Kitchens: Black or white

When it comes to colours in kitchens, for many, there are just two choices..
The kItchen is the heart of the home.
It's certainly the most photogenic area in many of the homes I visit.
Shiny black, or sparkling white surfaces are the most common colour features. They glisten and exude an aura of cleanliness and glamour. Cooking is now a lifestyle, not a chore. Television chefs have shown us not only how to cook, but how the modern kitchen should look.

This refurbished house in Sutton Coldfield had made the kitchen the largest room in the home. Its surfaces, including the high gloss floor tiles, shine in the sunlight.

Photographed from above, the length of the kitchen is impressive. The small tiles blend well with the wooden surfaces, and the open plan into the utility room adds extra light onto the mirror-like floor surface.

A compact kitchen in a neat one-bedroom Warwickshire apartment.

White surfaces and black fittings combine with grey drawers and cupboards in this elegant West Midlands kitchen.

Here's another view of this stylish kitchen. How well the floor surface matches the storage cupboards.

A central island is a useful store for hanging utensils in this two-level kitchen in a beautiful Edwardian home in a Birmingham suburb

Another kitchen with a central island. It helps the domestic chef make best use of limited space.

This is the same kitchen, photographed at hip-height. This level demonstrates how well the space is used in this stylish, modern kitchen design. Hip-height photographs are good for making the most of stylish furniture and room design. At this level, a tripod and the right angle are essential factors to get right.

Black floor-tiles are very practical. The jet-black layer above the work surfaces provides a striking contrast for the electrical sockets in this neat, well designed kitchen space.

Sunlight positively blazes across this kitchen, bouncing off each gloss-black surface. The small rectangular tiles are a nice touch.

A view from the utility room, through the kitchen and into the hallway of this luxurious property in one of the most exclusive roads in leafy Solihull.

An ancient cottage in rural Warwickshire. The wood throughout this home is superb. The oak beams, the tables, the sink units, and the furniture. There's no gloss or shine, just traditional sturdiness in an appealing, un-modern kitchen and dining area.

Another view of this cottage kitchen, showing that it does have some modern devices to complement the traditional decor and fittings.

Arresting citrus green is the stand-out colour in this house. Its effect is sharpened by the jet black tiles and mottled black work surfaces. The green would not be as powerful had the owner chosen white work tops and tiles. This was an unusual house to photograph. Each room featured one striking colour. Shocking pink for a bedroom, Bright royal blue fo the hallway, plum purple for the living room. It left an impression on the eye.

It's not just a tin of paint that achieves this striking effect. Take a close look at some of the fittings and utensils. The green paper-roll holder, the cups, the vase, the bin. It's a dramatic effect, and carefully designed.

The faux-brick facing wall is an interesting choice in this kitchen/dining room. Black window blinds contrast with the white storage cupboards.

A refurbished kitchen, waiting for new owners. Light colours make a room seem spacious. The pale browns of the storage cupboards and fridge freezer complement the perfect sandy coloured floor tiles.