Our All-Time Favorite White Kitchens

White and Blue Kitchen Makeover
Photo: Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The term classic white kitchen is a cliché for a reason. White kitchens repeatedly stand the test of time. Sticking with a neutral backdrop (white cabinets, white kitchen cabinets, and a white backsplash) in the kitchen creates an easy setting for you to work in splashes of color when you are looking for a spicy alternative to a clean white look. To realize the versatility of white, you need to realize the powerful range of the color white. Selecting a bright white with shaker style white kitchen cabinets and white subway tile is the perfect look for a modern cottage. However if you are living in a more rustic home, like a cabin, you can choose creamier white kitchen cabinets paired with a light limestone counters and white shiplap walls for a different alternative to the all white kitchen that will never go out of style.

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Welcoming Coastal Kitchen

Welcome Guests
Laurey W. Glenn

The designer wanted guests to feel like they could just walk in and hang out in this space. All of the living areas connect, so to avoid cluttering the open floor plan with too many cabinets, almost everything—from flatware to everyday dishes—is well organized and stowed away in drawers. This also makes it easy for guests of all agest to access kitchen essentials.

Glass pendant lights over the bar mimic candles resting in huricane holders, an element typically found on outdoor dining tables.

The woven plastic seats and backs on the barstools by Serena & Lily hold up well against wet bathing suits.

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Small Modern White Kitchen

Small Modern White Kitchen
Alexandra Rowley

White makes this small kitchen feel open and spacious. The cabinets are painted the same crisp white (Pure White (SW7005) by Sherwin-Williams) that coats as the wall and vaulted ceiling. A ceramic subway-tile backsplash and sleek marble countertops complete the monochromatic look. Greenery adds a splash of color around the sink. Easy-to-access open shelving holds everyday basics, cookbooks, and decorative platters and pitchers; Shaker-style lower cabinets store pots and pans. Chrome knobs and appliances complete the clean, modern look in the kitchen.

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Bright White and Airy Kitchen

White and Blue Kitchen Makeover
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

This Washington D.C. kitchen was renovated with hosting events in mind. An island serves as a buffet when entertaining, and the bold color of the base cabinets (Blue Lagoon; omegacabinetry.com) and warm walnut top make it the focal point of the room. The homeowner was drawn to the idea of a white kitchen, claiming "If you can see the dirt, you know it's time to clean it!"

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Glamorized White Kitchen

White Kitchen with Marble Countertops and Acrylic Stools
Laurey W. Glenn

This sleek, all-white space is spiced up with brass accents and vintage pieces.

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Build Only What You Need

Laura Kay Kitchen


Laura Kay knew her home was in need of a once-in-a-century sort of update, so she took on the challenge. “The kitchen had undergone a 1990s renovation with lots of elaborate cabinetry, several different granites, and an unusual gravel floor insert used for growing houseplants,” says Kay. She stripped out the old cabinets for simple Shaker-style versions, added a new island with a sink and dishwasher, and painted the floors. She enhanced the original range and brick hood by installing wooden corbels ordered from Van Dyke’s Restorers beneath the hood. “The smooth transition to the wall and countertop makes a big difference,” she says. Opposite those, the homeowner kept her pantry nearby but disguised it as two tall cabinets flanking the open shelving.

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A Burst of Citrus

The Lighting
Laurey W. Glenn

To help liven up the classic white walls and cabinetry (painted Benjamin Moore's Ballet White), designer Melissa Haynes carefully chose a palette of green and orange accents. Mixing metals, such as brass hardware with stainless steel, provided the ideal finishing touch to modernize the look.

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Lighten Up Kitchen Update

Lighten Up Kitchen Update
Photo: Erica George Dines

Designer Suzanne Kasler rescues a dark and dated Atlanta kitchen with a timeless white palette and her signature inviting style. The walls, trim, cabinetry, and ceiling are all painted Benjamin Moore's Linen White in the same eggshell finish. Meanwhile, hammered metal pendant lights and newly refinished wood floors are a nice counterpoint to the mainly white space.

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Calm & Current Natural Kitchen

Calm & Current Natural Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Two shades of white, Benjamin Moore's Winter White and Gray Owl, combine to wrap this kitchen in a soothing vibe.

See more of this Calm & Current Natural Kitchen

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Nature-Inspired White Kitchen

Neutral Highlights

The kitchen and breakfast nook are open to the family room, so the spaces are united with a nature-inspired color palette. The dark finishes of the floors and the island's wood top add warmth to the creamy white kitchen. A pair of antique wooden chandeliers over the island complete the look and lend a sense of age to the brand-new house. Woven rush stools, an inexpensive catalog find, provide casual seating at the island.

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Family-Friendly Kitchen Update

Family-Family Kitchen Update
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

The entire stove niche is tiled with white ceramic subway tile for a clean look that blends seamlessly with the creamy walls (painted Intense White by Benjamin Moore). A single long, white shelf replaces open cabinetry and keeps dishes right at hand.

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Outdoor White Kitchen

Chef White Kitchens

White is right for kitchens indoors and out. This rooftop kitchen provides everything needed for an evening cookout―including a dishwasher. The beautiful white scape compliments the coastal background.

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Elegant White Kitchen

Style Meets Function
Photography: Laurey W. Glenn, Ralph Anderson / Styling: Leigh Anne Montgomery

Functional fixtures and modern appliances peacefully coexist with graceful glass lanterns and cushy swivel-seat barstools. On the walls, vertical stripes painted in two subtle shades of blue create a soothing atmosphere. The home owner alternated one paint color with stripes of the same color tinted half formula. (Tip: Any paint retailer can mix this for you.) Many of the kitchen's features have the feel of a comfortable living room: a mantel-style range hood, which displays pewter candlesticks; decorative columns throughout; and cozy upholstered barstools with nailhead trim. The African iroko wood top on the island complements the hardwood floor and is a stunning contrast to the white cabinets.

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Open White Kitchen

Open White Kitchens

The thought of open shelves in a kitchen can send a chill down the spine of even the most organized homeowner. But here's the dish: The secret lies in the mix. It is easy to handle open display when you have enough closed space to hide the not-so-pretty items. The key is to know how much openness you can handle before it gets messy! And you don't have to be type A to get this A-plus look. Once you are happy with your look you don't have to change it.

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Nautical White Kitchen

Nautical White Kitchen

Clean white floors complement the cabinetry and island. A minimal number of upper cabinets keeps the space open. In their place, cantilevered antique chestnut shelves, reminiscent of a ship's deck, add an organic touch. The shelves display plain white dishware against a wall of deep royal blue tile. Nothing says nautical like blue and white! The stainless steel appliances and large hanging light fixtures over the island call to mind metal boat fittings.

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Clean White Kitchen

Family Friendly Design
Photo: William Waldron

Virginia slate countertops and a custom sink contrast with the clean white cabinets, shelves and backsplash. The color hides stains that would show on a white sink

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Bright White Kitchen

Bright White Kitchen
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Prior to renovation, the kitchen in this Alabama rancher was dark, dingy and cramped. By tearing down a few walls, the kitchen was opened up to the breakfast room and family room, making the space seem larger and creating a better flow for the area. A window was removed over the sink so cabinets could be added to help make up for cabinetry lost by taking out the walls. The family chose a warm white paint for the walls, cabinetry, and trim. A pop of color was added with the barstool slipcovers, making the room look bright and airy.

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Antique White Kitchen

Antique White Kitchen
Photography by Laurey W. Glenn,

The historic charm of a reclaimed antique marble island and cabinets add an elegant patina to this Nashville kitchen. "The first time we saw our kitchen, we were blown away by the space's design and custom work!" says homeowner Kelly Herron. The interior designer designed a workable and user-friendly kitchen that flows seamlessly with the rest of the home by using a U-shaped layout centered around a large island. To expand the room visually, all appliances and storage areas are hidden behind handsome cream cabinetry. Determined to use every inch, he placed a recessed china cabinet in a wall underneath the staircase.

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Farmhouse White Kitchen

Farmhouse White Kitchens

This kitchen has the traditional lines and white cabinetry typical of the Carpenter Gothic-farmhouse style. The theme carries over to the rich heart-pine floors salvaged from a dilapidated cotton warehouse. Touches of creative color came in the form of a surprisingly subtle apple green. Because the cabinetry covers most of the wall surface, the green acts more like a background and does not take over the room as you might expect.

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Small White Kitchen

Small White Kitchen
Photo: Annie Schlechter

All white walls, cabinets, and countertops in the design make this space seem bigger. To keep the room from feeling too flat, the homeowner added color and texture with accessories such as curtains and a jute rug. She reinforced the vintage look of the house with a new tongue-and-groove wood-plank ceiling and a trio of oversize globe lights, which were splurge items.

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Detailed White Kitchen

Ideas for Southern Homes: Kitchen Cabinet Details
Photo: Erica George Dines

The inset cabinets and bin pulls add to the old-house aesthetic of the room. The homeowners decided to splurge on details in the kitchen because they knew that they would spend most of their time in that area.

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Style and Sensibility

Style and Sensibility
Charles Walton IV, Ralph Anderson

This small, 1930s kitchen returns to its retro roots without sacrificing modern space and functionality. The center island replaces enough counterspace to fit a clothes washer and dryer in the room. Details like the farmhouse sink and green glass tile add throwback style.

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White and Gray

White and Gray
Photo by: Helen Norman, Styling by: Rebecca Omweg

Custom cabinetry in light gray accommodates this couple's collections of cookware and serving pieces with a combination of fronted cabinets and a nook of open shelving. Calacata gold marble countertops were a must-have, and the La Cornue range was love at first sight. They had the refrigerator custom paneled in chalkboard—clever and hardworking!

The cabinetry color (gray with a slight brown wash) reads differently as the light changes throughout the day, ranging from light gray to green to sky blue.

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Reflective Kitchen Ceilings

Reflective Kitchen Ceilings
Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

Benjamin Moore's Galapagos Green in high-gloss oil coats the kitchen ceiling and reflects the water view just outside.

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Charming Farmhouse Kitchen

Charming Farmhouse Kitchen
Photo: Helen Norman

Typically used for barn roofing, the kitchen's corrugated material adds authentic farmhouse charm for only about $15 per sheet.

See more of this Cottage Style Home

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Cottage White Kitchen

Cottage White Kitchen
Photo by Laurey W. Glenn

With its fresh appeal and creative use of great finds, this kitchen makes a perfect spot to linger over the morning paper and a cup of coffee. The room's artful combination of blue and white painted cabinetry and coordinating porcelain accents seems to come together naturally. Here, a pastel shade of blue was used for the walls and a cornflower blue for the island. For a jolt of lively color, a distressed faux-finish was applied to the island. A copper countertop gives the workspace even more character.

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Chef's White Kitchen

Chef White Kitchens

A kitchen that's not rich on color doesn't have to be poor on style. High-gloss white porch paint brightens what could have been a standard wood floor. A mint green, glass tile backsplash brings in a pop of color; green glass handles give the white cabinets and drawers a distinguishing detail. Stainless steel countertops are super easy for a chef to keep clean. Plus, the shiny metal is a savvy contrast to the softer touches in the space, such as the striped sink skirt; the flower print, fabric-covered baskets; and a traditionally framed painting near the island.

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Contemporary White Kitchen

Contemporary White Kitchen

The Shaker elements―clean lines, plain trim, and no ornamentation―are great for contemporary decor. The timeless design is another plus. If the homeowners ever want a new look, the cabinets can adapt to a number of styles. Here, stainless appliances and hardware add industrial flair, as do steel tube legs on the island.

Ceramic tile that looks like terra-cotta grounds the light space with warm color. It looks like the real thing but is easier to maintain. The Silestone counters in Amarillo Sand also add rich color.

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