It is no secret I am a big fan of color. My family, friends, colleagues, clients, and even those of you who regularly read my column, know I am not averse to employing some bold hues in my design work. Pastels can be perfectly pleasant, neutrals numbingly calm, but personally I crave full-on saturation. Be it wall color, artwork, area rugs, or accessories, I love bringing in some intense, fun, happy, color.
I cannot deny it, I like color. A lot. So, why am I writing about white kitchens? Well……
As with most things in life, there comes a time when a little restraint will go a long way. And let me tell you, a white kitchen will have more longevity than any other color in the spectrum. White kitchens are as popular as ever and for good reason.
Let me point out that by using the term “white kitchens” I am talking about the cabinetry. As the single largest design element in a kitchen, careful consideration should be given to the finish. I am all about decorating for your own enjoyment and admire those who boldly put their own stamp on their surroundings. But, seriously, would you buy a house with purple cabinets if a full kitchen renovation wasn’t in the future game plan or budget?
Fresh, bright, and clean, its no wonder the color white conveys a sense of health and sanitation for the kitchen. Seriously, who doesn’t want to feel that in the space where you prepare your dinner? Truth is, most food looks more appetizing with a white background. After all, why do you think so many foodies post prepared meals on plain, white plates?
Regardless of your tastes and preferred design style, a white kitchen is just as compatible with contemporary and transitional styles as it is with tried-and-true traditional decors. White can be quiet and minimal or bold and defined. It is a color that pairs well with most everything and allows you to experiment with a multitude of accent colors for accessories, floors, countertops and backsplashes. White cabinetry looks equally as chic topped with classy Carrara marble as it does with grainy granite or smokey slate. Chrome, nickel, stainless steel, and brass all look great with white cabinetry.
A “white” kitchen does not have to be all white and completely monochromatic. And it certainly does not have to be bland or boring. I am totally on board with contrasting colors for island cabinetry or a feature wall of built-ins and think that is a great way to add an unexpected punch of color. I love the look of bright white cabinetry over wood floors. Walls and ceilings are other surfaces that offer opportunity for accent colors and are easily changed when the mood strikes without the expense and mess of changing out cabinetry.
Whether you are building or remodeling, your kitchen is typically the most expensive room to spec out. The sheer amount of cabinetry, appliances, counter tops, and other specialty items needed to outfit this space adds up quickly. It makes sense then to wisely choose the finishes and colors for these built-in items since you will not want to be replacing them often. Keep in mind some future buyers my regard certain “trendy” shades of wood as already played-out and passé. Remember when “pickled oak” was all the rage? Yes, some things are better off forgotten.
White really is a classic choice that is not always “on trend” but never really goes out of style. It is a great choice for homeowners desiring an elegant and timeless look that is crisp, neutral, and versatile.