Are black kitchen countertops back in style? Interior designers share their thoughts on this once-dated look

Black kitchen countertops are having a revival, and these spaces prove just how versatile they can be

Black countertops
(Image credit: Lick/Kitchens by Holloways)

Kitchen trends have recently embraced light neutrals, but are black kitchen countertops back in style? Once considered a dated feature, black countertops have been seeing a resurgence, but is this a fleeting return, or one that's here to stay?

Countertop ideas come in various materials and finishes, but one such design that has fallen out of favor in recent years is black countertops. Marble, granite, and even quartz countertops have been enduringly popular, but are we finally seeing a change in how homeowners approach their kitchen ideas?

To find out if black kitchen countertops are really making a comeback, we've turned to interior designers and kitchen design experts to weigh in on this resurging style, and how to make it work in various schemes.

Are black countertops back in style?

Modern farmhouse kitchen island with large shelves on either end

(Image credit: deVOL)

Decorating with moody colors has proved popular this year, so it doesn't come as much surprise that dark hues are emerging in other areas of interior design. There has also been a growing revival of outdated trends making a comeback, including many from the '90s, when black countertops were a firm favorite.

'Black granite was a staple in the nineties and it still has a certain understated luxury especially when honed, so we are delighted to see it in many customers' kitchens,' says Helen Parker, creative director of deVOL Kitchens.

Black and pink kitchen

(Image credit: Lick)

The visual impact of black countertops adds to their appeal – misconceptions are that they feel cold or sterile, but the right color combinations can have the opposite effect. 'Bold and dramatic, a black countertop certainly makes a statement in a kitchen whether it’s made from concrete or natural stone. While black can be seen as a cold color, it can add warmth and coziness to a kitchen when combined with lighter or softer colored cabinetry,' explains Alex Main, director at The Main Company.

Alongside the aesthetic qualities of black countertops, there are many practical ones, too. 'In addition, a darker surface can be easier to look after as it is generally better at hiding wear and tear than lighter surfaces which can stain and mark,' he adds.

What are the best black countertop materials?

Maximalist kitchen with black countertops and wooden cabinets

(Image credit: deVOL)

There are certain materials to consider when choosing black countertops. Not only do you want to choose something that looks great, but that stands the test of time, too. Luckily, some high-quality materials can be sourced in black.

'There are gorgeous black marble worktops or quartz has such a great range with interesting veining and tends to be at a lower price point. For a dramatic effect, a super luxurious dark walnut can be used which results in a timeless elegant finish,' says Jayne Everett, creative director at Naked Kitchens.

Black and bronze kitchen

(Image credit: Kitchens by Holloways)

For something super durable, Alex suggests embracing hardy materials in a matte finish. 'For easy maintenance, longevity, and visual appeal, a matte textured surface such as concrete is a great option as it is simple to clean, hardwearing, and good at hiding marks.'

'A natural stone like granite offers similar benefits, however, concrete tends to be better suited to modern kitchens, while granite is great for traditional settings,' he adds. While a material like concrete might sound utilitarian, the right design ensures it feels sleek and stylish.

How to style black countertops

Black countertops are a truly versatile choice. Pairing well with several other colors and finishes, they can suit almost any kitchen design style. Here, experts share their favorite ways to style black countertops.

1. Pair black countertops with light cabinets

Neutral kitchen with black countertops

(Image credit: Kitchens by Holloways)

For a more light and airy kitchen scheme, creating contrast between the black countertops and your kitchen cabinet colors can have a great effect. Stay away from stark white, rather opt for warm, creamy neutrals or earthy hues.

'Dark countertops add a bold contrast to light-toned cabinets and walls. If you opt for under-cabinet lighting or pendant lighting, or are lucky enough to have a space filled with natural light, there is an opportunity to highlight the veining and color variations found in darker wood or granite,' suggests Laura Styles, resident style advisor at Yester Home.

In this neutral kitchen, black countertops have been paired with light earth-toned cabinetry, which instantly brightens up the space and softens the look of the black surfaces. Paired with the brass hardware throughout the kitchen, the overall scheme feels timeless.

2. Introduce black countertops on a kitchen island

White kitchen with black marble countertops on the kitchen island

(Image credit: Kitchens by Holloways)

If a kitchen full of black countertops doesn't appeal to your kitchen style, introducing it to a small area, like a kitchen island, can still make an impact. Having contrast between your island counters and the ones wrapped around the walls adds visual interest, too.

'Black countertops can make a striking statement when used in the right setting. This tends to be in a more modern setting, contrasting against a different material or color. In these settings, black countertops look fabulous,' explains Jayne.

'They can be used solely for the whole kitchen or in a large space they can be used for just the island and a lighter material can be contrasted for the rest of the base cabinetry,' she adds.

3. Add black countertops with wooden cabinetry

Black countertops with wood cabinetry

(Image credit: Chris Snook for The Main Company)

For a moody take on modern rustic kitchen style, black countertops pair beautifully with darker, more natural cabinet materials. Don't be afraid to lean into dark kitchen ideas – when done right they can feel sophisticated and stylish.

'To add texture and contrast to a kitchen, a black worktop looks great when paired with a softer material such as reclaimed wood. Wood front cabinets are both rustic and timeless, and when paired with a dark concrete surface, it creates a contemporary aesthetic that will stand the test of time,' says Alex.

In this kitchen, black countertops pair beautifully with these paneled wood cabinets. Together they offer the perfect blend of contemporary and rustic without making the space feel dark.

4. Create a colorful scheme with black countertops

Colorful kitchen with black countertops

(Image credit: Black countertops Kitchens by Holloways)

Black countertops are incredibly versatile, so you can pair them with almost any other hue. While many people might gravitate towards dark wood and creamy neutrals, there's no reason you can't go for colorful cabinets.

'Opt for black countertops with strong heritage colors around them such as burgundy reds, mustard yellows, or heritage greens on shaker-style doors,' suggests Charles Elwell, design director at Kitchens by Holloways, which would create a characterful, transitional scheme.

Opt for a timeless color that you know you will like for a long time – in this scheme, a warm red/pink hue has been used on the cabinetry, which works really well with the darker countertops.

5. Opt for a color drenched scheme

Kitchen scheme painted with black paint

(Image credit: Michael Del Piero Good Design/Costas Picadas)

The color drenching trend continues to prove popular in interior design, and the kitchen is no exception. To embrace the dark features that black countertops bring to a kitchen, a design covered in moody hues can create a truly dramatic scheme.

'Black countertops are such a timeless, versatile choice for a kitchen. For a darker, bolder kitchen scheme, color drench and go for gray, black, or teal kitchen cabinets and walls,' suggests Tash Bradley, director of interior design and color psychologist at Lick.

In a darker, black kitchen, the hardware finishes you choose will make all the difference. 'Pair these with warm brass fittings and orange accents,' she suggests, which will add a more timeless appeal to the finished scheme.

Black countertops are back in style, and they're having a revival in a big way. Whether you pair them with light neutrals, dark hues, or bright colors, black countertops are proving to be a versatile kitchen feature.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.