How Do You Modernize a Dark Brown Kitchen?


RTA Wood Cabinets

Does your dark brown kitchen feel hopelessly out of date?

Deep chocolate and espresso-colored hues were all the rage in kitchens several decades ago, so if you’ve inherited a dark brown kitchen, you might be feeling trapped in the past. The good news is, dark brown kitchens can be a timeless classic if done right.

You don’t have to use the ever-popular white tones or super trendy blues and greys to have a modern kitchen. Dark brown cabinets can be made to look contemporary too - just check out our elegant espresso shaker cabinets!

This is especially good news if you’re someone who loves the rich, sophisticated allure of darker colors. Yes, you can indulge in these dark hues and still have a contemporary-looking kitchen – you just have to know how to incorporate dark brown into modern kitchen design 

Here are 5 ways you can embrace your love for darker shades and create a kitchen that looks fresh and updated: 


1. Balance Your Dark Brown Cabinets with Stainless-Steel Appliances

If you want to make your kitchen look modern, one of the best things you can do – especially if you have dark brown cabinets – is to get a stainless-steel oven, dishwasher, and refrigerator. If you can incorporate other bright metallic touches throughout the kitchen, even better! 

Shiny stainless-steel appliances will instantly make a kitchen appear crisp and modern. Best of all, the reflective surface texture makes a perfect contrast with the dark brown tones of your cabinets.


2. Update Your Hardware to a Sleek, Solid Design

While it’s great to use large metallic appliances to create contrast, you can really make that design scheme pop by also featuring metallic pulls for your hardware.

Sometimes, it’s the hardware that makes all the difference as to how modern your cabinets appear. You might not even need new cabinets – a fresh set of modern pulls and knobs might give your kitchen a whole new look and feel. A chunky bar pull is not only contemporary, it can also help draw attention away from any stains or scratches on older cabinet doors. 


3. Incorporate Modern Lighting Fixtures

Darker cabinets can make a kitchen feel smaller, especially if you don’t otherwise have plenty of light. The good news is that adding modern lighting fixtures will not only brighten your space but also make your kitchen look on-trend.

For a contemporary kitchen, you not only want as much natural light as possible, you also want to add extra recessed lighting and pendant lighting in order to create a sense of atmosphere. Pendant fixtures are available in a variety of materials and textures such as industrial iron and burnished brass that can make your kitchen feel more modern.


4. Try a Two-Tone Design RTA Wood Cabinets

If you don’t feel ready to commit to a full set of dark brown cabinets, there is a compromise. One way you can incorporate some dark brown shades while also making your kitchen look incredibly trendy is to try a two-tone approach.

If you keep dark brown for the color of your bottom cabinets but swap out your upper cabinets for white ones, this can even make your kitchen look larger. You might even still keep some of the upper cabinets that same dark brown but just feature a few white cabinets for a contrast. 


5. Pair Your Cabinets with a Dark Brown Table

Dark brown cabinets can make a kitchen seem smaller, but if you embrace the style of an open floor layout, you can sidestep this potential issue. With an open floor layout plan, your dark cabinets just become dark grounding element for your overall spacious design.

One way that you can tie-in your dark brown cabinets to the rest of your open floor design that will look especially modern is to pair them with a dark brown table. Finding a dark table to complement your dark brown cabinets with create a cohesive look and make the dark brown hue a focal color.

Would you love a contemporary kitchen design featuring dark brown cabinets? If you want a set of new cabinets that’s affordable AND trendy, be sure to check out the assembled and ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets available here at RTA Wood Cabinets. 

You can even get a customized FREE kitchen design from one of our kitchen designers by giving us a call at 800-788-7575.

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