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Kitchen with jet black lower cabinets, marble countertops, floating shelves instead of upper cabinets and pendant lights
Kitchen with jet black glossy lower cabinets and marble countertops with only floating shelves as upper cabinets. (above)

I wonder if what holds true in fashion holds true for kitchens?  I wonder… (I know…most of you who read regularly are like…here she goes again…but this is coy and mysterious month…so I’m not wondering out loud too much…)

For example, in fashion, if you should happen to have a larger bottom than top (not necessarily saying that is the case with moi, I’m just speaking hypothetically…sort of…kind of…), wearing darker colors on the bottom (pants, skirts) makes one look skinnier on that part of the body.

Do kitchens look less fat with dark lower cabinets? Do kitchens ever say “does my bottom half look big today?” Hmmm…food for thought…?  (These are the times my mother wonders I’m sure…”Why did I pay thousands of dollars for Coco’s education?  What happened here?  Why is she pretending a kitchen can speak or cares about what it looks like on the bottom?  What went wrong here? Why can’t she pose some truly thoughtful important questions.?”  Sorry mom…LOL)

In all seriousness, or in semi seriousness, I like a two toned kitchen. Dark lower cabinets and light or no upper cabinets. Makes even the most traditional kitchens look a little more modern I think.

So in today’s THIS OR THAT I ask, which of these kitchens looks best?

Kitchen with a large island that blends in with the dark wood floors, worn metal over sized pendant lights, white cabinets, and stainless appliances
A large kitchen island blends with the dark wood floors in this industrial classic kitchen (I love the worn metal over sized pendant lights too)(above)

Small kitchen with dark oak cabinets and black poured synthetic cement like counters
Custom dark oak cabinets and black poured synthetic cement like counters make for a very sleek bottom in this modern small kitchen. (above)

Kitchen with subway tiles walls,dark brown wood lower cabinets with matching island, stainless appliances and metal pendant lights
Dark brown wood lower cabinets do the skinny kitchen look trick too! 🙂 (above)

So do you like this kitchen look dear readers – dark bottom/light top?  If so, which do you like best?  If not, which do you dislike least?  This one, that one, that one or that?  I l like the first the best…love the high gloss almost black lacquer lower cabinets!  Which is your favorite?

Happy Friday!


P.S. It is Oscar weekend! Are you planning on watching the Academy Awards? I’m not necessarily planning to watch and I live in L.A.!  We’ll see…peer pressure might get to me on this one.

Photos: Malcome James Kutner; Atlanta Homes Magazine; Elle Decor; Jeff Herr Photography

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  1. Great post! The first kitchen is my favorite, I can totally relate to musings about fat or thin as it relates to kitchens, and I would love to find a kitchen design that MAKES food-lovers like me skinny. Or tries to.

  2. i love the first one, its gorgeous!!! As for the skinny/fat um… I don’t think so perhaps it should read stylish or wrong, that last kitchen is wrong imo 🙂 love your work Coco & I’ll bet your Mumvis proud!

  3. I love the first one. Dark and glossy lacquer cabinets with a light colored marble countertop. Sleek and beautiful!

  4. Coco – I am addicted to your blog! I have been pinning you like mad. This is a huge complement (if I do say so myself) because I find most blogs to be a bit sophomoric. Great selection of kitchens. I love the second one! In my pin I said that this kitchen evokes massive envy in my “junk addiction”. Gorgeous use of everyday and not glamorous objects.

  5. As an architect, you think about things like gravity and weight. Even though anything is possible with engineering…in traditional design, things always look better if they have “weight” on the bottom and lightness above. Dark colors give a sense of weight…so I think it feels more “correct” to have the darker colored cabinets below and lighter colored cabinets above. Have you found many examples of the opposite? My guess is that in a traditional context, it wouldn’t look great. However if you are trying to design something that feels very modern or weightless…you might try it.

  6. Loves me a mixed tone kitchen! But hmmm, I don’t think kitchens have to worry about wearing a darker color on the lower half to tone down the package, so to speak. lol. The first is my fave but I gotta say, as much as I love open shelving in kitchens, it may look good on paper but is rather impractical i.e. all those open glasses, bowls are dust collectors so you’ll have to rinse those bad boys out every time ya need em. Too much of a hassle.

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