Black cabinets are having a major moment in kitchen design right now. Once considered too somber or daring for most, black has emerged as a sophisticated and dramatic choice for kitchen cabinets. From deep espresso to charcoal gray, the darker end of the cabinet color spectrum makes a bold statement and serves as an elegant, versatile backdrop in kitchens both traditional and modern.

This week we’re looking at four stunning kitchens that embrace dark dramatic cabinetry in creative ways. From a cozy cottage kitchen with black shaker style cabinets to a sleek contemporary space with glossy jet black lacquers, these kitchens demonstrate the many moods of black. Dark cabinetry provides the ideal contrast to lighter countertops, backsplashes, and floors and makes kitchen elements like stainless steel appliances really pop.

So if you’re considering a kitchen update or remodel, don’t rule out going to the dark side. Black kitchen cabinets can lend rich, moody atmosphere or polished sophistication with ease. Here are some inspiring ways top designers are using deep, dramatic black cabinet finishes today.

1. Classic Black Shaker Style Cabinets

One approachable way to try black kitchen cabinets is by opting for traditional shaker style doors and drawers in a deep charcoal finish. The pared-down shaker look provides an unassuming backdrop for any style of interior from farmhouse to traditional. Dark shaker cabinets have a cozy, cottage kitchen feel that pairs beautifully with butcher block counters, subway tiles, and vintage accents.

In this charming kitchen, the deep black shaker cabinets offer bold but unfussy contrast to the light counters and backsplash. Their dark color allows the antique brass hardware and fixtures to really shine. For an authentic vintage look, choose repro or salvaged lighting and plumbing fixtures like the bridge faucet and sconce lights seen here.

Warm wood touches on the open shelves, farmhouse table, and hardwood floors prevent the space from feeling too somber. And the black cabinets don’t read as stark or cold paired with creamy subway tiles and marble countertops. Overall this timeless look balances dark and light elements in a fresh, livable way.

2. Sleek Black Lacquer for Contemporary Style

For a more modern, polished take, consider glossy black lacquer cabinets without visible hardware. The seamless high-gloss finish and handleless design create a unified, ultra-sleek contemporary vibe. This trendy kitchen features jet black lacquer cabinetry contrasting beautifully with creamy Calacatta marble countertops.

The glossy black cabinets reflect light to brighten up the space and provide a stark, dramatic backdrop for the marble’s pale grey veining. Stainless steel bar stools, pendant lights, and kitchen appliances complete the modern look.

Without visible handles, clever details like touch latches and integrated finger grips allow the doors and drawers to open seamlessly. Concealed cabinet lighting illuminates the contents inside for a very integrated, customized look.

Beyond the sleek factor, black lacquer cabinets are also extremely durable. Their high-gloss coated finish resists scratches, stains and water damage. Just be prepared to diligently wipe away fingerprints on the handleless doors and drawers. But if you love a crisp, contemporary vibe, glossy black lacquer cabinets will lend your kitchen serious style.

3. Black Lower Cabinets with White Uppers

For many homeowners, choosing all black or all white cabinets can feel like too drastic a move. But mixing a black base with white uppers provides the best of both worlds in one kitchen.

The contrast of glossy black lower cabinets against bright white uppers creates a striking, two-toned look. And it prevents an all-white or all-black scheme from feeling monotonous.

In this transitional kitchen, the deep black lower cabinets ground the space and tie into the black powder room door and window frames. But the white uppers keep things airy and fresh.

Going with black lower cabinets and white uppers also creates the illusion of height since darker colors seem to recede. And a contrasting base expands design options, allowing you to get creative with wall colors. Here the blue-green upper cabinet color and backsplash tiles pop against the white and black foundation.

For a similar two-tone effect with less commitment, consider just doing one black accent wall of cabinetry like the island or butler’s pantry. This creates focal point and still allows lighter cabinets elsewhere.

4. Charcoal and Wood Tones for Organic Contrast

For a more subtle take on dramatic black cabinets, try a weathered grey-black finish paired with wood accents. This organic look balances the richness of black with warm, lived-in elements.

Charcoal glazed cabinets have an earthier feel than glossy lacquer and provide an approachable way to try the black cabinet trend. The grayish tone is less stark and allows woods like oak or walnut to really stand out.

Here charcoal cabinets get a natural contrast from the wood butcher block island and open shelving. Copper hardware and fittings also warm up the space and play off the gray-black tone.

And instead of pure white or black countertops, the concrete-look quartz features dark gray veining that echoes the cabinet finish. It’s a moody but grounded look for anyone seeking drama without total darkness.

Key Takeaways on Dramatic Black Kitchen Cabinets

  • Black kitchen cabinets make a chic, dramatic statement and provide the perfect backdrop for lighter countertops, tile, and decor to pop.
  • Traditional shaker style cabinets in a deep charcoal finish have a cozy cottage feel. They pair beautifully with butcher block, subway tile, and vintage accents.
  • For a sleek contemporary look, glossy black lacquer cabinets make a bold modern statement and reflect light beautifully.
  • Mixing black lower cabinets with white uppers creates striking contrast and height. It prevents an all-dark or all-light scheme from feeling one-note.
  • Weathered charcoal gray-black glazed cabinets provide a more organic look. They pair well with wood accents and concrete-look quartz countertops.

Frequently Asked Questions

What colors go well with black kitchen cabinets?

Lighter neutrals like white, beige, or light gray are perfect counterparts to black cabinets. Crisp whites create bold contrast while beiges and grays soften the look. Wood tones also complement black cabinets beautifully.

What kind of black finish should I choose?

Matte and satin black finishes have a modern, muted look. High-gloss black lacquer provides ultra sleek contemporary style. Charcoal and gray-black glazes have an organic, weathered feel. The finish impacts the overall mood, so consider your kitchen style.

Are black cabinets hard to keep clean?

Glossy black lacquer resists fingerprints best. Matte black shows dust more but is easy to wipe clean. If concerned about maintenance, mix black lowers with lighter uppers. Proper prep and sealing protects the finish.

Should I pair black cabinets with black countertops?

Black countertops with black cabinets can feel too dark and monotonous. Pair black cabinets with lighter countertop materials like white marble, concrete, quartz, or butcher block. Pops of black in tile or stone accents prevent too much contrast.

Can black cabinets work in a small kitchen?

Yes, black can work well even in small kitchens, especially if you incorporate glossy and mirrored surfaces which reflect light. Mix in lighter elements like the counters, backsplash or upper cabinets to prevent a closed-in feeling.


Black kitchen cabinets make a dramatic style statement and provide a versatile backdrop for any decor. From sleek lacquers to cozy, charcoal-colored shakers, deep black finishes bring a sophisticated moody edge. When combined with lighter countertops and accents, dark cabinets offer the best of both worlds- bold impact grounded in livable contrast. Anyone considering a kitchen remodel should think beyond safe white and give these dark and daring cabinet finishes a look. Black cabinets might just offer the perfect modern update or vintage accent to refresh your space with elegance and edge.