What Color Cabinets Go With Black Stainless Steel Appliances?

Michael Oconnor
by Michael Oconnor

Black stainless steel has become more and more popular in modern kitchens. Its sleek, clean look is the perfect complement to a sparse, contemporary style. Finding the right colors to go along with your appliances will help tie the entire room together.

Black stainless steel appliances go well with colors that will either provide a high or low contrast. This means that bright whites and darker woods will be the best match and compliment the appliances best. Cabinets with mid-range tones should be avoided.

In this article, we will cover what color cabinets look best with black stainless steel appliances. We will also go over the best combinations of hardware as well as some of the more common mid-range tones that won’t be as complimentary.

Do You Need to Hire Cabinet Installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

What Color Cabinets Go With Black Stainless Steel Appliances?

Black stainless steel appliances have become more common for their polished and muted look. They have the same durability as regular stainless steel but with a darker, more reflective finish. This makes them ideal for open-plan kitchens that have enough room for darker colors.

One of the major benefits of black stainless steel appliances is the resistance to dirt. White appliances tend to show stains and grime much more readily than darker colors. Because of this, they are great for families and houses with kids and pets.

Black stainless steel also has the added benefit of being available for specialty appliances. Things like wine fridges and kegerators often come in black stainless steel as a standard color. If you plan on using one of these in your kitchen, it could be a good option for the whole thing.

Whites and Off-Whites

When deciding what color cabinets look best with black stainless steel appliances, you need to think about design. You may want to utilize the negative space of your kitchen in contrast with the black appliances. In that case, you may want to look at white or off-white cabinets.

The nice thing about having white or off white cabinets is that they can open up a room. If you have a smaller kitchen, you may want to look into this option. White cabinets can give your kitchen a little more breathing room and give it a larger feel.

One of the issues with whites and off-whites, though, is their susceptibility to staining. If you have a very active family, this could be an issue. White will always show dirt and stains much easier than darker colors.


Gray cabinets can be a fantastic middle ground for those who don’t necessarily want to commit to white. Gray is a muted, less bright alternative to the open look that white can give. It also opens up your options since there are many types of gray.

Gray also fits in with the modern aesthetic of the black finish. It has the same contemporary, industrial feel that so many homes are going for. It is also highly customizable to keep your look consistent throughout the kitchen.

When thinking about what color cabinets match black stainless steel appliances, think about the overall room. If you want a nice contrast, keep your cabinets a much lighter gray. Don’t go with the middle tones as they don’t make the appliances pop as much.

Dark Oaks

If, while deciding what color cabinets look best with black stainless steel appliances, you choose natural wood, dark oaks are ideal. They match the deep tones of the black on the appliances and can bring out the reflective qualities. They are also incredibly beautiful.

Dark oaks can be custom ordered to match your appliances and you can get them almost entirely black. This would be a perfect color if you want your kitchen to have a close, cozy feel. Darker colors higher up in a room tend to bring the walls in a bit.

One of the issues with dark oaks is that they can be quite expensive. Oak is one of the most sought after materials for building and cabinetry. Because of this, it is also very durable and has a lot of longevity.

Cherry Wood

Cherry wood is another natural finish wood that doesn’t need to be painted at all. Cherry woods are finished and varnished to bring out their inherently deep qualities. The natural red color is a bold statement against the black of the appliances.

Cherry wood cabinets are not going to be for everyone. The red color is more striking than most natural wood colors and can almost appear to be painted. If you are looking for a more subtle color scheme, it may not be for you.

Cherry wood is also the most expensive cabinet material you can buy. It is very durable and high quality, though, and will last many years. If you are able to afford it and like the style, Cherry wood could be a durable, stylish choice.

What Kitchen Hardware Goes With Black Stainless Steel Appliances?

It is important to remember that cabinets are more than just the wood they are made of. There are also many different styles of hardware to accessorize with. Hardware can give your cabinets, and kitchen as a whole, a completely different look.

While we have covered mostly cabinetry colors, there are also many different hardware designs. Be sure to choose a hardware set that will match the rest of your kitchen. The details are the most important aspect of interior design.


The knobs for your cabinets should be a complement to the rest of your kitchen. They may not seem important, but they offer more of an accent than you may think. When looking for what color cabinets match black stainless steel appliances, always consider hardware.

Your knobs should either be a perfect match or a contrast to the rest of the kitchen. Many people like having knobs that stand out against the color of the cabinet. This makes it much easier to see the knobs against the cabinet doors.


The hinges for your cabinet should generally be a perfect match to the knob color, if possible. Getting them to blend in with the rest of the kitchen gives them a seamless look. This is especially important if you are trying to match the appliances.

Ideally, the hardware for your cabinets should act as an accent to the cabinetry. If properly chosen, everything in the kitchen will work together in harmony. The most important thing, though, is that it is pleasing to you.

Colors To Avoid With Black Stainless Steel Appliances

If you have black stainless steel appliances, you should avoid colors that fall too much in the middle of the black and white spectrum. The colors should either match or contrast since the appliances are on the darkest end of that spectrum.

You should also try to avoid any kinds of earth tones or muted colors with black stainless steel. These colors tend to clash with the black and make the appliances look out of place. They can also work against the contemporary aesthetic of the stainless steel.

It is helpful when figuring out what color cabinets match black stainless steel appliances to use swatches. These color samples can be held next to each other to give you a good idea of what the final product might look like. This is extremely helpful in the design process.

Do You Need to Hire Cabinet Installers?

Get free, zero-commitment quotes from pro contractors near you.

Related Questions

Is it OK to mix black stainless and stainless steel appliances?

There are no rules when it comes to interior design, only guidelines. However, black stainless and regular stainless steel do match well together in a contemporary setting. Both of these colors are within the same palette and will give a similar effect.

Do all brands of black stainless appliances match?

Not all black stainless steel finishes are created equal. Black is a surprisingly subjective color and will not always match brand to brand. This is important to remember when buying the appliances for your kitchen. 

Is stainless steel going out of style?

Trends in interior design tend to change year after year. However, stainless steel is a seemingly evergreen material for kitchens. Its durability and sleek look continue to be in style even as tastes and home interiors change.

Michael Oconnor
Michael Oconnor

I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.

More by Michael Oconnor