Black In The Kitchen

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A real life interior designer once told me that every room needs at least a bit of black. I believe she was entirely accurate, and some rooms will do quite well with more than just a bit. Black can be intimidating for a lot of people. Won’t it make the room too dark? Won’t it feel gloomy? Well it might, but if its use is well thought out it can be dramatic, modern, even cozy. Just like other hues, the way black feels and works in a room entirely depends on its application. If you really don’t want your room to feel dark and especially if you don’t have much natural light, of course you don’t want to paint everything black. The above kitchen uses black liberally but there’s also a lot of white, light floors, and sunlight.

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Okay yes, this is definitely more dark navy than it is black, but it gives a similar effect. Another common misconception is that dark colors simply can not work in small spaces. Again, I think the key in any size room is to make sure the darkness is not going to be overwhelming, that it’s balanced. Even with a dark ceiling and floors, the counter and backsplash create a bright visual break, and ample lighting including under-cabinet and in-cabinet makes the room glow.

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This is more in line with the “bit of black” principle and isn’t it gorgeous? I realize not everyone is able to find things like ovens and range hoods so thrilling but I sure can. Not only is this massive cooking area incredibly functional, it’s so pretty to look at. That’s my favorite kind of functional. Brass, black, and white. Hard to go wrong with that combo. How do you like the dark grout with the subway tile? It certainly gives it a modern pop that light grout wouldn’t. I love the dark grout but personally I’d probably go lighter.

one | Bo Bedre via nicety
two |  Ashley Whittaker Design via dustjacket attic
three | Domino via nicety

Delicious Kitchens

Delicious Kitchens | |

White meets black. Modern meets antique. Awesome meets awesome. Though I do believe only a select few humans could actually reach the top shelf of that cupboard. But it’s okay because brass.

Delicious Kitchens | |

The wavy texture of those tiles is wonderful. I would love to cook here with all that sunlight streaming in.

Delicious Kitchens | |

If you haven’t already seen this kitchen you obviously don’t read as many design blogs as I do. It is very popular and with good reason. I think my face metaphorically melted off the first time I saw it. I mean those cupboards. The perfect shade of green with gold detailing. THAT BACKSPLASH. Is the counter and sink all one piece?? And those black floors. Ugh it’s just so beautiful. As one would expect only a celebrity can afford this, and her name is Cameron Diaz thanks to the genius of designer Kelly Wearstler. Though I suppose anyone can afford green paint, right? Would you have the stomach to give deep green kitchen cabinets a try?

oneGisbert Pöppler via dustjacket attic
two | Penelope Loorham via the design files
threeKelly Wearstler via Dicordia Design

Open Shelving in Kitchens

Open Shelving in Kitchens | |

Open shelving in kitchens is a matter of contention in the design world. Are they visually interesting or just visual clutter? Do they make it easy to grab the dishes you need or do they make it impossible to keep those dishes clean? My answer to both those questions: It depends. If the person filling the shelves has a good eye for styling they’ll know what to use and how to do it in a way that is appealing, not just a jumbled mess. It does take a certain amount of skill and probably some trial and error. And you will probably want to have nice looking dishes. As for keeping those dishes free of dust, if they’re dishes that you use often, at least several times a week, it shouldn’t be an issue.

Open Shelving in Kitchens | Nate Berkus |

So if you think you have what it takes to pull off open shelves, do consider it because they can be seriously gorgeous. As these first two images illustrate, it can be done in a classy, uncluttered way. Instead of dishes you use frequently you could also opt for items you rarely use but want to display, and by all means mix in purely decorative stuff too.

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I’m on board with this version too. Filled to the brim! It works because the items are all related (almost all vases) and with the exception of a few reds and blues they are neutral in color. Also vital is the fact that every major surface in the room (except the floor) is white. This keeps the room feeling clean and serene despite the riot of relative clutter. This maximalist approach takes serious styling skills so attempt at your own risk. :)

one | Michaelis Boyd via desire to inspire
two | Nate Berkus via shop talk
three | Cressida Campbell via the design files

Oh So Classy Kitchens

Oh So Classy Kitchens | |

This kitchen pretty much drops my jaw to the floor. I have no idea what those hunk of metal looking things on the table are but otherwise this room just exudes class and high style, while also being a bit rustic which is impressive. The finishes and materials here just kill me. Those rough looking floors, the gorgeous wood cabinets, THOSE LIGHTS. I have mixed feelings about the chairs because I think the wire looks awesome in the space, lending so much texture without a lot of visual weight because of the transparency… but they really don’t look comfortable. Some simple seat cushions would fix that but that would totally change the look, so it’s a conundrum.

Oh So Classy Kitchens | |

Mmm subway tile. Always timeless. Love those pendant lights too. Open shelving is always a point of contention. I feel as though arguments on both sides are totally valid. While it can look really beautiful and creates a lovely casual vibe, one must be concerned about dust and always having nice looking dishes neatly arranged. Personally I still have starter dishes (read: ugly) and don’t think I have the patience to keep them looking neat and styled. So open shelving is probably not a good option for me. How about you?

Oh So Classy Kitchens | |

Just lovely. I adore those windows and how the room is both warm and bright. I finally tried the simple tree branch in a vase trick. Mine even had little orange berries on it. It wasn’t quite big enough to make the impact I wanted, but then again I was already uncomfortable sneakily snapping a branch off a tree in the shared courtyard of my apartment complex. Ha. Mark my words, when I have an actual house one day it’d better have trees I can raid.

oneDouglas Friedman via desire to inspire
two | Rachel Halvorson
three | Jessica Helgerson via nicety


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