Published on January 9, 2020

You don’t often hear the words white kitchen cabinets followed by a bevy of lively adjectives. While most of us would never object to a bright, neutral space—in fact, the look is still very much trending on Pinterest—the idea doesn’t exactly get our hearts racing. So on the seldom occasion that the Domino editors come across a white kitchen that gets us excited, we don’t forget it.

Choosing the right shade is only step number one in the process. It’s the little things that separate stereotypical white kitchen cabinets from dynamic ones, like edgy hardware, veiny marble countertops, and reclaimed-wood hoods. The run-of-the-mill has met its match: These eight spaces nail the classic color.

The IKEA One

sloped wood ceiling over a stovePin It
Photography by Matthew Williams; Design by Sarah Sherman Samuel

Sarah Sherman Samuel elevated her big-box cabinets with the beaded drawer and door fronts she designed for Semihandmade. Brass half-moon pulls put a sculptural spin on the traditional slabs.

The One With Bold Marble

blue marble countertops and white cabinetsPin It
Photography by Sarah Elliott; Design by Elizabeth Roberts Architects

Dramatic is the best way to describe Paonazzo marble, the stone that architect Elizabeth Roberts used for the countertops in this NYC townhouse. The wavy blue-gray lines call for subtle detailing on the white cabinetry, hence knobs that fade into the background.

The One That’s Rich With Character

large kitchen with black chest as the islandPin It
Photography by Aaron Leitz; Design by Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

When history is on your side (as it was for designer Jessica Helgerson when she refurbished this 1885 Victorian home), use it to your advantage. A white tin ceiling and antique-looking island bring a timeless feel to the millwork.

The One With a Rustic Touch

white kitchen with black range and wood detailing above the hoodPin It
Photography courtesy of Studio McGee

White is a far-from-boring choice when there are unexpected textures to spice things up. Note the reclaimed-wood hood and crisp brick backsplash in this Studio McGee–designed space.

The One That Gets Specific

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Photography courtesy of Studio McGee

Another trick we’re stealing from Studio McGee: Glass fronts on upper cabinets, which add welcome visual interest (especially when there are intricate doorframes involved).

The Sleek One

sheep skin throw over a bar stool at the counterPin It
Photography courtesy of Crystal Sinclair

To achieve that coveted Scandinavian vibe, skip the hardware altogether. Instead of doing plain slab fronts, Brooklyn-based designer Crystal Sinclair opted for a Shaker-like design, adding depth and making the cupboards easier to grip.

The One That’s All About the Hardware

cabinets with lighting bolt handlesPin It
Photography by VEERLE EVENS; Design by Jo Sampson

The first time we saw London designer Jo Sampson’s golden indoor-outdoor kitchen, it sent shock waves through our system. Fitting, since her drawer pulls are shaped like lightning bolts, which happen to be a low-commitment way to embrace trends in a white kitchen (Sampson can just swap out the fixtures when she tires of them).

The Beachy One

seafoam green floors and white kitchenPin It
Photography courtesy of Nicole Cohen

Simple cabinetry is an easy decision for a Colonial house at the New Jersey shore, but seafoam mosaic tiles and a terrazzo dining table are equally obvious choices—they scream summer in the Mediterranean, not monotony.

See more stories like this: 
Why We Decided Against IKEA Cabinets for Our $48K Kitchen Remodel
This “Dated” Kitchen Trend Is Back (and We’re Into It)
Farewell, All-White Kitchen—These 11 Cabinet Designs Are About to Take Off

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