Colour is a VERY powerful tool, probably one of the most visceral aspects in Design. The same is true for the complete absence of colour in a room…. meaning the decision to opt for an ALL white space. This old idea is “white hot” for 2013 where the all white Kitchen is a huge trend. I myself am NOT a big proponent of an all white room (especially a Kitchen). However, that being said, when used in the right space, with GOOD lighting (layered with all the types of lighting included) and a creative Design… the end result of an all white kitchen can be beyond magical. An all white space in which the people and the food are the stars, the colour, the personality, while the surrounding environment acts like a magical, airy and bright stage. However, before you go get your Benjamin Moore Oxford White and start giving the walls and cabinets a lick of paint, there are a few things to consider first.
Crisp and modern yet the usage of the decoupage historic papers on the wall give depth and warmth
The reason white works well in a kitchen is because pale surfaces reflect natural and artificial light and help make a cramped space feel bigger, brighter and fresher. As well, white isn’t a trendy colour, but a design staple, so it always feels current. However the trick is to keep it from feeling flat, boring and pedestrian and this is achieved through the layering of materials, the creation of well planned lighting, maximizing all natural light in the space and the addition of contrasting materials to give both visual and conceptual depth to a space. One way of insuring visual depth and contrast is to create an all white kitchen but then pair it with lustrous black floors, thereby grounding the space. Texture is crucial to a successful monochromatic white room, as white throws texture into high visual and conceptual relief. Natural textures including wood, stone and fibers like rope and linen look especially sumptuous and evocative in a white environment. For contrast, combine nubbly, rough and natural textures against sleek ones like glass, mirror, high-gloss patinas and metallics. Reflective surfaces such as glass, stainless steel, and antique French mirror panels will maximize light. Think about adding architectural details that will add interest, a sensual line and added craftsmanship such as Gothic mill-work details or a bead-board ceiling to add further texture. Marble works especially well in an all white kitchen, whether on your counters or as a striking back-splash Carrera marble is a wonderful way of adding subtle colour depth with the white on grey tones, giving an overall look that is sophisticated, elegant and approachable. However, remember ALL WHITE is not an easy look to achieve and can actually be unsuitable for some rooms. Think about the type of White you want…Do you want a crisp, modern look with a minimum of clutter and graphic silhouettes and defined lines? THEN, opt for bright and cool whites and finish with plenty of glass, mirror and metallics. However, if you want a softer more traditional white, select warm, creamy whites paired with lots of nubbly/natural textures, unglazed porcelains and marble.
Something often overlooked when doing an all White room is the effect artwork, furnishings and accessories will have on the space and how they will stand out against the white background. You can not select dull or safe items for an all white room, ONLY select items that are BOLD and striking. They can be in your white or natural palette OR coloured but they need to be singular in their expression of who you are and what your space is meant to convey.
The following are from Archictectural Digest and their feature on WHITE Kitchens
Designer Karin Blake has created a layered and unexpected space with warm whites, natural tones and evocative cabinetry and doors reminiscent of an old barn that has been outfitted with the most modern of appliances.
Soft and fresh, Designer Suzanne Kasler keeps this space inviting and warm, but adds luster from the marble counters, glazed subway tiles and the rich dark natural flooring.
This stunning space has been featured in depth BEFORE... the home of Fashion Designer Jenni Kayne. The natural reclaimed timber on the ceiling brings warmth to the modern kitchen. The French industrial pendant lights are from the 1920s.
This lustrous space was created by Architect Michael Graves and Designer Victoria Hagan. Double-hung rows of square windows take the place of upper cabinets, filling the space with natural light. Airy and inviting with a soft natural simplicity.