Dreamy New White-and-Wood Kitchens
According to Houzz’s study, White is the most popular color for kitchen countertops, cabinets, and backsplashes. To prevent white kitchens from looking into being too cool, interior designers frequently suggest adding warmth through wood elements, like flooring, island base shelves, or other factors. The pros in this article share their strategies for mixing white finishes with warmth-inducing wood components.
White Oak Island and Shelves
Homeowners’ request. “Our clients desired a spacious and inviting kitchen that centered around a large island for family and friends to congregate,” the architect Robin McCarthy says. “The Kitchen is located in an open floor plan, with the breakfast nook as well as the family room that overlooks the backyard pool and patio. It is the heart for their house. They wanted a stylish style but not ostentatious.”
Wood and white information. White Shaker-style perimeter cabinets (White Dove by Benjamin Moore). White backsplash tile with varying shades. White oak island with rift-sawn sawn in a natural satin finish and wooden shelves made of white oak. “White Dove is a warm white that we often use in our projects,” McCarthy states. “We also added layers of color to the room for warmth, such as touches of the white oak for the floating shelves and Bedrosians’ Cloe tile for the backsplash, which adds warmer variations of color.”
Tips for designers. “When working with an all-white or mostly white kitchen, we like to bring layers of color into a space for visual interest and warmth,” McCarthy states. “Painted wood cabinets in natural White as well as white created the perfect white backdrop for this kitchen. We also added brass cabinet hardware a light and warm tile backsplashes featuring a multicolor tone the warm gray quartzite countertop named Calacatta Storm, and interesting light fixtures that are dark black and warm brass. The color was used in a variety of ways however all the colors are tied to one another.”
Wood and white specifics. Custom white perimeter cabinets (Pure White by Sherwin Williams). White backsplash tiles with distressed White. White appliances in matte finish. Quartz countertops with a marble-like appearance. A stained the maple island. “The decision to mix white and wood cabinetry seemed like a perfect choice for a modern farmhouse kitchen,” designer Kamila Malewska says. “It was a design we came up with and incorporated into the home. While white finishes give an attractive and fresh appearance, they can also appear too cold and require balance. In our instance, the wood cabinets with light colors in the kitchen island, the beam between the dining and kitchen, floating shelves in the bar, and the flooring provided the warmth and cozy feeling.”
Brass hardware, plumbing fixtures, and lantern-style pendant lighting.
Designer tip. “Use neutral colors and timeless finishes for cabinetry, countertops, flooring and wall paint and then play with more trendy accessories like light fixtures, cabinet hardware or a wallpaper accent wall,” Malewska suggests. “Down the road, you can easily update your kitchen look just by swapping those elements.”
“Uh-oh” moment. “The homeowners wanted to have their kitchen windows painted white to match the French doors and other trim work,” Malewska explains. “Mid-project after the cabinets as well as the countertops and flooring were installed I observed that the wooden finish of the window near the sink as well as by the French doors worked really well together with the other woodwork that was in the room. It gave the room a warm feel. I was thinking it was a mistake to paint the windows white. I was able get my client to maintain the wood appearance.”
Wood and white. White Shaker-style perimeter cabinetry (Snowbound from Sherwin Williams). Quartz countertops in white marble look as well as slab backsplash. White oak range hood and island with the custom stain. The flooring is white oak with an exclusive stain. “The client wanted a classic look, so we went with white,” designer Melissa Rieser says. “I suggested incorporating the white oak island to make it more modern without getting too much. The hood was initially planned to be painted white however, at the last moment, the cabinetmaker and I chose white oak to be a perfect match for the island. The delay was due to the scarcity of white oak, but it was worth the wait.”
Other unique features. Brass hardware lighting fixtures, faucets, and knobs for cooking.
“Uh-oh” moment. “When our three jumbo slabs of quartz were delivered, I went to inspect them and all three had different coloring in their background,” Rieser states. “Three more had to be ordered, further delaying the project.”
Homeowners’ request. “The homeowners were looking to refresh their kitchen and make the space more functional, livable and update the aesthetics,” designer Ellie Mroz says. “Because the couple loves to entertain, it was important to create a highly functional kitchen that worked both for luxe catered parties and also for quiet moments watching the morning news from the pop-up peninsula television with a coffee.”
Wood and white specifics. White skinny Shaker-style cabinets. Marble-clad countertops and white marble island. White Moroccan handmade zellige backsplash tile and range hood covering. White oak shelves with the flooring are a perfect match. “The home, built in the 1990s, featured 6-inch-thick locally mined stone walls, and we wanted to highlight this organic feature while updating the surrounding spaces,” Mroz states. “The minimalist, clean kitchen was a perfect example of the job. The white marble island and the white oak shelves enhance the natural aesthetic in a contemporary way that enhances rather than competes. The backsplash of the tile and hood provides the perfect amount of shine but is natural because of its deliberate variations.”
Other unique features. See-through walk-in pantry with custom steel and glass walls. The bar for coffee is equipped with a pipe incorporated into the wall. A hydraulically controlled remote in the peninsula allows you to raise and lower the television.
Designer tip. “Once you have your inspiration and concept nailed, gather samples of all of your materials — stone, tile, cabinetry, hardware — and make sure it all plays well together before you commit to anything,” Mroz advises. “The hard work and research will pay off with a cohesive aesthetic.”
Homeowner’s request. A tranquil, modern space where you can relax and relax amid the stress of raising four kids. “She had worked with a previous designer who designed a beautiful ultramodern home, but she always felt like she was walking into a museum or a hotel, and it never felt like her own home,” designer Joo Oh says. “So this time, when she was designing the home with me, she felt more prepared to communicate her requirements and wishes. One of her primary desires was to feel at ease and comfortable at home. I created warmth with organic shapes and texture and mixed various types of materials.”
Wood and white details. Upper cabinets with white flat panels, without hardware. White quartz countertops (Blizzard, Caesarstone). Calacatta Oro marble slab backsplash. The cabinets below and the island’s back are stained with eucalyptus wood. “This was a conscious decision of blending a clean minimal look with texture and warmth,” Oh says.