Do you have a preference for a darker look in your kitchen? Maybe you’d rather have a more open, bright look of a lighter kitchen for your home. Why not have both?! In the world of interior design, tuxedo kitchens are making a strong comeback. Creating with dark and light elements in the kitchen can be daunting, but the final look should be all about creating a visual balance. Here are a few thoughts for you to consider as you make the kitchen of your dreams.

Create with contrasts

As you work with dark and light elements in the kitchen, think about stark contrasts in accents as you work up and down your visual space. Work with black handles against white cabinets, for example, or vice versa. When you mix contrasting colors, the great thing is no matter what you do, you end up highlighting both colors. It’s almost like black and white photography. When you have a photo that is all grey, prominent elements tend to disappear. But, the stark contrasts stand out and make the visuals work. Such will be the same when you work with contrasts in your kitchen.

Countertop creativity

Be mindful that when you work with dark and light elements in the kitchen, never be afraid to go extreme with colors for your countertops. If one element is really dark, make sure you hit the polar opposite end of the spectrum when you consider what will be light. When it comes to stone options, white caesarstone countertops will make your black cabinetry pop like you wouldn’t believe! A dark grey charcoal soapstone countertop will always present a sophisticated and elegant appearance.

Pull in your paints

Choosing a paint color is extremely important when you work with dark and light elements in the kitchen. Remember that the paint colors you choose should complement the complexity of the contrast. With that, I recommend not adding too much color tonality on your walls. That would take away from the contrast statement you want to make. Your kitching would absolutely NOT be the place to add hints of red, pink, purple, or other “statement” colors on the walls. Lean into something like a dark green or royal blue if you have to have an accent wall. Otherwise, I would recommend leaving the walls light and allowing the dark and light elements in the kitchen to come together and make a statement in the overall visual presentation.

Other contrast options

Don’t forget to use your appliances to add to the overall effect of your dark and light vision. Hidden refrigerators are always great because they add to the drama that the tone difference in the cabinetry provides. A word of caution, though: I would recommend sticking to one metal, such as stainless steel, throughout your kitchen. I am a huge fan of the CornuFé Series by La Cornue. They have black, white, and blue ovens that are not ostentatious at all. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when leaning into dramatic styles of dark and light elements in the kitchen.

You can also create contrast by wrapping the hood of your oven. Making a hood disappear in a kitchen is another way to add drama and contrast. A hood can easily be wrapped with stone, drywall or stainless steel dipped in gold, which I did for my home. Also,  When you’re creating contrast in the kitchen, be sure to balance everything out with a simple flooring treatment. Or, choose contemporary blinds that disappear. The key is to make the primary kitchen features stand out, almost like pairing a statement necklace with a classic black dress. A patterned dress would conflict with the overall look.

These are a few tips to bring some great character and contrast with dark and light elements in your kitchen. I’d love to know how you achieved it in your home! Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

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