By Ruth Doherty
After spending almost a year in lockdown, a desire to create a cocooning sanctuary at home has seen a surge in the popularity of black kitchens. Indeed, Pinterest has reported a 50% increase in searches for 'black kitchen cabinets'.
Senior Designer at British Standard by Plain English Adrian Bergman said: 'When compared with a desire for bolder colors early in 2020, the design team has certainly noticed an increase in demand for darker, moodier tones, not just on the cabinets but on the walls and work surfaces too.\
See: Kitchen ideas – decor and decorating ideas for all kitchens
Of course, you can opt to mix your black kitchen cabinets with lighter counters, walls or backsplash tiles. But, if you are looking for a total eclipse of the kitchen, Adrian has a couple of tips: 'If you’re looking to achieve a monochromatic look, I would suggest using a gloss paint for the joinery to contrast a matte finish on the walls, this will add depth and tone to your scheme.
'Pure black may feel a little heavy so be sure to explore the array of blacks out there, underlying tones of blue, purple or browns can help to soften the appearance.'
We're sold – but if you need convincing further, take a look at the five black kitchen looks we love below...
- See: Kitchen cabinet ideas – the materials, styles, colors and trends to know
1. The sleek and chic black kitchen
The brief for this project was to create a family kitchen, which would be the heart of the home. Lanserring wanted to design a sleek, clean and understated kitchen with an injection of soul and a strong sense of craftsmanship.
The aim was to create dark, tonal symmetry with the cabinetry, backsplash and counters on the far back wall, enhanced with the almond gold touches. As avid cooks with a passion for entertaining, the clients intended to spend much of their time in this room.
The darker cabinetry contrasts with the light material of the kitchen island and the herringbone flooring, and the steel-framed double glass doors ensure that a lot of light reaches the full kitchen space.
Alex Beaugeard, Creative Director at Lanserring, says: 'Black kitchens work well because they create a sense of drama while being easy to live with. They can create interesting contrasts with lighting and look really glamorous at night.
'For an industrial look, combine a black kitchen with exposed brick and Crittall-style windows. Black cabinets work really well with light colored countertops and timber floors. Brass detailing in particular shines against darker tones. Generally, these types of kitchens feel very at home within a period architecture setting.'
2. The black kitchen island as focal point
This beautiful kitchen has injected a dramatic feel into the space with a stylish black kitchen island.
Liberty Brooks, of Riley Brooks interior design studio, said: 'We used the color Coal Scuttle for the kitchen island with an earthy Belgian Fossil countertop which anchors the room. The island sits against the color Draughty Passage used on the rear wall units and Paint & Paper Library Salt 1 on the walls and ceiling to lift the space.
'The mix of materials inject texture along with the unpainted elements bringing warmth to the space, aspects to consider when using bold, darker colors.'
- See: Kitchen backsplash ideas – make your kitchen’s vertical surfaces shine
3. The black kitchen that's a base for showy counters
'Black is our new love, we introduced it a couple of years ago and I think people were a bit scared, but it’s in full flow now!' says deVOL's Creative Director, Helen Parker.
'Think late night bars, speakeasies and restaurants in New York City for the look; big grand kitchen cupboards and especially big islands painted black, with some distressing and some brass for the foot rails or aged copper for the countertops – and certainly a splash of softly rounded Carrara marble, which just isn’t ever going to go out of fashion.
'It’s the brass, copper accents and marble that really make these looks so fabulous and dramatic, but add a touch of blush pink to the walls and you instantly get a softer look whilst still keeping the drama.'
4. The black kitchen designed for timeless appeal
Add heritage details to black kitchen cabinet for a timeless yet on-trend look. We love how this kitchen from British Standard by Plain English pairs patterned heritage tiles, cup handles and an antique table with the modern black cabinets.
The glass-fronted wall cupboards also break up the black and offers a great way to showcase all your delightful glass and tableware.
5. The black-on-black-on-black kitchen
Opting for a total blackout? Inject some pattern into the space to add texture and interest. We love how this parquet tile splash back makes matte black kitchen cabinets and exquisite stone countertops from Lundhs really sing.
'Dark interiors have been gradually increasing in popularity over the past few years and this year this trend is set to continue,' says Hege Lundh, Marketing Director Lundhs Real Stone.
'We’re noticing more and more that homeowners are becoming braver when it comes to surface and color choices. The darkest stone in the Lundhs Real Stone collection, Lundhs Emerald (seen above) is one of the most popular choices for counters and we think there will be an even bigger shift towards slightly darker materials over the next few years.'
Ruth Doherty is an interiors writer who has worked for Homes & Gardens and Ideal Home magazines among many others.
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