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Common Mistakes with White Kitchens and How to Avoid Them

A Tiktok recently went viral comparing different styles of white kitchens. But what was it exactly about these kitchens that had hundreds of thousands of people joining in on the criticism?

Common Mistakes with White Kitchens and How to Avoid Them

Juliet Taylor


March 24th, 2022

For years, white has been one of the most popular kitchen colour schemes in use. In fact, it is currently tied with navy blue for the title of first place. Millions of homes across the world currently have a white kitchen design, and there are a multitude of reasons for this.

The main explanation for the popularity of white as a colour scheme in a kitchen – and indeed, the same reason for the popularity of navy blue – is that it one of the colours associated with cleanliness.

Historically, white has been one of the most dominant colour choices for sterile environments such as hospitals and clinics. This is because white, being a light colour, is easily stained with dirt or grime. White walls are perceived as more hygienic than other walls because any stains or smudges would be easy to spot. Thus, white came to be known as a clean colour and people began to associate it with purity. The natural next step is to incorporate white colour schemes into the home, and what better place for a clean-feeling environment than the place where food is prepared?

Another benefit to white is that it does not absorb light. Natural light entering the house from windows will actually reflect off white walls and bounce around the room. This keeps a room feeling open and bright, where a dark colour runs the risk of absorbing light and making the room appear smaller. White is one of the most popular choices for small rooms in general – from living rooms to bathrooms – for just this reason. However, the popularity of white has recently been waning.

White provides a timeless look that has been fading out of style of late. Unlike the soft blues, pinks and yellows of 1950s vintage kitchens or the bold colours taking center stage in contemporary kitchens, white tends to blend into the background. The colour design of a white kitchen is rarely the focal point of the room; but this does allow for other design elements to shine.

The main problem with white kitchens today is that they are being approached with a uniform, one-colour-fits all design philosophy. Great white kitchens should be unique, with customized elements around the home to emphasize the beauty and elegant simplicity of a white colour scheme.

There are a number of strategies you can employ to achieve this effect, but one of the most important things to remember when designing a white kitchen is create multiple visual layers. Mixing textures and providing colour accents are simple steps which have unfortunately fallen by the wayside in much of modern white kitchen design. A few simple choices like this can turn a bland white kitchen into a masterpiece of interior design. For some specific white kitchen ideas and examples to help inspire your kitchen design, see the list below.

White Kitchen Ideas: 10 white kitchen designs to inspire your modern white kitchen remodel

6. Black and white kitchen

Black and white kitchens are the timelessly elegant choice. You have complete control over the balance between each shade, and whichever colour you favour will have a different effect. Black and white kitchens like the one above which split the appearance equally between black and white design elements have a sense of peace and balance. A kitchen which favours black and uses white accents creates a bold, contemporary atmosphere.

Mostly white kitchens with a touch of black create a vintage look with a hint of edge.

5. Grey and white kitchen

Much like black and white, a grey and white colour scheme creates a timeless and sophisticated effect. Grey and white kitchens have an extra layer of neutrality that help them blend with the many other colours and design styles that may be present in the rest of the home.

Grey and white kitchens are bright, unassuming and well suited to small areas. Notice also the use of mixed textures like subway tiles and wood to create layered visual interest.

4. Splashback ideas white kitchen

One of the most practical design ideas for a white kitchen is installing a splashback. A splashback is a large wipe-screen, usually made from glass, which is attached to your kitchen wall to protect it against stains and food mess.

Splashbacks come in many colours, including white, and they are a great way to benefit from the clean appearance of a white kitchen without having to worry about keeping the walls spotless.

3. Modern white kitchen

Often a modern white kitchen is confused for some kind of uniform, white on white kitchen with no variation of texture, colour or materials. However, you can still achieve a modern look without committing to a sparse design like this.

The best strategy is to include industrial elements like steel and brass accents. Marble benchtops are also very popular as opposed to a plain white kitchen sink. Read more about the best benchtop material options here.

2. All white kitchen

An all white kitchen can be beautiful when approached with the right design strategies. When designing an all-white kitchen, you want to make sure that each element of the room has its own unique finish and appearance – otherwise you run the risk of everything blending together and appearing sparse.

This relates to the style and texture of cabinets, as well as sinks, chairs, stoves, and walls. Try to find furniture with minimalistic but distinct edging or detailing to create a dynamic and structured feel.

1. White and wood kitchen

Wood is one of the best possible combinations with white. A natural timber look warms the space, bringing a simple and timeless feel into your home. The variation in wood type, style, grain and finish gives you the opportunity to build a unique style, whether you prefer rustic, contemporary, or more neutral appearance to your timber elements.

White kitchens with wood floors are also have a timeless elegance that allows for you to play with other natural materials like stone and reclaimed wood with the rest of your design.

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