What colors work best in a kitchen with white appliances? Interior designers suggest the most timeless schemes

Elevate the look of your white kitchen appliances with these fail-safe color schemes

kitchen color schemes with white appliances
(Image credit: Bess Friday, Mindy Laven/Photography Christopher Lee, Davis Interiors)

Choosing the right color scheme for your kitchen isn't always straightforward. Beyond turning to trending colors, you also need to consider how a certain color will appear when paired with your existing kitchen appliances.

Appliances more often than not form a key part of the kitchen, so it's important not to overlook them when deciding on your color scheme. Here, we're focusing specifically on the kitchen colors that work well with white appliances, as suggested by interior designers. Whether you want to make a statement or create a pared-back feel in the kitchen, these ideas have you covered. 

What colors go best with white kitchen appliances?

While white appliances can present negative connotations of a dated kitchen, they can actually be an effective choice for a pared-back scheme that feels classic. 'The resurgence of white appliances in kitchen design heralds a versatile trend that brings a clean, classic feel to the heart of the home, and a welcome diversion from stainless steel,' explains interior designer Kati Curtis. 

Kati Curtis
Kati Curtis

Kati Curtis is an interior designer based in New York City specializing in classic design with global twist. Kati founded Kati Curtis Design in 2005 after 12 years of working with international architecture and engineering firms. She is a Certified Interior Designer (CID), and a Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP).

White is one of the most versatile colors, so if you have white appliances you can generally pair them with any of your favorite colors. Having said that, for a modern look, designers agree that there are certain color schemes to embrace. Interior designer Luis Carmona explains: 'You can either embrace the white and create a bold contrast within the space using darker colors, or try to mute the stark white color of the appliances with similar colors to create a more seamless, neutral palette.'

Below, we've explained how to create a statement look with your white appliances by decorating with contrasting bold hues, as well as more understated options for a classic look. 

1. Create contrast with deep and dark hues

kitchen with dark navy cabinets, antique wooden butcher's block, white range and wooden floor

(Image credit: Bess Friday)

If you're looking to make a statement in your kitchen with white appliances, it's the perfect opportunity to play to the contrast and choose a deep and dark paint for either the walls or kitchen cabinets. 'For those seeking a dramatic look, bold colors like navy blue, charcoal gray, or deep red can create a striking contrast against white appliances, adding a modern and sophisticated touch to the kitchen decor,' explains interior designer Jennifer Davis. 

Amongst the wide range of deep paint colors to choose from, think carefully about which you embrace. Helen Shaw, Director of Color Marketing at Benjamin Moore explains the different look they each create: 'Opting for bold colors such as deep burgundy or terracotta will create a rustic warm design style, whereas deep greens or navy will provide a crisp contrast to the cool white appliances achieving a more contemporary feel.'

Jennifer Davis
Jennifer Davis

Jennifer fell in love with design at a young age and has been working in the industry for over 25 years. She has developed an eye for detail and a talent for creating timeless designs. Jennifer offers a balance of creativity and forward-thinking with a structured, organized, and detailed mentality. Jennifer is driven by her deep passion for design while curating an exceptional client journey, ensuring pure delight from the very beginning to the end.

2. But ensure to keep the scheme balanced

White kitchen with large kitchen island

(Image credit: deVOL)

If you do go down the route of decorating with dark colors, make sure to maintain balance to ensure the end look isn't overpowering. Rather than color drenching a room, opt to paint just the cabinets for example for a nicely balanced scheme. Luis Carmona explains: 'If you are creating a bold contrast within the space, it is important to still have a sense of balance with the color palette. Using a dark charcoal gray like No Curfew from Backdrop or a deep navy blue like Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball for the cabinets will create a crisp contrast between the white appliances and their surrounding vertical surfaces.'

In addition, consider how you can add details that will connect the kitchen cabinet color to the white appliances for a cohesive look, as Luis suggests: 'Matching the hardware on the cabinets with any finish that is on the appliance, whether it be brass or brushed nickel, will help tie the two design elements together.'

Your choice of kitchen countertop can also work to balance the contrasting light and dark hues: 'Having a lighter countertop with some darker veining can act as a mediator, to help further make the space look more cohesive,' says Luis. 'This way the contrast in the space will appear more intentional and fluid without being too dramatic.'

3. Decorate with neutrals for a gentle scheme

modern farmhouse kitchen with reclaimed wood and antique decor

(Image credit: Mindy Laven / Photography Christopher Lee)

The downside of white appliances is that they can sometimes appear stark. To counter this, decorating with neutrals allows you to create a softer look while maintaining a light and airy feel.

'Neutral tones such as gray, beige, taupe, or greige offer a timeless and elegant backdrop, allowing the white appliances to stand out while maintaining a calm atmosphere,' says Jennifer Davis. Again, you could either choose to paint the kitchen walls in these understated hues or, as shown above, you could opt for light wooden cabinets to create a neutral, organic scheme. 

Or, if you want to create a similar neutral scheme yet with slightly more color, opt for pared-back greens or an earthy pink, as Helen Shaw suggests: 'For a more relaxing kitchen environment, colors such as sage green, pale pink or soft gray are a fantastic choice to create the ultimate Scandi-style interior scheme. Muted and soothing, these shades pair beautifully with white appliances and worktops and natural materials such as rattan or wood. The combination of these colors and materials will add to the softness and enhance a feeling of calm in what can be a stressful room of the home.'

Helen Shaw
Helen Shaw

Helen Shaw is part of Benjamin Moore's UK division. Color expert and international marketing director, Helen and her husband Craig are founders of Shaw Paints, acquired by Benjamin Moore in 2020.

If you're looking for ideas for a neutral paint for your kitchen, Luis Carmona suggests some favorites to try, as well as advice for your countertops to best complement the neutral scheme: 'Using a taupe color like Hardwick White by Farrow & Ball or more of a cream color like Harvest Moon by Backdrop will help the kitchen appear more visually seamless creating less "breaks" in the space. Installing a countertop with a lighter stone, white, cream or one with tan or gold veining will help tie all of the design elements together allowing for continuity throughout the space.'

4. Go minimal with an all-white look

all-white kitchen with gold accents

(Image credit: Davis Interiors)

If you're looking to create a bright and airy space, lean into a modern look by opting for a fully white kitchen color scheme. As pictured here in a kitchen designed by Davis Interiors, choosing white cabinets, walls, and tiles in addition to the appliances can create a super minimalist look. 

'Pairing white appliances with white cabinets creates a cohesive and streamlined look, enhancing the sense of spaciousness and brightness in the kitchen while maintaining a fresh aesthetic,' explains Jennifer Davis. 

While there's no doubt a fully white scheme is a fail-safe way to create a light and modern look, the focus should all be on the specific shade of white paint. Although it may seem subtle, the differences between white paints can have a large impact on how the space feels. Warm whites will appear softer whereas anything overly cool-toned can appear harsh in some spaces. Interior designer Tyson Ness adds that you should aim to match the whites throughout the space for a cohesive look: 'When doing white appliances, steer clear of specifying a white kitchen cabinet or countertop unless you can guarantee an exact match.'

To bring some warmth into your white kitchen, incorporate warm metal accents such as brass or gold hardware as shown above. This will elevate the space and ensure it doesn't feel too stark. 

Tyson Ness
Tyson Ness

Tyson Ness is the founder and director of Studio Ness, a NYC-based full-service interior design studio. Studio Ness is known for its collaborative approach to residential and select commercial and workspace projects across the US and abroad, crafting spaces that are unique to the client. Tyson has over a decade of experience in the NYC design sector and has worked on a number of projects that have been featured in publications both in print and online.

White appliances are a classic choice and their versatility makes them easy to integrate into various color schemes. Whether you want to create a moody scheme by decorating with dark colors or a gentle scheme with light neutrals, these color ideas will ensure a timeless, stylish look. 

Emily Moorman
News Writer

Emily Moorman is a News Writer at Homes & Gardens, working across a range of topics spanning interiors, celebrity and emerging trends. With a background in the fashion industry, Emily is well-versed in the world of design and trend cycles. Her undergraduate degree was in Fashion Communication and Promotion which she studied at Norwich University of The Arts, specialising in writing and digital communications.