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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. She is currently an e-commerce lifestyle writer for Meredith Corporation.
40 ++ Best Small White Kitchen Ideas With Island
All white kitchens stand the test of time. They are simple, sophisticated, and offer a lot of room for experimentation. Consider it a blank canvas for your personal style. “An all-white kitchen is fresh, clean, and timeless,” interior designer Ginny Macdonald tells us.
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Ginny Macdonald is an interior designer who started a full-service interior design firm in Los Angeles in 2017, after working as Design Director for Emily Henderson Design. Macdonald’s style takes inspiration from Macdonald’s old English heritage while incorporating his more recent Californian roots.
Get inspired by these 21 all-white kitchen ideas that set the tone, plus practical tips from Macdonald to style your own home.
This kitchen is a perfect example of how Macdonald likes to create an all-white look. “Depending on your style, an all-white kitchen can be the backdrop for a variety of colors,” says Macdonald. “I personally will add some warm wood tones that can be finished with counter stools and have a custom seat pad made in textured or patterned fabric,” the designer continued. Here, floating wooden shelves add warmth to the white kitchen.
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When you’re working with a muted color palette like this and want to keep your all-white kitchen sleek and sophisticated, consider a striped kitchen rug, or a tiled backsplash with a geometric pattern in the same color family. Pictured here, this neutral-colored rug matches the wood floor, while the patterned tile behind the stove matches the same gray color as the kitchen walls.
The exposed wood ceiling contrasts beautifully with the crisp white cabinets, and stainless steel appliances in this kitchen. In other words, it’s the tip of the balance of warm and cool decorating elements, which Macdonald says is a common mistake people make. “Balance is key to decorating an all-white kitchen and mistakes can be made by adding color and texture or not enough,” says Macdonald.
A patterned runner in a bold color, like this blue image depicts an all-white kitchen. Floating shelves in a warm brown shade and matching hardware offer ample space. A plant and framed art lives up the white backsplash.
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In this clean, minimalist kitchen, color is found in black pendant lights and black-and-blue cabinets. When it comes to adding a pop of color, Macdonald often goes for this look. “I would probably choose something with either a pop of blue or black in it,” the designer said.
If you have included some colors with larger elements, you can add small white accessories to mark them.
Place plants in terracotta pots (or patterns) to add visual interest to an all-white kitchen. You can move it into the kitchen, or switch it out with different plants to create a new look. Allowing natural light creates an environment that is inviting—rather than clinical.
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This is the kind of kitchen that makes you want to cook food from scratch. It has a sleek modern design with midcentury details like wishbone seats and clean lines while remaining minimalistic. “If you’re going minimal with your kitchen design then keep it minimal with the style,” Macdonald suggests.
Macdonald recommends focusing on smaller details for an all-white kitchen that won’t distract from the overall look of the minimal look. “I will add a stack of various shaped and sized chopping boards up against the backsplash. Vintage ones add character even if they are too worn to use,” says Macdonald.
Display kitchen essentials like oil and vinegar in delicate glass or ceramic to add a touch of design.
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A colored backsplash does double duty to add texture while preventing an all-white kitchen from becoming monotonous. Round hanging chandeliers, leather bar stools, and open shelves with various objects create scale.
“When adding color to a white kitchen, try to stick to one to three colors that are all in the same palette,” Macdonald suggests. Notes from this space that play with neutral colors of white, brown, and black make an impact. Besides furniture and cabinets, color can come from cookbooks, plants, or food held in ceramic or wooden bowls to add interest, Macdonald says.
This all-white kitchen is in line with some of Macdonald’s tips for following this trend. These include wooden elements, cutting boards on display, and flowers adding warmth to the space. However, it still feels fresh and clean. The room also leaves some essentials out in the open without looking cluttered. “Don’t be afraid to display beautiful cookware like wooden spoons, hand whisks, and measuring cups in vintage ceramic pottery,” says Macdonald. “Small pieces of art can add personality to your kitchen when placed on the wall or placed by the window.”
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Give your eyes to focus by creating a vignette of objects where you can find a place to display them. It can be a trio of practical kitchen items, such as salt, pepper, and sugar in a beautiful container, to a collection of decorative vases or candles. Place it on a tray to give this object a definitive “home”.
In this minimalist space, pops of color pop through the all-white interior in the form of a few well-placed plants, and bowls and mugs are displayed on open shelves. According to Macdonald, adding too many details to an all-white kitchen can look “fussy and cheesy,” while not adding enough decor can make the space feel “empty and unfinished.” This room strikes the perfect balance.
A stunning window treatment can do what a beautiful statement rug can do – add a focal point and give your space a white space. In this kitchen, the organic material of the window shade softens the environment, while the green of the kitchen island ties the look together.
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Besides leaving the kitchen out in the open for all to see, you can add a design pop with live (or fake) botanicals. “Sculptural flower branches will add some drama without being overwhelming,” notes Macdonald. Or, add a succulent near a kitchen window, so it gets plenty of sun.
If you’re struggling to make a minimalist space feel warm and inviting, Macdonald recommends layering in wood accents with neutral gray enamel pans and simple striped dish towels. “A modern black cutting board will add depth,” Macdonald adds. This kitchen uses black barstools, pendant lights, and leaning wooden cutting boards to break up the all-white look.
Go with interesting lighting in an all-white kitchen, like the gold dome lights hanging over the kitchen island. Dark hardware and dining 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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Mix up an all-white kitchen by incorporating white into your color palette. The difference in shade is just the right amount to notice without having to rely on too many objects or other dramatic looking light to create a deliberate look. Add a bowl of fresh fruit or vegetables for a pop of color.
Marble-like surfaces keep with the kitchen’s all-white theme, while sketches and a few framed pieces of art keep the space from looking overwhelming. We also love the wood grain cabinets, which add texture while keeping the same color palette. Brass fittings add a touch of glam.
In an all-white kitchen, a space with interesting architectural details like exposed wooden beam ceilings doesn’t need much to enhance the aesthetic. Take cues from other tips such as using a chopping board as a decorative object, and interesting lighting, to add the final touch. Try a patterned runner to bring more energy to your all-white kitchen.
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If you have incorporated some color with larger elements (such as the illustrated cabinet), you can include small white accessories to make a statement. In this photo, the white fruit bowl makes this yellow lemon stand out. Dusty blue cabinets anchor the space. Despite its timeless appeal, the all-white kitchen is a deceptively polarizing design style. While some people applaud the pared-back palette for its versatility and enduring sophistication, die-hard maximalists may find this space on the snoozier end of the spectrum. If you’re not sure which side of the great kitchen debate you’re on, we’re here to make the case for a neutral culinary corner.
Don’t let this one-tone wonder fool you. Whether you incorporate tactile materials, sprinkle in a little art, or incorporate the occasional pop of color, an all-white kitchen is packed with plenty of design potential. Bonus: Your sleek space will provide a canvas for even the tiniest details, whether it’s beautiful cabinet hardware or lots of fresh brownies. To prove it, we have collected an archive of the best white kitchens to use as inspiration. From farmhouse-forward setups to modern masterpieces, this kitchen proves that all-white equals creative carte blanche.
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