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How do you choose black kitchen cabinets?

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Quick Answer

Cabinetry is the most obvious feature in most kitchens, so if black is an option, take note if a darker ambiance will work in the space at hand. Small kitchens benefit from lighter accents, while large kitchens are elegant in shining black and stainless steel.

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Black cabinets are one of the hottest trends in 2014 kitchens, according to numerous designers quoted in the Wall Street Journal. Modern cooks choose such shades as licorice, ebony, knockout black, or "shock black" as an antidote to the laboratory feel of an all-white kitchen and a striking change from country-themed pastel shades.

Black cabinetry also has a neutral warmth when compared to the "professional chef" look of pure stainless steel. These cabinets can be trimmed with granite or quartz in contrasting shades such as white for a bright, clean feel; they can be matched with deep primary colors on walls or floors for an Art Deco mood. For a mix of sleek and serene, pair black cabinets with a dove-gray floor or brick-red accents for a space that's sophisticated without being stuffy.

There is one caveat in choosing black cabinets for a kitchen: they "show everything," as explained by HGTV. Contrary to what many people assume, black doesn't conceal fingerprints, smudges, or splatters; it reveals them. A matte finish rather than high-gloss paint helps minimize those effects and cuts down on cleaning time. One compromise might be to use a black island in the midst of a kitchen full of white cabinets: the contrast is both beautiful and easier to care for than all-black.

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