White Kitchen Designs: Ideas and Inspiration

Get ideas and inspiration for white kitchen designs, and prepare to add a light and bright design theme to your kitchen space.
Contemporary White Kitchen With Solid Marble Backsplash

Contemporary White Kitchen With Solid Marble Backsplash

A bright, all-white palette gives this contemporary kitchen a clean, airy feel, while wooden barstools add warmth.

Photo by: Photography by Hillary Launey

Photography by Hillary Launey

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If you're planning a kitchen remodel or installing a new kitchen, you'll need to make some color choices. As such, you should consider the wide range of ideas and inspiration available for white kitchen designs.

Timeless Style: White Kitchens

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White Is Timeless

White is the perfect background color for almost any other color, says designer Jim Sandell. White is also easier to keep clean because dirt is more visible than with other colors.

©Design by Sue Adams.

Why White?

The turn to white kitchens came during the Victorian period, when homeowners began to spend more time in the kitchen. The materials available at the time also lent themselves to white, such as the porcelain for tiles and sinks, and milk-based paints for cabinetry.

©Design by Thomas A. Conway.

A Good Choice for Small Kitchens

White works well for small kitchens because it is light and bright, which makes the space appear larger.

©Design by Thomas A. Conway.

White in Contemporary Kitchens

In a contemporary kitchen, white helps create shadows and contrasts that emphasize planes and surfaces.

Photo By: Scott Mayoral ©Design by Christopher J. Grubb.

Get the Light Right

Good lighting helps give definition and character to a white kitchen, since white is so reflective. The room can seem warm or cold, depending on the light source (natural or man-made).

©Design by Lori Gilder.

Selling Your Home? White Works

White is an excellent color for resale: It's like a blank sheet of paper for prospective buyers.

From: Erinn Valencich

©Design by Erinn Valencich.

White kitchens can be great in the mornings, offering a light and bright beginning to each day, as well as the perfect canvas for any unique design ideas, themes or style flourishes you want to experiment with.

One of the great benefits of a white kitchen design theme is that it can work with just about any kitchen style, from the solidly traditional to the hypermodern. Country or farmhouse-style kitchens in white or light hues are common, and Colonial, French, and vintage or retro-style kitchens are perfectly suited to a white color scheme as well.

When you're planning your white kitchen design, one of the first choices you'll need to make is a little bit counterintuitive — it's about color. Not the pervasive color—you've already got that one figured out: there's going to be white, and lots of it. Cabinets, floors, backsplashes, tables and chairs and islands are all good candidates for the prevailing theme and a white or light tone. Most kitchens with a white overall design, however, take advantage of this "absence of color" to add bold flourishes of color or pattern in other ways. Accessories and backsplashes are two popular ways a white kitchen design can be invigorated with pops of color and visual interest.

Bold and bright accessories are particularly common in contemporary kitchen designs, and even more so when white is the theme. Mixers, blenders, toasters and small ovens are all available in a rainbow-worthy array of colors, as manufacturers have discovered that homeowners are ready to use these common cooking implements as style flourishes in their kitchen designs.

Cookware, utensils and containers can be used in a similar fashion to add visual interest in a white kitchen design, whether in the form of large utensils with multi-colored handles, or exposed hanging pots and pans in bright and bold modern colors.

One of the best ways to add an aesthetic punch to your white kitchen design is via the backsplash. Ceramic tile is available in a vast array of styles and colors, so you'll have plenty of opportunity to explore unique designs—from herringbone patterns to colorful mosaics—that can provide a unique and attractive focal point in your white kitchen design.

Finally, kitchen furniture affords you another opportunity to add visual interest in a white kitchen design. Stools and chairs are widely available in color shades as bright as neon, and tablecloths and placemats can also be used to break up a white kitchen design with intricate and interesting patterns and bold colors.

Kitchen Colors That Stand the Test of Time

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