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Christie has been writing for almost two years. He was an assistant editor for the site for over a year before starting as a contributing freelance writer. He is currently an e-commerce lifestyle writer for Meredith Corporation.
40 ++ Best Small White Kitchen Backsplash Ideas
All white kitchens can stand the test of time. They are simple, sophisticated, and they leave a lot of room for experimentation. Think of it as a blank canvas for your personal style. “An all-white kitchen is fresh, clean, and timeless,” says interior designer Ginny Macdonald.
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Ginny Macdonald is an interior designer who started a full-service interiors company in Los Angeles in 2017, after working as Design Director for Emily Henderson Design. Macdonald’s style draws inspiration from Macdonald’s old English heritage while incorporating new California roots.
Get inspired by these 21 white kitchen ideas that focus on the vibe, including practical tips from Macdonald to style your own home.
This kitchen is a perfect example of how Macdonald wanted to soften the white look. “Depending on your style, a white kitchen can act as a backdrop for many colors,” says Macdonald. “I personally add some warm wood tones that can be done with counter stools and have a custom chair made of a textured or patterned fabric,” continued the designer. Here, floating wooden shelves add warmth to an otherwise white kitchen.
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If you’re working with a muted color palette like this and want to keep the white kitchen sleek and sophisticated, consider a striped kitchen rug, or a tiled backsplash in a geometric pattern in the same color family. Pictured here, this neutral-hued rug matches the wooden floor, while the patterned tiles behind the stove match the same dusty gray color as the kitchen walls.
A stunning, exposed wood ceiling contrasts with crisp white cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances in this kitchen. In other words, it nails the balance of warm and cool decor elements, which Macdonald says is a common mistake people make. “Balance is key to decorating a white kitchen and mistakes can be made by adding too much color and texture or not adding enough,” says Macdonald.
A patterned runner in a bold color, like this blue one pictured anchors a white kitchen. The floating shelves in a warm shade of chocolate and the matching hardware offer the space some depth. A plant and framed art enliven the white backsplash.
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In this clean, minimalist kitchen, color can be seen in black light fixtures and blue-black cabinets. When it comes to adding a pop of color, Macdonald always goes for this look. “I would probably opt for something with a pop of blue or black in it,” says the designer.
Once you’ve incorporated some color with the larger elements, you can add small white accessories to punctuate the look.
Place plants in terracotta (or patterned) pots to add visual interest to your white kitchen. You can move them around the kitchen, or switch them to different plants to create a new look. Allowing natural light creates an inviting—rather than clinical—environment.
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This is the kind of kitchen you want to cook a meal from scratch. It boasts a sleek, modern design with midcentury details like wishbone seats and crisp lines while remaining minimalistic. “If your kitchen design is minimal then keep it minimal in style,” suggests Macdonald.
Macdonald advises focusing on small details for a white kitchen that doesn’t detract from the overall look of the minimalist look. “I add a stack of different shapes and sizes chopping boards against the backsplash. Vintage ones add character even if they’re too worn to be functional,” says Macdonald.
Display kitchen essentials like oil and vinegar in delicate glass or ceramic utensils to add a touch of design.
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A colored backsplash does double duty to add texture while preventing a white kitchen from feeling monotonous. Round hanging pendant lights, leather barstools, and an exposed shelf with various items create dimension.
“When adding color to a white kitchen, try to keep it to one to three colors that are all in a similar palette,” suggests Macdonald. Take notes from this space that plays with neutral shades of white, brown, and black with impact. Besides furniture and cabinetry, color can come from cookbooks, plants, or food served in ceramic or wooden bowls to add interest, says Macdonald.
This white kitchen hits with some of Macdonald’s tips to follow this trend. It includes wooden elements, displayed cutting boards, and flowers that add warmth to the space. However, it still feels fresh and clean. The room also leaves some essentials outside without looking cluttered. “Don’t be afraid to display beautiful cookware like wooden spoons, hand whisks, and measuring cups in vintage ceramic earthenware,” says Macdonald. “Small pieces of art can add some personality to a kitchen when propped against a wall or placed by a window.”
Best White Kitchen Ideas
Give the eye something to focus on by creating a vignette of objects where you can find a place to display them. It can be a trio of practical kitchen utensils, such as salt, pepper, and sugar in beautiful containers, to a collection of decorative vases or candles. Place them on a tray to give these items a definite “home.”
In this minimalist space, pops of color break through the white interior in the forms of a few well-placed plants, and bowls and cups displayed on an open shelf. According to Macdonald, adding too many details to an all-white kitchen can come across as “fussy and cheesy,” while not adding enough decor can make a space feel “bare and unfinished.” This room has perfect balance.
A stunning window treatment can do what a great statement rug can do—it adds a focal point and grounds a white space. In this kitchen, the organic material of the window shade softens its surroundings, while the greens of the kitchen island bring the look together.
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Besides leaving the kitchen utensils out for all to see, you can add design pops with live (or fake) botanicals. “Sculptural flowering branches add drama without too much fluff,” says Macdonald. Or, place a succulent near your kitchen window, so it gets plenty of sun.
If you’re struggling to make a minimalist space feel warm and inviting, Macdonald suggests layering wood accents with neutral gray enamel pots and simple striped dish towels. “Modern black chopping boards add depth,” adds Macdonald. This kitchen uses black barstools, pendant lights, and a leaning wooden cutting board to break up the white look.
Go with interesting lighting in a white kitchen, like these gold domed lights suspended over the kitchen island. Dark colored hardware and dining room chairs add just enough color to keep the overall look minimalistic, yet warm. A tiled backsplash in a chevron pattern adds subtle, visual interest.
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Blend in a white kitchen by including white in your color palette. The shade contrast is just the right amount to be noticeable without having to rely on too many objects or too dramatic looking lighting to create a deliberate look. Add a bowl of fresh fruit or vegetables for a pop of color.
The marble-like surface keeps with the kitchen’s white theme, while vignettes and a few framed art pieces keep the space from looking overwhelming. We also love the wood grain cabinetry, which adds texture while staying within the same color palette. Brass fixtures add a touch of glam.
In a white kitchen, spaces with interesting architectural details such as exposed wooden beam ceilings do not necessarily enhance its appearance. Take a cue from other tips like using a chopping board as a decorative item, and interesting lighting, to add a finishing touch. Try a patterned runner to bring more energy to your white kitchen.
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If you have already included some color with large elements (like the cabinetry pictured), you can include small white accessories to complete the look. In this photo, a white fruit bowl makes these yellow lemons stand out. Dusty blue cabinetry anchors the space. The term classic white kitchen is a cliché for a reason. White kitchens have stood the test of time again and again. Keeping a neutral backdrop (white cabinets, white kitchen cabinets, and a white backsplash) in the kitchen creates an easy environment for you to work with splashes of color. when you are looking for a spicy alternative to a clean white look. To know the versatility of white, you need to know the powerful range of white color. Choosing a bright white with shaker style white kitchen cabinets and white subway tile is the perfect look for a modern cottage. However, if you live in a more rustic home, such as a cabin, you can choose creamier white kitchen cabinets paired with a light limestone counter and white shiplap walls for a a unique alternative to all-white kitchens that will never go out of style.
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