While, as a pretty solid decorative rule of thumb, using dark colors will make the space feel more cramped and confined, this particular notion only really pertains to wall paint, and is most often a cautionary notion for bathrooms. A smaller kitchen on the other hand, is another story all together.

Because a kitchen counter is low, between hip and chest level depending on the room design, and because kitchens rarely have doors to enclose the space, like bathrooms do, having dark cabinetry, appliances or countertops not only make a statement, but draw an even larger level of attention to the space.

The perfect pairing

It is no accident that through history, light countertops and light cabinets are seen together, and the inverse of dark countertops with deep stained or black cabinetry are paired. It is historically aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and the decorative marrying of like colors just makes the most sense.

The only real concern is picking the right color and style countertop to go with your existing cabinets, unless you intend to replace them. Having Madison Granite install a lovely deep gray granite top, knowing you are about to swap out your existing cabinets for a set of oak ones, stained in red mahogany, so the deep color and the Granite don’t clash. As long as your appliances aren’t white you are in good shape.

It is all in the eye of the beholder, but eventually, a clashing combination will start to eat at you. And no one wants to look into their kitchen with dismay. Making the call to keep light with light, and deep rich tones and black shades together, is the best way to avoid decorator’s remorse in the future.

Other styles to improve your aesthetic

  • Gray is the neutral half-way point between black and white. So for a granite countertop that is a medium gray, or a marble countertop with flecks of medium gray in it, pairing it with white cabinets and appliances will look very contemporary.
  • If you like a monochrome style, black countertops with simple white cabinets could look nice, but choosing the rest of the room, such as the flooring, appliances, and even the lighting, might take a keen eye, lest it throw off the whole plan.
  • Having all your cabinets be below the counter, your walls above exposed, perhaps with a tile backsplash that isn’t to high, could also look good. Hang some funny sayings, kitchen puns, or art work. It will open the space just by making it feel more like home.