Top 15 Modern White Kitchen Ideas

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There's nothing quite like a fresh, clean, white kitchen. But if a white kitchen is modern in style, it doesn't mean that it also has to feel stark, cold, and sterile. From pristine cabinetry to paint colors to accessories, there are so many ways to work the color white into your cook space. Check out these 15 ideas that can take your modern, white kitchen to the next level.

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1. Add visual interest with your flooring.

The chevron hardwood flooring chosen by Hecker Guthrie for this cook space is gorgeous without being flashy. It's the perfect match for a minimalist white kitchen. Not only does the wood add a welcome dose of warmth, but the pattern draws the eye both vertically and horizontally, creating balance.

2. Consider your backsplash.

A beautiful backsplash really shines in a modern white kitchen. Follow the lead of designer Sarah Sherman Samuel and opt for striking marble or go with tried and true subway tile.

3. Mix modern and natural.

Stark white cabinetry paired with natural, light wood softens the feel of a modern kitchen, as exemplified in this space by TRD Studio. And to take the look a step further, consider a DIY project to lighten your hardwood floors.

4. Seize the opportunity for bold lighting.

If you're worried about pulling off a bold light fixture, such as a statement-making chandelier, just keep the rest of your kitchen simple, à la this design by Pivot Interiors. You can incorporate a neutral color scheme and varying textures as well, and still not go over-the-top.

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5. Incorporate an accent color.

By simply adding some pastel green paint and brass cabinet hardware, this plain, minimalist kitchen by interior designer Sarah Sherman Samuel feels modern with a dash of retro charm. It's practically made for Instagram.

6. Consider open shelving.

Modern kitchens, like this custom design by Kuchen, don't all need to have plain, white cabinets. The floor-to-ceiling open shelving idea seen here is stunning and unexpected. There are so many ways to style shelving, not to mention it's also a great way to display your favorite culinary pieces.

7. Match your island to your backsplash.

If you have a modern cook space that is centered around an island, why not try something unexpected? Consider giving your backsplash the same treatment. The simple, clean backdrop of an all-white kitchen allows you to pull off this matchy-matchy look mastered by Travis Walton Architecture.

8. Let your decor do the talking.

Even though your kitchen design might be simple, that doesn't mean that you can't throw in exciting pieces of decor, such as geometric counter stools and show-stopping pendant lights. This culinary space by Jeff Schlarb is a super easy switch-up that makes a big impact.

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9. Pick an accent color.

Break up all the neutrals with a splash of color. A light blue backsplash, like the one captured by Chibi Moku in this modern kitchen, adds just enough contrast to keep things interesting. You can also incorporate color with your accessories, lighting, or cabinetry.

10. Go for black and white.

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

Why not go for a black and white look in your kitchen? You can subtly incorporate the ebony hue with the shelving, hardware, faucet, and even the toe kick of your cabinets, while still keeping that crisp white look we all know and love.

11. Create distinctiveness with texture.

While those white walls and white tiles certainly look clean and oftentimes cool, it can also come off a little flat without visually-intriguing textures. Think: a sisal rug, a cut crystal pendant light, and baskets, all witnessed in this small kitchen by Mr. Kate.

12. Greenery goes a long way.

Houseplants are the quickest way to liven up a space, something that's all-too-perfect in a white kitchen. Display greenery on the countertops and open shelving as seen in this Kyal & Kara cook space washed in natural light.

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13. Plan for an open concept.

If your white kitchen is open to your dining and living rooms, you should bear that in mind while toying with kitchen design ideas. It's a floor plan that often calls for a minimalist approach, since you won't want to view clutter in accompanying spaces. That means clean light fixtures and a classic, unfussy marble island, at least in the case of this setup by Design Loves Detail.

14. Craft a farmhouse kitchen.

White kitchens and farmhouse style easily go hand-in-hand. If you're striving for a modern farmhouse look, wrap in a chic marble countertop, vintage-style white appliances (no stainless steel here!), and white upper cabinets à la this culinary design by Style Inherited.

15. Incorporate modern silhouettes.

When people design kitchens with a modern vibe and a white color palette, they frequently turn to current shapes and silhouettes to push the decor in a contemporary direction. Although the white marble here is traditional, the nearby artwork, accents, barstools, and wood door all have a curved, modern-day feel.

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To Sum Things Up

Image Credit: Hunker in Partnership With Acme Real Estate

Top-to-bottom, all-white kitchens are quickly becoming a thing of the past, due to the fact they can sometimes feel fairly cold and clinical. Instead, as witnessed in the aforementioned designs, a white cook space truly shines when it weaves in bits of color, texture, and eye-catching decor. Here are a few key points to remember for your culinary headquarters:

  • If you're longing for a white island and cabinets, invite visual interest with the help of flooring showcasing interesting patterns, a colorful or textured tile backsplash, and artful lighting.
  • Open shelving makes any modern kitchen look even more current.
  • An accent color, like black, is a fail-safe way to create juxtaposition in your space.
  • Curved silhouettes and palpable textures makes a white cook space look a lot more unique.
  • You literally can't go wrong with marble in any kitchen, regardless of the color palette.

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Shelby Deering is a lifestyle writer who contributes to national magazines and websites, including Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Well+Good, and more. When she's not writing, you'll find her shopping flea markets, hiking, and going for walks with her corgi.