Kitchen Design Tips For Dark Kitchen Cabinets

While the enduring popularity of white kitchen cabinets won’t be dying down anytime soon, more and more homeowners are opting for a look that’s a little more luxurious. Dark kitchen cabinets create an alluring, dramatic aesthetic that can work with just about any kitchen design style.

Many homeowners who shy away from dark kitchen cabinets do so because they fear creating a space that is overbearing or suffocating. This is because dark cabinetry can make a small-sized kitchen feel even smaller and a larger kitchen feel intimidating.

The key to designing your kitchen around dark kitchen cabinets is striking the right balance between dark and light elements. With the proper attention to detail, you can create a dark kitchen space that is sophisticated, yet still comfortable.

Dark Kitchen Cabinets For Small Kitchens

Small kitchen with dark Shaker kitchen cabinetry. | Photo Source:

Small kitchen with dark Shaker kitchen cabinetry. | Photo Source:

Be bold! Try our dark Pepper Shaker kitchen cabinets in your small kitchen! 

At first glance, this kitchen may seem larger than it actually is. It is commonly suggested to choose lighter kitchen cabinets for small kitchens, but there’s no reason to avoid dark kitchen cabinets. The key is to use lighting, both indoor and natural lighting, to create a visual contrast against the backdrop of dark cabinetry.

This kitchen benefits from plenty of natural lighting through the windows and glass doors, which goes a long way towards opening up the space. A combination of ambient, accent, and task lighting helps to further brighten the space.

White and similarly light colors help to reflect light, which gives the visual effect of making the kitchen seem larger. Choosing white countertops, backsplash, and wall paint both creates contrast and reflects the light in the room. In this same vein, a light-colored floor is a better choice than a dark one.

Dark Brown Kitchens

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Love the rich look of mahogany but hate the cost? Buy a sample door of our Pacifica kitchen cabinets!

While the contrasting black & white look is a popular option for remodelers who want to go dark, you can also achieve a contrasting effect using varying shades of brown. This large kitchen features dark brown cabinetry with mahogany tones contrasted with light brown granite countertops and backsplash.

The proper lighting combination is still an important feature in this dark kitchen, even though the cabinets aren’t as dark. Natural lighting from the window brightens the overall space. Recessed lights cast a glow on the cabinetry which brings out the wood’s reddish hues, while the light stone countertops and backsplash help reflect the under-cabinet task lighting as well as the pendant lights above the island.

Dark Kitchens With Reflective Accents

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While the simplest choice in paint color for dark kitchens is white, it can often be the most boring choice. If you’d like to pair your dark cabinets with other paint colors, it’s important for your ceiling color to remain white, to avoid making the space feel too enclosed.

White stone countertops help to make up for the darker wall color by providing contrast to the dark cabinetry. It also helps to reflect the light inside the room, as well as the light coming through the windows.

Stainless steel, which is featured in multiple parts of this kitchen, also serves to reflect light. When creating a dark kitchen, cool metal accents are a simple way to provide necessary contrast.

Dark, Dramatic Kitchens

Downtown dark kitchen cabinets

Downtown Dark kitchen cabinets

Create your own dark, dramatic kitchen with our Downtown Dark kitchen cabinets!

If you have the kitchen space to spare, you can create a dark, dramatic, and luxurious kitchen – without it feeling too intimidating. Again, the key is to use light and light-reflecting materials to your advantage.

The designer of this kitchen made a daring choice by using a dark backsplash along with dark cabinetry that reaches just a few inches short of the ceiling. The reason why this choice works is because the backsplash is made of a metallic material that is dark, yet still reflective.

The large marble countertop is the only main white element in this kitchen besides the ceiling, yet it is large enough to reflect most of the light in the room. Metal appliances and accents, as well as white bar stools give just enough reflective support for the abundance of dark cabinetry.

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