Back in Black: Give your Kitchen a Lift with Dark Cabinets

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Image: Simon Devitt for Urbis

Black has been showing up in a big way in kitchens this year—specifically in cabinetry. Because my home is about to celebrate its eighth birthday and because I am constantly dreaming of re-doing almost everything in it, I’ve been wondering how black cabinets would look in my kitchen. Based on what I’ve seen, I think they could work in almost any kitchen.

The simplicity of black and white beautifully softened by warm wood accents is a chic décor choice (as seen in the kitchen above). One interesting trend I’ve noticed is the use of stainless steel toe kicks under each set of cabinets. Besides tying in nicely with the appliances, the choice of stainless steel helps the cabinets have less visual weight; a nice trick!

Use the Whole Wall

Wall of Black Kitchen Cabinets
Image: Tom Blachford Photography on Wave Avenue

This kitchen uses black on the entire galley wall, helping that part of the room fade away from view. The flatness of the color supports the disappearing act, as do the black toe kicks. And, just to keep things interesting, the blocky wood pulls give a utilitarian feeling to the space. Simple ideas using only paint and some DIY skills turn this kitchen into something new.

Elevate a Basic Cabinet

Shiny Black Kitchen Cabinets
Image: Desire to Inspire

Glossy black cabinetry tells a completely different story. These look expensive but could just as easily be a ready-to-install option from a big box store. It’s the combination of their shiny surface and the pulled-forward stainless steel toe kick that gives this kitchen its fancy feeling. A terrific choice for someone replacing old cabinets.

Dark Elegance

Black Cabinets and Dark Wood Kitchen
Image: The Design Chaser

This is another combination of black, reflective cabinets and stainless steel toe kicks, but this time in a beautifully textured surrounding. The effect here is one of richness and sophistication without any overwhelming décor. This is more my style and am already wondering how to make this a reality in my kitchen.

Do you think black belongs in the kitchen?

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Dave Hime, founder/curator of, has been an interior design addict for as long as he can remember. In 2005, he bought a house-in-progress and missed several opportunities to have an influence on his own home decor–leaving him wanting more. With design heroes such as Blake Dollahite ( and Robert & Cortney Novogratz (, Dave began seeking out online resources that would exemplify the interior design practices he's most drawn to: using color, texture and simple materials well. Bringing all of this together, along with his specific focus on providing interior design inspiration from a man's point of view, is Dave's mission: masculine design.