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custom cabinetry

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Doing Black Cabinetry the Right Way

Every once in a while, a client asks JASON BALL interiors to design a kitchen with some real drama. This is nothing against most of the other kitchens I've done, but some people just really want to push the design envelope to the limit. I'm working on one such kitchen. We, the clients and myself, set out to design a kitchen all the right details, backsplash, cabinet hardware, counter top and especially the cabinetry. Our design choice was to use cabinetry in a deep black paint color with a higher level of glossiness than usual. Different than most kitchens, this particular kitchen can handle the idea of dark cabinetry because of the quality and quantity of light available. Large windows in the adjacent breakfast nook (with an amazing view, by the way) and an abundance of overhead lighting makes it easier to ensure a light-filled space despite the cabinetry tone.

But, how can you incorporate dark cabinetry in a setting without all of these particular advantages. If the idea of black cabinetry is something that interests you, then this article will guide you through the selection process of how best to use black cabinetry in your kitchen.

Start Small. One of the easiest ways to get a darker tone in your kitchen it to only use it in one or two selective locations. An island or bar area are perfect locations for beautiful black cabinetry and a great way to introduce black into your space.

Black island and built-in china cabinet: Design by Sarah Davison Interior Design

Black island and built-in china cabinet: Design by Sarah Davison Interior Design

Balance with light surfaces all around. Using black cabinetry in your kitchen is all about balance. The easiest way to balance out the black cabinetry is to make sure you have sufficient light in the room. Recessed lights, pendants, in-cabinet lighting are all crucial in creating a light filled room

Lights abound in this kitchen - Photography by Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Lights abound in this kitchen - Photography by Maxine Schnitzer Photography

Reflective surfaces are your friend. If you're daring enough to go all out and put in a full set of black cabinetry, use metal finishes, glass and other reflective surfaces to help "lighten" the space. These shiny surfaces are important ways to push the light around the space and provide little glints of light against the dark cabinetry. 

Chrome pendants and cabinet hardware are the jewelry in this kitchen - Design by Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. 

Chrome pendants and cabinet hardware are the jewelry in this kitchen - Design by Laurysen Kitchens Ltd. 

Go all out for pure drama. If you're really bold, why not pull out all the stops? This amazing kitchen has everything going for it - an amazing ceiling, gorgeous cabinetry and a floor that builds on the overall look. One design element to make note of. The farm table plays an incredibly important role in the space. It adds warmth and age to space, a great add.

Black cabinetry with checkerboard floor and antique farmhouse table - Design by Alonso and Associates

Black cabinetry with checkerboard floor and antique farmhouse table - Design by Alonso and Associates

Here are a couple of instances in which I've used black cabinetry. In one kitchen, we did black on all the cabinetry. In the other one, just the island and built-in buffet area got special treatment.

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I can't wait to show you the kitchen JBi has recently been working on. I'm pretty sure it's going to be really show stopper. And, one last word, don't let black cabinetry get in the way of creating your dream kitchen. Go bold or go home, right?! 

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Before & After: Gray With A Splash Of Red

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Before & After: Gray With A Splash Of Red

The kitchen design world continues to love the idea of painted cabinetry. White, black, other cool colors and of course, gray. There is no better neutral than gray. It goes with nearly every color and is a perfect backdrop for any type of design - contemporary, traditional and so on. The trick is always how to get the combination just right.

When my clients first came to JBi with the concept for their kitchen, they knew they wanted gray cabinetry and some touch of red as an accent color. Our goal became to find a way to make the gray feel fresh and contemporary in this kitchen loaded with traditional touches. The extra large crown molding, flush inset cabinetry and furniture-like island all lend themselves toward a more traditional look. Throughout the design process, we looked for ways to tone down the traditional feel and bring the design into a beautifully updated kitchen filled with contemporary design elements. The changes throughout all improved the flow and function of the space, while providing a jump off point for the look of the rest of the home.

Take a look at our design challenges and how we addressed each of these to create a true showcase kitchen.

While the general layout of the kitchen didn't change that much, we did move some appliances around a little to help with the flow of the space. By moving the range to a side wall, we were able to design a beautiful cooking station with the proper ventilation (no more inefficient downdraft!). 

The real fun, however, came in finding ways to incorporate red into the overall look. We started by adding cabinets with glass doors on either side of the range with painted red interiors. The valance fabric has an artistic quality to it in reds and grays. Red accessories and a red stand mixer help complete the look. All-in-all, one stunning kitchen with all the right details in the right proportions. Here's the unfiltered picture for one last view and a detail shot of the amazing range.

ABOUT JASON BALL interiors. Jason is an interior designer based in Portland, Oregon serving residential and commercial clients throughout Oregon and Washington, and beyond. To see examples of his design work, visit the Portfolio page. For an evaluation of your upcoming projects, contact Jason Ball at (503) 267-2352 or via e-mail at jason@jasonballinteriors.com.

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