I’m Steffi and my husband and I have been living in our newly built house in Hanau in the Rhine-Main region since January 2021. Our search for a house or property took a long time - finding one is very difficult in this region, as plots of land are rare and expensive. In 2019 we were lucky and got our hands on a plot directly at the edge of the woods in the development area Pioneer Park. That’s when our building adventure started.
We have a nearly 12 sqm kitchen integrated in our 40 sqm living and dining area. We deliberately chose a well-lit black kitchen and we love it!
1. Why did you choose a completely black kitchen?
High-gloss was out of the question for us. Relatively soon we figured out that we wanted a matt black kitchen. That design combined with the lighting makes for a beautiful contrast, unlike in, say, a white kitchen.
2. How did you design the living space, the floor and the walls to prevent a black kitchen from looking too gloomy?
We wanted to keep the rest of our living space light. Because we have so many windows, the entire room is bathed in light. We chose a light-coloured floor with a herringbone pattern and all of our walls are white. In addition to our beige sectional sofa, we also have some black furniture and decorative items to tie into the black kitchen design.
3. Your kitchen has incredibly beautiful lighting. What lighting elements did you get installed?
The lighting is a Nolte product, a LED strip that runs once around the kitchen island and around the remaining kitchen front in the upper area. The corner containing the wall cabinets is also lit. We can set our light to warm or cold white.
4. Are the interiors of your cabinets also lit?
No, the cabinet interiors are not lit. But thanks to the LED strip we got installed, the drawers still get plenty of light.
5. Why was lighting so important for you?
Lighting is vital for atmosphere and was therefore essential for our kitchen.
6. Does lighting play a big role in your lives outside of the kitchen?
Yes, we installed a variety of lighting elements in our living room to create a beautiful ambiance.
7. How come you chose a handleless kitchen instead of handles?
A handleless kitchen is minimalist and modern and that is exactly what we love about it. We knew from the very start that we wanted a handleless kitchen.
8. Did you deliberately choose an anti-fingerprint front?
Yes, we deliberately chose an anti-fingerprint front. Nolte has different black fronts available, but we absolutely wanted the anti-fingerprint front and are very happy with our choice.
9. Is there something special you have to keep in mind when caring for a completely black kitchen?
Clean, clean and clean again! Dust will show up much sooner on a black surface and we have to wipe down the fronts more often but if we had to make the choice all over, we would still choose a black kitchen again.
10. A large fridge with an integrated ice cube dispenser is more commonly found in American households. Why did you choose that model?
We had dreamt of a large side-by-side fridge with an ice cube dispenser for a long time. Now we finally have enough room for food and in summer the ice cube dispenser is the most frequently used piece in our kitchen.
11. You chose a downdraft extractor fan – what did you have to keep in mind when planning that element?
As we have a downdraft extractor fan with recirculating air, we didn’t have to keep anything special in mind. We didn’t want the minimalist look of our kitchen to be disrupted by a cooker hood.
12. What were the challenges while designing an open-plan kitchen?
Planning our kitchen was no problem at all. Our floor plan was already designed for an open-plan kitchen.
13. What do you consider the charm of an open-plan kitchen, that is, why did you choose it?
Interacting with our friends while cooking was important to us. An open-plan living and dining area is perfect for that. We love seamlessly merging areas. Kitchen odours are absolutely no problem thanks to the downdraft extractor fan.
14. Why did you choose an island in addition to your L-shaped kitchenette?
We have always wanted a kitchen island. It offers plenty of storage space and is the heart of our kitchen but also a boundary between the kitchen and the dining area.
15. What are your favourite pieces for decorating your kitchen?
We love minimalist decoration. A few vases. A few modern salt and pepper shakers. A mortar and pestle. That‘s it. We prefer a simple, clean design because the black kitchen speaks for itself.
16. What does life in the kitchen mean to you?
Above all, life in the kitchen should be fun. Things don’t have to be perfect all the time. Of course we sometimes leave the dishes out a day longer than necessary. That’s life!
17. In one of your posts you write that black is your “happy colour”. How come?
We see black as a modern, sophisticated colour. A touch of black will enhance any home. Of course you shouldn’t overdo it.
18. Your style is defined by black, white and concrete. Why is that and what do those colours do for you?
We chose a concrete look for our bathrooms and we love it. We like clean, straight-lined designs and this colour represents just that.
19. Your house is located in the development area Pioneer Park. What is unique about that area?
Pioneer Park is intended to become a CO2-neutral, forward-looking development area at the heart of the Rhine-Main region, with multiple E-mobility stations where you can charge your electric car or rent an electric bike or cargo bike. The front area will accommodate restaurants, a medical centre, a hotel and co-working spaces. Moreover there will be a daycare centre, an elementary school and a retirement centre just for Pioneer Park. It’s basically a little town within a town.
20. The sustainable concept of Pioneer Park probably meant you had to meet some additional requirements while building your house, right? What did you have to take into account?
The development plan is very extensive, but we did not have to limit our imagination at all.