Would a small kitchen look good with black cabinets?
Black evokes a feeling of exclusivity, elegance, and luxury, but many people feel that choosing dark colors will actually make an already small kitchen look even smaller. We’re going to look at an example today that proves this is not always the case.
Karin Bohn is an interior designer who is also a YouTube personality, and this kitchen is in her own home. The home itself is not nearly as large as the kitchen design makes it feel. In a 1,400-square-foot townhome, it’s not what you would expect; the way it looks and works is more along the lines of something you’d see in a large, single-family home, proving that you can do black cabinets in a small kitchen and not feel like you’re in a cave.
Black And White Lends Drama, Luxe Look And Feel
In this kitchen, we see floor-to-ceiling black cabinets, a black island with a butcher block top – it’s a lot of black, but it works very well because everything else—the trim, the walls, countertops, backsplash, doors, floor—is white.
The gold hardware and faucets really pop against the black too, giving the kitchen a high-end, luxurious feel.
As you enter the townhome, there is a wall of cabinetry that offers some separation between the entryway and the kitchen, so you don’t feel like you are walking right into the kitchen. The island also provides some separation, demarcating the kitchen from the rest of the open living space.
The marble countertops and backsplash are white with dark veining, which is quite dramatic. If you are going dark, say, with a black or even a deep, dark green, it’s going to be dramatic. The gold accents add even more of a luxe look. From the drawer pulls to the gold on the island stools, rather than trying to tone it down, she’s embracing the black and making it stand out even more.
Warming The Look With A Butcher Block
The big butcher block on the island is a focal point. It warms up what would otherwise feel more impersonal. If it were all black and white, it would be pretty, but it might feel like it lacked something in some way. The warmth of the walnut does a great job of warming it up.
You can see that the peninsula, right by the bar fridge, contains posts that are holding up what used to be a wall. Initially, the kitchen was closed off from the rest of the space. So, she didn’t make her kitchen any bigger; it’s the design and layout that makes it appear bigger and more open.
The butcher block, interestingly enough, is medium-density fiberboard (MDF) with a butcher block veneer on it from Ikea. It looks impressive, but going this way made it a heck of a lot less expensive. For instance, a butcher block top like this from Boos Blocks might run you a couple of thousand dollars, especially in walnut. This option from Ikea, you’re getting the look for much less, maybe a couple hundred as opposed to a couple thousand, which is entirely doable.
Lighting it Up
Natural light also makes a difference. She has a white ceiling, which is reflective, and nicely placed task lighting, so there are no dark corners, but there’s also a ton of natural light coming through the space, making it feel more open and airier.
If she had kept the wall, with the black cabinets, it likely wouldn’t have worked as well unless there was a giant skylight.
Those Marble Countertops
Despite the budget butcher block (though you would never know to look at it), the rest of the kitchen is very high-end.
She’s got built-in appliances, marble countertops – and the marble itself is unique in that it has gold veining running through it as well as the black.
In the video, Bohn says she sourced the marble from Italy, so it’s definitely a focal item, but this is what makes the butcher block all the more practical. You can’t beat up marble in the same way, so it’s nice to have someplace you don’t have to worry about putting things down, cutting, chopping, and so on. Marble is softer and more porous, so it’s not durable in that way.
Megan’s passion for design extends beyond her workplace. In her free time, Megan enjoys all types of crafts, including knitting, crocheting, and rehabbing/reupholstering furniture.