Don’t get us wrong, we love a white kitchen. They’re timeless, airy and they tend to make a space feel bigger.
But, if done correctly, a black kitchen can make just as much of an impact. Black cabinets and accents can add an edgy, yet sophisticated and modern look to a space. The key to well-designed dark spaces, says designer Whitney Coulas of Interior Concepts, is the lighting. And if it weren’t for the big windows and ample natural light in this Overland Park home, Coulas’ inky design aspirations might not have worked out.
Coulas is a construction-based designer, so she works with clients from concept to construction to completion. See how she transformed this contemporary home into a sexy dark and modern space.
The kitchen island’s honed quartz countertop—which mimics a black marble but is more durable—has a waterfall edge on each side. The honed quartz makes for a more organic appearance, creating little to no sheen and a smooth surface.
To add more visual interest and depth to the kitchen while avoiding the starkness that can come with black cabinets, Coulas used smoked black mirror as a backsplash.“We wanted it because we were doing a dark kitchen and wanted to reflect the light back,” she says. “It’s smoked out, so it’s not like it’s right in your face. It reflects the light, but it’s still kind of muted and blends into the cabinets.”
Multitones & Integration
“We were playing around with black, white and wood cabinets,” Coulas says. “We landed on the all-black flat panels. It really pops with the windows and the white paint. And then bringing in the custom-washed cool white oak piece made it into a three-tone kitchen.”Many kitchen fixtures are integrated, including the cabinet hood with insert, forty-eight-inch panel fridge and the microwave drawer in the island. This adds to the sleek, European look that Coulas was going for.
Fireplace & Windows
Since the original fireplace was traditional and didn’t fit into the modern themes in the rest of the house, Coulas swapped it out for a linear gas fireplace. Oversized concrete tiles border the fireplace and continue all the way up to the ceiling, which is two stories high.The stacked floor-to-ceiling windows on the backside of the house were painted black to match the rest of the accents in the space and the entryway wall visible on the opposite side of the house.
One of Coulas’s favorite features is the wallpapered ceiling above the black baby grand piano in this room. The wallpaper has a black-on-black modern geometric pattern and is lit up by a two-tier ring LED pendant.
“This is my favorite detail,” she says of the ceiling wall covering. “It was really, really hard to get it done right. It’s just a subtle detail to kind of take your eye up.”
Not ready to commit to painting an entire room black? Try just twenty-five percent of one room—specifically a wall that has either lots of windows or plenty of natural light facing it.
Coulas painted the foyer wall facing into the house black, along with the piped stair railing. The hanging multi-light modern pendant fixture against the accent wall adds vertical interest in the two-story-tall space.