The white kitchen was extremely popular for about ten to fifteen years way back in the nineties and eighties. However, in the years since the turn of the millennium, the white kitchen fell out of favor and took a decidedly back seat to stained wood. Yet the versatility of a white kitchen with it's clean appeal and soothing look has never really gone away. Instead, it is making a return with some new twists that make it look fresher, up to date and more appealing than ever.
White vs. white
The first place to change in the white kitchen is the kind of white used on the cabinets. White is no longer just white. Now, white cabinets range in whiteness from bright white to antiqued white. Both look fresh and current, but with a different appeal. If the bright white kitchen appeals to you, then the whiteness, just like it was in the eighties and nineties, is the key. Sheer white cabinets look especially good in vintage style kitchens. White cabinets with Craftsman style frames look beautiful in bright white. Cabinets with old fashioned cup style drawer pulls make a beautiful pairing. Add the nostalgia of white marble countertops and you have a winning combination.
To keep the kitchen extra vintage-looking, have appliances such as the dishwasher and refrigerator dressed with cabinet doors and this will make them blend into the kitchen and not detract from the look. But if a fresher, more current style is what you're after, add shiny stainless appliances and your kitchen will be up-to-the-moment gorgeous with a slight contemporary feel. It's this pairing of stainless with white that creates a nice contrast of color with sparkle. Having stainless appliances with white cabinets makes the white kitchen up to date versus the monochromatic - and dated -- look of white cabinets with white appliances. If you have a white kitchen in need of updating, adding new stainless appliance might be all it takes to bring your kitchen out of the nineties and eighties and into the 2000's.
White with color
Another way to update that all-white kitchen is to add a touch of color to your cabinets. If you have an all-white kitchen and a white island, consider replacing the island with a wood cabinet island or simply paint the island a contrasting color. Another distinguishing feature of the white kitchens of today is the attention to detail. Cabinets today have more detail and much, much more moulding. The crown moulding at the top of the cabinets makes the kitchen more current and is a mark of quality cabinetry. Adding crown moulding to the top of older cabinets is an inexpensive option that will help make this room more current and the cabinets more substantial, but the cabinets still need a finishing touch. This can be done with a toned down shade of white paint on the cabinets and a wash of stain in the crevices of the design. Adding the layer of stain brings out the details in the cabinets and makes it look more today and not so bright.
White kitchens are gorgeous. If a new kitchen is in your remodeling plans consider a white one for their overall appeal and interest. And, if you're updating a white kitchen, simply creating more attention to detail - such as adding new pulls, changing old solid surface and laminate counters to natural stone, adding mouldings, and some color, can make about a twenty year difference in the look of your kitchen.
By Kathryn Weber