Might *not* surprise you.

Jeff Herr

We don’t need to tell you that the white kitchen has taken over. A 2017 trend study by Houzz revealed that 44% of renovating homeowners in the South opt for white cabinets, 30% for white backsplashes, and 20% for white countertops (frequently via engineered quartz, which is practically stainproof). “White continues to grow in popularity, likely due to its association with space, cleanliness, and durability,” explains Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz, who also credits white’s practicality to subway tile, which makes big expanses of wall more interesting and easy to wipe off. “It has become a classic and affordable choice for large-surface design. It allows for creative personalization within size, style, and layout options.” Many designers also point
to how white serves as a blank slate. "People don’t tire of white easily. You can add a pop of color via accessories, cookware, and barstools to personalize the space,” says Southern Living Designer Network Member Courtney Giles.

You can easily make white work for any design style. If you’re going for a more casual, farm house look substitute an island for an affordable, homey dining table.

Playing off the color’s clean aesthetic, there’s a constant focus on keeping the kitchen feeling orderly. Because of this, there’s a growing demand for large pantries that make it easier to keep both items and activities out of sight. “Pantries are now serving as food-prep areas with dishwashers, refrigerators, toasters, and coffee makers on top of the typical food-storage areas,” says Randy Schiltz, president of t-Olive Properties, a Southern Living Custom Builder member in Atlanta. “This allows the main kitchen to stay less cluttered.”