White has been a classic in kitchen design for decades and right now it’s more popular than ever. And what’s not to like? But if you’re set on white, that’s just the beginning of the journey; a myriad different options await you. So before you pick out your cabinetry and your counter tops, it’s a good idea to look at the potential benefits and handicaps.
With the right styling, white can work as well in a period home as it does in one that’s super modern. This also means it’s easy to update. But don’t worry about matching your whites exactly or you’ll send yourself mad. Slight variation doesn’t matter; that’s what makes a space interesting.
Crisp, clean white naturally makes a space feel lighter, brighter and bigger, making the most of even small amounts of natural daylight. Add reflective, glossy surfaces and the light will be bouncing from pillar to post.
White goes with anything, which gives you a whole load more options with tiles, appliance and decorative bits than any other colour would offer. White is also an ideal backdrop for other light neutrals or small splashes of bold colour.
It shows its age
Although modern materials resist better than painted timber, they still succumb more easily to smudges, scratches or airborne bits of food than other colours. White ages and white in any material will eventually show wear. Other finishes do as well of course but with white it’s more visible. Some laminates may even discolour to cream or yellow due to direct sun exposure and age.
It can be stark
Glossy white cabinets reflect light (see pros) and can make a kitchen with lots of light glaringly bright. They are also often accused of appearing plain, bland, unexciting, cold or even sterile which is fine if this is the look you’re after but isn’t particularly welcoming. Timber flooring or furniture will add a touch of warmth.
It interrupts the flow
Think about your kitchen in the context of the whole of the house. For a home to flow best, you might not want a kitchen that yells for attention, especially if your floorplan is open.
Newsflash! Not sold on stainless? You’re not alone. Appliance manufacturers are reinvesting in white with companies such as Miele and Whirlpool bringing out crisp new ranges. Easier to remove little fingerprints and they’re generally cheaper, too.