Interior Design

How to Make Your All-White Kitchen a Total Showstopper

Because what's a white kitchen but a blank canvas, after all?

April  5, 2022
Photo by Cle Tile

Over the years, white kitchens have earned the (undeserved) reputation of being boring. Although they remain a classic choice for many designers and homeowners, the impression that they’re a “safe” or even personality-less choice still remains pervasive.

Here’s the thing though: Like any design scheme or element, white kitchens have to be done right in order to succeed. Slap a white finish on every surface of your kitchen and it will look new, sure—but it may also end up feeling uninspired, bland, or even sterile. Any color palette can fall flat if not executed properly, but white kitchens are even more susceptible than the average hue.

So is there really a way to ensure your all-white kitchen is a showstopper, not a snore? Sure is. It all comes down to a few strategic design hacks that will leave your space feeling dynamic and inspiring, even if it’s (mostly) one shade. If you’re planning an all-white kitchen reno of your own—or just want to spice up the blank space you already have—try out one of our easy tips below.

1. Choose the Right White

You’ve probably heard it before, but not all whites are created equally. The key to designing a well-rounded white kitchen starts with nailing the right tone of white for your home. Warning: This may take a little trial and error on your end. Whether you’re painting just your cabinets or starting from scratch on an entire design, it’s important to test out several white shades to see what clicks best with your space.

Depending on your preferences, the right white hue may be crisp and clean or warm and cozy—but you won’t know it until you get samples in your home. This is not an instance where you should follow Pinterest blindly with your pick. Instead, try out several different shades in your space, and make sure to view them at different times of day to ensure they have the effect you desire. Some of our favorites include: Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White, Farrow & Ball’s Simply White, and Behr’s Spun Cotton.

2. Play with Texture

Creating a kitchen from one all-over color means you have to rely on other factors to make it come alive—mainly, texture. Playing around with different textures is key in creating a dynamic all-white kitchen because it helps add layers and visual interest to your space. Here’s what we mean: White shaker cabinetry shouldn’t be paired with an all-white countertop and all-white smooth subway tile backsplash. Instead, look to inject a little texture (whether actual texture or just the appearance of movement) into the equation with strategic selections for some of your finishes. A handmade zellige white backsplash tile or dramatically veined gray and white countertop may be all you need for your entire room to come alive.

3. Opt for Living Finishes

Living finishes are one of the best (and easiest) ways to bring life to your room no matter what color palette you end up choosing. Fixtures and finishes that will patina over time (think: unlacquered brass hardware or real marble countertops) will create a constantly evolving feeling in your all-white kitchen, with no one day appearing exactly the same. Plus, because all-white kitchens can often feel very “new” and “sterile,” living finishes are a great way to add a timeworn element to your home so everything doesn’t feel straight out of a showroom.

4. Splurge on Something Impactful

Another way to ensure your all-white kitchen stands out from the crowd? Splurging on an impactful focal point that can steal the show. From big-time accents like a handmade hood or bespoke French oven to smaller—but equally arresting—picks like daring pendant lights or a gilded pot filler, choosing one or two wow-worthy moments can inject just the right dose of drama into your all-white kitchen. With a strategic splurge, your room instantly goes from a blank slate to a crisp and clean backdrop for some truly epic interior design accents.

5. Have Fun With Accessories

If you’re drawn to an all-white kitchen, chances are you’re at least partially lured in by the idea that it’s a timeless choice that will never go out of style. And for the most part, that’s totally true! Still, you’ll want to help your all-white kitchen find its footing among current design trends with some carefully considered accessorizing. When you have such a timeless jumping-off point, it’s easy to play with accessories, rotating them in and out seasonally or trying your hand at the latest “it” item, all while staying true to the foundations of your room. Feel free to have a bit of fun accessorizing your kitchen, with countertop decor (think: vases or bowls), rugs, dishware, table linens, and more—all in your favorite of-the-moment trends.

Do you have an all-white kitchen and absolutely love it? Tell us why below!

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