Let's face it, black and white kitchen ideas are never going out of style. Sure, we might dabble with navy and have a few years swooning over a deep forest green, but when it comes to kitchen trends that last, it's all about the monochrome.
A two-toned kitchen always makes a confident and creative impression and allows you to play with elements whether it’s the cabinets or countertops. The black and white combination is smart and bold, will stand the test of time, and is best placed to go with evolving decorating schemes so a great base if you like to switch up your styles.
We are smitten with the look of smart monochrome kitchens, from charming farmhouse looks with bold checkered tile floor to sleek, modern designs take a look at our black and white kitchen ideas.
1. Go gothic with a dramatic black and white Shaker kitchen
This dramatic black kitchen idea walks the line between wholesome and gothic using Shaker styling combined with a smart matte black finish. A tongue and groove backsplash is taken halfway up the wall to create an impression of height and incorporates matched black shelves to display antique items.
The bright white marble kitchen countertop, splashback and butler sink work as a crisp contrast running all the way around the kitchen whilst the walls are painted a soft grey-white. This look works well in small apartment kitchens as well as large homes to create a feeling of grandeur.
2. Go half and half
This modern farmhouse kitchen by American interior studio Jersey Ice Cream Co (opens in new tab). uses one bold stroke of black to modernize a tired white space by dividing the walls in half using a bright white and charcoal palette. The look taps into the two-tone kitchen trend whilst also working as a technique to conceal everything inside the dark band.
The black border makes practical items like black dishwashers, black bins, and butcherblock countertops disappear and overspills onto even the smallest details, doorknobs, bin pulls, and switch plates to create a seamless look. We also love how the clear divide feels playful, cutting through existing cabinets and dressers.
3. Go Mediterranean with patterned floor tiles
This striking monochrome 'Alhambra' kitchen by Portland-based designer Jessica Helgerson (opens in new tab) is inspired by a Meditteranean farmhouse look. An expansive vintage table reminiscent of a traditional Spanish table but higher for counter use, brings tonnes of character alongside a black and white patterned kitchen flooring.
Brass pendant lights and black kitchen cabinetry color alongside striking black Crittall windows that let in plenty of light keep the look fresh and contemporary.
4. Go sleek and chic in a small space
Opting for a two-tone palette doesn't have to equate to a color bomb of hues – a carefully considered black and white palette can pack a punch and be in keeping with a modern decorating scheme and works well not to overwhelm a small kitchen like this apartment.
'The contrast between our Oyster Catcher painted base cabinets, with Holkham Frost, white units, worktops, and wall tiles, creates a sense of drama in this stunning Edinburgh kitchen,' explains Jayne Everett, Design Director of Naked Kitchens (opens in new tab).
'The sharp difference creates a really modern twist in this fabulous high ceiling traditional space. The dark outer cabinets frame the kitchen island which again uses the contrasting cabinets wrapped in a crisp white worktop. The white wall cabinets are softened by the use of the white walls and tiles. The whole space is lifted by the use of white walls and upper cabinetry and grounded by the dramatic contrasting dark island and base.'
5. Create a fresh look with plenty of lighter tones and touches of black
This white kitchen is an elegant and classic example of how to weave in a monochrome palette that doesn't have to feel overpowering. Here white is used as the primary shade with black dressers and a movable black central island adding depth and a touch of drama.
‘Black-and-white schemes are great for making eye-catching kitchens and living spaces and can make small spaces feel bigger,' explains Graeme Smith, Head of Retail and Commercial Design at Life Kitchens (opens in new tab). 'The best way to do this is by using white as your dominant color and black as an accent color - a 70:30 ratio is most effective. Incorporate darker elements into your scheme through countertops, a statement wall, or splashback'
6. Warm up a black and white kitchen with wood
Black and white kitchens can sometimes feel stark and one way to get the look you want but keep it cozy is to warm up the scheme with wood. This rustic kitchen by British Standard (opens in new tab) incorporates plenty of textured wood and natural materials with original wood flooring, a jute runner, and a grey marble backsplash.
The choice of using black and wood and investing in a run of well-made cabinets for a small kitchen is a savvy option to get a luxurious look on a budget.
7. Be playful with graphic checks
We love the color-blocked work of Belgian designer Dries Otten (opens in new tab) and are quite taken with this playful sink detail in one of his projects in Antwerp. A minimal white sink features a chequered tiled inside with a delicate grid print cabinet on the outside carrying the graphic look through.
The rest of the kitchen features cabinets in primary-colored hues which work well with the black and white central sink adding pace and a way to creatively incorporate an edgy monochrome detail.
8. Elevate a classic country kitchen
This deVOL (opens in new tab) kitchen is a beautiful example of how to make the monochrome look work in a farmhouse. Surrounded by rugged cottage stone walls the glamorous glossy black kitchen cabinets are paired with statement-making white Quartzite worktops and beautiful hints of warm brass and copper look so chic.
'Black is our new love,' says Helen Parker, Creative Director at deVOL Kitchens.
'We introduced it a couple of years ago here at deVOL and I think people were a bit scared, but it’s in full flow now!!'
'Think late-night bars, speakeasies and restaurants in New York City for the look, big grand kitchen cupboards and especially big islands painted black with maybe some distressing and definitely some brass for the foot rails or aged copper for the worktops and certainly a splash of softly rounded Carrara marble, which just isn’t ever going to go out of fashion.'
What colors go with a black and white kitchen?
Kitchen color ideas that go with a black and white kitchen include grey, green and woody tones. You can also successfully match stronger colors, such as berry shades, warm blues, and muddy, earthy tones – from pink to yellow – with a whole host of black and white kitchen ideas, too.
How do you warm up a black and white kitchen?
Brass hardware, fixtures, and lighting add warmth and shine to your space. Swapping these out is a relatively inexpensive update that keeps your black and white kitchen from feeling cold.
Rohini Wahi is Content Editor for Livingetc Online. With a decade-long career in the interiors and design industry working as a journalist for premium lifestyle publications then delving deeper into the business as a trend forecaster, Rohini has amassed a wealth of global design knowledge that informs her work. She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home.
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