Modern Design Blog

Dark kitchen cabinets

How to make the most of dark kitchen cabinets in your design

For a period of time, white was so prevalent in modern kitchen design that it seemed to be the only available choice.

Luckily, trends have been shifting a bit. White is still the most popular color but homeowners no longer shy away from bolder color palettes. Well, in our opinion, when it comes to bold, there might be nothing quite like dark kitchen cabinets such as black and Graphite grey.

Besides being a rather edgy choice, black means elegance, power, and authority – so it shouldn’t be a surprise to find black kitchens in the homes of type A personalities!  In fact, dark kitchen cabinets are not for the faint of heart. You must commit to your choice 100% and let it run the show.


The trick lies in being willing to highlight your dark kitchen cabinets in all their dramatic glory.

1. Make sure the rest of the room provides sources of brightness.

You can do this by:

  • Complementing the dark cabinets with accents of lively colors (used for a wall, the floor, backsplash or countertop, or major décor elements).
  • Bathing the kitchen in natural light.

The bright colors and the natural light will help the dark cabinets stand out even more, while providing a nice counterbalance.

Dark kitchen cabinets with colorful wallpaper

Dark kitchen cabinets with bright floor

2. Emphasize contrast.

  • Dark kitchen cabinets look great in a room with open views on a natural landscape (as opposed to blending in within an already greyish cityscape).

Dark kitchen with tree views


If you are intrigued by the idea of a dark look but are not quite sure you are comfortable with a whole black or Graphite grey lacquer kitchen, consider mixing things up a bit, bringing in different finishes and different degrees of dark.

Choose a slightly lighter lacquer hue, like the Lead Grey in the next picture, and use it only for a couple of sections of the kitchen. Mix it with a dark but textured wood whose grain presents some variety and bring in some visual relief by using a light countertop and open shelves in place of a full wall of cabinets.  You are still going to get the distinct beauty of a dark look but it’s not going to be as intense as a whole black lacquer kitchen.

Dark wood dark lacquer kitchen

Because of its sizeable investment, the cabinetry of your kitchen is something that you are likely going to keep for at least 10 years and perhaps much longer. That’s why white is so popular: it defies trends and is easier on the eyes than stronger colors that you might get tired of more quickly.

So, if you are thinking of getting dark kitchen cabinets, be sure you are ready to stick with them for a long time. Having your designer show you good renderings of the full kitchen can help you get a real feel for it and see if you can live with the choice for many years to come.

Do you like dark kitchen cabinets? Would you choose them for your kitchen?