When you think of country kitchen or Grandma’s cozy haven, you probably see bright colors in your mind — often white — as a foundation. In these kitchens, light-toned cabinetry is perfect, from pure white to cream to buttercup yellow, sky blue, or peach pink. On the other hand, if you’re planning a sophisticated city kitchen for a condo, a modern luxury home, or just want a clean, streamlined contemporary look, you’ll want to consult experts such as those at Diamond Kitchen and Bath for ideas on dark cabinetry that will create the effect you want.
Kitchen cabinets are available in a wide variety of hardwoods, with finishes that range from deep wine-reds and mahogany to ebony, dark oaks and maple finishes, and a host of hues in between. Which will be best for you? Here are some things to consider in making your decision:
Let There Be Light
Yes, that upscale kitchen looks terrific in the magazine or home center; however, take a look at its dimensions as well before you assume that look will work well in your own home. Dark colors make spaces look smaller, so if your kitchen is tiny, to begin with, remember that the cabinetry is the single most dominant “furniture” in your kitchen and plan accordingly. That being said, don’t think you have to give up on dark cabinets entirely just because your space is diminutive. Consider pairing dark base cabinets with lighter ones on the wall or a center island, for a look that’s rich without being overpowering.
Also, think illumination here: skylights, if you have them…natural light from nearby windows…and above all, plenty of pot lighting, under-cabinet fixtures, and task lamps to prevent shadows or “black holes.” The other key for maximizing your light/dark balance is reflection; this is why stainless steel appliances, brushed metallic handles and knobs, and glass-tile backsplashes are so effective in upscale contemporary kitchens. All of them provide additional “light” to create a warm, inviting atmosphere.
Color It Up
Because dark cabinetry is a “neutral,” feel free to use bright primaries, citrus colors, vivid jewel tones, or pure white in your appliances, kitchen curtains, dining furniture, or as accent walls. Ebony cabinets pop against a white-and-black tile floor; deep cherry or hickory can be set off beautifully with lighter-toned wood or laminate flooring. The natural woods balance each other for a relaxed, natural feel.
That’s also why you’ll see many a contemporary kitchen that combines dark cabinets with cranberry, lemon, or grass green accents for a strikingly warm ambiance. And don’t forget your countertops in this mix, either. Use light-colored or white granite, veined with small amounts of complementary color, to tie your kitchen together beautifully.
Shine, Shine, Shine
If you use dark surfaces in your home at all, you already know they need a bit of upkeep; they tend to show dust, dirt, and smudges more obviously than lighter shades. In addition, since the kitchen tends to be the most-used room of the home, your cabinets will be subject to much more wear and tear than dark wood used in other rooms. Repairing any chips or cracks, of course, is one key to keeping those dark cabinets looking great; the other is meticulous cleaning.
If you have glossy surfaces, not only washing them frequently but using a bit of polish now and then will truly bring out their beauty. Wiping down kitchen cabinets may not be your favorite way to spend part of a cleaning day…but the end results are well worth it in terms of good looks that last for years.
The Mystique Continues
Dark cabinetry has truly come into its own for many home uses, especially in upscale kitchens featuring chef’s quality appliances, abundant workspaces, and natural accents such as bronze, copper, and stone. Fortunately, that look is simple to do with help from the experts at Diamond Kitchen and Bath. Stop in to see them and make your dream kitchen come true!