I see this over and over in kitchens everywhere. And I think I’m especially noticing it now that the strongest colour on the planet is trending.
With so many black kitchens and islands everywhere, the biggest mistake I’m noticing is that there is zero contrast between the chairs and the island.
Case in point, I received this flyer in the mail and I thought the styling was really pretty, except that you can’t see that there are counter stools at all because they blend right into the black island. The wreaths are the only way we can see them.
In my Expert Colour & Design Training workshops the conversation about contrast is a BIG one because it’s such an important design principle. I wrote a post about it here.
You can’t see (or unsee) black counter stools
After you read this post, you won’t be able to unsee this everywhere you look. Even in otherwise pretty high-end designer kitchens like this one below.
What to do instead
So here’s what to do instead. If you have a black island, look for a lighter colour to repeat to create contrast with your island stools.
These rattan stools pick up the light wood floors and accents and perfectly break up the otherwise heavy looking island.
This also applies to wood stained islands. Or any deep island colour. Which I thought I would mention because the novelty of black kitchen islands will soon wear off.
More design advice about contrast
One word of caution though. When choosing contrasting stools, be careful that they don’t create too busy a look against a dark island.
An upholstered stool works well because the legs can blend so that only the upholstery contrasts. This way you don’t end up with too leggy and busy a look. As they’ve done with these stools below.
And here the same idea with a softer wood stained island.
How to choose the right kitchen counter stools
In the end, choosing a very dark, especially black, accent for your island invites issues with creating balance with contrast. And getting contrast right is key to a successful design.
So instead, skip the trendy black island and opt for something softer like a pale wood tone, matching your island to your perimeter cabinets, or pulling a pretty colour out of your decor.
If you’re not sure which counter stools are best for your kitchen, or what the perfect island colour would be in the first place, and your kitchen just all around needs a bit of a glow up, check out my new Kitchen Refresh eDesign package here!