Is there any color duo that has more staying power than black and white? It's a winning combo in any room, but particularly in high-traffic spaces like the kitchen where a premium is placed on enduring palettes and timeless design. Something about that monochrome look just screams sophistication, whether you favor a boho retreat or a minimalist haven.
From a white subway tile backsplash with black grout to two-tone cabinetry, there are countless ways to work a high-contrast color palette while staying true to any aesthetic. That includes pairing the contrasting shades with a third accent color. And if you're asking yourself, What colors go with black and white? — you're not alone. Luckily, the bold palette works with just about any hue, but some of our favorites are yellow, pink, terra cotta, and teal. Natural wood tones are a picture-perfect match, too.
Craving for some inspiration? Scroll on for 25 of our favorite black-and-white kitchen design ideas.
1. Pick the right cabinetry.
One of the easiest ways to get started creating a chic black-and-white kitchen design is to simply opt for white walls and black cabinetry. Bonus points for a black countertop, too. Take inspiration from the &SHUFL linoleum cabinet fronts, featured here in charcoal, that are seamless in style. And when paired with a white subway tile backsplash and gorgeous herringbone wood flooring, the result is wonderfully graphic and contemporary.
2. Make a splash with your backsplash.
Nina from Stylizimo successfully pulls off the black-and-white kitchen trend by going tone on tone. The backsplash, countertops, and cabinets are all finished in the same ebony shade, but she didn't stop there. Follow her lead and take it to the next level by investing in a matte black sink and a few dark accents to up the drama.
3. Consider the details.
A black-and-white color scheme has the ability to make interiors look bigger than they are, especially if you're clever about the way you use it. To create the appearance of a higher ceiling, paint the lower cabinets black and use white or light-colored open shelving on top. This will allow natural light to flow through the kitchen uninterrupted, making the overall space feel grander.
4. Introduce pattern.
If there's one thing that a black-and-white color combo will take to, like a duck to water, it's a pattern. If you're craving a bohemian vibe, use monochrome patterned tile to break up your cook space and add visual interest. Keep the rest of the kitchen pattern-free using blocks of black and white throughout.
5. Go big with lighting.
Challenge yourself to make an impact with your lighting, like the team over at RailiCA Design did with this incredible black-and-white kitchen. Interspersed with wood details (hello exposed ceiling beams!), this culinary space features charcoal cabinetry, fresh white walls, and the most enviable grouping of black mesh pendant lights.
6. Embrace contrast.
If you're going to go for a black-and-white kitchen, you may as well really go for it. High contrast palettes will trick you (and guests) into feeling like the room is bigger, especially if you contain the black to a specific area. This cook space designed by Biasol shows us how it's done by limiting the dark hue to the island, drawing the gaze in from the bright white floor-to-ceiling cabinetry.
7. Try the two-tone look.
We've bookmarked two-tone cabinetry as a kitchen trend and we're certain that you're going to see much more of this in the near future. So why not incorporate the best of both worlds into your cook space? Opt for black upper cabinets and white lower cabinets á la this contemporary design by smarterBATHROOMS+ and set yourself apart from the masses.
8. Say it with tile.
In love with the idea of black walls but unsure how to bring them into your kitchen without creating vampire vibes? Take a cue from this cook space captured by photographer Jonas Berg and opt for a tall black tile backsplash paired with white cabinetry. The black mosaic tile background adds a sense of drama and will be a nice change of pace from the more commonly used white subway tile. Plus, black tile won't show as much dirt and will look fabulous with wood details.
9. Use brass accents.
Speaking of details, if you're looking for something to match your black-and-white kitchen, we recommend adding hints of brass into the mix. Brass cabinet hardware and light fixtures will really complement the high contrast color scheme, as proven by Jenni from I Spy DIY. Complete the timeless look with a hint of greenery and a patterned area rug.
10. Be brave with paneling.
Wondering how to take your black-and-white kitchen to the next level? Think beyond paint colors and countertop materials. A wall of cabinetry covered with black beadboard-inspired paneling will add further interest to a monochrome space and create an almost industrial quality. Soften the look with leather details and verdant foliage like this dreamy setup by Austin Design.
11. Emphasize your countertops.
Draw attention to slim profile countertops by selecting a material in a color that contrasts with the surrounding cabinetry and walls. Jean Stoffer created a dark and moody culinary space by embracing predominantly black elements and then punctuating the look with a thin marble counter and a pair of brass sconces for an extra boost of elegance.
12. Install tonal flooring.
Complement a black and white color scheme with bleached wood floors for a contemporary tonal look. This minimalist kitchen features flat front black cabinetry with black hardware, integrated appliances, and linear lighting for a less is more approach to kitchen decor.
13. Include open shelving.
While black cabinetry is beautiful, it can impart unwanted visual weight to a kitchen design. Temper that tendency by including open shelving. In this monochromatic cook space, a set of stacked wooden shelves displays a curated selection of pottery which adds color, warmth, and personality.
14. Let your windows function as a design feature.
If you love the idea of a black-and-white kitchen but are worried it'll be too austere, natural light is your friend. Not only does it cast an inviting warm glow, but it also functions as an important layer in a comprehensive lighting plan. And bonus for steel factory windows like the ones Cortney Bishop used in this transitional light-filled space.
15. Don't forget rustic touches.
Flaunt rustic vibes in a black-and-white kitchen by employing quintessential mountain accents. The design team at Park and Oak paired creamy white and bluish-black paint with layers of organic elements, like deer antlers, reclaimed wood details, and hand-painted tile for a down-to-earth finish with lots of soul.
16. Make your stove the focal point.
Ranges come in a variety of colors and finishes that make them a design consideration in their own right. And while their primary purpose will always be to cook food, you can also use black stainless steel appliances to ground an all-white kitchen and create a focal point.
17. Embrace the look of a commercial kitchen.
If you're a minimalist at heart, you have permission to skip the tile and cabinetry in your kitchen design and focus purely on functionality. In this industrial cook space, black walls highlight the reflective beauty of stainless steel while concrete floors underscore the utilitarian vibe.
18. Or opt for farmhouse vibes.
If you love the look of a farmhouse kitchen, but long for something a bit more refined, follow Studio McGee's lead and keep it clean and simple with an edited color palette and a pared-down assortment of accessories. Designate various kitchen areas by color — black on the island and white on the surrounding cabinets. Then include banks of open shelving, glass-front cabinets, and ceramic pendant lights for a charming and welcoming aesthetic.
19. Flaunt your grout lines.
Give classic subway tile a bit of edge by installing it with contrasting grout as Chango & Co. did in this industrial-inspired black-and-white kitchen. A pair of oversize pendant lights and a black island ground a periphery of white walls, while a striped woven rug adds softness.
20. Introduce rustic elements.
Keep a black-and-white kitchen approachable and relaxed by including plenty of wood details. Elizabeth Roberts infused warmth in this timeless cook space with reclaimed wood floors, a hand-hewn wooden island, and a range hood with wood trim. Black flush mounts pepper a white ceiling and draw the eye upwards.
21. Tone down a patterned floor.
Encaustic tile is a durable and stylish flooring option that invites contrast and color into a kitchen. The team over at Studio McGee clearly got the memo, opting for a graphic gray and black design to punch up this well-appointed culinary space. The brass hardware is a high-end touch that adds a welcome dose of luster.
22. Go big on linear details.
We have the Greeks and Romans to thank for the fluted patterns that are gracing contemporary cabinets, walls, and fireplace surrounds of late. Collective Studio employed the linear detailing on the kitchen island and range hood in this striking black and white setup, and there's a pleasing hypnotic quality to them that lends unparalleled sophistication.
23. Black and white but make it glam.
Gild the black-and-white kitchen lily by going big on glinty metals. A gold tile backsplash is hands down the star of the show in this cook space by Emid Design Group. The Hollywood glam-inspired design is further elevated by geometric floor tile and black and gold barstools.
24. Consider throwing in a vibrant accent color.
For a black-and-white kitchen with playful undertones, consider throwing in a vibrant pop of color. The team over at Chango & Co. gave this traditional design a vibrant boost of energy thanks to a few canary yellow accents. Black counters paired with stainless steel appliances and white cabinets balance the neon shade, while wood flooring adds a perfect touch of warmth.
25. Think outside of the traditional cabinet box.
If you like the idea of a black-and-white kitchen, but you're looking for a design feature that feels unexpected, search no further. The arched upper cabinets that Amber Lewis used in this picture-perfect design are a nice departure from the traditional boxy silhouette we've all grown accustomed to. The shaker-style cabinet fronts, marble countertops, and the subway tile backsplash impart a classic sophistication.