Olivia Culpo ensures her white kitchen is far from boring with this minimalist decorating technique

The actress and model champions a chic, modern rustic style in her kitchen, and teaches us how to enhance a minimalist look with inviting warmth and character

Close up of Olivia Culpo with a red background.
(Image credit: Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

A minimalist kitchen and a calming white color scheme often go together hand in hand, creating a serene and sophisticated design that feels wonderfully timeless. 

However, to prevent a modern white kitchen from feeling too cold and clinical, designers often use a few decorating techniques to ensure these spaces are still rich with inviting character – and Olivia Culpo's minimalist kitchen beautifully shows us how it's done.

The actress and model revealed her contemporary kitchen and dining room in a post shared on her Instagram. Her kitchen is a wonderful example of how the subtle use of contrasting textures and materials, such as warming wooden accents and sleek marble countertops, can bring eye-catching visual interest to a minimalist, all-white space. We think the design perfectly embodies the much-loved modern rustic style.

'The modern rustic trend will always be a popular aesthetic in the home. Homeowners are always seeking ways to embrace more natural textures while staying current. Modern rustic is a style that captures the harmonious balance between modern functionality and timeless design. It’s all about minimalist forms and the use of wood, evoking a sense of authenticity and connection to nature while accommodating the practical needs of contemporary living,' says Brooklyn Burdon, chief design officer at Nathan James Furniture.

Uplifting simple white room ideas with the timeless beauty of natural materials is one the easiest ways to bring beautiful character to the space whilst still maintaining that relaxed, minimalist feel. 

In her modern rustic kitchen, Olivia Culpo complements her white kitchen cabinets with sleek black metal handles, but the design feature that has really caught our eye is the unique wooden paneling that covers her range hood. The diagonal slats of wood add an eye-catching, contemporary edge to the space, with the rich brown tones enhancing the room with a homey, inviting warmth. 

Another note of contrast is created through the gray marble kitchen countertops on the kitchen island. The dark gray finish adds a sense of depth to the room, with the soft veining helping to create a subtle sense of rhythm and movement in the space.

The kitchen below designed by Allison Babcock is another lovely example of a minimalist kitchen that uses natural materials and accents to create inviting moments of contrast.

White farmhouse kitchen, kitchen island with wooden stools, white cabinetry

(Image credit: Interior Allison Babcock, photograph)

As well as creating points of difference in a white kitchen through countertops, paneling and flooring, never underestimate the importance and power of accessorizing.

'Vintage and reclaimed elements, such as weathered wooden utensils, boards, antique crockery, and ceramic vases will all infuse a modern kitchen with a sense of history and character. Moreover, by carefully selecting these pieces in a minimalist setting, you can achieve a beautiful focal point that will prevent the space from feeling sterile or overly uniform,' say Sally and Sarah Wilkie, founders of Home Barn. 

In Olivia's space, the wooden utensils and boards on display elegantly coordinate with the wooden paneling, and help to add a rustic, characterful touch to the room. We further explore how to decorate kitchen counters in our dedicated feature.

Shop wooden serving boards

Showcasing a beautiful blend of the warm and the cool, the rustic and the modern, Olivia Culpo's white kitchen teaches us that contrast is always key when designing a minimalist space.

Zara Stacey
Managing Editor

Zara is the Managing Editor at Homes & Gardens. She joined the brand in February 2022 as an Interiors Content Editor, specializing in writing content on interior color trends, decorating ideas and design inspiration. After studying English Literature at University, she worked as an Ecommerce Website Editor, Content Writer and Buying Intern at multiple independent businesses within the luxury retail and lifestyle sectors. She enjoys nothing more than discovering new trends, brands and products, whether that be in fashion, interior design or lifestyle.