White kitchens will always be best sellers, won’t ever date, and the choice of white cabinetry provides a crisp, smart look for your new modern kitchen.
Choosing a white kitchen could be the best decision you’ll ever make, kitchen-wise. White cabinetry is always a best-seller, and although white is sometimes considered to be a safe option where wall colour (or lack of it) is concerned, white cabinetry is a stylish and fashion-forward option.
For those who are maybe a little dubious about bright colours and exotic timbers, white kitchens can be accessorised with a host of colours, finishes and textures – check out our pick of the best kitchen tile decals. The usual design rules apply though, particularly where white is concerned. It’s generally acknowledged that a totally white colour scheme can look clinical, reminding us of an operating theatre rather than a warm, welcoming room that is the ‘heart of the home’.
Incorporate contrasting finishes, such as natural stone or hardwood flooring, which also have textural qualities to make glossy or matt white cabinetry all the more striking when sitting alongside. Many designers suggest timber, or timber-effect carcases, with just doors and door fronts in white, which is a very good compromise if you’re wary of a totally white scheme. Add colour with paint – choose from muted, subtle shades of grey, mauve and green for a white kitchen in a period home, or go for zingy orange, mustard and lime for a very contemporary look.
Curved worktops and patterned tiles are a good way to soften the sharpness of an all-white kitchen and add interest to the scheme. Here, a wall of black and white mosaic tiles adds character without the need for colour.
Arka by Maistri at Cococucine
Create a shabby chic, vintage feel in a modern white kitchen with distressed painted floor boards, open brickwork and eclectic accessories.
Linear units by Harvey Jones
Bring life and character to a white kitchen by adding dashes of bold colour. Here, a bright red is echoed throughout the room in the door handles, chair and rug, while a black range cooker adds an element of cottage style.
Crème de la Crème by John Lewis of Hungerford
A dark wooden floor and black worktops create a striking contrast to white hi-gloss kitchen cabinetry. Here, sleek lines and neutral tones create a smart, cool look.
Fusion range by Betta Living
Add single-colour or colour-change LEDs to plinths, glazed units or open shelves, to create a sense of drama in a white kitchen. Here, rectangular units of varying heights and a statement stainless-steel extractor hood combine to create a structured, contemporary look.
Ibsen collection by Wren Kitchens
White hi-gloss units and sleek black worktops are softened by shades of pink found in the walls and mosaic tiles. A sculptural lampshade adds to the floral feel.
Italia units by Masterclass
Avoid a clinical look in a modern white kitchen by combining matt lacquer cabinetry with textured, natural tones as found here in the walnut melamine worktop and splashback.
Classicline furniture by Pronorm
Pale-coloured stone flooring against white-painted cabinetry combines to create a classic, country look.
Bespoke cabinetry by Rencraft
This white kitchen contrasts a plaster finish with whitewashed brick for an injection of industrial chic.
White units are the biggest selling ‘colour’ in the kitchen market. White schemes are easiest to tweak at a later date. This Shaker-style kitchen peninsula has smart cupboard storage and a handy breakfast bar. Modern artwork helps break up the pale scheme.
This open-plan kitchen has a skylight above the workspace and double bi-fold doors across the entire back wall. White walls, worksurfaces and floors can look ultra-cool but, if they feel too clinical, replace one or two elements with colour and texture, such as the oak flooring and furniture shown here.
Dramatise a white kitchen with opulent accessories, such as this crystal pendant light, for a look that oozes personality. Flooring will give a scheme depth and natural-look timber and stone (whether it’s real, laminate or replica vinyls or ceramics) creates a warming counterpoint to shiny white cabinets.
Use textured, natural elements, such as wooden furniture and stainless-steel appliances, to stop a white kitchen becoming clinical and soulless. Different cupboard heights add to the contemporary look of this central unit, which conceals useful storage.
Add reflective insets and plinths to hand-painted cabinetry in an all-white kitchen to give the furniture the appearance of floating.
Macassar cabinetry by Smallbone of Devizes
Rustic timbers instantly add warmth to an all-white kitchen. This modern design sits comfortably within a characterful barn thanks to the strategic placing of the island, which incorporates old and new supporting pillars.
Avant White kitchen
Small can be functional as well as beautiful and, by using white, the most compact of kitchen schemes can gain in space. In this scheme, the sleek, all-white design contrasts with the exposed stone pillar, which adds interest and texture.
Callerton Valencia units in hi-gloss white
In this timeless kitchen, an open layout, abundance of light and pale finishes create a relaxed mood that’s perfect for modern life. Simplicity is the key, with clean lines throughout, down to the modern take on the classic range cooker. Copper pendants inject warmth and an eye-catching design edge.
Classic English kitchen
There is nothing everyday about this bespoke curved island unit, which makes an impact in this white kitchen. It’s an incredibly functional family space.
A breakfast bar is the perfect way to transform a kitchen into a family and entertainment space. An all-white palette allows light to flood into this kitchen, keeping it modern and fresh. Bright bursts of green add personality to this gorgeous scheme.
Handle-free white units and minimal accessories create a stunning bright and airy look in this uber-modern kitchen-diner. The streamlined look at its best.
White on white keeps this kitchen looking bright, clean and fresh. The rest of the scheme is accessorized with quirky pieces and bold shots of colour to avoid creating an overwhelming, sterile look. We love the colourful stag on the wall.
You might not think that an all-white interior promotes laid-back, casual style, but this distressed, white-washed wood kitchen, with its well-used vintage furniture is ideal for cooking up a lazy Sunday roast. Relaxed dining in here? Yes, please.
The kitchen features freestanding reclaimed furniture – all painted in heritage whites to match the walls, ceiling and floor. Vintage accents complete this look – the pictures are framed tea labels and the fridge is a 50s original.
This traditional kitchen is given a contemporary update with pendant lighting and a cool piece of artwork above the cooker. Can we come over?
Far from being a bland option, white cabinetry is the clever choice for those who want a room that radiates style without dating quickly. It’s a great base on which to build and accessorise to create a unique scheme and no white kitchen is like another.
Make a conscious decision about what to display in your kitchen. Here, sleek handleless cabinetry is paired with floating shelves to create a stylish display area with plenty of storage space. Practical pan drawers beneath the hob are super efficient.
White-on-white doesn’t get much better than this. Repurposed buildings such as schools and chapels are usually bought for their interesting original features, but you need a clever design to show them at their best. This project in a former chapel features a mezzanine level sat shy of the wall, which allows views of the stained glass windows to be enjoyed in full.
A horseshoe-shaped island makes a dynamic kitchen station and a feature in its own right. Theatrical chefs will love its open centre point, and it’s practical too, with just a few steps between food prep, cooking and serving areas. Accent colour is injected via the green sofa and quirky accessories, linking the two spaces and adding vibrancy.
Opting for white walls, worksurfaces and floors often looks ultra-cool, but you might find it’s too clinical. If in doubt, replace at least one element with colour. Here, sleek handleless cabinetry, finished in a deep grey hi-gloss lacquer, looks impressive.
Freestanding furniture isn’t the preserve of the country kitchen. Here full-height, stand-alone cupboards provide ample storage with clutter hidden behind the sleek oak doors. The low-level peninsula with stainless steel worktops gives a clean look.
Similar kitchen design
Monochrome designs are on-trend, stylish and functional. Flat-fronted, sleek furniture in a monochrome palette emphasises natural textures such as exposed brick. Here, unfitted, open shelving accentuates the height of the room, while one side of the island serves as both a breakfast bar and a work station.
Mix and match finishes and materials to achieve a subtle look. Combining soft, neutral shades with a finely grained timber works well. This contemporary kitchen sits seamlessly in the architecture thanks to the rounded cabinetry in a grey, oak-veneer finish. Well-considered curves help establish the flow of traffic in a space and can also be used to create a more intimate and socialable area, softening hard lines.
If the thought of keeping an all-white look clean fills you with dread, lessen the impact with contrasting worksurfaces to cut down on maintenance. A white kitchen is the perfect backdrop for bright colours. Colourful composites, striking laminates or natural timber won’t require too much upkeep and, more importantly, make an eye-catching feature against stark white cabinetry.
Grey is an unusual but distinctive choice for kitchen cabinetry, particularly when paired with white elsewhere in the scheme. Here, a wall of units is used as a room divider, shielding the living space beyond. A long island provides a double-galley layout placing everything within easy reach for the cook, while the soft grey, satin-matt finish suits each living zone.