Could the Next Big Kitchen Color Trend Replace the Popular All-White Look?

all-black kitchen counter and wall with wood accents

Tessa Neustadt for Bobby Berk

There’s a new trend encroaching on the success of the all-white kitchen, and let me just start by saying it may be my favorite yet. The black kitchen is a daring delve into the dark side—only it doesn’t have to mean moody. Instead, it can be sleek and chic, but it’s always sophisticated. This non-color (if we’re getting technical) often gets a bad rep for being too aggressive, but we have seen the success stories on Pinterest.

If you’re still not sold on this dusky look, turn your attention to a man we consider a guru of sorts—Queer Eye’s Bobby Berk never leads America astray, especially not when proving the point that risk can be rewarding. Case in point, when he broke all the rules to create a “classic, yet edgy,” dining experience in his own home. Berk lends us his wisdom on nailing this look and promises, “it doesn’t have to be scary.” He believes whether you’re in a smaller space or one pooled with loads of natural light—you can make it work. By the end of this article, you will certainly be a monochromatic convert.

white upper cabinets and backsplash with black lower cabinets
Elizabeth Roberts

Opposites Attract

When you enlist the impact of this monochromatic kitchen trend, you should start by knowing that you by no means have to go all or nothing. In fact, the appeal of the black kitchen look is often in how striking the shade is against contrasting colors—black cabinets with a white backsplash can look ultra-polished. Remember, opposites attract.

black and white kitchen with window and sink

Catherine Kwong

Pick Your Shade

Not all blacks are created equal, and this could play a big part in the finished product. Depending on the natural light filtering through the room, the surrounding spaces, or even personal preference, you’ll either want to scale your chosen shade bluer or a starker true black. Pick up a few swatches and hold them up against hardware, fixtures, and appliances to see which is more your style. Can’t decide? Farrow & Ball's Pitch Black is a choice that works in just about any light and space as it’s as pure as you can get.

monochrome black kitchen wall
BHDM Design

Mix and Match

If your eye is set on a full midnight-hued kitchen, delve into the various materials at your disposal. You’re not limited to achieving this look with just a paint roller. Black subway tiles are a stunning way to add depth with texture and visual intrigue. Just like an all-black outfit, the key to making a black kitchen visually interesting is all in the layering of various textures and materials.

black and brown kitchen

Studio DB

Consider Statements

As mentioned above, fulfilling this concept does not mean everything your eye lands on is swathed in ebony. Instead, this color choice can become a beautiful canvas for a statement wall. Consider a backsplash of vibrant wallpaper in corresponding colors.

black kitchen with marble backsplash
Tessa Neustadt for Bobby Berk 

The Finishing Touches

A great way to make a black kitchen really pop is to contrast it with brushed brass hardware. This super contemporary look can read clean and sophisticated once all the faucets, lighting, and handles are installed.

black, white, and wood kitchen

Elizabeth Roberts

Opt for Natural Elements

If you do decide to go all black, our tip is to warm it up. We recommend wood accessories or, as an alternative to paint, why not opt for a black wood to panel the cupboards and kitchen island instead? This look comes across much softer and the grain of the wood reads through beautifully. This look is ideal with creamy marble countertops as it uplifts those earthly elements. 

all-black monochrome kitchen
Tessa Neustadt for Bobby Berk 

Consider Monochrome Fixtures

If you’ve decided to take the approach of pops of black with neutrals in between, a beautiful way to tie it all together is with obsidian-colored pendant lights. This way the black elements will meet from the bottom to the top, with creams and whites in the middle, to truly give the desired effect.

modern black and white kitchen
Catherine Kwong

It’s All in the Details

Allow the whole look to culminate in opting for sleek black seating—whether it be bar stools or step stools that are functional to the space. This will tell visitors you’ve really dedicated yourself to the approach.

white marble kitchen with black lower cabinets

Jean Charles Tomas

Look at Marble

Another dreamy material that can easily bring this trend to fruition is opting for a black marble countertop or backsplash. It’s incredibly easy to wipe down compared to paint which only wears over time, and it gives an opulent lasting impression.

white walled kitchen with black lower cabinets
 A B Kasha

Pick Your Preferred Finish

Don’t underestimate just how diverse this hue can really be. One thing to think about is whether you prefer a matte or shiny finish on your coat of paint. Both are stunning in the right environment, so narrow in on which one is more up your alley. A good way to pick is to compare all the elements in your space. If your fridge is stainless steel, it’s possible a matte black would be just the right amount of balance.

white upper kitchen wall with black lower cabinets

Catherine Kwong

Don’t Forget the Floor

Your choice of flooring is very important to accomplishing your dream all-black kitchen. I love the idea of finishing it off with sleek dark or black paneled wood to make a dramatic point. If you’re feeling like it’s still too dark, add some color with a vintage rug.

black and white kitchen
Elizabeth Roberts 

The Color Is Your Canvas

I’m very drawn to projects that have showcased open kitchen shelves painted black. They show off your collection of ceramics as they stand stark against the dark background. This look is easy to achieve, but just be mindful of keeping them clutter-free.

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