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How to Choose the Dark Color of Kitchen Cabinets That Is Right for You?

April 02, 2021 | Updated on: January 31, 2022

Do you prefer to have a dark kitchen or one that’s light and bright? When it comes down to choosing the right kitchen cabinets, it can be tough to decide. While many may choose light cabinets, there are quite a few benefits to choosing dark kitchen cabinets. 

A deep, dark, and dramatic color for kitchen cabinets can make the room look more elegant and cozy. While the existing trend for kitchen cabinets is white, dark wood cabinets are still a fan-favourite and they’ll continue to be. It’s true that dark colors can add the perfect flair to your kitchen that white might not be able to.  

dark kitchen cabinets

Dark cabinets can give off the feeling of elegance, class, and style as they’re timeless. Since they provide a cozy and warm ambiance, they make for the perfect shade for contemporary, modern, and rustic kitchen styles. They’re perfect for people who want to have a classic kitchen design without having the room look like a hospital. 

While it’s true that darker shades can make a room look smaller, that shouldn’t stop you from choosing them. It’s a given that bigger and well-lit kitchens will look good with dark cabinets, but so will kitchens with white walls since they’ll pop perfectly against the lighter paint. Smaller kitchens can also use various techniques such as two-toned color schemes, open shelving or dark cupboards, and light decor in order to balance out the darkness. 

Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to caring for your darker cabinets, you shouldn’t run into any problems. You’ll likely avoid having to do as much intensive cleaning as you would with white cabinets. Simple dusting and wiping of the cabinets should be done regularly. Aside from that, you probably won’t see much grime, grease, or other particle build-ups on the surfaces. 

Here are 5 reasons why you should choose dark kitchen cabinets over a lighter option. 

5 Reasons to Choose Dark Kitchen Cabinets

1. They Hide Scratches, Stains, and Dings

Kitchens with dark cabinets are perfect for people who utilize the room a lot. If the kitchen in your home is a busy room for the family, choosing dark cabinets would be the ideal choice, especially if you have kids and/or pets. The darker colors can conceal the daily wear and tear that white cabinets simply cannot. From scratches to stains and even minor dings, they likely won’t be seen as much as they would on other colors. 

2. There Are a Variety of Possibilities

In general, darker cabinets tend to serve as a natural focal point whereas lighter cabinets are used to open up space in the background. You can mix both light and dark cabinets while also bringing in color through the floors, lighting, and other decors which will give your kitchen a more unique style. The possibilities for incorporating colors for a kitchen with dark cabinets are endless.

colors for a kitchen with dark cabinets

3. Choose from Contrasting Styles

It’s no secret that dark cabinets are bolder than others. They can transform a bland and conventional kitchen into one that is vibrant and enlightening. This can create a more inviting space for your family and guests to gather. 

Incorporating high-contrast colors like a two-toned light and dark cabinet kitchen design can give the kitchen a more energetic and/or playful feel. You can customize it with vivid color choices, decor, accents, and more.

4. Ideal for Large Kitchens

Dark cabinets can warm up a large kitchen whereas light-coloured cabinets can make it feel dull and institutional due to the larger size. The darker shades will also allow property owners to bring in various decor and accent pieces for a more custom look. Homeowners can go as far as adding contrasting flooring, lighting, and other pops of color in order to coordinate with the darker cabinets. 

5. Many Dark Color Options

Most dark cabinets come in a wide variety of color options. Thre are various shades of dark grey kitchen cabinets, black, blue, green, red, dark brown wood finishes, and more. The options continue when it comes to dark paint and stain colors. 

Top 10 Color Schemes for the Dark Cabinet Kitchen 

For a traditional home design, white kitchens are the typical go-to. However, most designers will urge you to go dark. The attraction to darker cabinets is obvious because they’re striking, dramatic, and they can draw in your attention as soon as you step into the room. There are numerous different options when it comes to kitchen paint ideas with dark cabinets which means that they’ll suit practically any kitchen style ranging from modern to rustic. 

kitchen paint ideas with dark cabinets

When you choose the perfect dark shade of kitchen cabinets, you’ll also have to consider how they’ll tie into the rest of your design. You’ll have to find the perfect kitchen wall colors with dark cabinets, lighting, and more in order to ensure that the cabinets will be the focal point of the room. To ensure that your dark cabinets are standing out, the rest of the kitchen will complement their color and depth. 

So how exactly do you get the perfect dark kitchen? What exactly is the best color scheme for a dark kitchen? Is there only one? Here are 10 options that you can consider in terms of dark cabinet kitchen color schemes.

1. Black Tuxedo Style

If black is your style, you might consider having a tuxedo kitchen. Kitchens with black cabinets can give off the perfect modern vibe. Say no to those other bright colors and choose all-black cabinets with white countertops for the perfect amount of contrast. 

Kitchens with black cabinets

Adding stainless steel appliances can add the extra bit of color that is needed. When you go all black for a kitchen, it can result in a surprisingly bright room as long as there is enough natural light. 

2. Polished and Modern Look

An open layout and an oversized island can make any modern kitchen feel anything but cramped. Adding darker grey cabinets can also make the room feel inviting. For some subtle contrast and brightness, you can try adding light-grey-colored paint to the walls and even some appealing tiles for the backsplash. 

3. Minimalistic Style

When paired together, dark cupboard kitchens, timber flooring, black cabinets, minimal hardware, and a large white island all scream minimalism. The design is effortless, timeless, and the white island will likely act as the center point for all gatherings and socialization. 

4. Chocolate Brown

Chocolate Brown Kitchen

If you’re looking for more of a traditional kitchen style, you can choose to have chocolate brown cabinets. Opting for a white-colored wall will help brighten everything up and contrast the dark brown shade of cabinetry. You can go for a greyish-brown color for the countertops to complete the look of the kitchen. 

5. Meditteranean Style

Black kitchen cabinets aren’t the only option for dark-colored cabinets. You can also go for a midnight blue or even a lighter shade of brown. In most Mediterranean-style kitchens, you’ll find a lot of contrasting colors and patterns. However, the dramatic appeal comes from the darker colored cabinets and maybe even the accent colors from the range hood, island, or countertops. 

6. Rich Espresso

Espresso is one of the perfect colors for small kitchens and large kitchens as it can add the perfect amount of elegance. Go for a matching island to achieve a more cultivated design. For the rest of your kitchen, you can have naturally light-colored hardwood floors in order to make the room look larger if needed. 

7. Dark and Calming

For darker kitchens, simplicity is often key. The cabinets should be the main focal point whereas everything else should just complement them. A clean and organized finish for your dark cabinets can give your kitchen the ideal and modernized look that you desire. It will bring a feeling of serenity and calmness. 

8. Dark Blue Bliss

Navy and dark blue kitchen cabinets can also bring a calming feeling to the kitchen, especially when combined with white walls and countertops. You can add recessed lighting and make sure that there are large windows in order to keep the room from feeling too dark or dim. 

dark blue kitchen cabinets


Navy is a thrilling shade of blue that is oftentimes used for kitchen cabinets. While it’s seen more so in contemporary homes, it’s also the perfect accent shade for practically any kitchen style. It can make a room look unique, shadowy, and dramatic, all in a positive way. 

9. Craftsman Cherry

Warm cherry cabinets can add the perfect amount of luxury and elegance to a kitchen. These cabinets are still considered to be a darker shade, despite their reddish hue which may give them a brighter look. Kitchens with cherry cabinets can be paired with cream or tan-colored walls, tan or brown granite countertops, and the perfect lighting in order to get the majestic look that they need.

10. Dark and Rustic

dark brown kitchen cabinets

A dark and rustic look can make the kitchen look stunning in every way possible. This can be achieved with dark colors like dark brown kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors, and even a natural stone or brick wall. These contrasting finishes will contribute to the rustic style. 

Top Colors for a Kitchen With Dark Cabinets

Choosing rich shades of black, warm browns, deep blues, or greens can give any kitchen a more dramatic look. Whatever style you choose to have, it’s important to pick accent colors that will help brighten up the room and make it more inviting. Below you’ll find ideas for paint colors for a kitchen with dark cabinets


If you have black or deep dark brown cabinets, you’ll need to brighten up the room with an accent color. Bright white shades of kitchen paint colors with dark cabinets can give off the perfect modern vibe as it’s a cool and high contrasting color that will look good in any modern space. 


You can choose to go with white walls, countertops, or even a white backsplash. Take things a step further by adding small pops of color from appliances and accessories. White accents can also be used if you choose to have dark cabinets, neutral-colored walls, and a dark backsplash. Such accents can include a white kitchen table, dishes, chairs, and other decorative accessories. White is a color that can be used to help things stand out in a room. 

Cool Neutral Shades

There are darker wooden cabinets that have cool undertones. These shades can include an almost-black-brown or espresso. If you choose to have similar cabinets, you’ll likely want to stick to cooler-toned neutral shades. Whether it’s different shades of blue, lavender-toned grey, greige, or even sage green, the options are endless. These kitchen colors with dark cabinets will give off the right ambiance. 

kitchen colors with dark cabinets


Choosing to have a lighter shade match the undertones of your cabinets can help open up the room and make it look brighter than it is. In terms of accent colors, you’ll want to look for brighter versions of any base color you might be highlighting. For instance, a grey with blue undertones will likely pair well with various shades of blue accents. 

Warm Neutral Shades

Another option for kitchen color ideas for dark cabinets is using warm neutral shades. Dark wood cabinets can also go well with warm neutral shades as they’ll bring out the warmth in the wood. Going with lighter neutrals that have warm undertones like beige, creamy white, taupe, warmer shades of grey, or even a soft blush pink can be a good choice. You can take things further by emphasizing the warmer undertones in the paint by adding accents that are part of the same color family. Let’s say you have a creamy white color of paint on the walls, you can add yellow accents. 

Warm Neutral Shades Kitchen Cabinets

There are numerous dark shades to pick from when it comes to dark kitchen cabinets so you’ll definitely find one to match your style. Keep the different paint colors in mind when completing the rest of your dark kitchen to ensure that the cabinets stand out. What’s your favourite color scheme for dark kitchen cabinets?



Article by:

Valentina Melnikova - Lead Designer at Cut2Size

Office 403.366.7411

Hi there! I’m a millwork designer and an owner of a kitchen cabinet manufacturing company. With a team of professionals, I work on designing and manufacturing high-end millwork. Combining professional designing and manufacturing skills is what allows us to develop and translate our plans into a reality through our uniqueness and exclusive ideas. Our employees are highly skilled and creative thinkers that also utilize their professionalism and experience to take millwork to the next level. I’m very familiar with the industry and I take on each project from the design to the final product. With that said, if you’re looking for design advice or technician help, you’re in the right place.