A Home Chef Cooks Up a Tasty New Kitchen

A serious cook takes a chance—and falls in love—with the delicious drama of black cabinetry.

Black cabinets and white marble weren't on the list when a Kansas City, Missouri, client of designer Laura McCroskey started jotting down the ingredients she envisioned for her renovated kitchen. An avid cook with energetic kids, the homeowner was eyeing function. "She wanted tons of storage, a big sink, a high-performing range, and no-hassle countertops," McCroskey says. "She also wanted a timeless space with a fresh look." In McCroskey's eyes, nothing could be more simultaneously timeless and current than black.

"We went back and forth on the black," she says. "But in the end, the homeowner loved the drama— and how the richness of black meshes with the rest of the house."

woman opening fridge in dark kitchen
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So, in came black on two walls of cabinetry, plus an extra splash in a back pantry. Cabinet panels painted in Sherwin-Williams Tricorn Black disguise Sub-Zero refrigerator and freezer units on each side of the range. The deep, saturated tones blend with dark-stained wood floors. But the room doesn't tip toward a heavy look thanks to airy contrast in the form of glass doors on a large display cabinet, antiqued mirror panels on cabinets near the ceiling, and sweeps of white on the island and backsplash. The paneled island is coated in Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee.

brown leather stools in dark kitchen
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Counter stools from Baker add to the amalgam of metals while also bringing in the texture and warmth of leather. Warm woods and metals complement the black-and-white palette. White oak covers the ceiling while walnut lines glass-front cabinets. The traditional-style faucet is from Waterstone. A back pantry, swathed in the same black paint as the cabinets, offers extra storage space.

dark kitchen with marble island and clear glass cabinets
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Both the backsplash and countertops are deeply veined Arabescato Corchia white marble. "The homeowner initially wasn't keen on the idea of marble," McCroskey says. "She loved the look but was worried about durability."

The designer erased her fears by having an anti-etch coating by MORE Surface Care applied to the stone. It wards off scratches and stains without changing the look of the marble, whether it's polished like the stone used in this kitchen or a honed surface. "I'm a huge advocate of marble," McCroskey says. "Your eyes never tire of it over time. And the Corchia marble is a perfect contrast to the black."

mixed metals range in dark kitchen
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"The homeowner wanted a decorative range with brass trim," McCroskey says. "Ilve and Lacanche are fantastic alternatives to LaCornue. You get that beautiful look, but it feels more manageable pricewise." The elements combine for a kitchen that's at once hardworking and head-turning. "I love how it all came together," McCroskey says. "It makes for a really pretty kitchen."

Mixed metals on the Ilve range gave McCroskey a jumping-off point for a palette of metals, including a brushed-brass ventilation hood. The hardware and a custom vent hood infuse subtle glamour and enhance the beauty of the showpiece range.

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