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High-Contrast Kitchens for Every Style
Black and white kitchens go modern, rustic or traditional with ease
Does the thought of a black kitchen still take you back to the harsh look of the '80s? You know, when cabinets and countertops in laminates were king, and jet black was the ultimate in cool? If so, please don't let the uglification of the '80s ruin this look for you. Especially when paired with white, black in a kitchen can look contemporary, modern, even traditional and rustic. Still not convinced? Check out these beautiful kitchens to become a believer that black is back.
The most fail-safe way to do a black-and-white kitchen is to infuse the space with some warmth. Materials like hardwood floors and natural stone counters help to do just that.
An island and shelf also in rich wood will help lend warmth to a high-contrast kitchen too.
A softer white, like the ivory tone shown here, helps a kitchen veer more rustic than modern. And if you're going to drop major coinage on an Aga range, might as well make it the focal point of the room by choosing a color that stands out from the cabinets surrounding it.
Introduce other natural elements like a modernized farmhouse table with subtle wood grain and a gorgeous fig tree to warm up your black-and-white space. Pair with neutrals to keep the focus on the contrast.
Top cabinets in white make the ceilings feel higher, and bottom cabinets in black ground the space. The island's graphic pattern brings them together and pairs well with the Mid-Century Modern style of the house.
But black and white definitely don't need a buffer of neutral to work well together. This kitchen straddles the line between traditional and modern thanks to classic elements like the subway tile backsplash and painted wood floors. It's a great example of transitional style.
A matte-black backsplash contrasts so well with modern glossy white cabinets in this sleek, minimal kitchen.
If a kitchen full of black cabinets sounds too dark, consider using glass fronts and open shelving instead. The colors of the dishware and serving pieces will help to break things up a bit.
A thin line of white countertop that drops into a waterfall breaks up the sea of black in this kitchen. It works surrounded by white walls and with a modern chandelier and lots of stainless steel appliances to reflect the light.
Hits of black tucked under the island, in the backsplash and in the built-ins modernizes this mainly white kitchen and keep it from feeling remotely sterile.
Of course, black and white do smooth and minimal particularly well, as evidenced by this kitchen.
Tip: Eschew upper cabinets if you prefer a more pared down look. Without them, the kitchen will feel more open and of the moment.
More: Kitchen planning tips and decorating ideas
Ideabook updated on Feb. 4, 2013.
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