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Architecture Design

Dark and Light

Contrast is the name of the game.

Dark and Light

Designer Nina Magon collaborated with Cosentino to create the Dekton Onirika Collection. Magon explains, “What I loved so much about this collaboration was the artistic liberty their technology makes possible. It allowed me to dream up designs and colors that take cues from nature, infused with movement and drama through an elegant mix of colors.” For this rendering, Magon used colorway Awake, a reinterpretation of precious Paonazzo stone, featuring thick veins of light gray, exquisite oxide terra-cotta, and a hint of subtle, inky blue. It pairs beautifully with white.

Black and white has always been a popular color combination, especially in kitchens. But going completely dark, or conversely something lighter and brighter, can add real drama to everyone’s favorite room.

Dark and Light

LEFT: This kitchen in Cape Town, South Africa is a study in contrast and urban sophistication. Homeowner and interior designer Kim Smith says, “I was looking for a personal creative project and a city loft has always been on my bucket list.” She created a kitchen fully kitted out for cooking and entertaining. The pendant lighting and honed granite countertops add to the industrial ambience, and matte surfaces contrast with the high-gloss veneer of the Smeg fridge. Photography by Greg Cox/Bureaux
RIGHT: An all-white kitchen by MandiCasa combines straight lines, innovative materials and highly functional configurations to create a streamlined, modern environment. The brand’s full collection of luxury cabinetry is fully customizable, to accommodate all the requirements of modern life.

Embracing dark or light tones in the kitchen is not as difficult as it may seem. A moody, black kitchen can include a range of tones, from deepest noir to light charcoal, as well as deep greens and blues for contrast.

In a white kitchen, the same is true. Tones from pale cream to bright white can play together with gold-veined marble, or tiles with a touch of iridescent shimmer.

Dark and Light

LEFT: In this kitchen, the dark-green cabinetry, charcoal-gray countertops, and matte-black refrigerator from Smeg contrast with the white marble backsplash. Photography by Warren Heath/Bureaux
RIGHT: In Cape Town, homeowner Caroline Topat wanted a sleek kitchen to complete her rustic farmhouse. Black granite countertops and gray slate flooring contrasts with the custom white cabinetry. The Miele range in white completes the picture. Photography by Warren Heath/Bureaux

And if a wash of monochromatic color is overwhelming, adding contrast is an easy way to break up the mood, if even for a moment. A sculptural black light in a white kitchen can add punctuation, and likewise white details in a black kitchen can add a punch of visual interest.

Dark and Light

A study in contrasts by Julie Hillman Design and Steven Harris Architects includes sleek white cabinetry from Eggersmann along with deeply veined Calacatta marble. The large, industrial windows let in abundant light. Photography by Manolo Yllera

As chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud says, “Kitchens should be designed around what’s truly important—fun, food, and life.”

“If you are afraid of butter, use cream.”

—Julia Child