White On White: Past Favorites Return To The Kitchen
White is the “new white” for with-it kitchens, but it’s definitely not the sterile white of operating rooms or “Grandma’s space” from a time when other choices weren’t available. Instead, today’s white is full of character; it’s fresh and appealing, and can be adapted to home styles as divergent as city loft chic, European manor or country farmhouse.
Are you ready? Here are the basic principles:
- Creamy white is “warmer” and more inviting than a true, architectural white. If you have a north-facing kitchen, live in a cold climate, or really like sunny, citrus accents, this might be the perfect choice for cabinets. A monotone scheme does not have to be dull. Add countertops of butter cream, a textured tile backsplash, and a floor of bleached wood, and you’ll have a subdued space that will keep you calm and happy during the busiest of days.
- The newest, freshest color choices for home decor are shades of gray. So, if you’re going with current trends, look for true whites in cabinets and pair them with stainless appliances and, perhaps, navy blue accents. Think twilight tones or dark and stormy seas and you’ll capture the mood perfectly. Keep accessories neutral or use weathered wood for a pleasing contrast with the sleek shell. Poured concrete counters would be a trendy choice.
- Some contrast is good: With simple white shaker cabinets, try dark wood floors and seagrass baskets for storage, but paint one wall (or cabinet interiors) kiwi green for instant drama. Take the design up a notch with charcoal or ebony countertops. If you prefer lighter and brighter, opt for pale quartz counters or choose carrara marble for an upscale, traditional ambiance. The marble will stain with use and age, but it has been the preferred material of French chefs for centuries!
- Don’t neglect the details: lighting, hardware, art and accessories are every bit as important to the overall design of a kitchen as the cabinets, counters and appliances. Glass and shiny metals are great complementary accents in a no-color kitchen. Celebrate the colors of fruit in clear glass bowls; colorful dish towels (or heirloom 1940s vintage linens) provide appropriate and interesting touches. Choose cabinet pulls and towel bars for their whimsical appeal; and keep your pretty things out—either on open shelves or behind clear glass doors.
- By all means, add a rug. Not only will it be a boon for tired feet, but its color and pattern will speak volumes about your design savvy. Just make sure it’s washable (or easy to clean) and that it won’t slip, curl or bunch.