Recently, a friend of mine, another Kitchen Designer said to me, “If I have to design one more white kitchen, I’ll scream!” Such is the popularity of white kitchens and baths right now but how much longer will the trend last? After doing a little research I found that expert opinion is somewhat divided. However, the NKBA reports that 67% of members say that white is their go to choice in kitchens, seemingly strengthening the argument that white kitchens are here to stay at least for a while. Are some kitchen designers just getting bored with this trend? I know that I sometimes wish there was a little more diversity. The consensus though, is that you probably can’t go wrong with white. Or can you?
As a Kitchen Design Professional, I always cringe a little when talking about trends because ultimately trends come and go. I think the most important aspect of making a choice for your new kitchen or bath cabinetry is how well it fits into the overall feel of the home. White painted Shaker style doors are probably the best selling kitchen cabinet choice right now but are they the right choice for every kitchen? They are certainly a safe “transitional” choice which is often a factor in making a cabinetry decision. People are so often understandably afraid of making a mistake because the cost of a new kitchen is so significant. However, a qualified kitchen design professional should be able to ease that worry and offer their clients several appropriate options. Don’t get me wrong, I love a white kitchen but I also love the richness of a beautifully stained wood kitchen or the sophistication of a green mossy paint in the appropriate setting.
I recently had an opportunity to tour some homes for sale in Northern New Jersey and Long Island, New York. It was amazing how many of these houses had newly renovated white kitchens and baths. Some were spectacular and fit beautifully with the design of the home. Others though, were just unfortunate because a different color paint or a wood stain could have taken the design from safe to richly sophisticated. In some cases, the white cabinetry seemed to have been chosen simply to take advantage of a trend with little thought given to the overall design of the home. Interestingly, the most beautiful kitchen I saw, hands down, was a 20 year old galley style kitchen with dark stained walnut cabinets and two inch thick white marble countertops. It had aged in such a pretty way with a lovely patina.
My final thought about the white kitchen trend is this; beautiful, well-planned, white kitchens will always have a place in home design. So, if your dream is to have a white kitchen then you should happily go for it. However, if you are yearning for something in color or wood but are afraid of bucking the trend, I say trust yourself and your kitchen design professional and get the kitchen or bath that will make you truly happy. When planning your new kitchen or bath, try to avoid getting too caught up in the trends, or you could end up like my parents did back in the 1970s with a kitchen full of “Harvest Gold” appliances!