Kitchen Ideas for Dark Cabinets
Some designers shy away from the usage of dark cabinets in their kitchen furnishings out of a concern that they may seem stuffy or stale when compared to their white kitchen cabinet counterpart. Those that take the plunge, however, will find that the rich tones and clean lines of dark wood cabinets can lend a kitchen a warm, timeless style that shines in both modern and rustic spaces. Below, we’ve included some guidelines to help you determine the types of décor that best complement the sleek romance of our beautifully crafted dark cabinets.
Rustic Kitchen with Dark Cabinets
In our How to Design a Rustic Kitchen post, we discussed the various versions of rustic kitchens and the classic elegance that can be achieved by a kitchen following those clean, traditional designs. Part of that discussion centered on the rustic styles that encourage the usage of dark cabinetry, such as models like the Shaker Espresso, Charleston Saddle, and Charleston Cherry. These rich, stately cabinets are a great base from which to begin the creation of your new rustic kitchen, but they’re just the beginning of an entire design makeover. Here a few ways to pair those cabinets with the proper décor in order to create a vibrant and enduring style for the entire space.
Rustic kitchens based in white tones are more likely to feature appliances that match those colors for a clean uniformity. Rustic kitchens based in dark tones, on the other hand, typically make use of appliances whose stainless steel finishes complement the bold colors of the surrounding furniture. An added benefit is that stainless steel appliances are easy to clean and adept at hiding dirt. What’s more, their ability to stand out in a variety of designs make them an excellent choice for homeowners who love to experiment with different styles and fashions.
Light-colored stone or tiling is a popular choice for kitchens where dark tones are otherwise prominent, as the contrast adds a degree of brightness to the room while still maintaining the rusticity of the style. Depending on how busy you like your design, the stones or tiles can come uniform or in a variety of colors and sizes; the final decision will likely come down to how they look against the style of dark kitchen cabinets you’ve decided upon.
As with the backsplash, the kitchen’s countertops provide an opportunity for contrast against the darkness of the cabinetry. Many homeowners go with stone options, such as a gorgeous granite or a classic marble. You may decide on the nature of your countertops when you decide on how you’d like your backsplash to look, as many kitchens opt to match the colors of those two elements (if not necessarily the materials or patterns involved).
Cabinets of rich, dark wood deserve flooring that mirrors their beauty. Though the floor does not need to exactly match the tone struck by the kitchen cabinetry, the overall feel of the room will be more cohesive if the colors are close. No need to fret if wood floors aren’t an option; many homeowners have used rustic tiling in similar ways to great effect.
The furniture perhaps says more about the feel of your rustic kitchen than any other item. Going for simple farmhouse stateliness? A dignified wooden dining set in an understated finish can speak volumes towards that concept. Looking for something a little bolder? Feel free to get creative with wrought iron and other striking metal-based designs. Clean lines and craftsmanship should be paramount in your mind no matter which way you decide to go.
As with the furniture, your choice of hardware will be determined by the style of rustic kitchen you pursue. If you wish the design to be subtle and understated, it’s easy to blend in your handles, knobs and pulls by having them stained in the color of the cabinets to which they’re attached. If you wish for them to stand out a little more, try a dark metal; hardware of that nature will still fit the style of the room but add a robust little something extra to their cabinets.
Modern Kitchen Design Ideas with Dark Cabinets
Though brightness and clean design are staples of modern kitchen design, that doesn’t mean that there’s no room for cabinetry in rich tones. On the contrary; dark cabinets can provide a striking contrast against an otherwise monochromatic space, bringing their beauty and craftsmanship into stark relief and making them one of the room’s boldest elements. Here are a few suggestions on furnishings that beautifully share the spotlight with our magnificent dark cabinets.
Stainless steel is also the go-to finish for modern kitchen design, though in this case, its strengths are in the way its shine complements the other elements of the room. Whereas a rustic kitchen would be likely to make use of more understated hardware, a modern kitchen embraces the use of metal in its handles, knobs, and pulls. The result is a sub-current of matching elements that at once enhances the overall look of the room and stands beautifully on its own.
Tiles are the go-to material for a modern kitchen’s backsplash, as stone can be too busy for the uniformity found in much of modern design. Likewise, the tiling itself is often of uniform size in its application, though the colors can be varied in order to strike each of the main tones exhibited by the space. Though many modern kitchens are like their rustic brethren in the way the tiling matches the countertops, designers working in a modern style should not feel as obligated to follow that guideline.
There is, as just mentioned, considerably more countertop choices afforded to the modern kitchen design. While stone is still the standard – and options like marble or granite still the most popular – bolder options like quartzite, soapstone, and limestone can also perform beautifully so long as they hem to the tones and aesthetic of the space. That said, a countertop’s main function in a kitchen with dark cabinetry is to provide contrast against that cabinetry. Keep that in mind when choosing both your cabinet model and the material of your countertop.
Though dark stained wood is also a popular choice in modern kitchens, one should feel free to experiment with tiles and stone flooring. If you go with a more muted cabinet – such as our Driftwood Grey cabinets – you may choose a marble or granite floor that mirrors that tone. A cabinet in a richer color – such as our Shaker Espresso cabinets – can really shine when paired with wood. In either case, simplicity is paramount; bolder design choices in modern kitchens are typically reserved for its other elements.
Clean lines are the guiding principle of modern kitchen furniture. Straight-backed chairs based on square or rectangular designs make bold statements within simple designs. If you’re looking for something a little more casual, consider a set of barstools that follow the same guidelines. Above all else, look for pieces that are sharp yet not so outrageous that they outshine the rest of the space.
As mentioned in the appliance section, hardware in modern kitchen has more freedom to stand out and act as an active part of a room’s design. The impact made by your handles, knobs, and pulls can either come through their sleek and linear style or through their complete absence. Some cabinets popular in modern kitchen design (like our Shaker Espresso) forego handles entirely for a totally clean and uniform look.
The benefits of designing with dark cabinetry are numerous. The flexibility in styles and tones allows the homeowner a great deal of flexibility in the style of kitchen he or she wishes to pursue and the nature of the furnishings with which those cabinets are paired. We hope that this post has given you a few ideas on where to take your next design project; if you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with one of our friendly customer service representatives.