Recent years have brought us so many new kitchen cabinet trends—from the super-saturated shades of blue that took over the industry to the controversial arrival of two-tone (sometimes called "tuxedo") cabinets. But there's one cabinet trend that really never goes out of style, and we think it's long overdue for some appreciation: white cabinets.
While other cabinet fads come and go, white is a beloved classic for a reason. It's versatile, it lets the beauty of your millwork show through (whether traditional, shaker-inspired, or minimalist and modern), and it's incredibly easy to live with for years to come. A quick swap of hardware or a new backsplash, and boom—your kitchen looks brand new again.
Try a Warm White
The all-white cabinet look can sometimes be stark—cold, even—but this brilliantly balanced kitchen shows how to do it right. Added texture in the form of grey-green artisan tiles lend a bit of welcome character to the space, while the more traditional "footed" island brings a bit of old-school charm to the sleek concrete flooring.
If you have your heart set on a truly all-white palette, look no further for inspo. Understated hardware and industrial-inspired lighting let these gleaming veined countertops—and coordinating slab backsplash—take center stage. This kitchen is truly a minimalist's dream.
Update a Traditional Space
Our favorite white-cabinet kitchens are the ones that mix classic elements with modern ones, creating an appealing mix that's both elegant and inviting. And this space definitely qualifies—the millwork on the island and range hood is handsome and historic, while the substantial light fixtures feel more eclectic and help draw the eye upward to the wooden ceiling beams—a pop of contrast brilliantly echoed in the bar stool legs down below.
Mix Bright and White
Love the all-white look, but hesitant to forgo all your favorite eye-catching colors? No problem. As this gorgeous kitchen shows, a contrasting island is an easy (and on-trend) way to bring a jolt of color into an otherwise neutral scheme. This bright cobalt hue is striking and timeless, and infuses even more design savvy into this clean white space.
Add a Pop of Pattern
For a low-commitment way to get the same rush of color, opt for upholstery. These white cabinets (which are finished with grey crown molding—another idea we love) provide a versatile backdrop for fun prints and patterns.
To get this look at home, start with unique handmade tiles for your backsplash—whether you keep them neutral or embrace color here is up to you. Then, take the look further by tying in bold upholstery fabrics for your counter stools. The bright, unexpected wash of color really puts a fresh spin on these classic white cabinets.
Swap Out Hardware
We've said it before and we'll say it again: hardware makes a *huge* impact in the look of your kitchen cabinetry. We love how this design plays up contrasts everywhere you look, utilizing sturdy black metal hardware on the white cabinets, and switching things up with something lighter on the island. This kitchen is proof positive that mixing metals isn't just permissible—it's advisable. For a finishing touch, the range hood is finished in a warm wood tone to add even more cozy contrast...and the results are stunning.
Use Vertical Space
We're big believers in extending your cabinetry up to the ceiling. Even if it's out-of-reach for your day-to-day, it provides invaluable bonus storage for things you only haul out once a year (we're talking to you, turkey roasting pan). This space showcases upper cabinets beautifully, utilizing every last inch of space.
Another cabinetry trend we're dying to try: giant pantry-sized doors. While they haven't become the norm yet, we expect to see them more and more in the coming years—they offer more versatility and flexibility in your storage options, letting you stash pantry items and dishes wherever you please. In this modern, ultra-symmetrical kitchen, the large white doors are balanced by a light wood-wrapped island, providing the perfect amount of subtle differentiation.
Bring in Texture
When working with whites, texture is key. These white cabinet fronts have a unique grooved grid pattern, which interplays nicely with the grain of the wood opposite, and the veining in the countertop above. It's a clever mix that adds so much visual interest to a space—and is even more important when working within a strict palette of neutrals.
Add Lots of Detail
A few simple ways to keep your white kitchen from feeling too stark—trade solid cabinet doors for glass-front ones. They'll show off some of your most beloved treasures and add another layer of color and texture to your space. Another trick: pick backsplash tile that has some variegation to its color scheme, whatever hue you choose. The variance between tiles will lend a more relaxed look to your space.
Coordinate Paint Colors
Painting your ceiling to match your upper cabinets might not be for everyone—for instance, if you're rocking some bright red cabinets—but in this case, it's a breath of fresh air. This space feels light and airy thanks to a bright white ceiling that ties in with the millwork, while a darker floor color grounds the entire design and offers some contrast. We'd love to sidle up to the island for breakfast in this dreamy, sun-drenched space.
A great light fixture truly is the icing on the cake of a well-designed kitchen—and these bejeweled pendants are no exception. Their angular, crystalline shape mimics the look of the tessellated backsplash in the best way, and lends a glam vibe to an otherwise unadorned white kitchen, making the classic cabinetry the perfect co-star.
Start With a Plan
Basing your kitchen design on white cabinets lets you play with all the shades of white and gray that the natural world has to offer—and as most of us who have wandered down the paint chip aisle know, that's a lot. This spaces makes the most of the neutral end of the color spectrum with black and white tiles, white-painted tin ceilings, and creamy countertops.