A black and white scheme is always a sophisticated choice for a kitchen scheme and, whether you favour a traditional or modern scheme, monochrome is a palette that works perfectly both ways. From a chequerboard tiled floor for a 1950s diner feel, a black range cooker against classic white cabinetry for a country ambience, or the new wave of graphic patterns, outlines and silhouettes, there’s a black and white design to suit any scheme.
More expert advice: The best white paint – how to choose the right shade for your walls
Here’s how to make it work for you…
If youre going for an entirely black-and-white scheme, make one shade dominant rather than giving each equal prominence. A predominantly white scheme has fresh appeal, but dont overlook the elegance of a dark scheme with hints of white.
Alternatively stick to accessories for a softer finish. Monochrome works with all tones of timber, as well as greys and pure shades, such as emerald green.
Matching shades of white across different surfaces can be tricky. For example, a wallpaper with a white background may look more like cream next to a white table, so try to keep them apart, using black accessories as punctuation.
A monochrome scheme can be bold and will usually benefit from some texture and a mix of surface finishes. Gloss and matt, opaque and dense build up layers to add extra interest and soften any harshness.
Dont be afraid to mix patterns and scale. The trick is to surround pattern with something plain except in the case of cushions. If you have bench seating, mix-and-match different designs for an informal feel.
Take a look through our gallery to see which scheme’s the one for you!
Choose accessories for their strong outlines, especially when it comes to large pieces, furniture and lighting that dominates the ceiling space.
Monochrome doesn't have to be serious, we love this fun kitchen-diner area that's been zoned-out with black-and-white pictures and wall art.
If you're designing a monochrome kitchen, but are worried the effect will be too harsh, try a few black accessories teamed with bright primary colours; it really works in a utility-style kitchen like this one.
Monochrome touches can look so pretty, and blend in alongside any colour. This mosaic splashback looks neutral thanks to a peppering of light blue and grey amongst the black-and-white mosaic tiles.
Using black against white like a line drawing, this very modern kitchen makes the most of the space and light. Natural-finished wood units and splashes of zingy orange stop the colour scheme from being cold and boring.
Black and white is a colour scheme that often lends itself to harsh lines, but here the curvy chairs and the semi-circle worktop soften the whole look and make this monochrome kitchen very inviting.
The beautiful Chinoiserie crockery in this country-style kitchen really stands out against the black and white colour scheme, and the plate rack is a great kitchen storage idea.
Love monochrome but worry it might look cold - especially in a modern kitchen? A block of floor-to-ceiling cabinets in natural walnut brings warmth to this glossy kitchen, while accent pockets of wood elsewhere unites the scheme. Smaller black accents are pulled together by the oversized, dramatic pendant lights - in this kind of space, you can afford to think big.
For the ultimate contemporary kitchen, this Corian island in white contrasts sharply with the black cantilevered breakfast bar.
Flat-fronted, sleek furniture in a monochrome palette emphasises natural textures such as exposed brick. Here, unfitted, open shelving accentuates the height of the room, while one side of the island, picked out in black, serves as both a breakfast bar and a workstation.