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Black: How To Make It Work In Your Kitchen

In case you missed it last week – click through to see the reveal of the all black kitchen we designed. Yes, that’s right… it’s all black, and it’s pretty beautiful if we do say so ourselves. It was a kitchen that we knew wanted to bold with, but just because we went bold, doesn’t mean that it isn’t something that you can’t work into your own kitchen.

And although you may be asking yourself – “all black, are you insane”, well take a moment to breathe and let’s dive into a handful of ways you can work black into your kitchen both in the design (and for those not ready to commit) in the accessories and styling.

Black does mean bold, but it doesn’t necessarily have to mean dark and scary. Here’s a few of our go-to tips for how you can make it happen for just about every style and kitchen. After all, it’s black so it’s just about as timeless as your LBD (little black dress).

“Yes, the inky hue can be dramatic and bold, but it doesn’t have to be scary.”
Bobby Berk


We did just design this all black kitchen, so naturally, our first tip would be to encourage you to use it on just about every surface of your kitchen. Yes, the inky hue can be dramatic and bold, but it doesn’t have to be scary. It worked in here as we had loads of natural light pouring in on one side of the room through the windows. But, even if your room was smaller, keeping the color palette monochromatic can still work in the space. If you do decide to go all black, our tip with this is to warm it up with a few accessories like we did here in this vignette. The wood in the accessories helps to give the eye a break from all the black and gives some warmth to the space.

The Little Stuff

On the opposite end of the spectrum – and if you aren’t ready to jump into the inky black design pool. Then bring in the darker hue through some well-placed accessories in your room. Whether that is through something small like a black linen dish towel (for the very black-adverse), or even a statement pair of vases to act as a centerpiece like we did in the kitchen we designed, black accessories are an easy way to bring in a bold statement and are easy to swap out when you are ready to change them up.

What’s On The Table

If you’ve been browsing the online sites (or stores) then you’ve probably seen a lot a dark dinnerware and flatware hitting the shelves recently. It’s nothing new but the black color is a great way to bring in the hue in just the right way. And if you still haven’t fully committed then you can always keep it behind closed doors when it’s not in use. Bonus points if you are keeping your black dishes behind black cabinet doors.

Shop ‘What’s On The Table’

Black Appliances

You may have noticed the all black set of appliances that we used in our recent project. Well – the appliance market is now becoming more and more saturated (no pun intended) with black appliances done in a modern way which can create an all black and seamless look. To keep it from feeling too glam go with a more matte finish like we did here with the Dacor appliances and cooktop. The appliances not only blend in with the surroundings (if you go with a black for the cabinets like we did) but they can also visually make the space look bigger as it blurs the line between cabinet and appliance. Yes, black can make your kitchen look bigger.


Swapping out the hardware in your kitchen is one of the easiest and quickest fixes that you can make. You can even do it yourself. Try swapping out what you currently have for a modern and simple black knob to add a graphic element to your existing cabinets. It’s something that can be done in just a few hours and the new hardware will give your cabinets a full facelift.

Countertop Appliances

Don’t skip the smaller appliances, even if you aren’t ready to commit to a black fridge it doesn’t mean that you can’t add a dose of black to your countertops by swapping your countertop appliances from the traditional silver or white to something done in black. It’s another quick way to add a dose of the color into your space without having to fully commit to something large. There are so many options on the market now that are well designed, sleek and are pretty enough to leave out that you shouldn’t be scared to bring the black in through these pieces.

  1. This Kitchen!! I love this space. Our 120 year old house badly needs a more functional kitchen. This is inspirational. I’ve done a couple of black with white bathrooms, and I’ve laid a b&w checkerboard floor in my basement and painted the walls b&w. I want to design a kitchen that looks like it’s the right era for the house. What is that counter top and back splash material? Is it engineered stone? It’s lovely.

  2. Do not have a home I can call my own yet, but! I am already imagining myself preparing pancakes in my black kitchen whose décor is heavily inspired by your beautiful ideas. Mmmh and these pancakes smell so good!

  3. Amazing sexy kitchen! Love the black on black – brings s great modern twist and redefines today’s kitchen. This is my next dream kitchen!!

  4. love! my kitchen in my new house has black glass tiles as my backsplash. It currently has a black glass induction cook top, but I’m probably going to switch it out for a gas cook top. Any thoughts or recommendations?

  5. Beautiful. The black provides a nice canvas for the other items to pop.

    Future post suggestion: I’d love to hear more about how best (pros/cons) to update existing kitchen cabinets (short of completely replacing): stain vs paint, refacing, wildcard ideas/tips.

  6. Thank you Bobby for conveying the need for black, noir, night, to be seen as a shade that envelopes and draws one near, not saddening the heart. And yes in the kitchen… as enchanting as a night walk! Beautiful redo!

  7. I love the black kitchen look!! Outstanding, sophisticated, elegant, timeless!
    Currently painting kitchen cabinets in BW Jet Black. Existing appliances are factory black to include GE side-by-side refrigerator, Jenn Air drop-in electric cooktop and in-wall GE oven and microwave. Walls are Behr Tanglewood. Countertops will be quartz Meganite in Mt Carrera (white with grey veining) and back splash in 2×8 white subway tile. That is the vision. So far just started painting cabinets. Comments appreciated!

    1. That all sounds great to me! Very clean and chic. Good luck! -B

  8. Hi Bobby,

    I have been following your work for some time on this website and obviously queer eye, and I must say I am amazed by your designs everytime. Ever since I was a kid I wanted to buy a home and decorate it. While watching queer eye I used to always tell my husband that when we buy a house we’ll ask bobby to take a look at it.
    Last week we finally made our purchase. The house has a very traditional look currently and we want to make it look a little more modern and contemporary. The kitchen is specially one place that is most important to me and I feel it sets the mood of the family room. However since we are short on budget we can only invest in flooring and lighting for remodels. We are wondering how we can amp up the look of the kitchen without changing the cabinets and the countertops. It would mean a lot to me if you can give us some ideas. You can find the photographs here:

    1. Congrats on your new home! I think the floors in the kitchen are simple and neutral, so I wouldn’t change those. I would definitely replace the light fixture and ceiling fan with something a bit more modern, like this fan in white and a flush mount light fixture like this. To save money, you could also apply a peel and stick backsplash directly over the existing tile. I love as simple marble hex design. Hope that helps! xx -B

  9. I LOVE THIS. We’re doing a black mudroom right now that’s pretty much all black and I was worried about too much black making the room look small. This is the guide I didn’t know I needed. Thank you!

    1. So glad you found our story helpful! Thanks so much for reading & good luck with your black mudroom xx -B

  10. I told my husband that I wanted a black kitchen. He thought I was crazy so did everybody else lol but after so many sleepless nights on Pinterest trying to find the perfect one. I came across this kitchen and fell in LOVE!!! I’m literally remaking this kitchen for our new home. Cabinets are ready to be installed, appliances have been delivered we’re just waiting for our floors to be done! I seriously can’t wait to see the outcome!!!!