Great light and reflective surfaces make dark kitchen cabinets and moody and surface colors look modern.
While I would not choose dark rooms for my house and would never consider dark kitchen cabinets for my own kitchen, I am fascinated by their impact. What I find is that dark color moves toward us visually, whether on vertical surfaces, objects such as a sofa or even on floors. So dark elements of rooms often appear bigger or closer and tend to make rooms look smaller — some would say cozier — than they actually might be.
Yet I find myself thinking that the muddy gray-green of this contemporary kitchen [above] is fabulous. With floors, cabinets and furniture all so deeply colored, natural light is a must-have. With large windows on each side of a relatively narrow kitchen space plus light through the doorway on the end, there are three exposures that keep this from looking cave like. Surface-mounted ceiling lights, plus pendants over the island and table, should help keep things well illuminated at night.
Polished black stone and tile blend with cabinet color to create an inky but sophisticated modern kitchen by L.A. designer Mark Schomisch. While the Parsons table island depends on slabs for its architecture, the imposing wall behind the range hood is composed of large-scale tiles, set in vertical bands.
Coffee-colored wood cabinets go by the name Java and work especially well with glass tiles for an updated mid-century modern vibe. However, cabinets this dark do advance visually but this kitchen is so large that effect is blunted to a great extent. The combination of natural light on one side and an expansive stretch of pale, reflective blue-green glass subways break up what might otherwise be a monotonous amount of the same wood.
Single-hue, high-gloss kitchens are a particular taste. New York designer Miles Redd likes this unique look and an argument could be made that in confined spaces it flies. (You may recall his String Bean Color Kitchen). There is a window in the center and the slightly reflective surface of the cabinets helps but this strictly urban kitchen is intended to be used between sunset and l’heure bleu.
The 18-Foot Island Kitchen in another dark beauty.
(Source: Met Home, Mark Schomish, Biglar Kinyan, Miles Redd)
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