You don’t need to have a phobia of bright zingy shades to appreciate the allure of a monochrome kitchen. Black and white, often combined with everyone’s favourite neutral, grey, is a timeless combination that will never go out of style. Not only does it work well on a wide variety of cabinetry designs, it’s also practically impossible to get it wrong and there’s no trawling for the perfect colour match. That said, how you use light and dark can make a big difference to the result. Go for mainly black and the scheme will ooze elegance and drama, while if you choose predominantly white, the kitchen will feel crisp and clean with just a dash of definition. Here are a few ideas for combining these classic colours.
Warm up with wood
If plain black and white has always felt a bit stark, there are plenty of ways to inject character and charm. Timber is an ideal ingredient – light, bleached grains sit well in a modern scheme, while darker stains suit classic furniture. Try deep chocolate-toned timber worktops with white units or add traditional turned bun knobs to simple Shaker-style doors in a smoky black tone. This kitchen also uses feature floor tiles to add a shot of on-trend geometric style to the mix.
Image source: Wren Kitchens
Balance black cabinetry
While dark doors in a compact kitchen can give a real sense of cosiness, banks of black are best used in a large room with plenty of natural daylight. Not only do they look fantastic twinned with gleaming stainless-steel appliances and handles, pale worktops are the perfect finishing touch. However, there’s no need to go for pristine ice white surfaces. Choose a composite material with stone-style veining and it’ll bring texture and interest to liven up sleek flat-fronted doors.
Image source: Okite
Wow with walls
Often an afterthought or overlooked when designing a kitchen, your walls can speak volumes. Minimal cabinetry or open shelving leaves a huge amount of space to hang favourite artwork, paste up feature wallpaper or slick on shades of sophisticated matt paint, such as this Lamp Black and Loft White combination. Here, slim stainless-steel worktops are a brilliant minimal addition to the handleless white cabinetry, preserving the contrasting monochrome aesthetic, and even the floor has been coated in glossy white paint to help the black wall remain the focal point of the scheme and draw the eye to the back of the room.
Image source: Little Greene
Get a handle on it
Black worktops are a popular choice in a variety of kitchen styles. Not only are they a great way to work the monochrome trend, but if you opt for a black glass hob, it’ll merge visually with the surface and be less noticeable. However, it’s easy to make more of a statement by drawing the darker element into the rest of your design. A glossy ceramic tile splashback, matching accessories and neat curved handles will all help to transform modern white cabinetry into a striking scheme. For extra interest, try doors with detailing, such as this subtle chamfered effect.
Image source: Caple