As a neutral shade, white is one of the most versatile decorating colors that you can choose — which makes it an ideal choice for your kitchen cabinets. With white cabinetry, you can create a variety of kitchen designs that run the gamut from vintage-inspired and casual to contemporary and formal. The key is surrounding the cabinets with other colors and accent pieces that help give them just the right look.
White cabinets provide the backdrop for a charming country kitchen. Choose an earthy, muted color for the walls like gold, blue gray, tan or sage to complement the white cabinetry, and select a rustic material like wooden butcher block or textured stone for the countertops. You can give the design an air of authenticity with a farmhouse sink and vintage-style faucet, while a beadboard backsplash painted white to match the cabinets can give the space a quaint country cottage feel. When it comes to window treatments, towels and throw rugs, opt for country-inspired patterns like gingham or plaid. If you want a French country look, toile is also an attractive option.
White cabinetry can also serve as the foundation for a striking modern kitchen. Contemporary decor calls for a minimalist approach, so the key is to keep the look simple. Paint the walls white to match the cabinets and opt for white appliances and flooring too. You can also add white countertops or go for a bold contrast with black or charcoal counters. For the windows, forgo curtains and opt for sleek shades in white or black. Keep other accessories to a minimum too, so the kitchen has a stark modern feel that offers up plenty of style.
Splash of Color
If you prefer a cheerful look for your kitchen, don’t be afraid to decorate with bright colors — white cabinets work well to help a vivid wall color stand out. You can choose a vibrant red for the walls since red is believed to stimulate the appetite, or opt for a brighter color like tangerine, acid yellow, lime or turquoise. For appliances, white is usually the best option, though a stainless steel finish can also work well since it won’t compete with the wall color. To keep the design balanced, incorporate other neutral shades like tan and gray in the countertops, window treatments and other accessories. You can also add some other bold colors, but you’re better off choosing shades from the same family as the wall color to keep the room from looking too busy.
White cabinets fit well in a kitchen with coastal decor. Pair them with an ocean-inspired blue wall color — you might even try blue and white stripes for a nautical feel. Incorporate other blue accents, along with shades of green, pale yellow and tan, for a soft look that has a bright, airy feel. Sheer white curtains work well for the windows, but you can also incorporate fabrics with beach theme patterns, like fish, seashells or sailboats. Turn to natural materials like wood for the flooring and countertops, and consider a mosaic of blue and green glass tile for the backsplash to mimic the look of beach glass and serve as a focal point in the kitchen.
Based in New York City, Jennifer Blair has been covering all things home and garden since 2001. Her writing has appeared on BobVila.com, World Lifestyle, and House Logic. Blair holds a Bachelor of Arts in Writing Seminars from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.