emmelinewe

Dark kitchens - are they hot or not?

Emmeline Westin
23 April, 2016

The majority of kitchen upgraders opt for white kitchens, that we know. So I'm curious to hear what you think about dark kitchens. Do you like the look of them, but you think it will be 'too much' in your home? Or are you afraid that the kitchen won't have enough light?

I'm interested to hear what you think!

The Bloomsbury WC1 Kitchen by deVOL · More Info

Comments (37)

  • Natalie Andrews
    Looks lovely but perhaps a bit too much dark green in my opinion
  • PRO
    OnePlan
    Done well - they can look amazing ... Done badly and oh dear ... Not so good !!
  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    Like something from an old master painting.

  • tamp75
    Love the contrast of a dark grey with white worktop but think it would be too much in my own kitchen despite it being dual aspect so nice & light. Did consider this for our new kitchen but went for pale grey instead. Did go for dark grey in the bathroom but prob just because there's not many cabinets so it's not so overwhelming.
  • gilliifer

    Its lovely, why not be different?

  • mattb333
    Looks good to me however perhaps some additional lighting, or the lights need to be turned on or greater wattage. More practical to prepare food in a well lit kitchen
  • PRO
    Amber Jeavons Ltd

    Hello Emmeline,
    Well a dark kitchen decor doesn't need to mean dark overall.. I love them! deVOL and Plain English dark styles.. I find these far more interesting than opting for white! Although in the right setting white can be fabulous. It's really down to the space.. I think of course it's also choice but people seem to be afraid of being bold or thinking creatively! The assumption is that if there is a lack of natural light for one example that you must counteract this with a light decor. Sometimes embracing the idea of dark can yield some dramatic results.. I have only ever seen 1 kitchen on houzz (big budget!) that I thought was truly amazing! It wasn't necessarily dark but it was creative in a most fabulous way - it was called Beirutful kitchen! :))

  • bobby102

    Love the dark kitchen phenomenon. I have dark graphite grey on my walls and a black floor which is spiced up with accessories in zingy oranges, lime greens and pink with a centred pink chandelier. Also ambient warm lighting above the cupboards helps make the space warm and welcoming. I love it.

  • PRO
    AlenaCDesign

    Hello Emmeline, I love dramatic look of dark kitchens! They have a big trend now too but at the same time to be fair to say, you really should like the atmosphere they create. Personally I love the look but I don't know if I would be comfortable living with so much drama.

  • Daisy England
    With a different wall colour the fascias would be fine. Light walls, darker fascias.
  • PRO
    Brandon Interior Design

    This particular kitchen is finished to an absolute perfection. New, creative, interesting, carefully designed to the very last detail. You can tell this masterpiece is created by a professional. Colour is not as important as the careful blend of the many aspects of the design. Extra lighting would drain the atmosphere away. I think the room has enough natural light and, more importantly, the high ceiling, clean lines and simplicity can afford the rich colour without being oppressively dark. Well done deVol.

  • Andrew Millar
    not,too gloomy
  • hounoc

    In winter I think it would be nice and cosy with lights in the right places and splashes of colour brought in with vibrant fruit and vegetables, interesting ceramics or copper pots for example. However in summer I would find it too depressing and cave-like. Imagine waking up on a lovely sunny Saturday morning and going down to make your breakfast in there - that would be a real mood dampener. For that reason, overall, I have to say no to this look.

  • PRO
    Sustainable Kitchens

    I think it depends on how much natural light is available and what other lighting options there are. I'd say there needs to be some contrast like the white worktop and splashback in the photo.

  • June Hulton
    Put the light on please... Can't see what I am doing.. Too dark for me.. My opinion..
  • moobyloo

    You know when you turn the page of a magazine and a navy /grey/purple kitchen pops out at you and you go,wow,I want that! Well this doesn't do it. Its not striking,its dull.A white and brass french range cooker would help and a gradient of greys behind the shelves. Bit depressing.

  • Audrey Davidson

    Simply Not

  • Laraine Clarke
    I have a large kitchen diner and family room combined and my kitchen units and work tops are identical to the picture. I have enlivened it with Homebase Fresh Lime and Fresh Linen paint. it always gets a wow.
  • Florence Simpson
    Although I love the dark kitchen it is very very bold and daring to have both units and walls in such dark shades, it would need plenty of lighting to balance the look so it doesn't become overbearing for everyday living. I'm planning my kitchen now and my island will be painted in a dark shade of grey (similar to your photo) but all the other units will be painted in a lighter shade of grey, white marble look counter tops, oak floor but I'm undecided on wall colour!
  • Amanda Robinson

    Dark kitchens are harder to pull off so when they're done properly they look amazing. Beats the bland white any day!

  • PRO
    Surreal Designs Kitchen Studio

    in the right room with good lighting a dark kitchen can look magnificent. I saw one some time back in Germany - framed ash door painted in black and it was extraordinary - like a gothic masterpiece!


    We have also installed a few black high gloss kitchens in the past and because of the reflective surface there is no sense of claustraphobia - they can even work well in relatively small rooms

  • justiceuk420

    love it!

  • PRO
    Laroya & Co.

    Looks lovely....and makes a huge statement. We did the same in a galley kitchen and the dark scheme added so much interest into the otherwise dull space.


    Sloane Avenue Studio · More Info

    Sloane Avenue Studio · More Info

    Sloane Avenue Studio · More Info

  • sukiharrison
    absolutely love the colour of the units but would prefer the walls in a lighter colour.
  • Keith Mckay

    I think the idea of dark colours is to give drama and elegance... but too much makes it look dark and dingy. Things to bear in mind are, size of room, natural light in the room and is there enough other lighting - ceiling lights, under cupboard lights. For instance if this picture had lighting in and above the shelving, and the extractor lights were switched on above the range cooker, it would look a lot better.

  • PRO
    Kerry Holden Interiors

    I love this kitchen, it is very dramatic. The white worktops add contrast and the stainless steel cooker with its mirrored doors bounce light around. This room looks as though it has fairly high ceilings and natural light, so it would depend on the space, as to whether this dark graphite grey would work for everyone.

  • Joanna

    I find even looking at that photo depressing .... and the knives displayed on the wall make it all the more macabre

  • Gerry Rust

    I'm very conflicted, I look at this kitchen and my immediate response is 'wow!' I love all the moody drama and that would usually be enough to convince me. However for once the practicalities are worrying me, my present home is gloomy enough as it is (not my decor but the amount of light it gets!) and I just don't think it could take a dark kitchen despite all the design advice telling me I should embrace the 'cosiness' and paint everything black. Perhaps if my next home is a bit brighter, which I fully intend it will be, I might be able to 'go over to the dark side' :D

  • Elizabeth Jones
    Lovely!But it would depend on what the kitchen is in regards to the rest of the house. Too long spend in such a dark environment would be hard for me, and I spend most of my time in the kitchen. But fantastic if you only have to cook one meal a day there.
  • Emmeline Westin

    Very good points, I think the above kitchen is beautiful, but it won't work for every space. My own kitchen is white, but I've been looking at black ones recently. This one from Laura Lakin is lovely because it embraces both light and dark.

    Living Space · More Info

  • Corinne Dive-Reclus
    In fact I don not like to choose.
    love dark cabinets below the workbench and keep things creamy and light above. I do not why kitchens with two tones cabinets are not more popular.
  • Tribbletrouble44152k7 Trek

    Two tone kitchens are coming into fashion now, also incorporating wood accents.

  • PRO
    icon kitchen studio Ltd

    I love it but each to their own.


  • Wendy White
    I love it but will this look have longevity? A kitchen is such a big expense that when pushed, most people will likely choose a safer option and add drama with accessories.
  • PRO
    Hand Built Designs

    I really like the concept & appreciate that it doesn't work in every context but when well executed, it is difficult to fault. deVOL have this down to a fine art- well worth having a peek at their website.

  • PRO
    Brayer Design

    Agree that it really depends on how much natural light you have to play with. But I think for this particular space, the combination of dark walls and cabinets makes for a sophisticated and bold kitchen design with bucket-fulls of character.

    Just looking through our portfolio, the kitchen below benefits from lots of light so can handle the deep blue-grey finish of the cabinets, which are hand-painted in 'Railings' by Farrow & Ball. But this is also balanced out with the lighter walls, worktops and flooring.


    Thames Ditton Bespoke Contemporary Shaker Kitchen · More Info


    Thames Ditton Bespoke Contemporary Shaker Kitchen · More Info


  • Daisy England
    I'm not really a dark kitchen lover. Having said that I have seen kitchens with dark units (dark grey) and they've looked great BUT there is no need to paint the walls dark too because that makes its overwhelming. It needs to be balanced out.

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