White kitchens are light, airy, bright, fresh. But when all white seems too stark, we like the idea of whitewash. It lightens everything up but still allows the natural beauty of the material (be it wood, brick, stone...) to show through:
This means there is still a hint of texture (and even color, in some instances) even though the material is white at a glance. We've rounded up some examples to inspire you. Now, as far as technique goes, we've never done this ourselves but there appears to be a good source for whitewashing kitchen cabinets over at eHow.
Remember, you'll have to start with a natural material (think solid or wood veneer cabinet doors) - not plastic laminate or melamine - for this to work since it lets the base material show through. It's a great option for revamping wood cabinets whose natural hue you feel is too red, dark, yellow, fill in the blank...
What do you think? Do you like the soft, not-quite-white look of these kitchens? Or do you prefer stark and perfectly white? We like the whitewashed look when it's in a relatively sleek and streamlined kitchen, just to keep a little materiality and prevent it from feeling too cold and sterile.
Related: Soft and Serene Belgian Kitchens