White kitchen ideas – take a pure approach to cabinets and countertops

Classic or contemporary, a white kitchen is a timeless option.

At home in most kitchens, an white scheme is a timeless and versatile choice. And as our white kitchen ideas prove, adaptable to any style of space, from dark spaces challenged by a lack of space, to vast extensions crying out for character.

See also… Kitchen storage ideas to ensure a clutter-free space

Right now, many designers are favoring an all-white look, where white cabinetry is combined with white tiling, white walls, and the palest of marble or composite countertops. Alternatively, you could use timber or flashes of strong color to bring vitality to the look.

IS A WHITE KITCHEN A GOOD IDEA?

There are lots of reasons why white kitchens are so popular,’ says Daniel Bowler, Director of Eggersmann UK. ‘They are sleek and modern and perhaps the best thing is that white is a timeless colour that won’t date or go out of fashion.’

‘Opting for white furniture also presents a blank canvas for elsewhere in the kitchen, enabling pops of colour to be added, perhaps for a splashback or accessories and making it easy to incorporate a mix of materials.’

‘A white colour scheme can make a small space appear bigger and equally won’t clash with the décor in a large, open-plan space,’ adds Daniel. ‘Creating a sense of light and natural freshness, a white kitchen will sit as comfortably in a contemporary home as it will in a country cottage.’

WHITE KITCHEN IDEAS

1. PLAY WITH TEXTURE

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Photography: Kitchen Makers

Go all white in a kitchen and you could fall into the trap of creating a cold, clinical room. But there are some simple ways to avoid this. ‘To ensure the space has character and feels inviting it’s important to incorporate a variety of textures and finishes,’ says Ben Burbidge, Managing Director at Burbidge.

‘Consider contrasting painted matte cabinets with a high-shine backsplash or pair an industrial stone worktop with contemporary gloss cabinets. When it comes to accessories and lighting add texture by mixing materials, such as rustic copper pendants and wooden furniture, for a modern look that will stand the test of time.’

In this case iridescent tiles and touches of timber bring the matt cabinetry to life.

2. LIGHT UP THE DARK

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Photography: Jody Stewart/TI Media

A lean-to lacking in natural light presents plenty of design challenges – and is where a white kitchen can be your friend. Contrasting dark stone flooring accentuates the room’s height, and pendants supplement the lone skylight. But the ultimate saving graces are the simple Shaker cabinetry and crisp composite countertops.

3. LET THE TILES DO THE TALKING

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Photography: Emma Lee/TI Media

Create an artful contrast between simple white handleless units and hand-crafted, artisanal tiles and ceramics. The former will allow the latter to take centre stage, and the modern door styling will elevate the look. Beautiful marble countertops provide a link between the two contrasting elements.

4. AND BREATHE…

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Photography: Neptune

‘If you’re somebody who appreciates quiet, simple settings, then white is undoubtedly a colour that will help to achieve both of these things,’ says Christina Parsons, Kitchen Designer at Neptune Reading.

White is innately crisp – even more so when there’s something it can be contrasted against. Even without, in a kitchen with white walls, white cabinets, a quartz work surface and pale flooring, the room will take on a pure, clean character that’s much harder to create when using pigmented shades.’

5. ACCENTUATE THE VIEW

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Photography: Davide Lovatti/TI Media

This cleverly designed, galley-style kitchen has been designed to draw one’s gaze down the room and towards the garden. White units that blend into the architecture of the extension offer minimal distraction, and work in unison with wide floorboards laid down the room.

6. HEAD TO THE COAST

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Photography: Jon Day/TI Media

You can almost feel the sea breeze blowing into this fresh scheme, which hits peek coastal chic with its combination of tongue-and-groove wall panelling, aquamarine tiles and rustic open shelving.

Tiles are great for introducing a splash of colour to an all-white space. This geometric motif can be laid in numerous ways to create different designs. Add crockery in complementary tones for an attractive display on open shelves.

7. WARM UP WITH WOOD

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Photography: Burbidge

Our cravings for the slick and minimalist has inevitably waned  One way to cosy up white is to combine it with a soft timber – a very pale ash or oak is ideal. We like the way the two have been fused together, with white worktops and wooden furniture against the wall, and the reverse on the island.

8. RUN THROUGH TO THE DINING AREA

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Photography: TI Media

Continue the monochrome theme through to your seating area, as these style savvy homeowners have done. Do be thoughtful in your choices of materials, however. Wipable leather upholstery is ideal and also practical. Similarly for the tabletop – consider a treated finish that’s impervious to scratches, or your sleep white look could soon start to look tired and tatty.

See also… Green kitchen ideas – cabinets, walls and more in shades of sage, olive and emerald

9. LET OTHER ELEMENTS POP

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Photography: Benjamin Moore

When it comes to introducing pops of colour, white is by far the safest choice as a backdrop. Here, units in Paper White by Benjamin Moore, white marble tops and a classic metro tile splashback are boosted by a Caribbean Blue Water island (also Benjamin Moore) and a mustard yellow door.

10. It’s all about the accents

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Photography: TI Media

Here’s another elegant white kitchen, with a neutrality that showcases some rather more quirky features. Like the coffee machine ingeniously tucked into the side of the larder cabinet. Transparent Philippe Starck stool don’t break the flow of the look.

WHAT COLOUR WHITE IS BEST FOR A KITCHEN?

“For many kitchenswhite is often the base colour that is accented by brassware, contemporary appliances and accessories or furniture that will add colour and texture,’ says Helen Shaw, Benjamin Moore’s UK Director.

‘When it comes to choosing the perfect white, it’s important to ensure the correct hue feels warm and maintains a bright and spacious feeling without being too stark. We would recommend a muted white which has a subtle grey undertone and gives a softer, more contemporary feel.’

WHAT COLOURS GO WITH A WHITE KITCHEN?

‘Consider painting lower cabinets or your kitchen island in a darker, bold hue,’ advises Helen Shaw, Benjamin Moore’s UK Director. ‘This adds a point of interest to the space while maintaining a feel of openness by keeping the top cupboards in a muted white. As homeowners become bolder with colour choices and look to add accent colours, we have seen a trend for deep navy blues such as Hale Navy. They work particularly well on cabinetry and looks striking when anchored with white walls.’

WHAT COUNTERTOPS GO BEST WITH WHITE CABINETS?

‘Combining white furniture with a metal or timber worktop will help take the edge off, ensuring that a white kitchen doesn’t appear too cold or sterile,’ says Eggersmann’s Daniel Bowler.

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