Time-tested and true, a white kitchen can be a pure white sparkling space complete with cabinets, counters, and walls—all perfectly white—or hint at light colours, with white cabinets breaking up naturally light-coloured fine woods and stone.
Either way, there are a few things that you should take into consideration when creating a white kitchen. Use the following tips for planning a white kitchen and you’ll be sure to get the most out of the space.
White Kitchen Design Tips
Add a Splash of Colour to Liven Up an All-White Kitchen
An all-white kitchen can have a medical, clinical feel. You can avoid this by breaking up white elements with contrasting tones, materials, and natural light.
Dark furniture like black or red stools can offset white cabinets and white countertops to make the whole space more impactful. This is great because these simple colour changes allow you to divide a modern white kitchen visually without really changing a large portion of the overall tone.
You don’t even have to change the colours of the floors or ceilings to help break up an all-white space; materials with different textures cast unique shadows so that they appear to be darker shades of white.
Incorporate Natural Lighting
White cabinets and walls can make your kitchen’s vertical dimension appear bland. Break up the visual monotony by making windows a central part of your design.
Natural light complements and accentuates white surfaces, without creating a cold feeling. Allow light to pour in without obstruction. Natural light not only helps to keep a white kitchen well-lit, but the window also provides ventilation — another essential in a functional modern white kitchen.
If a window is out of the question, don’t fret. In some situations, it’s possible to allow natural light in by installing a tube-style skylight. They’re easy to install, inexpensive and provide a beam of natural light to nearly any white space.
In lieu of natural light, modern light bulbs are available in natural shades; use soft, warm tones that are more towards the red end of the light spectrum. A good combination of ambient and task lighting sources can add to the design theme of the kitchen and provide an all-white kitchen with the perfect balance.
Wood and a White Kitchen: the Perfect Match
Wood and a white kitchen go together very well, creating stunning contrast. In lieu of entirely white kitchen cupboards, you can use ones that incorporate natural wood tones to frame the white components — and the kitchen as a whole.
When it comes to combining wood and a white kitchen design, both light and dark woods can help you achieve the desired effect. Different textured woods can also create a gorgeous design that helps to accentuate cabinets in an otherwise all-white kitchen space.
Offset White Kitchen Cupboards with Stainless Steel
Another great material option for making an all-white kitchen less sterile is stainless steel. These two tones complement each other perfectly. Appliances like a stainless steel stove, refrigerator, and oven are all fantastic ways to accent your all-white room, with the added bonus of providing the room an ultramodern feel.
If stainless steel makes your kitchen design begin looking too modern, consider mixing in some wood elements. Accenting your modern kitchen cabinets with materials like birch and stainless steel can help create an incredibly pleasing theme.
Get Creative with White Kitchen Countertops
White kitchen countertops don’t have to be entirely white. Rather, you can use a white quartz countertop that incorporates some type of veining or pattern. This will help you retain the overall white aesthetic while still creating plenty of visual intrigue in your white kitchen design.
This becomes a bit trickier if you’re trying to pair white countertops with white cabinets as veining can look somewhat out of place if you’re not careful.
In such cases, instead of pairing white countertops with white cabinets, consider the following tip.
White Cabinets with Black Countertops
You don’t necessarily have to have a white kitchen island, white countertops, and white cabinets to successfully pull of the modern white kitchen look.
In lieu of a white island, pair white cabinets with black countertops to create a particularly stunning and elegant look.
This doesn’t mean white cabinets and white countertops don’t pair well together; it’s just an entirely different look that requires bolder accent colours to pull off. White cabinets with black countertops convey a more serious tone.
White Cabinets with Grey Countertops Look Great, Too
If black countertops are too serious for your liking, meet in the middle by pairing white cabinets with grey countertops. This still adds some valuable depth to your kitchen’s design but creates a lighter look than white cabinets with black countertops does.
Depending on the shade of grey you use, this colour scheme also lends itself well to the incorporation of bold accent colours. Take a look at how stunning the red fruit in the bowl and green potted plants look with the grey and white surfaces in the picture above.
White Kitchen with Dark Countertops
If neither black nor grey countertops are to your liking, consider designing your white kitchen with dark countertops of another hue. A dark brown can still look stunning and will even add some dynamics to your kitchen, as it will appear black at some times of the day.
Make Small White Kitchens Look Even Bigger with Patterned Floors
White is the perfect colour scheme for a small kitchen as it naturally makes any space seem larger. You can make small white kitchens seem even bigger still with patterned floors. For the best results, use flooring with lines that extend parallel to the entrance of your small kitchen. In other words, the lines should appear horizontal to you as you enter the room. This guides your eyes lengthwise and makes the room seem wide.
When designing a white kitchen, you have a great deal of options for customization that will help you create a space that’s light, but not overwhelmingly so.
Splashes of colour, natural lighting, and refreshing wood tones all pair beautifully with a white kitchen.
You’re not limited to pairing white cabinets with white countertops, either; feel free to also incorporate darker countertop tones like grey, brown or black.
Now that you’ve got some ideas for your white kitchen design, head over to the Caesarstone visualizer and let your imagination run wild.
Frequently Asked Questions
What countertops look best with white cabinets?
Solid white countertops pair very well with cabinets of the same hue — as long as you’re sure to incorporate some other colours into your kitchen design that prevent things from looking too stale. You can also use dark countertops (even black ones) to create contrast with your white cabinets.
How can I make my kitchen white?
Installing white cabinets is an easy way to give your kitchen an overall “white” aesthetic. Beyond this, a white kitchen countertop and island is another clear choice, as are white painted walls.
What colour should I paint my kitchen with white cabinets?
If you want to create some contrast against your white cabinets, you can use lighter or darker shades of colours such as blue. If you’d like to maintain an overall white kitchen aesthetic, though, stick to an off-white shade.
Should I do white kitchen cabinets?
If your goal is to create a white kitchen, white cabinets are a must. Even if that’s not your goal, however, white cabinets are classic and pair well with just about every lighter colour scheme.
How do you clean white kitchen cabinets?
Mix white vinegar or specialized wood cleaner with water in a spray bottle. Scrub each cabinet with a sponge before wiping it down with plain water to get rid of the cleaning agent.
How do you paint wooden cabinets white?
Prep is a crucial part of painting wooden cabinets white. You need to ensure the wood is clean, which involves using a sponge and mineral cleaner to scrub the cabinets down. If there’s any gunk stuck to the surface, pry it off with a butter knife.
Getting the surface in good working order is key as imperfections will only get magnified when you paint the cabinets.
Next, you’ll need to prime the cabinets, frames, and doors. Before moving on to painting, inspect the cabinets for imperfections and sand or scrape them away. Then, paint the cabinets with at least three coats of white paint, lightly sanding in between each.
This is the general process you’ll need to follow, and it takes about a week. Adjust based on the specific instructions that come with your paint and primer.