Love it or hate it, the white kitchen is everywhere. Is this design phenomenon simply a passing trend or an enduring design staple? ASPIRE Metro asked designers to weigh in on the popularity of the white kitchen and as to why homeowners are so smitten by it.
I wonder if the trend for white kitchens has emerged at a time when our world generally feels more stressed and uncertain than in decades past. In our culture, white is often perceived as a color of protection and encouragement, offering a sense of peace and calm, comfort and hope, order and efficiency. A white kitchen (and a white bath) provides a bright place of retreat from the murkier world at large and creates an environment with an undeniable feeling of refreshment, brightness, cleanliness and optimism. From the design perspective, white can provide broad design flexibility.
Used properly, it is exceedingly neutral so that art and accessories can make their own statements; at the same time, white offers a sense of architectural purity unsullied by embellishment. Too much white in an interior, however, can be cold, isolating and empty.
As with most things over time, this trend will inevitably shift. Meantime, I believe we will be enjoying our white kitchens for some time to come.
As a designer, the white kitchen is a catch-22: Sometimes you do get a little tired of it, but there’s a lot you can do with it too. We have a few white kitchens on display – one in an arctic white and another in more of a linen white – and clients are always drawn to them. It does make a lot of sense, especially in this area where we have a lot of water views and the white kitchen will face the water and reflect beautifully. A white kitchen can also be such a beautiful, clean backdrop for colorful cookware, appliances and food. The look is timeless, beautiful and immaculate. It’s popular for a reason.
Katja van der Loo
I have a classic house and a personal preference for classic white kitchens. Also, I think white kitchens transition the best long term. You can simply change the wall color and accessories for something new.
The white kitchen is a timeless statement. It’s clean, it’s classic, and it will look good forever. Of course, there are going to be people who love it and people who hate it, but I don’t think it will ever go away because you can do so much with it. There are really no boundaries.
A white kitchen can be modern, traditional or transitional. You can go with all white – appliances, counters, cabinets, everything – and create a very polished look. You can design something really beautiful on a budget, as well as create a look the homeowners feel confident they’ll love for years.
With an all white kitchen, there’s a lasting significance. It’s not going to look dated in a few years, and you can change out the other colors in the room without having to redo everything. That’s what resonates: that very classic look that will endure.
White kitchens are wonderful because they are easy to source; they can be either modern or traditional. However, they have become ubiquitous over the past couple of years. They’re everywhere – in every magazine and blog, and all over HGTV.
I would love to see homeowners and builders put a little more imagination into their kitchens. Many interior designers offer consultation services and will help you sort through the options available. Yes, options can be overwhelming, but they can be effectively used to give you a kitchen you will be proud of for the next 15 years.
Why be predictable when you can be fabulous?
The kitchen is a workspace, and you need to be able to function in that space.
A white kitchen is clean, fresh and bright, and it lends a sense of organization. The clean look also coordinates well with the preparation of food. Think about an operating room: It’s light, bright and clean for a reason.The same holds true for a kitchen; the bright surfaces are reflective and clean.
You can easily see what you’re doing,and it shows the colors of all your ingredients perfectly. A dark kitchen reflects back darkly. It can be nice, but it can also be moody. It’s almost like seasonal affective disorder. Most of us prefer light, bright cheerfulness.