Actionable Ways to Nail That Classic White Kitchen

Actionable Ways to Nail That Classic White Kitchen

In hot pursuit of a timeless look, white kitchens are very popular right now.  Rightly so, they are beautiful – clean, open, bright yet warm.  I am a huge fan.  However, there is more than white cabinetry to creating a classic kitchen, one that won’t soon need to be renovated to retain its dignity. 

Here are 5 things to consider when thinking about white for your kitchen – I hope they help you through your own process!

1. The color white is a classic color for kitchen cabinetry.   Over every style in every decade, there have been beautiful, popular white kitchens.  White cabinets are very versatile and can be updated so much easier than a wood tone that is forever married to a decade (I will just whisper ‘honey oak, brass and dusty rose’ in your ear and you will go to a place you quickly want to return from).

2. The key here is that simple and neutral choices in the more permanent areas will create a look that can be carried through decades.  Simple cabinetry.  Simple tile.  Neutral countertops.  Base lighting fixtures that are neutral and quiet, that blend in to the ceiling.   Like a beautiful backdrop for the elements that are going to give your kitchen big, amazing character.  (You know you are lusting after one of those crazy orb chandeliers!)

3. Add in some contrasting neutrals to make those cabinets stand out (flooring, rug, furniture) and layers of textures (tile pattern, window treatments, soft seating fabrics, centerpieces, accessories) and things are filling up beautifully.

4. It’s also really important to think about the architecture and era of your home, especially if your home is historic and something you are going to be preserving.  Completing a kitchen that flows with the architectural details of the rest of the house is a beautiful and lasting thing.

5. As for the things that are easy to replace or that are going to need to be replaced eventually anyway?  Go with what you love and don’t worry too much about it!  Paint color, appliances, pendant lighting over the island, even that faucet you are crazy about.  It’s not going to last 100 years anyway, right?  Here’s where to go all in.


So, does this mean that using white cabinetry will naturally create a timeless look?  I wish it was the entire answer, but it’s not.  Remember, it’s the details of a kitchen that will fade from fashion eventually and show its true age: the style of cabinets, the hardware, the backsplash tile, the sink and faucet, the appliances.

This is a Photoshop project I did for a client considering making the move to warm antique white cabinets. What do you think?

This is a Photoshop project I did for a client considering making the move to warm antique white cabinets. What do you think?

If you go with neutral and simple for the big things and go with the loud things you are absolutely mad about for the small stuff, you can’t go wrong!

Hi, I'm Tara.  I'm a professional interior designer living in rural Canada where I help the practical & down-to-earth to love where they live.  I offer professional interior design services in person and online and am the author of a design & style guide to Living With Oak.

I believe you can become a happier person in a more beautiful home and I’m here to guide you in creating a practical plan to pull it all together. I’m here to offer interior design advice and inspiration to help you make that happen.