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White Kitchen Cabinets: The Ultimate Design Guide

White Kitchen Cabinets: The Ultimate Design Guide

White kitchen cabinets are sleek, versatile and match any style of kitchen decor from traditional to modern. There are endless possibilities for matching white cabinets to your flooring, countertops, appliances, furniture, hardware, and more. White doesn’t have to be boring if your dress it up the right way!

Read on to learn about our favorite white cabinet kitchen design trends for rustic, modern and traditional home styles.

Best Design Ideas for White Rustic Kitchens

Rustic style kitchens, often referred to as farmhouse style kitchens, are one of the most popular kitchen styles today, much in part due to the popularity of home and garden shows like Fixer Upper and Texas Flip N Move. Both of these shows are based in Texas where these styles are more common, but the need for rustic kitchen cabinets and decor has transcended across the nation. Here are some ways to pair decor and finishes with your white cabinets for an authentic rustic kitchen feel:

Modern rustic kitchen featuring antique white cabinets with black hardware. Black pendant lights highlight a large window over the farmhouse sink.
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Appliances: Most rustic kitchens feature white or stainless steel appliances for their simple look. White appliances can be risky depending on if you have kids in your home and how often you plan on cleaning your appliances. Stainless steel is more popular as it is easy to clean and hide dirt. If you decide to change the design of your kitchen, stainless steel appliances will make for a seamless transition from one style to the next.

Farmhouse kitchen with white wood cabinets, flooded with natural light. A white subway tile backsplash and bright white countertop complement the white shaker cabinets.
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Backsplash: Subway tile backsplashes are popular in farmhouse style kitchens due to their old-school look and simple, clean lines. White subway tiles always look good paired with white shaker cabinets. Plus, a plain white backsplash leaves more opportunity to add some splashes of color in other elements of the kitchen.

White shaker kitchen cabinets give a bright rustic feel to this open plan kitchen. Wood accents are used to bring a farmhouse feel to the space.
Sita Montgomery Interiors

Countertops: The countertops in a rustic kitchen really depend on the overall color scheme and how well they complement the flooring. Many people who choose hardwood floors also use butcher blocks or reclaimed wood for a kitchen island and even the main countertops. White laminate, concrete, and ceramic tile are also popular rustic kitchen countertops.

Flooring: Real hardwood floors are the most popular type of flooring to pair with white kitchen cabinets because they bring out the original beauty of a home, even if they are new hardwood floors. Finished concrete floors and large ceramic tiles are also popular for farmhouse kitchens.

This space feels like the perfect country getaway with plenty of wood accents and upholstered bar stools.
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Furniture: Don’t be afraid to go bold with the furniture. Rustic kitchens with white kitchen cabinetry tend to utilize lots of reclaimed wood, so complementing the warm tones with wood bar stools and chairs is a good idea. Some people match their furniture to their white countertops with white furniture, or furniture with white accents. If you choose upholstered furniture, opt for a bold piece whether it is a cowhide print or a bright yellow accent color.

Vintage decor gives this white farmhouse kitchen a beautiful weathered style.
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Hardware: The hardware that your pair with your white cabinet doors is also subject to your individual style. Many rustic kitchens feature wood hardware to complement the other wood featured in the kitchen. Or, if you want to place more focus on your farmhouse cabinets, opt for sleek, simple lines in your drawer handles, knobs, and pulls.

Best Design Ideas for White Modern Kitchens

Modern white kitchen designs are quite the opposite of a white farmhouse kitchen. In modern kitchens, wood accents are often left behind for smooth, shiny materials and monochromatic color palettes. Whites and greys are the most common colors in a modern kitchen, sometimes accompanied by a bright, bold pop of color such as red or bright green. Below are ways to create the modern kitchen of your dreams by designing around your RTA white cabinets.

Bright white shaker kitchen cabinets match the white shaker island. Subtle pops of color are given by two green plants in the center of the kitchen.
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Appliances: Like with a farmhouse style kitchen, stainless steel appliances are very popular. The grey color of the steel blends seamlessly with the typical monochromatic color schemes of modern kitchens. Built in appliances are a hot trend in modern kitchens as well.

white modern kitchen backsplash next to stove

Backsplash: Sometimes subway tiles are used in modern kitchen designs, but typically you’ll find metal wall tiles, or a countertop extension that is a single piece of quartz or marble. Textured porcelain is another popular modern backsplash for white cabinets.

grey subway tile backsplash next to matching white marble countertops. White and grey cabinets with gold hardware
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Countertops: Modern kitchens often feature bold countertops. The best countertops for white cabinets are typically poured concrete, soapstone, quartz, and marble. Countertops are the focal point in many modern kitchens, so most materials are fair game as long as they stand out. If you want to create an extra striking contrast in your kitchen, opt for white cabinets with black countertops.

Modern white kitchen cabinets complemented by hardwood floors and a grey subway tile backsplash.
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Flooring: No matter the kitchen style or type of kitchen cabinetry used, hard wood floors are always popular. In modern kitchen designs, either dark wood or painted wood floors and laminates are often used. Because of the monochromatic color scheme, flooring should stay consistent with the black, grey, or white theme. If you aren’t a hardwood or laminate fan, materials such as concrete, stone, and tile are other options available. If you have a bold countertop, ensure the texture and color of your floor aren’t too busy.

A square barstool matches the visual tone of this sleek modern white kitchen
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Furniture: Modern kitchens are known for their clean lines, so pair your white cabinets with simple pieces that feature sharp lines. Squares and rectangles are optimal shapes when choosing bar stools, tables, lighting, and more.

Silver hardware is used as an accent to modern white cabinets with wood countertops
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Hardware: Continuing on the theme of strong lines and simple finishes, hardware used in modern kitchens is usually sleek and linear. Traditional circle knobs are often left behind for long, thin horizontal and vertical handles and pulls. Sometimes, if shaker kitchen cabinets are installed in a modern kitchen, hardware is not used at all.

Best Design Ideas for Traditional White Kitchens

Traditional white kitchens offer a bit more leeway from a design standpoint. Characterized by intricate details and unique embellishments, traditional kitchens allow more room for creativity. Common design elements include crown molding, wainscoting and a focus on natural materials. And don't forget the antique cabinets. In traditional kitchens, the cabinets will be the star of the show. Opt for cabinet styles with raised panels and a beautiful glaze.

Traditional Kitchen With White antique cabinets and stainless steel appliances
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Appliances: Stick with the basics for your traditional white kitchen. Choose stainless steel appliances when possible, as these will be the best complement to traditional white cabinetry.

antique white kitchen cabinets with detailed embellishments are highlighted by granite countertops, a matching white range hood and a bright white tile backsplash
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Backsplash: Although it's tempting to go for a busy backsplash, try to keep it simple when it comes to color and material. Choose white or other neutrals that will match your white cabinets. By far the most popular backsplash choice for traditional kitchens is white subway tile. If you want to add some extra flare, you can incorporate a simple yet elegant raised tile design, like the kitchen shown above.

Traditional White Kitchen Cabinets paired with granite countertops and a light grey tile backsplash
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Countertops: If you keep the backsplash simple, you can have more fun with your countertop design. Quartz and Granite make excellent additions to traditional kitchens. Try to find patterns that incorporate other colors in the space, like creamy neutrals and flecks of grey.

traditional white kitchen with dark wood floors and vintage runner rug
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Flooring: Wood is by far the most-used flooring option for traditional white kitchens. Darker stains provide a gorgeous contrast against white cabinets, while incorporating a natural feel. Ceramic tile is another great choice--the fewer grout lines, the better for a more seamless look. Toss down a vintage patterned rug to add some extra character.

Luxury Antique White Kitchen With Island and wooden chairs
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Furniture: Wood furniture with detailed embellishments or hand-crafted details add a luxurious charm to traditional white kitchens. Wooden bar stools or chairs can be found in any furniture store, but you can also check your local thrift store for pieces with more character. Ornate lighting and chandeliers can also complement the aged charm of a traditional kitchen.

White cabinets are the easiest style of kitchen cabinetry to design a room around. With these white kitchen cabinet ideas, you can create a rustic, farmhouse, or modern kitchen, just by making small tweaks in the hardware, finishes, and other decor.

Your Dream White Cabinets, For Less

Lily Ann Cabinets offers an extensive selection of white kitchen cabinets for up to 50% off box store pricing. If you need help designing your new kitchen with white cabinetry, get in touch with us for a free 3D kitchen design and rendering!