The past two decades of designing kitchens there has been one constant; the timelessness of a white kitchen. They have transcended every kitchen trend. There are years when white is more popular, but it has always been a constant design. I believe the appeal of white is its versatility. White works well in about any setting. I thought I would share a few thoughts on doing white right.

One thing I have learned in design is that there are always exceptions to the rules.  Most of what will be discussed is going to be geared towards basic design concepts. Some of the concepts are going to be considered common sense. It is easy to be distracted by all the textures that go into a kitchen. A kitchen project has two distinct phases. The mechanical phase is the placement and location of cabinets and appliances. There is also texture phase. Texture is colors and materials. Each is equally important. I am going to focus on textures. We are going to make a few premises. I am going to illustrate my points with a few pictures.

  • A kitchen is singular made of multiple components. Do your best to clearly define what you are trying to accomplish. Think of your project as a puzzle. Putting the pieces together creates the picture.  A white kitchen really is not white. There are other colors which will ultimately determine the feel of the kitchen. Avoid getting too focused on one piece of the puzzle.
  • In most cases, white cabinets are not the focal point of the kitchen. Like most great movies you need a leading role and a supporting role. White painted cabinets are great at supporting the other textures in the room. Cabinetry is often one of the more expensive items in a kitchen project.  Do not confuse the cost with impact.
  • Know your color pallet. Do you want a cool kitchen inspired by blues and grays or the warmth of browns and yellows?  Dark rich bold colors lend themselves to a formal feel.

Be careful not to over design or over think your project. Choose textures that work best with your design theme. That does not necessarily mean that it is going to be an exotic wood floor or highly figures marble countertop. I have been in kitchens that I classify as eye confusion. Too much is going on. Know when enough is enough. Know what you want to highlight. It might be the countertop? Do not use a back splash tile that will compete and lessen the impact of the countertop. Remember white cabinets allow other textures to be the focal point.

White Kitchens

Warmth in Traditional Design with Contemporary Elements

This kitchen is neutral in color. The focal points are the Island top and mosaic tile center piece behind the stove. The dark floors add great dimension and depth to the cabinets. The warmth comes from the Island countertop, paint and mosaic tile center piece. Note, how white the cabinets, perimeter marble countertops and subway tile are.

Style: Warm, contemporary, traditional design with contemporary elements
Cabinets: Bright white paint
Countertop: Calcuta marble on perimeter and limestone on island
Appliances: Stainless steel
Back Splash: White sub-way with limestone mosaic center piece behind stove
Paint: Light Taupe, neutral
Floor: Dark Pecan

See more photos of this kitchen at featured projects.

 

Neutral with Multiple Textures

This kitchen is neutral in color. The focal points are the Island top and mosaic tile. The dark floors add great dimension and depth to the cabinets. The warmth comes from the cabinet color, Island countertop, paint and mosaic tile. This kitchen is layered in multiple textures. The color scheme is somewhat monochromatic which lends itself to a contemporary feel. Bring color in by accessorizing.

Style: Warm, contemporary, traditional design with contemporary elements
Cabinets: Oatmeal paint on perimeter and Mushroom Brown on the island
Countertop:Caesarstone Lagos Blu perimeter and marble on island
Appliances: Stainless steel
Back Splash: White and Taupe marble subway tile
Paint: Warm Gray, neutral
Floor: Teak

See more photos of this kitchen at featured projects.

 

Farm House, Traditional Style

This kitchen is traditional and classical in design. The focal points are the Island top and mosaic tile center piece behind the stove. The dark floors add great dimension and depth to the cabinets. This kitchen uses a traditional cool color scheme. However, there is definite warmth that comes from the wood floor and paint. With this particular color pallet, you will have some limitations

Style: Farm house, traditional design
Cabinets: Off-White paint inset cabinets with exposed hinges
Countertop: Caesarstone Misty Carrera honed on perimeter and Caesarstone Raven on island
Appliances: Stainless steel
Back Splash: Pillowed Subway Carrera with framed mosaic centerpiece behind cook top
Paint: Light gray with a tint of blue
Floor: Dark Pecan

See more photos of this kitchen at featured projects.

 

Warmth in Traditional Design with Contemporary Elements

This kitchen is traditional and classical in design. This is the most formal of the designs. The focal point is the Island wood top. Your eyes are draw to it immediately. The dark floors add great dimension and depth to the cabinets. This kitchen uses a traditional warm yellow paint color scheme. This works extremely well with the wood top.

Style: Victorian, traditional design
Cabinets: Off-white painted cabinets have a detailed door
Countertop: Calcuta honed marble on perimeter with Sipo Mahogany wood top on island
Appliances: Stainless steel and matching cabinet doors on dishwasher and refrigerator
Back Splash: Standard 4” marble backsplash with subway centerpiece behind Wolf Range
Paint: Yellow
Floor: White oak with dark walnut finish

See more photos of this kitchen at featured projects.