Let these kitchens show you all the ways to style one before you decide
Houzz UK deputy editor. I’m an interiors journalist and editor, previously for the… More
Scroll through the photo stream on Houzz and you’ll see home after home featuring inky coloured kitchen cabinets, black-framed windows, or dark and cosy wall paints. So it’s no surprise that our appliances are picking up on this trend – and, along with classic stainless-steel and white models, the black fridge or dark fridge-freezer is becoming quite the thing for the discerning kitchen. Scroll down to see how you might fit one into your own cookspace.
Inky shades and greys may be creeping into ‘the most popular choices for kitchen cabinetry’ realm, but white is still hands down the most popular.
But giving a white kitchen a shot of sharp black is a nice way to freshen up this enduring favourite. Add a dash of wood and you’ve got something with a definite Scandi feel.
Here, the fridge-freezer, as the biggest black feature in the space, leads the way, influencing the stools, light fittings, oven, tap, dining chairs and even the dish for the apples on the table.
If you’re choosing black appliances, gloss finishes are more widely available so this is worth bearing in mind if your heart is set on a matt scheme. However, mixing gloss with matt adds textural interest to a clean, monochrome room.
Team with grey
Here, the effect is softer, with the gleaming black American fridge-freezer teamed with pale grey units, again in matt.
In this kitchen, the key partner piece for the fridge is that luscious black Cambria quartz marbled worktop.
If the homeowners had gone instead for stainless steel, and the same for their range cooker, the worktop could have looked a little isolated as a design feature.
If you’re opting for black appliances, consider how you’ll balance them with other colours in your kitchen – how many accessories in the same shade are too many? Start with three, which will always be just enough, and build (gently) from there.
Blend freestanding and built-in
What looks like a cool, charcoal freestanding unit solely built to house a fridge is, in fact, also the end of a row of storage shelves (out of shot, left of the unit – see next photo).
The designers of this stunning cabinetry, which is situated in a property that was built in the early 20th century as a library, deliberately “downplayed its ‘refrigeratorness’”. As such, they chose to clad the doors in blackened hot-rolled steel, oiled and waxed to give it a rich patina, and the material has also been used around the rest of the property.
If the best position for your fridge is somewhere as prominent as this one, especially if you have an open-plan kitchen-living area and can see it from the sofa, it’s worth considering how to make it look beautiful, and also how to tie it into your living room décor as well as your kitchen’s. Black is an excellently versatile accent colour, for its power to ‘anchor’ a scheme.
See the rest of this kitchen
Another view of the cabinetry housing the fridge.
Read about the ingenious appliances that will transform your kitchen
Be vintage but versatile
Retro accessories often come in several pastel colours as well as staples, including black and cream. So a black fridge does not need to mean sleek and futuristic, as this curvy number illustrates. Opting for black makes it a versatile piece that’ll work if you decide to change the paint colours – it’s easy to coordinate with other appliances, too, meaning you can choose the best functioning ones for you, rather than having to get something unsuitable just because it’s the right colour.
The vintage feel in this mews house is gently ramped up by the tongue-and-groove panelling and the soft pistachio colour.
‘Hide’ your fridge within your units
A built-in fridge is not the only solution for one that blends into the background. Opting for a freestanding model in a colour that matches that of your cabinets will also make it disappear. Black, and also deep grey, navy and dark green kitchens are growing in popularity. Rather than detract from this kind of colour statement, choosing a black fridge will boost the impact.
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This kitchen has gone one step further by opting for a freestanding American-style fridge-freezer whose matt finish matches that of the surrounding cabinetry, down to the black handles.
While you’ll easily find lots of US-style models in black finishes at mid-range prices, you are likely to pay a premium for a model that suits such exacting design specifications as this. You might then consider an integrated version for a similar visual effect – but be warned, integrated American-style models are not wildly common and do typically cost a lot more than standard-size integrated models.
Bear in mind, too, that not only are these fridge-freezers wider than standard UK-style designs, but they’ll also be deeper than your kitchen units.
Make it an elegant feature
You can trust the Scandinavians to go super cool (pardon the pun) with their take on a black fridge-freezer.
This pared-back, pale kitchen features classic Scandi black accents, but for a little unexpected bling there are brassy touches all over the room, from the gold-tipped chair legs to the trim on the oven. Although there are black details elsewhere, as such a large piece of furniture, the fridge-freezer (encased in a freestanding cabinet) could feel a little out on a limb. Instead, those gleaming golden door-pulls immediately tie it to the white side of the kitchen, which has the same style and colour of handles.
The quilted diamond-stitch effect really ups the glamour. Check out Superfront, which supplies fronts for Ikea units. Alternatively, a similar effect could be created relatively inexpensively if you have the right tools (or the right professional) to hand, by scoring sheets of plywood or MDF and then spray-painting for the sleekest of finishes. As said, however, American-style ‘side-by-side’ fridge-freezers like this are hard to find affordably as integrated models – so the idea may be more achievable on a smaller model.
Black also feels like a very trad-friendly choice for appliances – just check out how at home the inky range looks in this modern-country kitchen. That’s because it’s a classic.
So it makes sense to continue that look by choosing a fridge that echoes it. What’s nice in this kitchen is that the black appliances are just one of a few gentle nods to country style – rather than having an overall look that’s a twee homage to country style, but a very definite contemporary take on the look – so there’s no need to choose a fridge with retro styling if you can find something bigger and functionally more suited to your lifestyle.
Mix things up
A curvy old-style fridge doesn’t have to only go in a kitchen with vintage leanings. This loft kitchen is unashamedly industrial in style – would you have thought of a shiny Smeg as the obvious choice for a fridge? Possibly not, but it works precisely because of its colour.
Black works with both traditional and utilitarian as it’s a no-nonsense shade. Practical and unfussy, just like the rest of this space. But opting for a design with soft angles really boosts this room’s design: a hard-edged steel model could have been a touch too industrial. You may want the feel of a restaurant cookspace in your kitchen, but going the whole hog won’t always be very homely.
In addition, this very glossy black finish bounces around light in what is a very compact cookspace.
What kind of fridge do you have? Share what you love about it (or what you’d change) in the Comments section.