Lots of people love an all-white kitchen, and with good reason. It's simultaneously classic and modern-looking, sleek, crisp and oh so eye-catching. All-white kitchens look bigger and brighter and appeal to a wide variety of buyers when the time comes to sell your home. But before you make the decision to banish colour and go all-white, here are five things that deserve your honest consideration.
How much cooking do you actually do, and is your kitchen a family hub?
Sure, the kitchen is mainly for cooking, but cooking for you might mean whipping up an occasional dinner and going with take-out for the rest of the week, or it might mean rolling up your sleeves three times a day and covering the benchtops and range with pots and pans, bowls and a plethora of ingredients. If you fall into the latter category, your all-white kitchen could become a cleaning nightmare. White benchtops can become stained, and white surfaces show every crumb and spot. To look really good, a white kitchen has to be clean and clutter-free. If you're a serious cook, how much time are you willing to commit to cleaning smudges, fingerprints, and spatters?
Similarly, if your kitchen is the room that everybody ends up in at once to rehash the day, do their homework, and play games, you'll have to take the mess they can make into consideration as well.
Are you willing to spend more money for high-quality surfaces?
To make a white kitchen work, you've got to invest in high-quality surfaces. If you don't, it can start to look dated in just a few years, which is not at all what you had in mind! High-gloss cabinets can be more expensive, but they're much easier to wipe down and keep pristine-looking than those with a standard (semi-gloss) finish. In fact, you should carefully consider the "clean-ability" of any white surface that goes into your new all-white kitchen. (Do you really want to be scrubbing white grout lines with a toothbrush?)
How sunny is your kitchen?
Sunlight can turn white into yellow over time, and not in a good way! Take the time to assess how much direct sunlight your kitchen surfaces will be exposed to, and decide if you can mitigate it with shades or blinds.
Is an all-white kitchen a dream you've always had, or just a trendy idea that you happen to like?
If the kitchen of your dreams has always been a pristine all-white one and you're prepared to spend more time cleaning surfaces to keep it looking that way, then by all means go for it. But if it's something you've only recently been drawn to, you owe it to yourself to give the realities of an all-white kitchen some serious thought and be brutally honest about the likelihood that you'll want to live with such a high-maintenance look for the long run.
Can you live without colour for the long-term?
All-white can have a tendency to look sterile and cold without some elements -- like a wood floor, a little texture or some shots of colour -- to slightly warm it up. For example, an all-white kitchen can look one way on a hot summer day, and totally different on a grey winter’s day, when you might be craving a little colour to offset a bleak outdoor landscape. Decide if all-white is a must, or if mostly white will work better for you, aesthetically-speaking.
It's easy to keep an all-white kitchen from looking cold by adding stainless steel appliances, some wood surfaces (a floor or an island top), a few colourful accents, or some green plants. Texture always helps with any monochromatic colour scheme, including all-white, and can be added with things like woven window treatments, or a beautifully grained wooden island top. Using these elements judiciously will keep your kitchen from looking flat or boring.
All-white kitchens can be stunning, as long as you're aware of the challenges in having, and maintaining one. After careful consideration of the realities involved, if you're still ready to charge ahead, then go for it! After all, it's easier to spend some extra time, money and energy on something that you really want!