Tips for Doing a White Kitchen

 We aren’t close to redoing our kitchen anytime soon but I can’t help but think about my dream kitchen every now and then. I, like the majority of people, would love a white kitchen.  I at least want white cabinets.  I’ve been browsing lots and lots of pretty kitchens lately trying to decide what the perfect white kitchen is to me.  Sometimes I think a white kitchen can quickly become sterile or “too white”.  Here are some kitchens that balance the white perfectly in my opinion. 
  image via Lonny
If you do white cabinets, a white backsplash and white shelves I think it’s a great idea to have your countertops a darker color. I just love the contrast. The dark counters make the white cabinets stand out so much more! 
 image via Style at Home 
This kitchen is very very white but still so beautiful.  It almost looks like the counters are a light taupe maybe? And those barstools! That color adds so much to the space.  

 image via Style at Home 
This kitchen may even be a little too white for me but it’s oh-so beautiful.  The marble backsplash adds so much. All of that veining adds a lot of interest to the room.  I love that the tile goes up to the ceiling and the large chunks of gold in the room are perfect!  
A range hood is a great way to add another color or finish in a kitchen. This hood breaks up the cabinets and the large slab of marble on the back creates a lot of dimension.
I think a different colored island is always a good idea in a white kitchen. In my dream kitchen I’d have a navy island for sure.  I also just love the windows framed in black. 
 image via House Beautiful 
I think the island in this kitchen is such a pretty color and the gray tile backsplash adds some warmth to the space. 
 
You can never go wrong with a pretty roman shade! Window treatments in a kitchen can go a long way since there are not a lot of opportunities to bring color and pattern into a kitchen.
Another great idea to add some interest is to do glass front cabinets.  You can add color, texture and a lot of shapes by displaying beautiful dishes. This way you’re not looking at a wall of white! The same goes for open shelving…
 Image via Our House
I especially love that these shelves are a natural wood. It looks so good against the white tile! 
I actually really love it when people do a darker grout with their white tile I just love the contrast of the light and dark and it adds so much personality to a white kitchen!
What do you think? What is your ideal “white kitchen”?

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22 Responses to Tips for Doing a White Kitchen

  1. jamie @ [kreyv] Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    White cabinets, white subway backsplash with dark grout, dark countertops, and dark pulls/hardware…I mean, I haven't really thought that much about it. 😉

  2. Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 3:58 pm #

    I looooove white kitchens! Yes, we have one now after we did a budget makeover, but I always dream of my dream kitchen and what I'll change in the future too! 🙂

    http://retroranchrenovation.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-start-of-house-tour.html

  3. Nancy Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:12 pm #

    we recently did a kitchen reno and i'm tickled that we incorporated several of the points you made like the darker grout (with subway tiles in a herringbone pattern) and a fantastic roman shade (chiang mai in china blue) and a soon-to-be painted island (graphite). we used Caesarstone London gray for the look of marble without the upkeep. I totally agree with your point that if everything else is white then a darker countertop makes everything pop but we had black granite before and wanted to change it up. thanks for the great post…perfect points for anybody dreaming of a new or updated kitchen 🙂

    • Jaki Monday, July 4, 2016 at 8:20 pm #

      I have white cabinets and I am thinking of using the honed london grey. Can you take a pic of your fonished kitchen? It is hard to find a good picture of white cabinets, lg counter and a white subway tile backsplah. Thank you!

      • Kirsten Krason Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 10:54 am #

        We don’t have an up close photo for you. Sorry!

  4. silly6 Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Thank you for doing this post. I am in the middle of trying to decided my backsplash tile. We just finished painting the kitchen cabinets White Dove by BM and my counters are Flint color, which is a grey/blue made by Corian. I would love to see some recommendations on your favorite tiles. I want to add some personality, but keep it classic. Any ideas? Again, thanks so much! Love it!

  5. Julia Konya Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    I will never grow tired of looking at a white kitchen

  6. Rebecca Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 6:32 pm #

    I'm going to attempt a low budget kitchen make over very soon. I have 90s colored honey oak cabinets I want painted white. My countertops are black granite and will be staying. Trying to decide if I want to do all white or if I should do the lowers gray. I have stainless appliances and want brass hardware. I'll be adding open shelving and getting rid of the tile floor and extending the dark hardwood into the kitchen. I want white subway tile with grey grout. Another area I'm struggling is whether to do the subway tile to the ceiling- it is 20ft high over the cabinets and angles down to 9 ft into the eating area. Too much tile?

    • Anonymous Friday, March 21, 2014 at 11:45 pm #

      oh I love a floor to ceiling tile! Go for it!

  7. Haley Knight Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

    I love the white kitchen. The nice touches with the tier curtains warm the rooms up. Beautiful work.

  8. Tery H Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 10:14 pm #

    I too love a white kitchen. My kitchen has white cabinets, dark wood floors, Carrera Marble counter, Carrera Marble subway tiles with dark gray grout and a white beadboard ceiling. My walls are a light blue/gray. I agree some white kitchens can be too sterile. I brought in bamboo shades, pops of color in towels, and dishes. Most of my upper cabinets are either open shelving or have glass doors to show the dishes. Come to think of it most of my dishes are white with a few blue and turquoise dishes. It's definitely a warm inviting place. You can't go wrong with a white kitchen.

  9. Christina Pennell Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 12:59 am #

    Gorg kitchens! Girl, I love your blog and read it every day but tonight when I was scrolling I about wet myself. The auto play video is not cool. I know you are making a living here, and I completely respect that, but people may stop visiting if they can't do it at work.

  10. Shavonda@AHomeFullOfColor Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 5:16 am #

    Love love love a white kitchen.

  11. Britts Friday, March 21, 2014 at 1:08 am #

    The contractors are here remodeling our kitchen as we speak and I love that you are recommending so many of the elements we are doing. I love the designer stamp of approval 🙂

  12. Cynthia Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

    As someone who just remodeled our crappy Utah Woodsy kitchen two years ago to a mostly white kitchen, I can say, DO IT! I love it everyday. Look at a white kitchen the same way you look at white upholstery or wearing white pants–white shows everything. Every little handprint, every paint chip from clumsy teenagers. But I would still do it all again. You just need to be vigilant in wiping the cabinets, and in my case with carrara marble, no acidic ingredients can touch the counter.

  13. Loom Decor Monday, March 24, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Love all those kitchens! Makes up want to whip up something especial in the kitchen!

  14. Elisabeth Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 12:37 am #

    Love our white kitchen. We went with a light gray quartz which I love. Waited on the backsplash. Glad I waited because I've changed my mind a few times. Our counters are "quiet" so it would be fun to play up the backsplash. So many options.

  15. Jayden Eden Tuesday, March 25, 2014 at 12:42 am #

    That kitchen looks very classy and eloquent! I would love for mine to look something similar to it. How exactly did you find the handles for the cabinets? I would love to switch mine out for now.
    Jayden Eden | http://www.klynkitchens.com/services.html

  16. Kallee Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm #

    Kirsten,
    I love your design style. It is always stunning and beautiful. I just had my alder cabinets painted white. I am in the middle of picking granite and backsplash and feel stumped. My walls are yellow and I love how the white pops against them. My great room combines yellow, blues, and greens with tiny pops of red. I'm actually adding a roman shade in the kitchen in wilmington multi (I loved that fabric in one of your posts) b/c I want color in the white kitchen. My husband likes countertops that aren't busy (lots of veins) and he tends to like dark or black shades. I don't want it to look to harsh-having a white kitchen, white backsplash and then dark counter tops. What are your guidelines to ease the pain:) Thanks!

  17. Emily Ross Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    It’s been over 10 months since I’ve remodeled my kitchen and the compliments received from my family and friends just keep coming. I hired the team at Classic Kitchen and Bath in Illinois because they are a family business and have been around for as long as I can remember. Remodeling can be quite a hassle but these guys made the process much simpler for me. It was a great experience working with the team at CKB- a company that prides itself on quality workmanship, timeliness, and customer service. Visit their website today http://www.myclassickitchenandbath.com or call 630-515-9151. I highly recommend them to anyone considering a new kitchen or bathroom.

  18. Sergio Freddson Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 9:55 pm #

    I hadn't really considered doing a white design in the kitchen because it seemed too hard to balance. These examples make it seem pretty simple though! I prefer the first picture with the contrasting dark counter tops. They seem like they would be easier to keep clean as well. Thanks for sharing these tips! http://www.canlikkitchens.net/

  19. S Suwandi Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at 11:09 pm #

    eehh, white kitchen or a surgery room ? I won't go eating or helping in all white kitchens.. Take European design, they won't go all white..it comes with a reason..

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