6 Designer-Approved Ways to Warm Up Your All-White Kitchen

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WORDS BY Gillian Grefe

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Published on November 15, 2023

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. While the look is timeless to a certain degree, adding a little warmth, texture, and color can feel much more cozy and personalized. 

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. 

Fortunately, you don’t have to undergo significant renovations to bring some color and life to a white kitchen. Ahead, Havenly interior designers share their tips for infusing a little color, warmth, and life into your all-white kitchen. 

1. Change out your backsplash

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

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. An eye-catching marble with sandy veining can make the room go from stark to cozy.

2. Bring brass into the space

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

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” Consider swapping out your island pendant lighting or installing brass knobs and cabinet pulls for subtle warmth.

3. Add natural materials

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

To make your white kitchen feel more alive, bring in organic elements like rattan lighting, exposed wood, and 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. 

4. Add a rug!

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

Warming up a white kitchen doesn’t have to mean bold color choices (although we’re not opposed to that, either!). 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, consider a patterned rug to camouflage hard-to-remove stains. 

5. Incorporate artwork

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

Hanging up a piece of art you love can make a white kitchen feel unique, transforming the anonymous white kitchen into something tailor-made. If you want to stick to 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. Just make sure to frame whatever you hang to prevent damage from steam, heat, or the unexpected food fight. 

6. Play with paint

How to warm up an all white kitchen | White kitchen ideas

When in doubt, add paint! Consider a subtle pop of color on your lower cabinetry only to keep things minimalist, but eye-catching and playful. Paired with warm wood tones, natural brass, and some styled florals, the look is personalized and refreshing.

Want expert advice on your own space, straight from an interior designer? Get started today with our style quiz.

Words by Emma Diehl