Explore four ways dark kitchen cabinets can bring style and substance to your cooking cocoon.

By Sarah Egge

There are certain myths of kitchen design that are fun to debunk. One is that dark cabinets will make your space feel like a cave. They offer a timeless, sophisticated look and can be personalized in all manner of door styles and finishes. Whether your space is small or large, dark kitchen cabinets may be the perfect choice. Here's why:

They Have an Elegant Look

The primary reason people choose dark kitchen cabinets is that they feel the cabinets have a beautiful, rich look. Like your grandmother's cherry china hutch, these dark finishes have an old-world quality. Just because the cabinets are dark, however, doesn't mean they have to be traditional in style. Depending on the door styles, black, charcoal gray, espresso, and walnut finishes can contribute to contemporary looks as well.

They Let Other Elements Shine

By mounting dark cabinets in your kitchen, you create a quiet, recessive backdrop, that allows your kitchen extras to steal the spotlight. Against a dark background, metal hardware sparkles, stainless-steel appliances shine, and accessories, such as light fixtures and backsplash tiles, pop.

They Provide Needed Warmth

In good interior design, contrast is key. Light and dark, shiny and matte, hard and soft -- these are the push-and-pull elements that create interest. A room with balanced contrast just feels good. In a kitchen, too many stainless-steel, stone, or glass surfaces end up making the space feel cold and sterile. Dark cabinets provide much needed warmth.

They Are the Strong & Supportive Types

Cabinets are the architecture of the room. They provide the horizontal and vertical surfaces that fill out the space, making it functional and interesting. When these cabinets are dark, they have additional weight and bearing. If you have a home blessed with inherent architectural details, such as wood beams or arched doorways, dark cabinets blend easily with the overall look. In a blank house without these built-in assets, dark cabinets can provide what it lacks: substantive architectural elements in the heart of the home.

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