17 Gorgeous White Kitchen Cabinet Ideas That Are Anything but Boring

published May 27, 2024
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It might seem like white kitchens have only been popular for a couple of decades, but they’ve actually been trendy for way longer — for the past century, in fact. They have “come and gone just as color seems to have come and gone,” says Bailey Ward, founder of her namesake interior design firm. And there are plenty of ways to make the classic white look feel timeless.

The secret to designing a white kitchen that feels more homey than hospital? Choosing warm whites and natural materials like marble that have character and depth, Ward says. Custom millwork, lighting, and beautiful fixtures and hardware set the tone for the kitchen just as much as the cabinets. “I also find ways to layer in color — a roman shade, fun art, a woven tray, or cookbooks on display — that liven up a white kitchen,” she adds. “When done right, an all-white kitchen will never go out of style.”

The foundation of the white kitchen is, of course, white kitchen cabinets, which is why we’ve rounded up 17 ideas with the design staple at the forefront, proving that just like with any other project, how a space looks and feels is all in the details.

Credit: Sylvia Bermudez

1. Compare and contrast

Despite being floor-to-ceiling, these white kitchen cabinets aren’t designed to blend in. With the steel blue lower cabinets, matching wall and black penny tile border, they instead become a classic element that contributes to the contrast.

Credit: Yesi Laver

2. Warm it up

Sleek white cabinetry may be the base of this kitchen, but everywhere you look, there’s something wood to add organic character. Also lending warmth: the taupe beadboard, vintage decor, gold accents, and a dark rug.

Credit: Julia Steele

3. Adorn with color

You can’t go wrong with a timeless, neutral base of white, brass, and marble (especially if resale value is a concern). That said, the first thing you notice in this room is the bold art that brings unique color and personality to the kitchen.

4. Back(splash) at it

A small job relative to its major impact, this marine-inspired backsplash plays with both color and shape, adding one-of-a-kind personality to the standard white kitchen cabinets. The fun continues with the wall color — a perfect match for one of the tile hues used.

Credit: Photo: Heidi Harris Photography; Design: Bailey Ward Interiors

5. Make it an inside job

If some of your white kitchen cabinets have glass fronts, don’t assume the insides have to stay white, too — go grab some paint, then go bold. The dark blue paint here packs a punch against all the white, including the backsplash and countertops.

Credit: Julia Steele

6. Open up

There are many benefits of adding open shelving, and in the case of an all-white kitchen, it’s the styling possibilities. These wood shelves balance form and function, creating a focal point that doubles as storage.

Credit: Jean Ross

7. Blend it in

It sounds counterintuitive, but hear me out: Thanks to details like the oil painting, rug, and lamp, this kitchen feels more like the other parts of the home instead of simply a place to cook or grab a snack. ( These elements also adding some serious color is no accident either.)

Credit: Lauren Kolyn

8. Light it up

Lighting is often considered the jewelry of the home, and this kitchen is the perfect example of that. The black pendants make a minimalist statement and draw the eye away from the white kitchen cabinets.

9. Cut a rug

Some think of white kitchens as sterile, but the ornate rug in this one provides a rich, colorful foundation that instantly makes it pop. It sets the stage for a warm, homey place to cook, chat, and snack.

10. Mix it up

The key to embracing neutrals is to incorporate different textures. Here, Zellige tiles, marble countertops, maple shelves, and cane stools work together to create a dynamic space around the white kitchen cabinets.

11. Go counter

The era of extra thick countertops (via a mitered edge) is just what traditional white kitchen cabinets needed. They’re dramatic and high-end without demanding all the attention — what’s not to love?

12. Show your true colors

With a half wall of green tile and the pendants to match, these white kitchen cabinets aren’t at all boring. Instead, they’re the neutral base that allows color to take center stage.

Credit: Photo: Kelly Blackmon; Design: Bailey Ward Interiors

13. Throw in some print

It’s a simple concept, but also an effective one: Break up all the white with a little pattern. In this case, different prints are incorporated around the kitchen while still maintaining the same blue and white color scheme.

14. Seeing double

Yes, a double island might mean an even whiter kitchen, but consider the statement it makes — and the possibilities it creates: more gathering, cooking, and memories made. And that’s never boring, no matter what the room looks like.

Credit: Erin Hermsen

15. Add an accent

Adding molding is one of the most popular DIYs at the moment, which makes sense: It’s a fairly inexpensive way to elevate a room (though it does require some math). Even on a white wall, this design detail stands out.

16. Create the center of attention

When you walk toward this kitchen, the black island, complemented by more black accents, catches your eye first, helping to break up the white kitchen cabinets, backsplash, counters, and walls.

17. Stay in the dark

What’s the opposite of white? Black, of course. In this kitchen, that color is the star of the show, making the white kitchen cabinets pop and feel the opposite of ordinary.