All-white kitchens stand the test of time. They're simple, sophisticated, and they leave plenty of room for experimentation. Consider it a blank canvas for your personal style. "An all-white kitchen is fresh, clean, and timeless," interior designer Ginny Macdonald tells MyDomaine.
Meet the Expert
Ginny Macdonald is an interior designer who started a full-service interiors company in Los Angeles in 2017, after working as Design Director for Emily Henderson Design. Macdonald's style takes inspiration from Macdonald's old English heritage while incorporating newer California roots.
Get inspired by these 21 all-white kitchen ideas that nail the vibe, plus practical tips from Macdonald to style your own home.
Incorporate Wood Tones
This kitchen is a perfect example of how Macdonald likes to soften the all-white look. "Depending on your style, an all-white kitchen can act as a backdrop for a whole host of colors," Macdonald says. "I would personally add some warm wood tones which could be done with counter stools and have a custom seat pad made in a textured or patterned fabric," the designer continues. Here, floating wood shelves adds warmth to the otherwise white kitchen.
Tap Into Neutral Patterns
When you're working with a muted color palette like this one and want to keep an all-white kitchen sleek and sophisticated, consider a striped kitchen rug, or a tiled backsplash in a geometric pattern in the same color family. Pictured here, this neutral-hued rug matches the wood flooring, while the patterned tiles behind the stove match the same dusty gray color of the kitchen walls.
Think in Contrasts
A striking, exposed wood ceiling contrasts with sharp white cabinetry, and stainless steel appliances in this kitchen. In other words, it nails the balance of warm and cool décor elements, which Macdonald says is a common mistake people make. "Balance is key to decorating an all-white kitchen and mistakes get made by adding too much color and texture or not adding enough," Macdonald says.
Invest in a Statement Rug
A patterned runner in a bold color, like this blue one pictured anchors an all-white kitchen. Floating shelves in a warm chocolate shade and matching hardware offer the space some depth. A plant and framed art liven up the white backsplash.
Create Drama With Deep Colors
In this clean, minimalist kitchen, color is found in the black pendant lights and blue-black cabinetry. When it comes to adding a pop of color, Macdonald often goes for this look. "I would probably opt for something with either a pop of blue or black in it," the designer says.
If you've already included some color with larger elements, you can add small white accessories to punctuate the look.
Warm up With Terracotta
Place plants in terracotta (or patterned) pots to add visual interest to your all-white kitchen. You can move them around the kitchen, or switch them out with different plants to create a whole new look. Letting in natural light creates an inviting—rather than clinical—environment.
Play With Geometry
This is the type of kitchen that makes you want to cook a meal from scratch. It boasts a sleek, modern design with midcentury details like wishbone chairs and crisp lines while remaining entirely minimalistic. "If you're minimal with your kitchen design then keep it minimal with the styling," Macdonald suggests.
Enlist Practical Items as Décor
Macdonald advises focusing on smaller details for an all-white kitchen that won't distract from the overall appearance of the minimal look. "I would add a stack of different shaped and sized chopping boards up against the backsplash. Vintage ones add more character even if they are too worn to be used," Macdonald says.
Display kitchen essentials like oil and vinegar in delicate glassware or ceramics to add a touch more to the design.
Make the Backsplash Your Accent Wall
A colored backsplash does double duty to add texture while preventing an all-white kitchen from feeling too monotonous. Round hanging pendant lights, leather barstools, and an exposed shelf with various objects creates dimension.
Stick to a Simple Color Palette
"When adding color into a white kitchen, try to keep it to one to three colors that are all in a similar palette," Macdonald suggests. Take notes from this space that plays with neutral shades of white, brown, and black that make an impact. Besides furniture and cabinetry, color can come from cookbooks, plants, or food held in ceramic or wooden bowls to add interest, Macdonald says.
Expose Cooking Utensils
This all-white kitchen hits on a few of Macdonald's tips for following this trend. It includes wooden elements, displayed cutting boards, and flowers add warmth to the space. However, it still feels crisp and clean. The room also leaves quite a few essentials out in the open without looking cluttered. "Don't be afraid to display pretty cooking utensils like wooden spoons, hand whisks, and measuring cups in vintage ceramic earthenware," Macdonald says. "Small pieces of art can add some personality to a kitchen when leaned up against the wall or placed on a window ledge."
Gather a Vignette of Objects
Give the eye something to focus on by creating a vignette of objects where you can find room to display it. They could be a trio of practical kitchen items, like salt, pepper, and sugar in beautiful containers, to a collection of decorative vases or candles. Place them on a tray to give these objects a definitive "home."
Play With Details
In this minimalist space, pops of color break through the all-white interior in the forms of a few well placed plants, and bowls and cups displayed on an open shelf. According to Macdonald, adding too many details in an all-white kitchen can appear "fussy and cheesy," while not adding enough décor can make a space feel "bland and unfinished." This room strikes the perfect balance.
Balance With Organic Materials
A stunning window treatment can do what a great statement rug can—it adds a focal point and grounds an all-white space. In this kitchen, the organic material of the window shade softens its surroundings, while greenery on the kitchen island ties the look together.
Add Live or Faux Botanicals
Besides leaving kitchenwares out in the open for all to see, you can add pops of design with live (or faux) botanicals. "Sculptural flowering branches will add some drama without too much fluff," Macdonald notes. Or, add a succulent near your kitchen window, so it gets lots of sun.
Create Depth With Gray Accents
If you're struggling to make a minimalist space feel warm and inviting, Macdonald suggests layering in wood accents with neutral gray enamel pots and simple striped dish towels. "Modern black chopping boards will add depth," Macdonald adds. This kitchen utilizes black barstools, pendant lights, and a leaning wooden cutting board to break up the all-white look.
Hang Sculptural Lights
Go with interesting lighting in an all-white kitchen, like these gold domed lights suspended over the kitchen island. Dark-colored hardware and dining chairs add just enough color to keep the overall look minimalist, yet warm. A tiled backsplash in a chevron pattern adds subtle, visual interest.
Lean Into Off-White
Mix up an all-white kitchen by incorporating off-white into your color palette. The shade difference is just the right amount of noticeable without having to rely on too many objects or more dramatic looking lighting to create an intentional look. Add a bowl of fresh fruit or veggies for a pop of color.
Opt for Marble-Like Surfaces
A marble-like surface keeps with an all-white kitchen theme, while vignettes and a few framed art pieces prevent the space from looking too stark. We love the wood grain cabinetry too, which adds texture while keeping with the same color palette. Brass fixtures add a touch of glam.
Let Architectural Details Take Center Stage
In an all-white kitchen, spaces with interesting architectural details like exposed wood-beam ceilings don't need much to upgrade its aesthetic. Take a cue from other tips like using a chopping board as a decorative object, and interesting lighting, to add a finishing touch. Try a patterned runner to bring more energy to your all-white kitchen.
Incorporate White Accessories
If you've already included some color with larger elements (like the cabinetry pictured), you can include small white accessories to punctuate the look. In this photo, a white fruit bowl makes these yellow lemons stand out. Dusty blue cabinetry anchor the space.