Why You Should Choose Dark Cabinets for Your Home
Dark cabinets provide a classy, ageless look for your kitchen. Depending on your color and design choices, dark cabinets work well with modern, rustic, transitional, or kitchens of any style. Choose between stained or painted cabinets to achieve the ideal look for your kitchen.
Benefits of Dark Kitchen Cabinets
- Add Luxury
- Hide Scratches and Spills
- Versatile Style
Ready to incorporate the mood and depth of dark cabinets into your kitchen renovation? A daring color choice can increase the warmth and lavishness of your home, in a very cost-effective way. Dark cabinets are an innovative and bold kitchen design idea for any size remodel.
Dark Kitchen Cabinet Benefits
Dark cabinets add luxury you can’t find in stock or builder-grade kitchens. This is because dark kitchens feel more custom than a set of standard cabinets. Choosing dark influences the mood of your kitchen, making the space feel intimate and cozy, no matter the shade from grey kitchen cabinets to brown kitchen cabinets. Kitchen décor and furnishings can transform the ambiance from formal to edgy as the richness of dark kitchen cabinets spans either mood.
Hide Scratches and Spills
Darker colors hide imperfections better than lighter colors. If you whack a white cabinet door with a waffle maker, you’re bound to see a ding. With a dark cabinet, the tone hides and blends the dent rather than highlighting it. Dark kitchen cabinets also show fewer signs of aging than lighter options; cracks, scratches, and sun exposure are more forgiving on darker wood cabinets. If you have pets and kids, it’s much harder to keep white cabinets looking clean. Dark kitchen cabinets allow you to clean less frequently, and it takes less effort to make your kitchen look tidy.
Dark shades aren’t just for modern kitchens. Many interior design styles gain panache from darker colors. Farmhouse kitchens look great with a darker wood island paired with a lighter countertop and subway tile backsplash. Contemporary kitchens benefit from dark grey cabinetry with clean lines and high contrasts. Dark brown wood cabinets evoke comfort and coziness in classic or traditional kitchens. The options are endless.
Which Dark Cabinet Shade is Best for Your Kitchen?
The “dark” in your dark cabinets comes from either a stain or paint. Both types can look similar from a distance, but with a stain, you notice the grain of the wood and other intricate details as you look closer, such as variations in the color. Choose a stained cabinet if you prefer seeing the unique grain of wood. But if you’d rather not see the wood grain, choose a painted cabinet in any shade for balanced and even color throughout.
Shades are also available in different colors from dark grey to dark brown. Grey is a slightly lighter tone in warm or cool shades. Brown is a warmer tone, reminiscent of wood kitchen cabinets but with a darker, more modern ambiance.
What Countertops and Floors Go with Dark Cabinets?
For dark cabinets, we recommend lighter colors for other elements in your kitchen. The contrast of light and dark is interesting and keeps the space from feeling too gloomy or dim.
Countertops: Nearly any countertop choice works well with dark cabinets, but lighter colors provide a nice contrast while medium colors blend well. Avoid overly dark countertops with dark cabinets, as both shades can make your kitchen feel smaller and crowded. Marble, quartz, or granite countertops are both ideal materials for your kitchen remodel.
Wall Colors: Use color on your walls to highlight the beauty of your cabinets and countertops. This works best by using softer, lighter colors that make dark cabinets pop. You can also go with a bright splash of color. Pairing a dark cabinet with a fun blue, green, or yellow wall creates a fun atmosphere with high visual interest.
Backsplash: Backsplash ideas range from bright and colorful to plain and minimal. Your choice of kitchen backsplash provides a chance to highlight your style and personality. If you love farmhouse kitchens, choose a subway tile backsplash in a lighter color to contrast nicely with your dark cabinetry. Colorful accents such as a bright geometric tile or solid red are also fun ideas for your new kitchen.
Flooring: As with other elements in your kitchen, contrast is key. A lighter floor adds the ideal contrast with dark cabinets. LVT, hardwood, or tile all work well with dark cabinets of any style and design.
Lighting: Since dark colors absorb more light than they reflect, adding more lighting sources to brighten up your space is a great idea. Lights with glass shades or large multi-light fixtures are great additions. Under-cabinet lighting also brightens up counter space under wall cabinets to create a more open look.
Appliances: While contrast is often the goal with interior designs, a stark contrast can be too distracting. As such, most appliance colors and finishes work well with dark cabinets but be careful of the stark contrast created when pairing bright white appliances with dark cabinets. We recommend stainless steel appliances or other neutral colors if your cabinets are especially dark.
Dark Cabinet Hardware Choices
Choosing cabinet hardware is a critical part of completing the look you want to achieve, as well as ensuring your cabinets are functional. When pairing the pulls and knobs with your dark cabinets, the style is less important than the finish. The shape and style are open to your personal aesthetics, but the finish is key towards determining whether the hardware goes with the dark color or not.
The right finish adds character and charm to a kitchen or bathroom while a poor match stands out, but not in a good way. We recommend finishes such as stainless steel, satin gold, oil-rubbed bronze, or antique pewter, as these add the right amount of polish and balance out your darker kitchen cabinetry with a lighter metal.
FAQs About Dark Kitchen Cabinets
Have some questions before you buy dark kitchen cupboards? We have answers and many different kitchen cabinet ideas for inspiration.
Are dark wood cabinets coming back?
White kitchen cabinets are currently more popular than dark cabinets, but the darker look is coming back in modern and transitional kitchens. If you don’t like the look of a pristine white kitchen but still love trendsetting, a dark kitchen can get you there. Darker cabinets are increasing in popularity because they’re easier to care for and add sophistication where lighter paints and natural woods cannot.
Where light wood cabinets show more muck and wear-and-tear, darker cabinet colors hide scratches and grime more easily. They’re also incredibly chic as darker stains tend to look more custom and posher than standard white cabinets.
Wood cabinets themselves, however, are always in style, no matter the shade. Wood features a more pleasing grain than laminate or fiberboard, and comforting and warmer than stainless steel. Wood is a timeless, classic material that works in kitchens of any style, from contemporary to farmhouse.
Would a small kitchen look good with dark cabinets?
Usually small kitchens look better in light cabinet colors, but with a few tricks, dark wood cabinets can look stunning in any size kitchen. While light kitchen cabinets have the benefit of reflecting more light (making a room look bigger) kitchens with dark cabinets need other elements to feel light and airy.
Small kitchens look good with dark cabinets when paired with light wall colors, a minimalist aesthetic, or light-colored countertops. The lighter elements reflect light and the contrast adds definition and style to small kitchens, where space to display décor is at a premium. Choose gray cabinets rather than black cabinets to help your small kitchen feel less dim and crowded. Dark cabinets in a minimalist style keep your kitchen from looking cluttered and congested, instilling a sense of openness.
Which dark cabinet is right for your kitchen?
The right dark cabinet for your kitchen depends on your style and color preferences. Two of our favorite dark kitchen cabinets have opposite styles and shades. See how they compare to help you narrow down exactly what you love about dark wood kitchen cabinets.
Wilora Paloma Marquis Dark Wood
This collection features dark brown kitchen cabinets, with a modern frameless construction. The slab style doors and drawer fronts feature a beautiful dark chocolate wood grain texture. Ideal for modern kitchens, the Marquis Dark Wood cabinets pair well with simple hardware pulls, and metal light fixtures. If you prefer function over form, this collection is designed with storage in mind, the frameless construction allows for more storage space than its framed cabinet counterparts. They’re also made of engineered wood which is more water-resistant and warp-resistant than real wood.
Wilora Hawthorne Shaker Cinder
This collection works well in modern or farmhouse kitchens. The more traditional frame style features a Shaker door with rectangular frames and recessed panels. Each door and frame is stained with a classically comforting grey shade. These dark gray cabinets are slightly lighter than dark brown cabinets, so the wood grain is easier to see. If you love a farmhouse kitchen style, but don’t care for a hard to clean bright white cabinet, these shaker cabinets create the same look and feel, but with an easier-to-maintain surface.
How can you brighten your kitchen with dark cabinets?
If you love dark wood cabinets, but want a brighter kitchen, there are many design tips to create the ideal kitchen you’re looking for.
Open shelving: Opting for open shelving instead of traditional wall cabinets can make your kitchen space feel brighter and more open. This creates a gradient in your kitchen as colors get darker going from ceiling to floor (if you opt for a dark-colored floor as well).
Under cabinet lighting: Installing under-cabinet lighting adds light in places natural light rarely touches. Shining focused light on countertops and shelves both brightens and adds mood lighting to your kitchen. Other traditional lighting options are also a good idea, pendant lights over an island or recessed lights throughout your kitchen do so much to brighten up the space.
Two-toned cabinets: With this method, choose two different cabinet colors: one for the wall cabinets and one for your base cabinets. Traditionally, a darker color is reserved for the base cabinets and a lighter color for the upper cabinets. This lets you achieve the lush look of dark cabinetry but keeps your kitchen bright because the lighter tone of the wall cabinets reflects more light.
Personalized Design Service for Your Kitchen Cabinets
Not sure which style of dark cabinet to choose for your dream kitchen? Let our design experts guide you through the process of designing a new kitchen. Our interior designers can provide you with dark cabinet ideas, 3D renderings of your kitchen, and more. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about our virtual design services.