black and white

Crisp black and white is one of my favorite palettes; shades of grey is another. Both color schemes were used to revitalize a worn-out kitchen and enhance a collection of well-loved antiques. Ebonized wood and white-glass Ikea cabinets were a great match to Cathy’s taste and budget, and a simple paint job in the adjacent dining room had a transformative effect. Fun accents such as the ikat cafe curtain, bistro sconces and bold rugs complete the theme.

Also see the before and after video.


Above: Using a black stove was crucial to maintaining a continuous horizontal plane of black across the base cabinets. A contrasting stove would have ruined the flow. The bookcase and ikat curtain provide a focal point – and some camouflage – at a window that faces a brick wall.


Above: The distinctive black and white bistro lights were a splurge, made affordable by the decision to use Ikea cabinets.

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Above: Though I wouldn’t normally suggest marble for a kitchen backsplash, this highly-patterned variety will disguise any stains. White Caesarstone counters are practically indestructible. The low bookcase in front of the window is a comfy perch for anyone keeping the cook company.


Above and below: Taking a lesson from museum colors, shades of charcoal and pale grey set off the tall doors and voluptuous moldings as well as the art and antiques. The playful rug keeps it all from becoming overly self-serious.


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