13 Sophisticated Kitchens with Black Cabinets
It’s time to embrace the dark side.
Want to give your kitchen a quick face-lift? We’d recommend starting with a fresh coat of paint. Dousing your cabinets in a newer, sharper color can immediately transform this space—an all-important one for families and frequent entertainers—into a Top Chef–worthy room. These days, green has exploded in popularity for kitchen cabinets, but we say there’s something timeless and sophisticated about a black cupboard. Whether it’s a matte charcoal or a glossy jet, these deep hues will add another layer of drama to your space, making other colors like red, blue—or yes, that much-celebrated green—pop even more.
“Black cabinets are urbane, sophisticated, and sexy,” says interior designer Oliver M. Furth, who cooked up a kitchen with dark, high-gloss cupboards for a couple in Beverly Hills. “This particular kitchen had been dark and depressing and was never going to be a bright white kitchen. Instead of fighting it, we listened to the room and went with this vibe.”
If you’re ready to take the plunge, here are 13 of our favorite kitchens with black cabinets, from a family home on Puget Sound to an open-air residence in the Bay Area.
Black-and-white kitchens can be understated and beautiful, but throwing a pastel into the mix can take it to the next level. Filmmaker Dorothy Berwin added a chic Sabine Marcelis table to the kitchen of her Manhattan apartment, perfectly juxtaposing it against the black cabinetry and angular white countertops.
Matte black never goes out of style, and neither does a natural wood finish. Ashe Leandro paired black cupboards with oak shelving in the kitchen of this New York City townhouse, mixing warm and cool tones to statement-making effect.
In Connecticut, interior designer Ryan Lawson imbued an 18th-century home with tasteful, 21st-century glamour. That idea extended to the kitchen, which smartly balances black cabinets and a chromed-out exposed hood.
In a Marin County, California, home, interior designer Nicole Hollis took advantage of the serene landscape by adding floor-to-ceiling windows to the kitchen. The natural light complements the black cupboards and white countertops, creating a sleek, minimalist look.
Black cabinets and chrome go perfectly together, making for a dialogue between a shiny, flashy finish and a more subdued, matte one. Designer Juliana Lima Vasconcellos smartly balanced these two looks in the kitchen of her Rio de Janeiro home, adding an Hermès Erbanesteria table to the mix for a bit of contrast.
Black is a staple in the fashion world, so deploying it on your kitchen cabinets adds an instant dash of chic. In this Beverly Hills pad, interior designer Oliver M. Furth decked out the cabinets with high-gloss paint from Benjamin Moore and added a checkerboard floor, plus sculptural lighting from Apparatus for extra pizzazz.
Interior designer Mary McDonald offset black cabinetry with a gorgeous pastel blue in the kitchen of this California home. Gold accents—from the custom hood to the pendants from Soane—round out the glam color story.
You don’t always need to go over-the-top with decor in the kitchen. Kevin Dumais kept it simple for the kitchen of this apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, selecting black cabinetry for a clean, angular look. Sometimes less really is more.
The kitchen in this Capri home designed by architect Giuliano Andrea dell’Uvo is one of our favorites, namely for its smart mix of pattern and black cabinetry. Chrome accents add another layer to the gorgeous space, which features custom wall tiles inspired by Villa Torricella in Umbria.
If you really love the idea of black kitchen cabinets, go all out and install them from floor to ceiling. Just be sure to add some subtle, moody lighting to the space—in this Harlem bachelor pad, interior design firm Re-a.d went with a chic pendant from &Tradition.
The best way to balance out a cool-toned, dark hue is with some warmer, softer colors. For a family home near Seattle on Puget Sound, interior designer Heidi Caillier combined custom cabinets with a BDDW dining table and chairs from Design Within Reach.
Interior designer Delia Kenza opted for a largely black, white, and red color palette for this Harlem brownstone, an idea that extended into the kitchen. Here, stark white and jet black creates sharp contrast, with light streaming in through the windows to soften the overall look.
Black cabinets are just one facet of designing a kitchen, and bringing in other poppy pieces of furniture—like these Coke can–red chairs in Darryl Pinckney and James Fenton’s Harlem townhouse—can totally change the look and feel of the space. Here, scarlet, black, and pastel blue combine for a beautiful color story.