Cooking With Color: When to Use Black in the Kitchen

Black is a classic hue in fashion — there’s the little black dress and the debonair black tuxedo, and we are sure that you are not the only one out there with way more pairs of black shoes in your closet than there are days of the week. Yet when it comes to decorating our homes, most of us tend to shy away from using black as more than a mere accent color. Yes, black can suck a good deal of light out of a room, making it appear cramped and dreary, but when used successfully it can be crisp, dramatic and elegant.

 

Check out eight gorgeous kitchens that feature this darkest of hues, along with tips on how to work with black in the kitchen, brought to you by Spacio Design Team.

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Black absorbs rather then reflects light, so if you are using a large amount of the hue in a space, try to counter it with plenty of light — preferably of the natural variety. The high white ceiling, skylights and wall of sliding glass doors in this kitchen more than balance out the black.

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But you don’t need to have walls of windows or skylights galore to make black work in your kitchen. There are other ways to balance it. For instance, this beautiful kitchen features cabinets that have a black-washed look that makes them less heavy and monolithic than cabinets painted solid black. And because the black is paired with plenty of light neutrals and reflective materials, this kitchen feels light and open.

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Here, the large modern black pendants over the island contrast nicely with the vintage exposedbrick walls. So simple, and yet the effect is dramatic and elegant. The restrained yet rich color palette of blacks, browns and brick red is also very successful.

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If you favor a black & white kitchen, we recommend adding another bold color or accents of warm neutral browns, taupes or beiges to keep it from appearing stark and cold. The wood floor in this kitchen warms things up nicely.

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Use black to call attention to your kitchen’s interesting architectural details, finishes or fixtures.Against a light backdrop, these elements will stand out, whereas everything white will recede into the background.

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Consider the sheen of the black surfaces in your kitchen, too. Matte black absorbs light and tends to look flat and dark. Glossy surfaces will reflect light back into the space — but you can really see the texture of the surface, so make sure it’s something you want highlighted. This kitchen has a nice mix of shiny and matte surfaces, and the crisp black really defines the space.

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Since it’s a neutral, black works with any other color you want to introduce. These lemon-yellow counter stools add a nice twist to this handsome black kitchen.

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Black brings a lot of drama to a kitchen, so it requires little ornamentation. You really can’t go wrong with high-quality finish materials and workmanship combined with a restrained palette heavy on black.

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Most paint manufacturers carry a true black hue, but be sure to check out the many shades of black available that have subtle color differences. Some appear cooler, with hints of green, blue or purple; some are warmer — more of a brownish black. These subtle differences will be more noticeable in abundant daylight. As with any new paint color, it’s a good idea to test a few different blacks in the actual room you plan to use it in to see how the color looks in the space and changes throughout the day and night.

Living in Big Spaces : Three things that makes a big difference

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This May, we’re all about Small Spaces, a bread-and-butter topic on Spacio and a personal favorite of ours. No doubt we’ll cover lots of tips, inspiration and ideas for small-space living over the coming weeks, but first let’s revisit what we already know works. Here are three classic ways to make living little work for you.

 

Lighting

Small is one thing, but small and dark is quite another. Almost nothing has the power to transform a room like lighting.

 

Work with the natural light available to you by keeping furniture low and out of the light’s path, using window treatments which let in as much light as possible, and by using reflective surfaces like mirrors to increase the light’s throw. In terms of artificial light, make sure you have sufficient general, ambient and task lighting for all the ways in which you use the space. Once it’s properly lit, even a small room can feel spacious.

 

Organization & Storage

It goes without saying that in a small space, storage, and more importantly, organization, is key.Furniture with added storage and built-ins are a great way to achieve the former, and the latter comes down to habit forming and learning to live with less. It’s a constant struggle for many of us, but tidying regularly and paring down will make a big difference in fully embracing your small home, not simply making do with it.

 

Versatility & Flexibility

In a small space with multiple uses, having a flexible layout and/or furniture can be a saving grace. Search out pieces with multiple uses: a desk/dining table hybrid (or even a wall-mounted dining table), a comfortable and stylish sofa bed, nesting tables and rolling pieces can all make life a little easier for the small apartment dweller.