Black and white is a neutral combination, making it an ideal backdrop for a kitchen in which colors shift constantly as different foods are displayed, prepared and served. White cabinets and black granite countertops convey the basic cleanliness and order essential to a well-functioning kitchen. You can change the decor of a black-and-white kitchen to harmonize with the style of your home through paint, lighting, hardware, floors, backsplashes and accessories.
Punctuate With Paint
Choose a color that makes you happy and expresses your style. With black countertops and white cabinets, the field is open. Remember to repeat the paint color several times within the space in furnishings, fabrics or accessories to create unity and balance.
Colorful Concepts to Consider
- Paint the walls white to match the cabinets, or white with one black accent wall to create a sleek contemporary effect.
- Any tone of red highlights black and white for a more lively, relaxed and convivial setting.
- Most strong colors work well with black and white, so your favorite jewel tone pairs up successfully.
- A neutral color such as pewter gray, taupe or a grayish tone of blue or green accentuates white cabinets while adding a fresh feeling.
Shine in All the Right Places
Provide counter lighting to highlight black countertops, making it easy to see what you’re doing while you cook and clean up. Choose lighting fixtures that complement the style of the room in color and design.
- If red is the accent color in your black-and-white kitchen, repeat it in pendant lampshades over an eating bar or in a hanging fixture over the dining table to create a warm, informal look.
- Black or white lamp shades blend into a black-and-white kitchen, producing a sleek, unified and sophisticated appearance.
- Capitalize on natural light by dressing windows with fabric valances or by installing plantation shutters or blinds to control light.
- Use rheostats to manage the amount of light at different times of day.
Get a Handle on It
Hardware is the jewelry of kitchen design. It not only helps define the design style through its color and shape, it must also function comfortably, making it easy to open and close drawers and cabinets. Black hardware on white cabinets stands out and relates to the countertop color. Metal hardware is available in a range of colors and textures.
Handle It Hardware
- Slender, simple knobs and pulls look modern and sophisticated, while black wrought-iron hardware has country charm.
- Choose high-polished silvery tones for a high-tech look or brushed nickel for a more traditional luxury effect.
- Ceramic hardware adds to a shabby-chic or classic country style, while naturally attractive wooden hardware looks understated in a rustic setting.
Back at You Backsplashes
Backsplashes are a significant visual element in kitchen design, while protecting walls behind the counters, sink and stove. For a black-and-white kitchen, select a backsplash that adds or repeats color and complements and enhances your design style. Tile -- ceramic, glass and metal -- compose most installations.
- Rectangular tiles in several shades of gray create interesting texture and a mosaic-like effect, while larger gray squares accented with white grout produce a graphic look.
- Red and white or black and white rectangular subway tiles arranged in attractive patterns add color and a retro appeal.
- White ceramic tiles with relief designs or hand-painted botanical illustrations are distinctive when used as an accent or in a border in a traditional white tile backsplash.
- Faux tin ceiling tiles add interesting texture and a bit of shine when used as a backsplash.
- Stone, such as slate, contributes natural earthy gray and tan tones, as well as texture to a backsplash, which is especially effective in a rustic setting.
Stepping Pretty Floors
Floors are especially important in kitchen plans because they receive hard use, frequent cleaning, and must offer a comfortable, safe surface on which to cook. Flooring options to complement a black-and-white kitchen include natural materials like wood, cork, rubber or stone or man-made materials such as tile and vinyl. The floor may be a solid color such as black, white or red; a pattern such as checks, stripes or a simple border; or the natural colors of wood, cork or stone. Wood floors add richness and warmth, cork and rubber excel in comfort, while stone adds distinctive texture and varied color. Vinyl or tile present the widest array of color, texture and pattern choices.
Feature Floor Ideas
- A floor in a checkerboard pattern of black-and-white square tiles looks traditional.
- A red linoleum floor adds cheer, warmth and whimsy in a black-and-white kitchen.
- A wood floor with a whitewashed or "pickled" finish produces an airy, high-style contemporary effect.
- Photo Credit KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock/Getty Images
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