Choosing a white kitchen provides a crisp, smart base from which to build. Whether you're planning a modern kitchen redesign or just a refresh, with a white kitchen you have the option to add the warmth of wooden furniture, or inject flashes of colour with soft furnishings and artwork.
White kitchens reflect light; white goes with everything, and forms the foundation of many a stunning modern kitchen. It also magically makes any space feel larger, great when you're working out the best kitchen storage ideas for a small space.
Of course, choosing white for a kitchen - the messiest room in the house - can strike some as odd. Why choose the one colour that will show up every spill and stain? The upside is it's a colour that won’t date, making it a future-proof investment that's much more exciting than that sounds.
With a white kitchen as a base, it's easy to update it with new kitchen trends as they come and go.
Glossy white surfaces offer a sleek contemporary feel, while brass or gold accents add serious wow factor. But the truth is white is the ultimate blank canvas and works brilliantly with anything you care to throw at it. So don't hold back on those tangerine flooring dreams.
White kitchens will always be bestsellers. Whether that puts you off or entices you is up to you.
This white kitchen from Neptune blends traditional cabinetry with chic modern design.
Think a white kitchen is too bland? Mix up rows of fitted cabinets with a stand alone cupboard for a more relaxed style.
GOT THE BLUES
A simple white kitchen is given a vibrant lift with a splashback made with hand painted geometric tiles.
The sleek white kitchen in this project by Day True is designed to 'disappear' into the background of the living space.
This cool concrete-look worktop creates a counter area that sections off the working part of the kitchen, so guests and family members can pull up a chair and chat to whoever is cooking.
The gilt-coloured splashback and brass kickerboard and handles on this white kitchen blend beautifully with the golden hues of the marble clad island and give this kitchen by Jo Berryman a touch of glamour.
Shots of black – like the bar stools and pendant lights – break up the flow of seamless, handleless cabinetry in this white kitchen. The island is 4.5m long – but it doesn’t really look it.
Get the look This is a Bulthaup kitchen from Cameron Interiors. The stools are from Rockett St George. The pendants are by Fritz Fryer.
NEUTRAL AND NATURAL
This white kitchen features a large modern island with breakfast bar. The whole space feels airy and fresh, owed to the neutral palette and natural materials, particularly the timber ceiling.
CLEAN AND MINIMAL
The clean lines and minimal looks of the white kitchen cabinetry are softened by the rich, textural warmth of herringbone oak floors and the energetic patterning of a white Quartzite worktop and kitchen island. The Quartzite imitates the feel of marble, but it is much more hard-wearing.
Get the look: The kitchen is from the Tio Collection by Rational, teamed with White Fantasy Quartzite from Stone World. These are Bolle Sola pendants by Massimo Castagna for Gallotti&Radice. The stools are from John Lewis.
Lustrous zellige tiles give this white kitchen a luxurious look. Deep storage drawers were fitted behind custom lacquered cabinetry. Brass accents add glamour, while the ribbed wood on the kitchen island adds a cool, textured effect.
A black marble splashback prevents this white kitchen from feeling too sterile.
Get the look: The Portuguese black marble was sourced by John Loveday. The bespoke units are made from white-lacquered, moisture- resistant MDF and topped with white Corian.
All these kitchen cabinets are IKEA, but with new fronts put on for an inexpensive update.
The wood island and the rug add warmth and texture to the modern white kitchen. Brass handles and taps give it a bit of bling.
Everywhere there are flourishes of green – instead of overhead units, the focal point of the bespoke white kitchen is the row of Indian glass paintings and the antique chandelier, hung deliberately low to relax the lofty proportions of the interior.
Get the look: The bar stools are by Hay. Find a similar chandelier at Norfolk Decorative Antiques. For pendant lights like these, try Heal’s. The kitchen is by Daulby and Tickle.
Wood floors and exposed beams add a warmth and softness to this white kitchen. The pantry is deliberately open plan so it’s easy to grab things when cooking. It has concealed, built-in cupboards underneath at the side for basics; everything else is decanted into storage jars.
Get the look: The glass storage jars are from Garden Trading. The oat sacks are from H&M. The straw basket is from Apartment in Lymington and the lidded hampers were bought on Ebay.
Not sure about a stark white kitchen? Go for a softer shade that borders on pale grey. Marble worktops and a butler’s sink are teamed with classic metro tiles and handsome cabinets.
Get the look: Floorboards, Dinesen. Tiles, Walls & Floors.
Tall white cupboards provide ample storage, while the wood counter makes this kitchen still feel warm.
Get the look: The walnut-veneered island and breakfast bar, Corian worktop and run of high-gloss cupboards were designed by Roundhouse. The ceramic vase is from Pitfield London. For Bridget Riley prints, go to Karsten Schubert.
A GOOD GROUNDING
In this city apartment, dark parquet flooring connects the white kitchen to the living spaces, and gives the kitchen space a more homely feel.
Get the look: Marble work surface and splashback, Quarry Kitchen cabinets, custom-made by INS Construction; Lights, custom-made by Early Electrics. Appliances, Sub-Zero and Miele.
This white kitchen is a classic Shaker style from deVol with hardwearing white Silestone worktops, while the floors are white oiled wide-plank engineered oak.
Get the look: The Shaker-style kitchen units, Silestone worktops, prep table and oak stools are all by deVol. The range cooker came from Esse. The chopping boards are from Daylesford and the big glass storage jars are from Ikea. The fisherman’s lights are from Color Worx in East Wittering.
In this space, the marble splashback adds texture and contrast.
Get the look: Richard Webb of Webb Architects designed this extension. The white-lacquer and pippy oak kitchen units were custom-made by Rick Baker. The Carrara marble splashback and Italian basalt worktops are from London Marble Ltd.
The sleek lines of these white kitchen cabinets are broken up by a Murano glass chandelier and the swirls of the marble flooring and worktops.
Get the look The kitchen is by Boffi. The chandelier is from Caira Mandaglio. The black and white jar is by Jonathan Adler.
The owners of this white kitchen have created champagne looks with a Babycham budget – the kitchen was an inexpensive design supplied by their builder, but teamed with marble worktops and a gorgeous weathered bronze tap.
Get the look This is Alno cabinetry. The tap is by Barber Wilsons & Co. The work surface was made from marble supplied by Rossi Stone Surfaces. The industrial-style pendant is from Soda. The stools were painted in Little Greene’s Basalt intelligent eggshell.
The exposed brick wall instantly warms this white kitchen. Magnus Hastings’ photo of drag artist Vanity Faire, aka ‘Dorothy’, was part of an exhibition Why Drag? and reflects the film director owner’s life-long love affair with Technicolor.
Get the look The kitchen was made bespoke with a Miele oven and hob and a Samsung fridge-freezer. For a kitchen like this, go to Kuche. For similar chairs, try Alexander & Pearl. The Heavy concrete pendant lights are by Benjamin Hubert for Decode.
OOH LA LA
This white kitchen is lined in walnut, the cupboards providing stealthy storage for pots, pans and paraphernalia. The La Cornue range cooker and tall mirror add Gallic élan. It’s a perfect example of how French style interiors can be both classical and minimal.
Get the look Arabescato marble has been used for the island, worktop and splashback. Decorative Collective has a range of similar mirrors.
Eglomise mirror glass adds texture to the kitchen’s sleek, monochrome base notes.
Get the look The bespoke kitchen is made in Corian, with Wolf, Sub-Zero, Fisher & Paykel and Gaggenau appliances.
The simple white kitchen from a no-frills supplier is ‘luxed up’ with marble worktops. There are no wall-mounted units as the owner wanted the kitchen to feel like a lovely room you would want to spend time in.
Get the look Kitchen cabinets, Howdens. Wenge flooring, Nagle Flooring. Tiles, Walls And Floors. The photographic artwork is of Kate Moss for an Agent Provocateur campaign, shot by Mike Figgis.
A FINE BALANCE
Despite its contemporary feel, this white kitchen is filled with touchstones that add a note of history and tradition, such as the white china and pendant light.
Get the look For a reclaimed kitchen table and bench, try Pacha Design. Find a light like this at Hector Finch. The kitchen units were designed by Melbourne architect Stephen Akehurst. Try Plain English for similar. The rug is from Behruz Studio in Melbourne. Find similar at Luke Irwin.
STACKS OF STORAGE
These owners reduced the built-in storage that lined every wall and removed the island to allow for a small table and chairs.
Get the look Find the Eero Saarinen table for Knoll and the coffee house chairs by Gebrüder Thonet at The Conran Shop. For similar cabinetry, try Poggenpohl.
ON THE TILES
A sweep of white metro tiles echoes a traditional, country feel in this pared-back kitchen.
Get the look Source white metro tiles from Fired Earth and a Le Creuset casserole dish from John Lewis. For a similar marble worktop, try Mandarin Stone.
A TOUCH OF BRASS
In this kitchen, marble and unlacquered brass mix seamlessly. An unpolished brass tap found on eBay pretty much defines the architectural aesthetic. Raw materials change over time and take on such a lovely glow. This style sums up the look throughout this family home, which is warm and welcoming, but glamorous and grown-up too.
Get the look For a similar kitchen look at Bulthaup.
Vintage meets modern in this bright and airy open-plan white kitchen. Here, the kitchen island is built as a dining table, rather than bar.
Get the look The bespoke cabinetry is made of metal: for similar, check out the Phoenix design by Varenna/Poliform. These are H stools by Chantal Andriot for Tolix. The suspended storage-cum-display unit is bespoke– to create something similar, see Ikea’s Omar modular shelving system.
CLASSIC YET CONTEMPORARY
The inspiration for this white kitchen came from old French bakery cabinets, but the execution is pure Brooklyn in style. Brass handles and marble worktops keep a modern feel.
Get the look The kitchen is by Space Exploration Design and White Arrow, painted in Wimborne White eggshell by Farrow & Ball. The range cooker is by Lacanche. The bar stools are by Sawkille Co. These are BL9 pendants by Gubi. The handles are vintage finds.
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Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, showcases the world's very best homes, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. it was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip McCormac.
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