A white kitchen was all the rage for several years, but now what’s the story with all white kitchens? Are white kitchens out of style? Nope! Although there are some new kitchen trends to look out for; it’s perfectly fine to still design a white kitchen.
I am going to say it! A classic white kitchen may not always be trendy but it will never be out of style! Right now beige, blue and green cabinets are trending hard, but that doesn’t mean white is out. If you’re about to jump into a kitchen remodel and you’re wondering if you should really purchase those white kitchen cabinets, I hear ya! I just recently went through a kitchen remodel and guess what?…I chose white cabinets…AGAIN!
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In 2018 we remodeled a kitchen in our large 90’s brick colonial in Virginia. We did an all white kitchen with brushed nickel hardware, soft gray paint and white subway tile. It was lovely for the time, but quickly felt cold and in need of a few changeable updates. We sold our home in 2021 to move to Tennessee or I would have warmed up the space with changeable elements.
In our current Tennessee home, we just completed a kitchen remodel, and yes…I designed another white(ish) kitchen, but with some adjustments from our 2018 design.
What Makes An All White Kitchen Dated?
An ALL white kitchen is what gives white kitchens a bad rap. It’s all the white on white like I had in our previous home. White cabinets, white tile, white countertops…you get the picture. The everything WHITE on WHITE makes a space feel cold and unwelcoming. Add in brushed nickel hardware, stainless steel appliances and soft gray walls and the space was cold and flat.
If we planned to stay in Virginia, I would have warmed up the kitchen with easy to change elements such as hardware, painting the walls, changing light fixtures, painting the island and changing the range hood all while leaving the cabinets and countertops.
I Have An All White Kitchen, Now What?
If you have an all white kitchen don’t panic and think you have to completely remodel. Most people do a kitchen remodel once while living in their home; the majority of people lack the budget to remodel a kitchen more than once in the same home. Kitchen styles have changed and will always continue to change, but we are seeing a shift in new kitchen designs from white and stark to warm and welcoming.
No matter what all the designers, magazines and bloggers are saying, white kitchens aren’t completely out of style. Remember, designers are always designing something new; as homeowners we usually have one shot at a kitchen remodel. Designers always have the opportunity to create a new kitchen, making it easy for them to keep up with the most in style colors, woods, flooring, lighting…you get my point.
If you have an all white kitchen you can easily warm up the space with different hardware, wall color, island color and lights. Find ways to change changeable elements while leaving the expensive elements in place.
You don’t have to change everything in your kitchen to keep up with the latest thing. Find ways to work in some design trends if you really love them! White kitchens are a classic choice and they will remain fresh and stylish for years.
Should You Still Design a White Kitchen?
Yes! If that’s what you want then go for it. I’ve always loved a white kitchen since I was a little girl. However, I have a friend who literally hates them; they only like wood kitchen cabinets and that’s fine. Lately I have seen some gorgeous wood kitchens that are drool worthy for sure. Wood is making a huge comeback but with adjustments from the dark wood kitchens of the 90’s before kitchens really became a hot room to design in the home.
Even though the 2023/2024 kitchen trends are moving away from white kitchens; plenty of designers and homeowners still like a white kitchen with some adjustments. As in our White and Wood Kitchen Design, we still did white, but added in wood and warm tones.
The term classic white kitchen is a cliché for a reason because a white kitchen continues to stand the test of time. Sticking with a neutral backdrop in the kitchen creates an easy way to incorporate splashes of color when you are looking for alternatives to that clean white look. Changing seasonal decor in an all white kitchen is easy.
White kitchen cabinets are one of the easiest, most impactful changes you can make in your kitchen because white kitchen cabinets can create a lighter, brighter and more cheerful kitchen!
If you plan to design a white kitchen consider adding in warm elements instead of all white on white.
Factors to Consider Before Designing a White Kitchen?
- Will a white kitchen work in your home design/flow overall?
- How White do you want your kitchen to be?
- How will you incorporate other design elements into your white kitchen?
- Can you see yourself in a white kitchen for at least ten+ years?
- Do you like to chase trends or do you like more timeless design elements?
These are all considerations to ask yourself before taking the plunge and buying new kitchen cabinets. Kitchen cabinets are expensive and you want to get it right so you can enjoy your new kitchen. Remember, you will always see something new on Pinterest and a kitchen that will look better than what you have. Get over it and do what you love and realize you can’t have the latest style trend all the time.
How to Avoid A White on White Kitchen?
The trend used to be all white, as discussed previously. White on white is cold and the trend now, for lack of better terms, is warmer living spaces. Rooms that feel cozy and lived in, but that doesn’t mean everything has to be wood tone, deep olive greens and beige. You can still design a white kitchen so the space is bright and open all while adding in warm elements too. Think more of a white and wood kitchen just as I have done.
Tips to Warm Up a White Kitchen
- Select a Warm White or Cream Paint Cabinet Color
- Add in Some Wood
- Warm Up Your Hardware
- Consider a Brass Faucet
- Add in Warm Decor
Select a Warm White or Cream Paint Hue
If you still like the idea of a white kitchen, but one that isn’t too stark, go for a warmer white paint color or with cream kitchen cabinets. Selecting the perfect cabinet paint color or a cream kitchen cabinet paint color can be tricky. Our previous kitchen had very white kitchen cabinets and I didn’t want that again.
We still opted for shaker kitchen cabinets but in more of an off-white hue sort of way.
We selected Benjamin Moore Simply White and while it says “white” it’s a softer/creamier white without feeling yellow. We were trying to achieve off white kitchen cabinets without being too creamy. Our home here doesn’t get anywhere near the amount of light our last home did and it’s a much smaller home; therefore, selecting the right white was crucial and it took me some time to narrow that down.
Other White and Cream Kitchen Cabinet Paint Colors
You could steer away from a true white all together and go for a cream paint color instead. The kitchen still feels light and bright but warmer.
You may like the idea of a lighter kitchen, but lean more toward creams and beige coloring. Here are a few other cabinet colors to consider; some are warmer than others and some feel more beige. Depending on the lighting in your kitchen; a beige or cream color might be the way to go.
I thought about going more beige, but I was afraid our lighting would make the cabinets look muddled or dirty to an extent. Some say I played it safe and stuck with a warm white and that’s ok. I love my kitchen, but it might not be the shade for you.
- Benjamin Moore Natural Cream – in the right lighting, this would be gorgeous on kitchen cabinets
- Benjamin Moore Swiss Coffee – a warmer, off-white
- Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace – cooler, more of a true white
- Sherwin Williams Snowbound – an off-white
- Sherwin Williams Accessible Beige – a soft beige that doesn’t look too beige, more of a soft, creamy off white
- Sherwin Williams Alabaster – a warmer off-white color
- Benjamin Moore Cloud Nine – a soft white with soft touch of gray
- Sherwin Williams Pure White – slight yellow undertone so it doesn’t appear too stark
- Benjamin Moore White Dove – a warmer white that has some grayish, yellow undertones
Add in Some Wood
Wood tones vary by wood type and how the wood is ultimately finished. Wood can feel cold if it’s red mahogany or even an orangey pine. Carefully select your wood species and finishing options. Incorporate warm wood tones in your white kitchen with a wood island or wooden floating shelves. We went with a quarter sawn white oak island to add warmth and break up all the white cabinets.
Mix up your white and wood. Add Wood cabinets to the bottom (if budget allows) and white upper cabinets or vice versa. If budget would have allowed, I would have had the refrigerator cabinets made in the same material as the island to add in more wood, but it was just cost prohibitive since there are so many more projects on my list.
Warm Up Your Hardware
Instead of silver hardware go for unlacquered brass, aged brass or even copper cabinet pulls to warm up all that white and stainless steel appliances. We did not do panel ready appliances because of cost but if you can add that to your budget than go for it which will give everything a nice seamless look.
With soft white cabinets and stainless steel appliances, I wanted to warm the space so the wood island and hardware really helped balance the space to not feel too cold.
Consider a Brass Faucet
Your faucet can also set the tone for how warm or cold your white kitchen can feel. With the white and stainless steel, the faucet we selected was also unlacquered brass just like the hardware and I love it. If you just don’t like brass then select polished nickel as it is warmer than chrome and ages beautifully just like unlacquered brass.
Kitchen countertop decor can also play a role by displaying wooden cutting boards, crock of wooden spoons or wooden trays. The easiest way to change up a space is by swapping out decor items. Fruit in a bowl or basket adds warmth and makes the space feel lived in or use a mix of real and faux florals throughout the year!
Add Warm Vintage Rug/Runner
A rug can also play a role in the temperature of your space. As much as I love the white cabinets, I wanted to continue to ensure the kitchen had a nice balance of warmth to counteract any cool elements. A vintage inspired rug runner gave the final touches to our kitchen design and I love it!
Would I Choose A Classic White Kitchen Again?
Absolutely! I’ve designed a white kitchen twice and the second time around changed some elements from our first kitchen. While I admire some of the bold design trends as seen from top designers; I tend to play it safe and went with a white kitchen. I have no regrets. Even though the greige, green and deep blue kitchens are the rage (and rightfully so) I knew we planned for this house to be our final home and in five or so years redoing our kitchen would not be feasible.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Create depth and warmth by incorporating natural-wood textures such as serving bowls, cutting boards, brass hardware and lighting, and a warm rug.
Cream, beige, green, soft white, gray, warm blues
Most home buyers are looking for white or neutral kitchens. While a white kitchen may no longer be the hottest trend, they are far from being outdated.
Final Thoughts on Kitchen Design Trends
Trends will come and go but sticking with more timeless elements will ensure your kitchen design stays as relevant for as long as possible. While new kitchen design trends are going more toward added color and warmth; what I am really seeing is a trend toward lived in, cozy, welcoming spaces. We are on the grand millennial design trend right now and I love it because replaces cookie cutter homes and designs with a feeling of more character and charm. A blend of new and old; lived in kitchens and spaces, rooms and homes that feel anything but staged, sterile and perfect.
Stick with what you love, chose timeless elements all while realizing nothing is forever timeless. Go for a white kitchen; just make it your own with warmth, personal decor and a feeling of relaxation.