Mad About… Black Kitchens

Black kitchens may not be for everyone but I find I am increasingly drawn to the dramatic in interiors. I do love a simple white painted wooden kitchen. I have one. But then I painted my shelves black – well dark grey and suddenly the whole room looked better.


The black accent created a fantastic backdrop for the white crockery and brightly decorated spines of the cookery book. Recently I have been working on a kitchen design with a client of Mad About Your House and we have come up with a scheme of black cupboards, white floorboards, wooden worktops and mainly white walls but perhaps one black one. black kitchen wall via

It will not surprise you to learn that there will be brass pendants. That was her suggestion not mine although it is entirely possible that my public championing of the yellow metal is what led her to me in the first place.

black kitchen tiles from
black kitchen tiles from

Using black, or very dark grey, is not necessarily new to those readers who are involved in interiors in some way, but these things take time to filter through to the wider world. My mother informed me only yesterday that one of her neighbours has just painted one wall of her kitchen dark grey and “do you know it actually looks rather good” she said. However, this may actually say more about her belief in my ability to know anything about anything rather than a statement on the colour itself.

black kitchen wall from
black kitchen wall from

A black kitchen needn’t necessarily mean dark and gloomy or Adams family. My south-facing sitting room is black and while it is cosy in the evenings, in the day time it just looks great.

black kitchen cupboards danish style
black kitchen cupboards danish style

I have come to the conclusion that a hint of black or charcoal is easier than a mid-grey on every wall which can sometimes sap the life out of a room. Or, at least, need much more careful consideration of the position of the sun, the available light and which of the 500 shades you are going to choose.

black kitchen by wolfgang ludes
black kitchen by wolfgang ludes, photographer turned architect

If you do decide to take the plunge, remember that black absorbs colour so balance it with plenty of white to bounce the light around, high gloss metro tiles and white ceilings and floors will prevent the dungeon look and keep it fresh. And don’t underestimate the power of a few plants to add contrast and life.

black kitchen of marianne brandi of
the black kitchen of Marianne Brandi, creative director of

So are you going to give it a go?



Tags : black accentsblack and whiteblack kitchenskitchens
Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Pingback: Black Kitchen
  2. Hi Kate
    Love these images of black kitchens! I’ve been planning a contemporary kitchen with black cupboards for a couple of years now. I’m hoping to use lots of white and display my collection of old & new blue and white crockery – so a black, white and blue colour scheme. The green foliage (and the lemons) in Marianne Brandi’s kitchen certainly lifts the monochrome look so this image will certainly go on my mood board. Thanks.

  3. Love your blog, Kate! We recently renovated our house and went for black cabinets in the kitchen too! I had one of the same inspiration photos as above… We were just in Vogue Living, you can see the finished product here: black kitchen cabinets


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