"The good, the bad, the hilarious—everything happens at our kitchen tables," says Alabama kitchen designer Cyndy Cantley. After more than two decades studying the heart of the home inside out, Cyndy approaches kitchen design with a certain familiarity. "Probably 95% of the kitchens we're asked to design are white. It's so classic, doesn't date itself, and always looks pretty," she explains. For the kitchen of artist Rebecca Fulmer and her family, the white surroundings impart an almost museum-like stage for living a colorful life. Here are Cyndy's best tips for mastering the all-white look.
Love it? Get it! Interior designer: Marcia Unger, Marcia Unger Interiors, Inc.; 205/870-1380. Contractor: The Berman Group, Inc.; 205/967-4542.
Consider covering both the island and perimeter countertops with your favorite white stone. It's an approach that's both current and calming. Allow its unique character—such as gray or golden veins—to guide your paint selections. "From there, you're guaranteed to find your perfect white," says Cyndy.
Don't Worry about Wear and Tear If you're afraid of staining pristine white countertops, "relax," says Cyndy. "Get a sample of marble, have it sealed, and then take it home and torture it," she suggests. Consider slipcovers, and also look to durable fabrics such as leather or indoor/outdoor cotton duck to easily handle a kitchen's high traffic and daily wear.
In a monochromatic kitchen, continuity is key. Here, a custom stucco hood was made to mimic the lines of the nearby fireplace. Like the cabinetry, it extends all the way to the ceiling for a streamlined look. White window mullions enhance the airy effect.
An apron-front sink with a creamy white finish is always a solid selection. "We fabricated farmhouse sinks long before you could buy them outright," Cyndy says. "These days, the Rohl and Waterworks companies are making my favorites."