively, black paint is just bold enough to make a subtle statement.

Contrary to popular belief, experts say that decorating with black can actually have a calming impact on a space rather than a menacing one.

'Black paint, often considered daring and dramatic, is making a sophisticated statement in modern interior design,' says designer Nina Lichtenstein. 'Far from being overpowering or gothic, black can transform spaces into chic, elegant sanctuaries. Black is a color of sophistication and mystery. It can evoke a range of moods, from serene and calming to dramatic and powerful. In interior design, black can ground a space, adding depth and a sense of stability. It often serves as a backdrop that makes other colors and textures pop, bringing a room's design elements into sharper focus.'

Our current favorite black paint (which is almost an exact match to Paltrow's) is this option from Benjamin Moore. We can pick up a sample below.

Kitchen with statement marble wall and black island

(Image credit: Far Studio/Brian Wetzel)

In order to keep a space with black paint feeling balanced, Lichtenstein says that contrast is key.

'Pair black walls with lighter colors to avoid a room feeling too dark or closed in,' she suggests. 'White, cream, and light gray create a striking contrast that keeps the space feeling open and airy.'

Paltrow's kitchen is a great example of this balance, with the white ceilings and light counter spaces complementing the black cabinets. Lichtenstein also says that sunshine can help lighten black-painted spaces.

'Maximize natural light to counterbalance the depth of black paint,' she states. 'Large windows, skylights, and reflective surfaces like mirrors and glass can help brighten the room and enhance its overall ambiance.'

Additional accessories and fabrics can also be useful in allowing a space with black paint to feel less moody and more optimistic.

'Incorporate accent pieces in vibrant colors to break up the black and add personality to the room,' Lichtenstein says. 'Bold artwork, colorful cushions, and bright rugs can infuse energy and interest.

'She continues, 'Add texture and pattern to soften the starkness of black paint. Consider textured wallpaper, patterned fabrics, and varied materials like velvet, leather, and wood. These elements add dimension and prevent the space from feeling flat.'

kitchen countertop trends, black and white kitchen with large black kitchen island with sink and seating, marble backsplash and cooker hood, white custom cabinetry

(Image credit: Ali Budd Interiors/Alex Lukey)

Finally, consider which lighting is present in the kitchen, as this can have a major impact on a room's ambiance.

'Use strategic lighting to highlight black-painted areas,' Lichtenstein says. 'Layered lighting, including ambient, task, and accent lighting, ensures the room is well-lit, and the black paint appears rich rather than overwhelming. Warm light tones can also soften the intensity of black.'

Currently, we love these chic kitchen light alternatives, especially this rattan piece from Lulu and Georgia, whose warm tones look beautiful against black cabinets.

Black paint can make a space feel modern yet traditional all at once. We suggest painting one element of the kitchen black, such as the cabinets, while keeping the rest of the room lighter and more inviting.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.