11 ways to make a white kitchen more interesting

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  • How to use colour and clever design tricks to take white units from 'meh' to amazing

    Start with a basic white kitchen – be it traditional Shaker or sleek and contemporary – and you can create all kinds of different looks with a little colour and design knowhow.

    More expert advice: The best white paint – how to choose the right shade for your walls

    1. Use tonal colour bands
    Add a glass upstand in one colour with another tone of the same colour on the wall above.

    2. Paint it black
    Paint a feature wall black to make contemporary units really stand out – the quickest way to a high-impact look.

    3. Add a funky pinboard
    Cover the side of a unit with cork tiles with zigzags of masking tape to create a geometric board for your lists and reminders.

    4. Use tiffany blue
    This fresh blue-green shade instantly makes a white kitchen feel fresh. Bunting and colourful finds layer on a vintage look.

    5. Play with pastels
    Mix pastel tones of yellow, green, blue and pink – they’ll really pop against white walls and units and make your kitchen super-cheerful, too.

    6. Try monochrome chic
    Grey is the perfect sophisticated foil for white units. Add oversized black pendants and they’ll make the whole scheme three-dimensional.

    7. Mix retro brights
    Channel 1950s American diner style with a mix of rainbow brights against a pure white background.

    8. Paint a blackboard
    A chalkboard wall will give your kitchen a hipster, gastropub feel. Echo the black here and there on furniture and accessories, and it’ll make a simple country-style kitchen look sophisticated.

    9. Mix pattern and plain
    Add interest by painting three walls, then papering the fourth in a pattern in a matching colour. It’ll give your space detail and depth without breaking your budget.

    10. Use spot colour
    Adding colour in unexpected places will give your plain white kitchen a playful feel. Paint a border around a doorframe, paint your kitchen table or chair legs, or simply add a mix of bright, contrasting colours on kitchenware and accessories.

    11. Be smart with blue
    Pair your white kitchen with areas of navy blue to give it a crisp, clean look. Go for block colour if you dare, or break it up with a navy-print wallpaper or simple patterned flooring.

    Find more kitchen ideas or see our pick of the best white kitchens.

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