Back in January, we asked some of our favorite tastemakers to predict this year’s biggest kitchen cabinetry trends. Designer Aly Velji, in particular, sang the praises of a dramatic option: black cabinetry. “Paired with brass accents and natural materials like marbles, they really do make such a gorgeous statement,” he told us.

Today we are following up with Aly, a few other designers and several homeowners who have flooded their kitchens with not only black cabinets but black walls and accessories as well. How do they keep the color from overwhelming the space? Are black cabinets hard to keep clean? Scroll down for a little real talk and some tips on how to pull off the look in your own cooking space.

Photo by Joel Klassen

Going for the all-black look can feel daunting and irreversible. Aly Velji, designer of the kitchen above, suggests painting your island first to see if you’re really going to like the rich look. If you aren’t feeling it, you only have an island to repaint as opposed to an entire room.

Photo by Jessica Alexander

Designer Nina Freudenberger installed a black kitchen in her own Malibu, CA home before applying it to her clients’ spaces so she would know how to make it work. She found that black kitchens offer the perfect backdrop for statement lighting, so go over the top! “Nothing looks more beautiful,” she says.


Blogger Miranda Schroeder’s biggest tip for those looking to take the plunge into a black kitchen is to remember “the shinier the (paint finish), the deeper color black you will get.” Also, the more matte your finish, the harder your walls and/or cabinets will be to keep clean. Something between eggshell and high gloss will be much easier to wipe down and touch up.


Redecorating the kitchen in her 1800s-era Chicago apartment taught Aimee Wertepny to use multiple textures, from rugs to greenery, within a monochromatic space to give it both depth and visual interest.


Many people assume splashing a space in a darker color will immediately make it feel small, but all of the homeowners and designers we spoke to disagree. They say black walls and cabinets add depth to any room. They recommend accessorizing your black kitchen with shiny hardware and lighting as well as pops of bright colors to break up the abyss.


Annika Rowson, director of Rowson Kitchens, says an easy way to keep your all-black kitchen from feeling too stark is to add in warm wood tones like the timber bar she installed in the kitchen below.


Annika also highly recommends avoiding handle-free hardware. Having handles or knobs will keep your cabinets free from fingerprints. If a fingerprint or some grime does find its way onto your cabinets, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe it clean then a dry one to remove the excess water.

Black kitchen—would you? Tell us in the comments below!