13 Brilliant Black Kitchen Cabinet Ideas That Won’t Darken Your Space

published Oct 3, 2023
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Credit: Andrew Bui

Gone are the days when white kitchens reigned supreme. These days, it’s all about embracing your dark side, specifically with black kitchen cabinets — they’re a low-lift way to add depth and sophistication to your home with minimal effort. Plus, just like in our wardrobes, they go with just about everything. In fact, black kitchen cabinets are considered “the new neutral,” according to Etsy’s Trend Expert, Dayna Isom Johnson.

“So many people are gravitating towards painting their kitchen cabinets black because it is an unexpected neutral that, paired with the right accessories, makes for an elevated but warm space,” Johnson said. And believe it or not, taking the plunge from light to dark is easier than expected. Whether you opt for bright kitchen backsplashes or stainless steel appliances, black kitchen cabinets will blend in as much as they stand out, depending on how you style them. Here are 13 black kitchen cabinet design ideas that won’t darken your kitchens, while standing the test of time:

Credit: Rachel Manns

1. Stick with basics

First and foremost, it’s always a good idea to stick to the basics. You can never go wrong with a black-and-white color palette, and white walls with black kitchen cabinets are a classic pairing that will never go out of style. 

Credit: Minette Hand

2. Go glossy

In recent years, there’s been a rise in high-gloss finishes for kitchen cabinets, particularly in modern kitchens. Opting for black kitchen cabinets (or countertops) can add a luxurious, vibrant look. Plus, they reflect light, making smaller spaces appear larger than they are. 

3. Elevate hardware 

“With black cabinets as your anchor, I recommend bringing in complementary colors through accessories,” Johnson said. “For instance, to brighten up your space, I would lean into gold tones for your hardware — we saw a 13% increase in searches for brass kitchen hardware in Etsy’s April Decor Report — which pairs nicely with greens and blues that you can bring in with an accent wallpaper.”

While black and white are a staple pairing in kitchens, you can add unexpected warmth to black kitchen cabinets with brass or gold hardware. Switch out cabinet handles or stovetop knobs for an affordable hack that’ll create a more luxurious atmosphere. More importantly, there are dozens of finishes, including unpolished, polished, oil-rubbed bronze, chrome, or brushed nickel (to name a few!), to meet your kitchen needs. 

Credit: Carina Romano

4. Choose chrome

Complement your black kitchen cabinets with stainless steel appliances for a low-lift pairing. This kitchen essential will create a timeless aesthetic that can be easily elevated; try a white herringbone kitchen backsplash for an unexpected trio that really sings. 

5. Reed the room

Reeded cabinetry is another design trend on the rise, and it’s the perfect addition to any black kitchen cabinet to add texture and dimension. It’ll also break up the harshness some dislike in all-black kitchen cabinets. 

Credit: Minette Hand

6. Mix in warm woods

Ground out black kitchen cabinets with wood for a cozy, inviting atmosphere. While exposed wooden beams would be a farmhouse lover’s dream, something as simple as wooden floors can really elevate the look. It’ll instantly warm up the “cold” black color and create a tailored style, adding instant texture. 

“If you want a more moody feel with your black kitchen cabinets, you can bring in darker woods (also a top trend we saw in Etsy’s April report) by using practical items like cutting boards or knife holders as decor,” Johnson explains. 

Credit: Carina Romano

7. Think outside the box

Short on space? Try open shelving or floating shelves in a dark hue. It will add dimension to the room, draw the eye up the wall, and create an illusion that your space actually appears larger than it is. A win-win!

8. Rely on red

Contrasting colors like red (or green or yellow) will make black kitchen cabinets look more subtle and keep white walls interesting. Start with an accessory, such as a red tea kettle or stove knobs, or go big with red chairs. If your home has brick accent walls, the brown/red-ish tone will also work beautifully, creating a warm, sophisticated aesthetic. 

Credit: Carina Romano

9. Try tone-on-tone

Create a dramatic mood by choosing a color family to coat countertops, add patterned floor tiles, and appliances of similar hues. Experiment with various textures and prints in the same monochromatic scheme for a surprisingly tone-on-tone look.

10. Lighten the mood

Move away from pastels and bright colors and lighten the mood with black kitchen cabinets custom-fit with glass doors instead. It’s the perfect way to showcase your glassware and serveware while adding a bit of contrast, lightening the space.

Credit: Rachel Manns

11. Go granite

Marble and quartz countertops are high on many decorators’ lists, but aren’t necessarily in everyone’s budget. If you have dark granite countertops, black cabinets can totally revamp your kitchen’s look. Your countertops will add instant texture and dimension, becoming the star of the show.

Credit: Minette Hand

12. Accentuate angles

Emphasize clean lines and geometric shapes by pairing oval kitchen islands and other stand-out shapes with sharp black kitchen cabinets. Together, they will create a beautiful layout that adds an extra elegant touch to any modern home.

Credit: Minette Hand

13. Play with pink

Soften up black kitchen cabinets with an unexpected color like blush pink. Whether you opt for putting it on all four walls or just one, you’ll deliver a playfulness that mutes the darker hue and makes for a truly whimsical pairing.