Who has a black kitchen – do you love it or regret it?

Laura B
December 13, 2017
last modified: December 19, 2017

We are building a new house and would like to have a mostly black kitchen (large white stone island bench).

I'm thinking to go a black matt paint or there are a few laminates that offer "fingerprint resistance" that seem great. Polytec and Duropal both have a similar one.

My question is does anyone have a black kitchen and regret it due to the food marks and water splashes that show up more than a lighter colour would?

I love seeing all these beautiful dark kitchens in photos - but how do they look when not spotless? Do you think a black woodgrain would withstand grime better?

me examples shown (not my photos)

Comments (42)

  • siriuskey

    I have a white kitchen and it shows marks as will black or any other colour, I'd just go for it, remembering that you will have all the other household clutter helping to disguise any marks unless you're a clean freak, photos are lovely

  • Eleanor Mcmillin
    I have a black high gloss Kitchen.... I love it!!!
    Cleaning it takes a few seconds with microfibre cloths... but I don’t have little kids around.
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    Kitchens are the heart of s home. You need breakfast stools at your bench so people can chat to you whilst prepping/cooking. Or kids helping or eating brekkie. tables are lower so don’t work as well. It’s not about the view for these purposes. 4 stools at least with backs hopefully and allow them to tuck under bench top to clear circulation to sliders. I would keep all within current footprint. Island: min 900 (at ends) & 1200 from other benches. If u go too wide it makes it more difficult to work. Too many steps. I can stand next to my dishwasher and unload into drawers opposte without moving with 1200. And can work on island whilst someone at sink behind Up to 1500 from sliders if having stools there. Love to see finished pics I like your style. Good luck
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  • PRO
    Dr Retro House Calls

    One of my clients has just completed their all black kitchen, which includes a black, lowered bulkhead. It was a gutsy choice, but at the end of the day it looks fantastic as it is in a very large, light-filled space, with a wall of full height north facing windows, and white walls, which are a great counterpoint to the drama. For anybody considering an all black kitchen you need to consider what is happening in the rest of the room, and will only really work when you have loads of natural light.

  • Sharon Fevola

    I have a huge black kitchen, white marble benches love it and hate it at times. Mainly because the doors are shaker style so have all those nice little trims to hold dust. It is a country home which is dustier than suburbia but anything else would have looked too contemporary so I just deal with it. Having said that, I admire it daily and everyone's jaws drop when they see it, so kinda makes up for the extra work. If you chose a flat black door it would be half the work. However, I totally agree with Dr Retro they're not for every home, it is essential to have loads of natural light, high white walls and as in the last photo, a touch of timber and natural stone complement it nicely. Go for it.

  • PRO
    North Hem
    I have a black and white kitchen and I love it. The black shows up a heck of a lot less dirt than the white!
  • Laura B
    Thanks for all the feedback. Very helpful. North Hem - what finish did you use on your cabinets? 2 pack or a laminate?
  • Kathy

    Black better than white and maybe high gloss laminate better than polyurethane as if the poly is not put on correctly can crack in grooves if doors have a pattern. Been there! Don't think I'd have white as juatbreplaced a "faulty batch" of polytec white urethane kitchen that yellowed in 4 years. Opted for malt colour and decided to steer away from white altogether. Maybe black is ok though handless kitchen you'd see fingerprints. That's the only drawback.

  • wuff
    I love the photos you have given as examples ... white shows for fingerprints as well, if the dirt is there it is there. Good tip re shaker style though, I am about to have cabinetry made I was looking at shaker style then thought about dust and thought..not for me, though they do look good. Go for it.
  • Conor Jones

    The house we're in has matt black kitchen and black stone bench tops. You can still see all the marks etc as much as you could on white. This kitchen is in the middle of the house with no natural light and is the worst colour possible for the small space - lights must be n whenever we're in the kitchen. Done right - I'm sure it would be great, but this one's turned us off forever!

  • Dm Stan

    We’ve got a combination of dark charcoal and white, in 2pack. Love it! But I occasionally think it should have been matte. The charcoal shows fingerprints, especially on press to open doors.

    The comments about natural light are well worth considering. If we hadn’t included a roof window, I think the kitchen could have become drab.

    All the best with your project!

  • Jennifer Bradley

    Whatever colour you choose, it needs to be something you can live with for a long time. Personally I hate black, and find being in it depressing as well as showing all marks - but then so does white. Our new kitchen is a mix of light wood and antique white and I've never seen so many small crumbs as seem to gather on the benchtops. The only thing I would say is that in my childhood black baths were popular, but dated very quickly. Am not sure if black kitchens are in the same boat, but at the end of the day, everything in a kitchen marks and shows mess, what matters is if you like it and can live with it for a long time.

  • Julia

    My kitchen...black walls and cupboards,australian hardwood benchtops, grey laminate drawers, oak flooring. And art.

  • Laura B
    I love your kitchen Julia! The combination works really well. Is this a laminate or paint?
  • Julia

    The grey drawer fronts are vinyl ( and this grey is BRILLIANT at not showing dirt, and so easy to clean if you get self-close) and the walls and top cupboards are paint (Dulux Klavier) Rob, my husband, sprayed the cupboard doors, and the walls with a roller. The splash back is a strip of stainless steel. I rarely wipe any of it, and I do cook!

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    PM Concepts
    Hi. Have to agree that I love the dark colours, we used monument 2pac finish on our kitchen, but mixed it with a vanilla quake colour.
    Finger prints are definitely noticeable on the monument colour, but worth it for a great look!
  • oscaranddonna

    Hi, I have a black and white kitchen with a stainless steel bench. We put it in in April last year. Our lower cabinetry is black, quite matt (30% gloss) and our upper and tall cabinetry is the same finish in white. I absolutely love the look of the black. Love love it until the sun shines on it! Then every finger print and speck of dust shows up. Luckily it is not the sunniest of rooms most of the year. The white shows no marks apart from obvious splashes but the black shows everything. We also have a large black fridge and it is the same. But it looks incredible so it is just weighing it up. If it is a very sunny room, I would take that into consideration. Good luck. Donna. Ps I have added some photos. Excuse the no trim on the windows yet and the stuff on the bench.

  • Fiona Anastasia Whitefoot
    I have not owned a black kitchen, but personally they do look very chic and classy with the right materials used. Try matte - according to some, matte is far more easier to manage and clean compared to high gloss kitchens. While high gloss does bring a “high end” look to the space, finger prints may become a real problem (especially if you have young children) and constantly wiping food off a high gloss kitchen cupboard can be quite challenging and annoying for some, especially for those who generally don’t like to clean 24/7. At the end of the day, it’s all about your lifestyle and how you want to practically function day to day within your own home.
  • Adriana Fraser

    You need a very light house to get away with it - we viewed a house recently that was quite dark inside and the black kitchen added to that making it feel quite oppressive.

  • Robbie J

    I have a matte black kitchen installed in 2006 - no regrets at all. I have drawers inside a tall cupboard for storage of food and crockery opposite the sink, dishwasher and prep area with granite composite black bench tops. It is a small kitchen but highly functional. I love black and when this kitchen was installed black wasn't "in": as they say. How times have changed. I also have 6mm thick mirror splashback which helps to give the illusion of a larger kitchen. Couldn't be happier in my kitchen

  • lindabrushfield

    I have a black gloss kitchen, with white benchtops, and absolutely love it! It gets lots of comments, and hasn't dated after 8 years. Like the others, it has loads of light, and white walls and art to show it off. It does show fingerprints, but it makes you wipe them, and cupboards are therefore a lot cleaner than those that are never wiped down! It takes about 15 seconds with a microfibre cloth, so not a stress at all.

  • Danielle Hyde
    I designed our kitchen 13 years ago and it still looks chic and contemporary today. Back then the Matt espresso was the colour I choose and I often get asked how is it our kitchen is 13 years old and still looks great today. The contrast of white stone tops and dark cabinets with stainless steel gives it a lovely balance. We have blackbutt floors to contrast the darker base. A lot of northern light in winter keeps it lit well and I went with a soft wall colour Solver Igloo and dulux white on white ceiling colour so that it wasn't stark white. Trust in modern dark colours they work beautifully. D Hyde Design WA
  • mykky48

    Nearly 7 years ago we built our new home and installed black glossy Polytec cabinetry in our kitchen/family room and the laundry with white stone bench tops, because I'm 'vertically challenged' there are no overhead cupboards but our full-height pantry has gloss white doors. The fridge is also a gloss black, everything gets swiped with a damp microfibre cloth as it's all very easy clean. We have big tiles in a milky latte everywhere, the walls are Wattle 'Diva White' throughout the house except for the ensuite and bathroom which are matt black, there is a lot of natural light to balance it all. Would we do it again... absolutely!!

  • Dina Goebel

    My new kitchen has the finger-printless black .. love it a lot! We do have handles, I think without them it would be annoying marks to wipe. The timber cabinet section of our kitchen is far more fragile to scratches and stains.

    We have a lot of natural light, white walls, timber, stone, garden & art to compliment. Pic below, the shelves were just installed and we are still waiting for the glass splash-back and sisal rug. Nearly finished yay!

  • Penelope Oliver
    I had a white kitchen and hated the coffee and tomato paste drips. I went gloss black, white and timber. In fact I used the same picture you have for inspiration. No regrets at all. I use water and a microfibre cloth but I really don't notice the marks like I did with the white. Go for it!
  • Angela
    The house we bought had matt charcoal units and I couldn't wait to replace them with warm white. The finger marks drove to to distraction. As there are no direct windows it was very gloomy but with the installation of a solatube and white units, benchtop and subway tiles it's lifted my spirits no end. You could have black lowers and white uppers which seems to be a trend.
  • Tilly
    Just do it. The new fingerprint resistant Matt black laminex that’s out now is pretty perfect.
    You will 100% regret it if you don’t use new products.
  • Tilly
    Photos for my previous post
  • Dawn Park
    I have dark brown I like it can have light floors greenery goes good like wall garden
  • Laura B
    Wow! I’m loving all these photos. Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I feel like I need to go with my gut and go for black! Still undecided whether to go 2pac Matt or the laminate fingerprint- resistant product. I will upload photos of the finished product.
  • Mary Tam

    Actually, I had a black color cabinets with white marble kitchen 30 yrs ago, they are fantastic, I like black color, easy to take care, now my outdoor kitchen is charcoal black, stainless steel and black marble combined together, they are look great.

  • zaffa
    My matte black and oak kitchen, with crisp white stone benchtops, is currently being installed. Absolutely love it! Nikpol also has anti-fingerprint laminates which look divine! I think black provides an element of drama and depth. As long as it is broken up with other elements and receives a reasonable amount of light, I think it looks fabulous. I too was hesitant - I was initially going to go all white but white just looked too stark against my polished concrete floor with black aggregate. I am so happy I went with the Matt black. Good luck with your choice!
  • zaffa
    In my previous post, I forgot to add that the black is still covered by plastic!
  • LesleyH

    As this may eventually date, what about overhead cupboards only in matt black?

  • Bath Queen
    Love it!! We used polytec laminates for everything except the splashback which was made from leftover 'marble' (ceramic) tiles from the bathroom reno. This made the kitchen very economical. The designer/cabinetmaker due at Incasa Design (Sydney based) were amazing. So happy.
  • tlm

    Bath Queen are your cabinets black or charcoal? I do love it!

  • tlm

    Zaffa, great kitchen. Can you post some finished shots? Are you still happy with your black?

  • zaffa
    Hi Tim, just posted some pics in your other post. Sorry. Got the posts confused!!
  • Dina Goebel

    Finally have a completely finished kitchen pic and loaded photos into my profile. I have had the mat black all this year and absolutely love how easy it is to keep clean!

    Our mid-century kitchen renovation · More Info

    Our mid-century kitchen renovation · More Info

    Our mid-century kitchen renovation · More Info

  • Bath Queen

    Hi Tim, it's charcoal: Polytec in 'Feldspar' colour and the finish is Shimmer Matt. It marks like hell (only because the other users don't get that you don't have to paw the doors to shut them) but it's a pleasure to clean (microfibre cloth and Windex). Still a amazing. My tip is to get the carcass of the top cupboards made out of a matching (or close colour). White carcasses look cheap when you open them. Bottom cupboards not as obvious amd they don't stay open for as long as often.

  • zaffa
    Love it! Adds depth and drama. Matte anti fingerprint is easy to clean and looks like silk. Will provide great contrast against your concrete floor
  • tlm

    Thanks for the pics. Looks great. Zaffa that timber works really well With the other colours. Can you tell me what it is please? You have me very excited about finishing our design and getting it built.

  • zaffa
    Hi Tim, thanks. The timber is Nikpol Halifax Oak. Here is a pic of the front of the island where you can see the timber grain.... good luck with your choices! Exciting times ahead