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Tips on Having An All White Kitchen

In an all-white kitchen introduce colour through furniture and accents as a way to add pop, according to Kate Davidson. Changing the accessories (window treatments, stools or accent pieces) can dramatically change the look of a kitchen.

As a designer I adore the timeless and clean backdrop that white kitchen cabinetry offers. Some may be concerned that having a white kitchen can be stark and cold, but what it really comes down to is the finishes and how you pull together your kitchen that makes all the difference. Your kitchen is a long-term decision and investment and in my opinion nothing beats an all-white kitchen. It defies trends, is classic and timeless and can be transformed easily by simply updating its accents. If you are planning on a kitchen renovation in the upcoming year, I suggest considering mixing and matching finishes in an all-white kitchen. Using white cabinetry as your main cabinet colour is key and adding contrast with an alternate colour for your island cabinets is a nice way to add interest to an all-white space. Classic white kitchens can easily be paired with a modern style.

Kitchens that pull both the living and cooking functions together are considered to be "entertainment kitchens" and appear to be a perennial favourite. In smaller spaces it's good to have some type of division, if only visual.


In an all-white kitchen introduce colour through furniture and accents as a way to add pop. Changing the accessories (window treatments, stools or accent pieces) can dramatically change the look of a kitchen.

In your white kitchen recognize how important the flooring is: it is a key factor and the best place to bring a warm tone with dark or soft hardwood flooring or tile.

It's important to vary the finishes when you have an all-white kitchen. If your cabinets are a matte finish then you can incorporate a higher sheen countertop. After your cabinets, the second largest impact points are your countertop and backsplash. If you want your backsplash as a focal point, make sure to keep your counters clutter-free to show it off.

Integrated appliances give a kitchen a seamless look and professional stainless steel adds a nice mix to a white kitchen. Natural light gives a kitchen an airy breezy feel. Lighting is an important element in a kitchen. Select lighting that best suits the kitchen while maintaining practical lighting makes for a harmonious and functional design.

When re-modelling your kitchen it is important that all the essential features are in a cohesive and attractive manner. The selection of your finishes for your kitchen is such a critical decision, so hiring a design professional you admire will be well worth the fee.

Some of my favourite white cabinetry colours are: Dove White OC17 by Benjamin Moore, or Ammonite 274 by Farrow & Ball.

To create a dynamic, warm white kitchen follow these rules:

Bring in as much light as possible to create a bright and airy feel.

Wood: Incorporate wood in the flooring and accents to add further warmth and contrast. Consider looking at one of my favourite companies, Kentwood flooring, for a vast selections of colours

Backsplash: Bring in some colour and texture and pick a statement piece for your backsplash to add interest to the kitchen. My go-to material is a classic marble backsplash. 

Glass cabinets and open shelves: Break-up a completely white kitchen with glass cabinets adds interest and will break-up large spans of cabinetry.

Colourful accessories: This is where you can add personality and easily change it up for a different look.

All of your choices are important with a white kitchen but be sure not to skimp on your lighting and hardware. They act as the jewelry for your kitchen and make all the difference as the finishing touches.

Kate Davidson is the Designer and Principal of Kate Davidson Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete residential and commercial design, renovating services throughout Toronto, GTA. and North America. For over a decade this design firm is respected for envisioning and creating stylish livable spaces.

-by Kate Davidson