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How Black Became the "It" Kitchen Color

Article by: Camila da Paz | Source: Washington Post

It might seem unorthodox… but right now, black is the most fashionable color for kitchen designers.  The latest kitchen renovations are all about texture, depth of color, and light and shade. Here’s how the trend is shaping up for 2020 – and how to make black a part of your kitchen redesign.

We’re currently seeing a shift away from the soft pastel colors and neutral tones that dominated the 2010s. If 2019 was the year of millennial pink, 2020-2021 is going to be the year of black. Yes, black. Customers are looking for something their neighbors don’t have yet, designers say. Black kitchens appeal to both men and women, and is replacing white or gray as the go-to choice for trophy kitchens across the country. “Kitchen noir” is also trending on social media sites such as Pinterest and in the portfolios of high-end kitchen designers, where trends often are hatched.

For the purposes of this trend, black is rich color like any other. Whether it’s matte or shiny, textured or smooth, designers are learning to use black in different shades and depths. It’s a great way to make your kitchen feel like a sleek entertaining space – and it’s easier to maintain than glossy white walls!

Black may be in fashion – but that doesn’t mean that your new kitchen has to be gloomy and dark. Instead, try using black as an accent color, or choose black furnishings with a high gloss that reflects the light.

Black stone countertops are currently very fashionable, whether you choose a gleaming high polish, a soft satin shine, or a honed matte finish. Black custom cabinets are growing in popularity, as are black counters, islands, flooring and wall colors.

Designers say that black is moody and romantic and brings drama to the room in the house where everyone likes to hang out.

“My clients are saying they want something different,” says Maria Stapperfenne, a kitchen designer from Whitehouse Station, N.J., who is president-elect of the National Kitchen & Bath Association. “They want something dramatic and bold. And they don’t want what their mother had.”

“There’s a lot of interest right now in intense, deep tones for kitchens,” says Paul Lobkovich, co-owner of Lobkovich Kitchen Designs in Tysons Corner. “Black is a new neutral. We’re doing a couple of kitchens now that are sort of a gray/brown/black or black with a little eggplant mixed in.”

A few years ago a National Kitchen & Bath Style Report asked members whether they had used a black color scheme in at least one kitchen they designed in the previous year. Of the respondents to that question, one-third said they did; five years ago it was only 12 percent.

Major appliance manufacturers are taking note. At GE Appliances, designers are working on new finishes for appliances that would blend with the darker finishes becoming popular for kitchen cabinets, countertops and floors. “Over the past year, we started hearing about black kitchens from high-end designers all over the country,” says Lou Lenzi, GE Appliances director of industrial design. Although GE has offered a black onyx finish for more than 35 years on stoves, dishwashers and refrigerators, the company is working on something new, probably to debut next year. “Its going to be a much more sophisticated color in terms of its gloss level and materials,” says Lenzi, who described it as a brushed, textured graphite with a low-gloss finish.

In small appliances, Williams-Sonoma stocks a lot more black than it used to, such as stand mixers, compact espresso makers, Air Fryers, toasters , blender.... I mean, the list goes on and on!

Although small black appliances blend in with black counters and cabinets, they also work with other finishes. “Black works well with brushed aluminum stoves, microwaves and refrigerators that are often featured in new high rise apartments or renovated spaces,” Carrie Crespo-Dixon, director of public relations at Williams-Sonoma, wrote in an e-mail. “Black accents are easy ways people can make a statement without fully committing to one color in their decor.”

What do you think? Would you like to have a black kitchen?

Let us know in the comments!

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