Laurie Gorelick Interiors


Revisiting Black Kitchens

Almost a year ago, I wrote about black kitchens in one of my Trend Watch Tuesday posts.  I'm revisiting that post to add a kitchen I saw in April at the Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse and featured in this month's Traditional Home magazine.  If it's in Traditional Home, why include it in the blog?  Because the kitchen was designed by my friend and super-talented designer, Lisa Mende, with whom I shared the Brizo Fashion Week experience in September 2012.

Ever since designer Steven Miller did a black kitchen for the 2014 San Francisco Decorator Showcase (it was also House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year), black kitchens have been taking the kitchen and bath industry by storm.  Black is as basic and as versatile as white, inviting ample opportunities for mixing in other colors, patterns, materials and textures.

Lisa Mende's black kitchen was a home run for numerous reasons.  The black cabinets and range hood maintain focus, but the white glossy subway-tiled walls keep everything in balance.  I love how Lisa punctuated the walls with black window trim.  That's an important takeaway: trim doesn't have to match the walls and doesn't have to be white.


The mix of black and white patterns in the space is a textbook example of how multiple patterns can be harmoniously used.  Lisa used the large pattern on the window shades sparingly, balancing it with a small print on the counter stools and a geometric wallpaper pattern on the ceiling.  Adding interest, the ceiling pattern is not so bold as to distract one's eye-level perspective of the space.

Another awesome feature of the design is the use of mixed metals.  Appliances are stainless, hardware and light fixtures are brass, faucets are copper.  Yet they all work perfectly together.  Note the contemporary drawer and cabinet pulls paired with the vintage-looking swing-arm wall sconces.  Another great lesson: mixing periods is good design!

As great a design as the kitchen was, so too was the adjoining breakfast room.


Walls clad in cobalt blue grasscloth, green leather chairs trimmed with nailheads, a settee in a striped pattern with a Greek key motif and a mid-century inspired chandelier all harmonize to create a cheerful family gathering spot.  Congratulations, Lisa, on a superb job!