Love it or Leave it: Dark Painted Cabinets

black kitchen lisa epley

{Paper City Magazine}

Last week, we debated whether white kitchens were a classic or passing trend that had seen its share of the spotlight. White kitchens definitely one the classic vote by a landslide and it seems the great majority of you love them! I was happy to hear that because I am about to update my kitchen as well. We’ve been meaning to do it for years and I finally said to my husband, “enough is enough…let’s do this!”, so we are! Anyhow, part of me is still tempted to try dark painted cabinets, grey more so than black. We painted our bathroom cabinets high-gloss black and love the look, but are a little weary of trying it in the kitchen. I’m afraid we would get tired of them very quickly. Have any of you gone to the dark side? What do you think of this look? Love it or leave it?

black kitchen farmhouse modern

{Farmhouse Modern}

black kitchen


kitchen hb sarahs fab day

{House Beautiful}

kitchen tommy smythe phot michael graydon

{Could this kitchen by Tommy Smythe be the ideal solution- white uppers and black lowers?}

38 thoughts on “Love it or Leave it: Dark Painted Cabinets

  1. I love black cabinetry..but love white can cream too. So for the new house…am gointg with a creamy cabinet with antique beams, a huge oversized black center island, french reclaimed antique limestone floors and a black painted butlers pantry…doing a mix to so I am getting to incorporate all that I love. There is no wrong here…as they are all so beautiful and truly timeless in my book!

  2. I think the black painted cabinets are a beautiful look but I do agree with you that you might quickly grow tired of them. I believe Ally at From the Right Bank has grey cabinets. Whatever you decide I am sure that it will look great.

  3. I still absolutely love both white and dark painted kitchens (when there is enough natural light to keep it from feeling cavelike). I especially love the dark paint when there are other classic elements in the room – vintage lighting, old school hardware, or herringbone floor tiles like in your last pic. Those are fabulous :)

  4. Hi Paloma,

    I think dark cabinets can be great if the room has enough light. My favorite though is the look in the last picture with the white cabinets up top and darker cabinets on the bottom. In fact, that’s sort of the look I went with in my kitchen (although not so dark on the bottom). How much light is there in your current kitchen?

    Flooring Wholesalers Wife

  5. As I was reading, I was thinking maybe if you can’t commit to all black kitchen cabinets, then maybe you can do a combination of half black and half white cabinets. Then, I saw the last picture and it totally sums up my idea.

    I think all dark painted kitchen cabinets can look fabulous if done right especially if the kitchen is spacious with lots of natural light. Also with black cabinets, you need lots of white or cream colored elements to break them up, for instant using white backsplash, white countertop and white walls to balance things out.


  6. Hi Paloma! Tommy Smythe’s kitchen is very nice and is a good compromise. I was determined to go dark and glossy in my kitchen but the last week I’ve come to the conclusion I need to have minimum 10′ ceilings to love it for a long time.

    What I love about dark cabinetry in the kitchen is how it can feel like a welcoming cocoon while at the same time bright and happy with lots of white marble, and a mix of open shelving etc.

    Can’t wait to see what you decide to go with!

  7. I like dark cabinetry, but I think there needs to be enough light to ensure that the kitchen isn’t too dark. I also like the idea of charcoal instead of a true black. White uppers/dark lowers is always a good solution, as is having a lot of open shelving and/or glass fronts. I think light countertops are key here.

    Can’t wait to hear what you decide to do!

  8. I am helping my brother remodel his kitchen. We’ve selected a pale gray, which I think is the perfect compromise between white and dark cabinetry. The Tommy Smythe kitchen the Sally Wheat kitchen are my inspiration. While I can admire some dark painted cabinets, somethings tells me they could be the blonde cabinets of this decade. It will be a few months before the project is complete, but I am having a ball.

  9. LOVE IT!!! We’re also in the process of up dating our kitchen. After much debate we’ve decided to go with the Carrara Marble & the dark grey cabinets… I love it! They were black which I loved, but it was a temporary fix and now we’re getting new cabinets.

  10. I have dark cabinetry in my kitchen…it’s a large size very well lit kitchen with huge windows..and we have white marble the whole kitchen seems to float..looks beautiful! so its a yes to dark cabinetry for me! have a lovely day visit my blog when you have a moment! xx meenal

  11. I am struggling with the same issue. Light walls and dark grey/black cabinets or white cabinets and grey walls? To top it off our cabinets have glass fronts so the inside could be something else. Any suggestions? Maybe I’ll take some photos and post them on my blog for a survey.

  12. We painted a full wall of cabinetry in our kitchen black and no regrets a year later. We did paint our island white though.. sort of the opposite of what you normally see which is white along the wall and a black island. We have a ton of light pouring in through frech doors and a bay window though, which helps.

  13. I love that last kitchen by Tommy Snythe so much. I have been staring at it for months now. I love how the white uppers and the warm, vintage pine table warms up the space. And that lantern, oh my, that lantern.
    -Ayleen Suarez-Wolfe

  14. We live in a old Victorian apartment, and the kitchen was in need to be changed.The floor was an atrocious blue vinyl and the cabinets were clear wood. We changed the floor to black and white diamond ceramic and then debated for the cabinets. At the end we went for dark grey and it looks amazing(but i do have lots of windows)..The dark color changes the room from just being a mere kitchen..

  15. Black cabinets are fabulous and I think charcoal would be stunning. We can all tire of anything at some point but I think you will enjoy their drama for a long time. There is nothing particularly trendy about black. Like white it’s a classic.

  16. I think this trend is beautiful, I still love it and I think it will stay popular for a while. I think black kitchens, if done perfectly, look fantastic. The combination of black and white cabnitry is simply stunning.

  17. Love dark cabinets, but I think it is a bit trendy – especially gray. Just depends on how quickly you want to re-paint them after the trend is gone!

  18. This is such a toss-up! Although I love the feel and look of a white kitchen with the school house lights I am in love with the grey look. My sister just painted her kitchen grey and it looks amazing!

    Can’t wait to see what you decide on!


  19. I adore the kitchen in the last picture. I used to always opt for white white white when it came to kitchen cabinets but I’m really loving the dark here – especially in the last pic. Such a great combo here!

  20. I love dark kitchens, but also wonder if I could live with them day to day. I also really love white kitchens, so perhaps a combo is the best compromise. The third photo from the top is by Darryl Carter, his parents kitchen, featured in Metropolitan Home May 2008. It’s in my inspiration file, along side Gwyneth Paltrow’s Hampton’s kitchen and Kelly Wearstler’s kitchen. This black vs white kitchen debate is keeping me from getting the work done. I just don’t know what I want…

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