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blackkitchenExcerpted from an article by Kim Cook for the Associated Press.

“The kitchen is often a room for experimentation – with decor as well as food and drink.  Over the years we’ve seen yellow, turquoise, avocado green, harvest gold, “greige” and white take turns as favored hues.  But right now, black is back.

‘It makes perfect sense, style-wise’, says New York City designer Elaine Griffin. ‘We began seeing the rise of black appliances as sleek and stylish non-white alternatives to pricier stainless options at the new millennium, and black as the “new neutral” wall color has been gaining popularity over the past decade.’

You can go untra-modern or traditional when bring black into the kitchen.  High-end, Euro-style lacquered cabinetry is sleek and sexy. Marble counter tops and geometric fixtures can create a glamorous, jewel-box kitchen that is great for entertaining.  Put the hue on Shaker cabinets, add rustic French tile, smooth quartz counters and hand-rubbed brass fittings, and you’ve got a sophisticated space.  Or add a walnut or maple slab island and saddle leather stools for an industrial look.

Here are a few design tips that’ll help you get your black kitchen right:

  • Make sure floors and counter tops are very light to balance and contrast the super-dark cabinets.  Simple white tile with black grout is a great way to get some light in the space and give a nod to classic kitchens.
  • Include wood elements like a butcher-block island counter top.  Wood lower cabinets would work with black counters and upper shelving, for example.  Keep the wood finishes as natural as possible, and relatively pale.
  • You can repaint existing cabinets if you’re budget-conscious.  ‘Shades of black pick up other hues in an interesting way – midnight blues, chocolates and sooty grays, for example.’
  • Save the glossy paint for trim.
  • Choose your hardware.  Polished to antiqued brass and black is a hot finish option right now, for both contemporary and traditional looks.
  • Add a cool stool.  Recent offerings include stools with chic, slim hairpin legs, as well as comfy upholstered ones, and stools in snazzy hues like red, orange and blue.
  • Embossed or painted concrete, sculpted limestone, pressed tin or wallpaper would be striking complements to black cabinetry and fittings.
  • The right lighting is important in a black kitchen – designers favor skylights and large windows to take advantage of natural light.  Install lights at multiple height levels:  ceiling, pendant, under-cabinet and even counter top lamps.
  • Instead of paint, consider black appliances.

SOURCE:  Kim Cook/Associated Press/Asheville Citizen-Times

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