When it comes to kitchens, white has long been the go-to color of choice. 

From cabinets to subway tile and to countertops, the go-to neutral has become a hallmark of fresh, modern design. But there’s a new hue set to take over as we approach 2021, and it’s not one you might expect. White’s most stark contrast, black, is rapidly gaining popularity in Pinterest-worthy kitchens. Designers and homeowners alike are turning to the sophisticated shade in all areas of the kitchen, from matte black appliances and fixtures to dark marble or soapstone countertops and sleek inky cupboard doors. 

Of course, you don’t have to dive headfirst into the trend. If you’re considering a kitchen redo, why not start with the cabinets? It’s a great way to cross over to the dark side without going fully monochrome. Not completely sold? Don’t just take our word for it—let these all-black cabinets inspire you:

 

Mix Up Your Shades

Black kitchen cabinets

Design: Amy Scott, featuring Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts

If you’re not ready to commit to a tone-on-tone look, you can still make a statement: Try black cabinets paired with brass hardware,  a white subway tile wall, and wood open shelves. To tie everything together, opt for a few more dark details like matte black light fixtures above the sink.

 

Forego Uppers

Black kitchen cabinets

Photography and Design: Yellow Brick Home, featuring Semihandmade Supermatte Black Shaker fronts

If you’re going for a trendy look, start with black cabinets and really commit to the modern approach by nixing those upper cabinets in favor of sleek natural wood open shelving. For the most cohesive look, use visible black brackets rather than hiding them in the walls.

 

Add Custom Cabinetry

Black kitchen cabinets

Photography: Avery Nicole; Designer: Erin Hanrahan Doak, Hello Kitchen, featuring Semihandmade Supermatte Black Shaker fronts

Lucky enough to have a large kitchen space? Make the most of your square footage with custom cabinetry that fits your needs. Here, the homeowners opted for an enviable amount of wine storage. The feature stands out as something truly special and unique, thanks to the bold paint choice and the contrasting natural wood shelves. 

 

Don’t Forget the Inside of the Cabinets

Black kitchen cabinets

Photography and Design: Catherine Williamson, Beginning in the Middle, featuring Semihandmade DIY Shaker fronts

It’s not just what’s on the outside that matters. In a kitchen that gets a lot of regular use, commit to making the insides of your cabinets just as eye-catching. These sleek black cabinet doors open to reveal matching black frames complete with truly stunning dark wood shelves that offer just enough of a contrast to look great inside and out. 

 

Carry the Black Theme Throughout Your Space

Black kitchen cabinets

Photography: Margaret Austin; Design: Brett Foken, featuring Semihandmade Supermatte Black Slab fronts

Is your kitchen open to other areas of the home? Take note of how this homeowner carried the black color well beyond their cabinets to create a very cohesive (but not matchy-matchy) look. The dark vibe starts near the ground with modern black lower cupboards and continues as the eye goes up with matching plumbing fixtures, lighting, and railing in the loft space above. 

 

Think Beyond the Kitchen

Black kitchen cabinets

Design: ll Design Co.; Build: Well Done Building & Design, featuring Semihandmade Supermatte Black Slab fronts

Of course, the kitchen isn’t the only area of the house where you’ll want to install cabinetry. Other areas—like a dedicated bar or even a laundry room—also look nice and sleek with black cabinets. Here, they are paired with marble and natural wood to give off a fresh, modern vibe.

Define Areas With Color

Black kitchen cabinets

Photography and Design: Catherine Williamson, Beginning in the Middle

In an open concept layout, choosing a stark color like black can help define “rooms.” Even though this home’s kitchen and living room is really one giant space, the bold black cabinets contrasting with the lounge area’s white walls make it clear where one space ends and the other begins.

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