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The modern monochrome kitchen is a bold design choice that's not for the faint of heart, but done well, it's a look that's striking, incredibly appealing and very liveable.

Style seeker kitchen design

By keeping the colour palette simple, it allows the architectural shapes of the fixtures and fittings, and the beautiful textures of the materials, to be the hero elements of the space. Far from being cold and sterile, a contemporary black-and-white kitchen can be a multi-layered tapestry of beautiful, industrial-inspired kitchen features.

Black tapware, timber benchtop, sink plug and marble benchtop.

Decide on a colour palette

You've decided on monochrome, so choosing the colour palette is simple, right? Not exactly. While the core palette might be black – or charcoal, or dark grey – with touches of white, what makes this look really sing is the subtle layering of shades and levels of shine. Matt and stainless-steel finishes create a completely different look that's much more modern and grown up than the super glossy finishes we are used to seeing in kitchens and give the black materials depth and complexity. Similarly there are a wide range of whites, so be careful with your choice; look at how the shade of white and the gloss level sits with the black finishes, and consider something with a bit more life, like a marble-look kitchen benchtop and splashback in white with veins of grey.

Monochromatic kitchen featuring marble splashback and black sink.

Choose your materials

A monochrome kitchen makes a strong design statement that needs little embellishment. A plain profile kitchen cabinet, like Kaboodle's ‘Modern' style, is a good choice that enhances the contemporary feel of the look and lets the cabinet colour speak for itself. A black-and-white kitchen can be rich in texture and as welcoming as any other colour scheme, but to avoid it looking too stark, consider mixing in other materials, particularly natural ones such as timber and stone. Marble (or marble-look laminate) gives a sense of movement and interest, while timber breaks up an expanse of black, adds warmth, and extends a visual invitation to pull up a chair and chat awhile. 

Kitchen with marble splashback and black cabinetry.

Sand away

We used both an electric hand sander (these are great) and separate sandpaper squares to get into those tricky-to-reach areas. You don't need to get carried away taking it all the way back to the wood, you just need to make sure the surface is nice and smooth. If your chair is really old, it might have some gaps or major dents in it. If it does, grab some gap filler or wood putty and plug the holes – this will smooth everything out. Allow it to dry and sand away the excess putty and you're ready for the next step.

Kitchen featuring timber island, black cabinetry and marble splashback.

More great kitchen ideas

Learn more about how to complete your style seeker kitchen look here. Or, if monochrome style isn't your thing, you can check out our other inspiring kitchen designs here.


Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Please note: Our range of engineered stone products is no longer available. Our team members can help you with our wide range of alternatives to suit your project, and we're working closely with our suppliers to introduce new options soon.