As any Melbourne Kitchen Designer will tell you, dark and dramatic kitchen cabinetry has seen a surge in popularity lately. From giving kitchens a stylish contemporary vibe to helping define spaces and providing a dramatic backdrop for vivid shades, the demand for black kitchen cabinetry is on the rise.

But here’s the challenge: do dark colours make spaces look and feel smaller than they actually are? If so, shouldn’t they be avoided in a small kitchen?

The Short Of It: Yes, Black Cabinets Can Visually “Shrink” a Space.

Unlike lighter tones and colours, dark colours absorb light rather than reflect it throughout a space. This can cause a room to feel more cramped.

The important part of the last sentence is the word “can”. Yes, black cabinetry can make a room feel more confining than it actually is. But colour techniques, design concepts, lighting and more can trick anyone’s eye into not only offsetting the “shrinking” effect of black cabinetry, but these elements can make your kitchen feel more spacious than it is.


Factor #1: Lighting


If you’re planning on a black kitchen, look into how much natural light you’ll have streaming into the room. The more natural light you have, the better.

Don’t have loads of natural light in your kitchen area? Lighting fixtures can be used to creatively inject more light into the space. Some of the leading lighting options for kitchens include:

  • Pendant lighting
  • Recessed lighting
  • Under cabinetry lighting
  • Flush mount lighting
  • Track lighting

With the right incorporation of lighting, it won’t matter what colour your kitchen cabinets are. It will still feel airy and spacious.


Factor #2: Creating Contrasts


To make a kitchen with black cabinets appear larger and more inviting, choose soft complementary tones. High white walls, for example, are one easy way to make a room with black cabinetry feel larger. Other colours, like blue and green, will also go a long way towards brightening and freshening up your kitchen.

Another trick is to paint the mouldings and wall trim in a lighter colour than the walls. This gives the visual effect of the walls appearing to be further back than they actually are, tricking the eye into thinking that the kitchen is larger than it actually is.


Factor #3: Other Fixtures/Appliances


One kitchen item that will make a massive difference in how bright your kitchen appears is the benchtop. Most homeowners would be wise to choose a lighter coloured benchtop to illuminate the space.

If you’re interested in a black kitchen, it may be wise to pair them with a lighter option. White is an obvious choice, though others can be just as – if not more – complementary to the space.

Interested in the advice from an experienced Kitchen Designer


At Zesta Kitchens we offer free in-home kitchen design consultations, and we invite you to Book an Appointment online or call us today 1300 100 555 to schedule an appointment with a talented Melbourne kitchen designer.