5 white kitchen ideas that will brighten and transform a tiny space

White is the perfect choice for making a kitchen look larger - here's how to make it look interesting too

White kitchen with pink patterned tiled walls
(Image credit: Olive and Barr)

Small white kitchen ideas are the ultimate solution for a bijou space. Light enhancing, bright and clean, there's no wonder white has become the go-to shade for creating an inviting kitchen.

Decorating a small kitchen is a trickier task than if you're blessed with a bigger room, but you can still bring your dream vision to life. Small kitchens might need a bit more consideration when it comes to picking a kitchen colour scheme, but when paired with the right layout and features you can bring a look to life.

Whether you're a lover of colour or you prefer a pared-back space, white kitchen ideas can work for you. It all comes down to how you style a neutral kitchen, and we asked design experts exactly how to get the most out of a white scheme.

Small white kitchen ideas

A kitchen is a big investment and one that if you get right, will see you through evolving trends and changing tastes. So, it's inevitable that white is one of the most popular kitchen colours. It's bright, inviting and will make a space feel bigger, but you might need a hand in making it look more interesting.

'Light cabinet colours suit smaller rooms as they tend to make a small space larger and brighter by reflecting the light coming in from any windows,' advises Josie Medved, design manager at Symphony.

'White cabinets will give the illusion of more space, and even more light will be reflected if you paint your wall white and don’t have any wall units.'

1. Go for gloss

A white kitchen with ceiling downlights

(Image credit: Future PLC)

If your goal of creating a white kitchen is to make a small space look like it's double the actual size then gloss cabinets will make for a winning combo.

While attention has turned to Shaker cabinets in recent years, there is certainly still space for gloss, especially if your taste veers towards modern kitchen ideas. In an all-white kitchen, gloss cabinets will help to bounce light across the room and create a visually unobtrusive layout that doesn't look cluttered.

2. Contrast with statement floors

White kitchen with gloss cabinets, wooden dining table and chairs and black and white floor tiles

(Image credit: Future PLC/Beth Davis)

Often times white kitchen cabinets are a safe choice that will make a kitchen look bigger and brighter, but what happens if you're a lover of colour? Of course, dark colours aren't banned from small kitchens but a great compromise is choosing a statement kitchen flooring idea.

Black and white chequered tiles work perfectly in this small white kitchen idea and when paired with a natural wood dining table (we love this pine dining table from LaRedoute), the design looks anything but stark.

3. Work in natural stones

Richly veined grey and white marble splashback in a white kitchen with black tap and sink

(Image credit: Davonport)

No matter the size of your space, choosing a simple white scheme presents you with plenty of opportunity to make a statement with out-there additions.

Choosing a beautifully veined kitchen worktop will make a huge impact without overcrowding the space with unnecessary clutter. Plus, taking the surface up onto the walls creates a continuous stream of pattern, in turn making the room look bigger.

'Working with an all-white base effectively gives you a blank canvas to highlight the materials and finishes used within your kitchen. Implement visual interest in your kitchen by bringing in a marble countertop or backsplash,' adds Mike Whitfield, interiors expert at LUSSO. 'This will instantly elevate the luxe feel of the space without disrupting your colour palette.'

4. Add colour through a backsplash

A white kitchen with patterned tiled backsplash

(Image credit: Future PLC/David Giles)

Backsplashes are having a serious moment as a kitchen trend right now. In a small kitchen purely aesthetic accessorising isn't always achievable, so making something functional prettier is a smarter choice.

A backsplash is a highly practical zone where the primary purpose is to protect walls from food splashes, but practical doesn't have to mean boring. Contrasting white cabinets with colourful tiles, like these pink star tiles from Bert and May, allows you to inject personality into a pared-back palette.

5. Make it tonal

White shaker kitchen with white worktop and belfast sink

(Image credit: Future)

A kitchen is the heart of the home, somewhere that needs to feel homely and welcoming, so often the concern is that a white kitchen will feel stark and clinical. This largely comes down to how you accessorise and how lived-in the space feels, but choosing a tonal colour scheme will also help.

Off-white shades such as linen or cashmere still exist in the same colour family but will soften the design. For more traditional styles, like Shaker kitchens, this will create a much more subtle look that will stand the test of time.

'Whites can vary massively, the Zhoosh Paints range has a palette of whites to suit all tastes,' explains Sophie Smith at Zhoosh Paints. 'Choosing a white with a warmer undertone such as Moonglow, which is earthy and soothing, will bring a subtle calm to a room and work very well alongside wooden furniture.'


What colours look best with a white kitchen?

White is incredibly versatile, so you essentially have a whole range of shades at your fingertips.

'A cooler white such as Morning Frost works well on the walls but you might want to break it up a little if you are using it alongside white cabinets as well,' recommends Sophie Smith at Zhoosh Paints. 'Choose one wall as a colour feature, or paint a section at the top of the wall a different colour - the contrast will naturally draw your eye upwards and will not make the room feel smaller.'

For a chic and on-trend scheme, we love the addition of navy and pink in a white scheme. A statement hue like navy won't overwhelm the space but instead offer the perfect amount of depth and dimension.

'For a classic scheme that lends itself to an understated look, a complimentary neutral palette of white, ivory, and grey work to add a sense of modern simplicity to a blue kitchen,' adds Al Bruce, founder of Olive and Barr.

How are you going to make your white kitchen your own?

Holly Cockburn
Content Editor

After starting out her journey at Future as a Features Editor on Top Ten Reviews, Holly is now a Content Editor at Ideal Home, writing about the best interior ideas and news. At Top Ten Reviews, she focussed on TikTok viral cleaning hacks as well as how to take care of investment purchases such as lawn mowers, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Prior to this, Holly was apart of the editorial team at Howdens which sparked her interest in interior design, and more specifically, kitchens (Shaker is her favourite!).