As we mentioned last week, Apartment Therapy's annual Small Cool Contest is in full swing right now, and we've been eagerly scanning the kitchen submissions in search of fresh ideas and inspiration. One surprising trend we've seen emerge out of the contest? Black and white kitchens!

When it comes to small kitchens, many cooks are keeping it simple with a black and white color palette. This modern, minimal look is well-suited to small kitchens, which often feel closed-in and cluttered if there's too much going on in the way of color, texture, or pattern.

Does black and white seem boring, a not-so-special way to decorate a small kitchen? It's not! There's still plenty of room for personalization in a black and white kitchen. Consider Alison, Liz, and Nicole's shared space, which features a terrific, ultra-organized pegboard, or Wendy's kitchen, where yellow-patterned curtains offer just the right pop of color. You could also take a cue from Emily's kitchen, where black and white becomes a striking focal point in the form of tree wallpaper.

All in all, a black and white kitchen is a classic choice. We're fans of the look; how about you?