Ways to Warm Up Your All-White Kitchen

Time Several Hours

Budget $ $$$

Skill Level

WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on April 16, 2021

Nothing says timeless and tidy like an all-white kitchen. But, is there such a thing as too much white?

For some, a stark white kitchen feels sterile, cold, or impersonal. But, you don’t have to undergo significant renovations to bring some color to the space. 

Instead, try these simple swaps, projects, and tips to infuse a little color into your winter white kitchen.

Change Out Your Backsplash

White subway tiles, again? “Stark whites and greys have served their time,” says Melissa Wagner, Creative & Design at Havenly. If you want to add some color to your cooking space, changing your backsplash tiling could be the perfect place to start.  

Your backsplash might be white and grey subway tile or the popular Carrara marble, but to transform the room’s feel, try a ceramic tile or stone slab with a sandy hue. Opting for a warmer tone can make the room go from stark to cozy. 

Pro tips: 

  • When you install your new, warmer tile, match the grout to the tile color for a seamless finish.
  • Can’t go through the demo and installation of new tile? Paint your existing tile for a quick change instead! 

Bring Brass into the Space

A lot of picture-perfect all-white kitchens come paired with silvery metals. From stainless steel appliances to chrome or nickel hardware; these metal finishes can make the kitchen feel cold.  

“An easy way to warm up your all-white kitchen is to integrate an aged brass finish into the space,” Melissa says. “And if you’re ok with something high-maintenance, try an unlacquered brass that will change with time and use” 

Other affordable and quick ways to incorporate brass accents in your kitchen could be a simple swap on your island pendant lighting. Or try Installing brass knobs and cabinet pulls for a switch on finishes.      

Bring the Outside In

Make your white kitchen feel more alive, bring in organic life, wood decor, and other natural elements to warm up the room. Think organically shaped vases with fresh-cut flowers or greenery.   

“From a wood riser for your salt cellar and pepper grinder to your grandmother’s wooden bowls for limes or bulbs of garlic, adding in these organic pieces will soften the edge of an all-white kitchen,” says Melissa. 

Incorporate nature with a few artfully potted plants, or start a full-blown window sill garden to grow fresh herbs. Adding lush greenery and other natural elements will make the all-white space feel more organic. 

Add a Rug!

Warming up a white kitchen doesn’t have to mean bold color choices. Adding a subtly patterned or textured rug to your pristine white kitchen can be an exciting way to add depth and visual interest to the room.

Since the space will see a fair amount of foot traffic and the occasional spill or two, try a natural fiber runner that wears and washes well. Haldin’s jute rugs are easy to maintain or choose sisal for a warm, natural vibe. 

Incorporate Artwork

Adding some art to your kitchen gives an opportunity to show off personality, transforming the anonymous white kitchen into something tailor-made. The possibilities are only as limited as your imagination. 

If you want to keep up with the natural theme, try abstract art of flora and fauna. Go for a quirkier, pop-art feel with a poster of your favorite city or National Park. Or keep a theme going across the room with a series of small, similarly themed hangings. 

Hanging up a piece of art you love can make a white kitchen feel unique. Just make sure to frame whatever you hang to prevent damage from steam, heat, or the unexpected food fight. 

Brighten up the Breakfast Bar

Instead of steel or metal stools, add a pop of color to your counter with an upholstered seat. A set of blue velvet bar stools can make your standard bar space feel like a chic happy hour spot. If you’re searching for something casual, a natural ratan stool can bring organic ease to an all-white space.   

Just because you start with an all-white kitchen doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way. Add some personal touches, a few simple swaps, and your formerly stark kitchen will feel a lot warmer than before. 

Not sure where you start in your home design? Check out Havenly’s style quiz

Words by Emma Diehl