Color Scheme Series: How to Create a Stunning White on White Kitchen
There’s nothing quite like a classic, white kitchen to make your space feel open, airy and clean. For this reason, white kitchens are always on-trend, but unfortunately sometimes don’t receive more attention from homeowners undertaking a kitchen design or makeover because they can be perceived as being ‘vanilla.’ But that simply is not the case. Here are five tips to create a stunning, white on white kitchen that’s anything but vanilla.
Tip #1: Create a Bright White Kitchen
Believe it or not, there are many hues that are considered white, from icy, arctic tones, to warmer shades like eggshell, ecru, ivory, linen, and cream, for example. While a white on white motif can incorporate many shades of white, you might want to stick to a clean, stark palette of true white for the sake of austerity.
This modern New York kitchen is a prime example of the principle in play, with white, Caesarstone quartz countertops paired with flat-panel cabinets, tile flooring and glass tile backsplash all in bright white. The only deviation from the all-white design is seen in metallic appliances and hardware. This monochromatic look isn’t for the faint of heart, and it will certainly require a commitment to frequent cleaning, but there’s nothing quite as pristine as a truly all-white kitchen.
Tip #2: Create a Warm White Kitchen
Not everyone can pull off the spartan appeal of an all-white kitchen, but you can still get your clean, white aesthetic and warm things up a bit by skewing your color palette toward the golden. For subtle warmth, take a page from the playbook of this transitional New York kitchen, which features white cabinets (including paneled cabinets for continuity) and a white and gray marble (like Mont Blanc marble or Calacatta marble), paired with porcelain flooring tiles in beige and metallic accents, including a massive silver and gold hood and a unique, gold chandelier.
If you want a more pronounced warmth, check out this traditional New York kitchen that pairs white cabinets and a subway tile backsplash with a slightly off-white granite, like creamy Colonial White granite, along with a medium tone wood floor and bar stools. You can create a more inviting atmosphere by leaning toward warmer white tones and adding touches of wood.
Tip #3: Create a Cool White Kitchen
Perhaps you’re not quite committed enough to go for an all-white kitchen space, but neither do you relish muddying the mix with creams, beiges and warmer tones. In this case, you can go for an overall cooler aesthetic by choosing icier whites with a hint of gray or blue.
This classic, L-shaped kitchen is a great example, thanks to Carrara marble countertops in white with wispy strokes of gray, paired with white paint, cabinets, and a subway tile backsplash, all in subtly different hues.
You could even go a step further, like this Little Italy penthouse kitchen that starts with white marble countertops and white walls, but veers into shades of gray with the subway tile backsplash in a herringbone pattern and darker gray, flat-panel cabinets. The white theme is picked up in the dishware stored on open shelving which helps to tie the whole look together.
Tip #4: Create a Kitchen with Texture
Adding visual interest in an all-white kitchen can be hard with little to no color differentiation, but you can add some texture to create a more visually compelling space and break up the monotony. A good example is this Greenwich kitchen featuring white shaker cabinets and paint paired with an island and backsplash in white and gray Calacatta Gold marble.
The marble itself adds some much-needed movement to the space with pale, gray dimensionality across white surfaces, but the designer has gone a step further with darker gray countertops all around, textured, dark wood flooring, and oversized pendant lamps in bronze. While the motif is largely white, the addition of darker gradients adds a lot of personality to the space without really adding color.
Tip #5: Add Splashes of Color
Although an all-white kitchen offers a clean, bright aesthetic that many homeowners love, it can also appear a bit sterile if you don’t throw in at least a little texture or color. For color, this could be something as simple as adding some greenery, as in this New Canaan Cottage kitchen.
Or you could offset white walls and countertops with pale, colored cabinets to ground the room, as in this farmhouse kitchen featuring green cabinets with white marble countertops.
Want to make more of a splash? Try grabbing attention with one element in a bold color, like the red quartz countertops in this Bridgeport kitchen, which are boldly bright against white shaker cabinets and ceramic backsplash. This might not technically qualify as white-on-white, but if you want to shake up the look, a few dashes of color can create a major impact in an otherwise all-white kitchen.
Ready to Design Your White on White Kitchen?
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