How to master a monochrome kitchen

Add natural textures and a bit of bling to make a black and white kitchen anything but boring.

Monochrome magic

Simple, classically beautiful and easy to style, there’s plenty to love about a black-and-white kitchen colour scheme. There are also loads of ways to lift this classic palette into something out of the ordinary; a twist on the usual tile layout, layers of texture or a dash of bling can elevate a monochrome kitchen into a showstopper.

Products splayed out on table

Character cabinets

Shaker-style cabinets, like Kaboodle’s Alpine profile cabinet doors, are universally appealing and work beautifully in almost any home, from a period charmer to a completely new one. “This house is a new build but I wanted it to have character,” explains homeowner Hazel.

Layer in more detail with glass-panelled cabinets overhead or a glass door leading to a pantry or adjoining room – Hazel lent her modern kitchen a dash of farmhouse charm with a Corinthian French door for the pantry, which offers a glimpse of well-organised shelves within.

Natural textures

Timber elements add warmth to a black-and-white colour scheme; add in timber flooring or benchtops or in smaller accent pieces, like floating shelves. Where solid timber isn’t practical, timber laminate or timber-look vinyl are good substitutes that give the same visual effect; the flooring used here is actually a high-grade timber-look laminate.

Greenery works wonders to enliven a monochrome kitchen and it’s as simple as adding a pot plant or two; this kitchen features benchtop herbs and a flourishing devil’s ivy, which trails from the top of the cabinets almost to the floor.

Black cupboards in kitchen.

Make a splash

The splashback tiles have been laid in a herringbone pattern, which is a great example of how to take a budget-friendly product and give it an upmarket spin that turns it into a real statement feature.

Though the tiles are an economical buy, the layout is pricier than the usual brick-style subway layout, due to the number of angled cuts required. “The tiles weren’t overly expensive – we spent more on labour here,” Hazel explains.

Opt for metallics

The trend for warm metallic finishes, like brass, in tapware is a boon for anyone looking at a monochrome kitchen. Tapware and door knobs and pulls in brushed brass lend warmth and a high-fashion edge to the simple design – and best of all, these are the easiest elements to replace down the track if your tastes change.

Prefer all black everything?

Take inspiration from this single-colour kitchen and check out how to make an all-black scheme work.

Photography credit: Sue Stubbs and James Moffatt


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