The all-white kitchen – cabinets, back splash, counters – set the style for the first decade of the 21st century. It’s the “manor house” look modernized and marketed by English kitchen designer Christopher Peacock [above], which draws directly from English kitchens of 100 years earlier. Usually described as “classic,” “timeless,” or “elegant,” it crawled from Carrara marble counters and white subway tile, to Calacatta d’oro marble counters and matching back splashes, but not much further in 10 years.
It’s lovely, well defined, neutral and easy to replicate but like anything repeated over and over again, it feels worn out. That’s why I believe the decade-long all-white kitchen trend is over. Going forward some new non-neutral element — bold pops of color look freshest — or something to move white into the background — is needed. Here’s what looks newer to me.
Bold Appliances – Our pal Celeste D’s claret-red Aga 6-4 range and color-matched Modernaire hood is one of the freshest updates of the white kitchen theme we’ve seen. Her white cabinets and the calacatta d’oro mosaic backsplash are present — but not the point.
Color-block Cabinets – Sixties orange has been a popular hue for furniture and accessories so it’s no surprise to find it — with a jolt of yellow — in the kitchen. These Aster Cucine cabinets are matte lacquer, combined with white blizzard Caesarstone and a laminate (old is new again) backsplash to match. Appliances are by Miele.
Countertop Bling – White Dynasty cabinets and Caesar Stone counters on the perimeter definitely take a back seat to the glitter of the ocean-colored water glass island counter stabilized by a stainless steel underlay. Glass counters have a definite beachy look.
Pow! Backsplash – Brightly colored glazed tile — even in the confined space of a back splash — can make a dramatic statement as this kitchen by Suzanne Kasler clearly shows. Tying the ‘splash into the island via matching bar-stool cushions heightens the impact.
Color Inside Upper Cabinets – It’s minimal but adding color inside upper cabinets still provides a welcome twist as this kitchen by Gil Schafer and Eve Ashcroft demonstrates.