White has ruled the roost in kitchen design for almost the past decade, both in turns of cabinetry and countertops, but other finishes are finally sneaking into the conversation.
"This year, in an ode to '70s and '80s glam, we're seeing more gray and black marble finishes," says Alessandra Wood, Director of Style for Modsy, a 3D visualization company. So why the switch? Is it all about the looks? Maybe darker colors are easier to maintain than white? Well, if you want to do something bold and different, dark marble is where it's at and can be quite the chameleon stylistically. And as for maintenance? While a darker color might add a bit of camouflage for smaller blemishes, it still needs regular sealings and care.
We've touched on this trend before, but this time we're seeing applications beyond counters and backsplashes, which seems to suggest dark marble is on the rise. Let's take a look...
I'm going to start it off with the fancy green cookspace above, designed by Black Lacquer Design. I love everything about it—the shiny emerald cabinets, the geometric backsplash, the pop of teal in the leather counter stools. Those black marble counters certainly set a glam tone and—note to self—play really nicely with brass fixtures. I have to say, I don't think the space would be as special if white marble were in the mix. The contrast here is what makes the room.
On the other end of the spectrum, black marble can read as organic modern, too. Take this Belgian kitchen by JUMAArchitects as an example. It pairs those nondescript (but probably super pricey) bare wood cabinets that are starting to pop up everywhere with a black marble backsplash and countertop. And somehow, the glam factor is pretty toned down here. That's probably because the architecture is fairly understated. Even the rose gold faucet looks less blingy.
Dark marble can also hang with rustic, rough-hewn beams and drawer fronts—and even go full waterfall up in a space, too, as evidenced by this gorgeous cookspace spotted on Bo Bedre. If you like the farmhouse modern look, don't discount going dark. Choose the right materials to surround black marble, and you can make any style kitchen work.
Here's something you don't see every day: a marble-clad range hood. This one, in a kitchen from Rue Mag designed by Stacey Cohen, the marble appears to be a midnight blue with white stripes, likely added to separate it a little from the dark navy cabinetry. But a solid black or gray version would create a super striking focal point in a kitchen.
For those that will always and forever love a crisp white kitchen, this space from Ideal Home UK proves that adding a bit of black veiny marble to the equation can really amp up the drama and add serious interest to a colorless space.
If you love white marble, you don't have to go to the dark side exclusively. This kitchen via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles artfully mixes white marble counters with a black marble backsplash and accent island. You can't go wrong with classic white-and-black everything!
The jury's out on whether this sink in a home from Better Homes & Gardens is black soapstone or marble, but treating the sink to a dark veined makeover certainly turns this part of the work triangle into a showpiece. And check out those built-in dish drying recesses.
Going dark may be risky, but as they say, with risk comes huge design reward.