White kitchens are still very trendy in St. Louis kitchen design. However, not all white is the same kind of white – meaning that everything white has a slightly different hue and shade.
When you’re mixing, matching, and contrasting in a white kitchen, If you’re not careful, it’s easy to make things look muddy and dull, which defeats the purpose of choosing white in the first place.
Now, not everybody has a completely white kitchen, but even if you just have white cabinets, the same principles apply. To ensure a lovely result, choose your white shades wisely. You can have white on white or cream on cream, but when you start mixing the two, one will end up looking dirty or yellow.
If your cabinets were a slightly brighter white, or if the backsplash and the countertop were creamier rather than a true bright white, you wouldn’t even notice. You would think everything was just white.
Countertop Options Against White Cabinets
If you’re going for a different color on your countertops, choose anything but brown. Just about anything can go on white, other than brown. Ultimately, there are a lot of ways you can go. Darker countertops provide a nice contrast and a lot of drama, and there are plenty of colors, materials, and textural options to choose from.
An exception might be if there was brown veining in the countertop that matched another element in the room, like brown drawer pulls, for example.
A lot of our clients still love the marble looks, and there are so many different ones to choose from these days. White cabinets match beautifully with a white marbled countertop that has more veining in it because it breaks up how white the countertop is. It will look better because it will add some texture to the solid white of the countertop.
Black or Dark-Colored Countertops
If you know you want a dark countertop but are afraid of it being too dark, you can very easily do a dark gray or a black and do the white cabinets. We would advise against having just the black countertops, though, because it would look like you’ve got a random black stripe going through your kitchen.
For instance, you could have the white cabinets and a black countertop, and if your backsplash, your flooring, and your island are also black and white, it will tie it all together. Other ways you could go would be to add some accents, like a black lampshade, a fixture that has some black in it, small things that are scattered throughout the room to help it all make sense.
Wood countertops with white cabinets are really lovely, giving it kind of a butcher block look and feel. However, it’s probably not something you would want with a wood flooring because it would look too matchy, too cottagey.
Usually, if a client wants to do a butcher block or wood everywhere, we would just do the island, so they wouldn’t have to worry about the sink and potential water damage, because wood is porous. A wooden countertop would usually be more like a prep space, somewhere you can chop, prep, and then wipe it down, but not have to be worried about it getting damaged from the sink.
From a practical standpoint, wood countertops are limited. But looks-wise, it is very pretty, and it’s an easy way to warm up your white cabinetry.
Speaking of warming trends, with the white on gray design styles that are popular now, looking too cold or sterile is a valid concern. If you can bring in a natural element, either with wood flooring, a butcher block, or wood shelving, it does wonders to warm it up. Again, you’re not introducing any crazy colors or anything too busy; it’s just a contrasting design element that is both practical and, from a design standpoint, highly desirable.
Rounding Up The Countertop Debate
In conclusion, here’s what we’ve learned about choosing countertops to go with your white cabinets:
Darker countertops create a striking contrast but beware of going too dark, especially if everything else in the room, including the cabinets, is white.
Avoid brown countertops with white cabinetry, unless it’s just brown veining within a lighter color.
Wood countertops should be used sparingly; as a butcher block or an island, it’s a great choice, but if you have wood floors, you should avoid them altogether. Also, wood is not the most practical choice in the kitchen, but in small doses, it will warm up the room.
And finally, if you are set on white countertops, opt for a marbled look with lots of darker veins.
Brittany received her interior design degree in 2010 and recently earned her kitchen and bathroom certifications. She sees her job as much more than just picking out pretty colors and materials – it also involves exact measurements, plenty of planning, and determining how to have a space accurately reflect the lifestyle of its occupants.