You’ve heard it so many times. Use plenty of texture. Warm it up with natural materials. Add a pop of color. White kitchens are still as hot as ever, but there’s always a chance they can feel too cold. How do cozy white kitchens not feel too cold? Let’s explore.
How Cozy White Kitchens Achieve Balance
Layers of Natural Textures
If the kitchen is blessed with natural hardwood flooring, what a help this is! But other flooring materials can also help including wood-look LVP or warm toned tile.
Finding Lovely‘s romantic kitchen above reflects the magic that happens when warm and cool tones harmonize.
Muted grey cabinetry and bright white Neolith counters are warmed by woven material, wood and rustic objects and accessories.
Even patina from aged pots or bread boards can supply both rusticity and warmth.
In fact, even the texture of aged painted wood seems to warm things up and prevent chill factor.
Avoidance of Matching Whites
While I didn’t learn this from Leanne Ford since I had been doing it for years, here’s an important aspect of cozy whites: mix various values of white together.
You would be surprised how many folks don’t understand that this works. And it’s a subtle art that is extremely difficult to convey with photography.
You would be surprised how many followers will leave a negative comment on my social media feeds when they see what they consider “an all white kitchen.” Their initial impression is just an expanse of one color when in fact the space may have a whole range of neutrals mixed beautifully.
One of the reasons white decor seems so difficult for online viewers to grasp is that in person, the interior mood may feel completely balanced with subtleties and varying sheens working magic.
The backsplash above is a perfect example of how a collection of vintage stoneware and handmade tile in varying shades of cream work swimmingly for calm personality and interest.
Here’s a pretty warm white tile:
Wood Counters & Butcherblock Work Tables
While I haven’t lived with wood counters, I have lived with butcherblock and a mix of natural woods with white.
It probably doesn’t get more country white kitchen than white subway tile backsplash, butcherblock counters, and white farm sink:
If you followed the journey of Brooke and Steven Giannetti when they built Patina Farm, I wonder if you were surprised when they opted for white oak on their island. Remember the stone inset for the sink area?
The stone area provided just enough space for tasks less friendly to wood.
Sometimes the wood can provide high contrast to light colors in a kitchen:
Color on Island Base
Even low contrast with white on a kitchen island can provide interest, warmth, and cozy factor.
The kitchen island above is painted BM Pashmina, and more light grey possibilities are HERE.
This bright white kitchen is cool and chic but not cold once plants, food, and decor move in.
Black paint colors with warm brown undertones is another possibility when you are avoiding cool blue undertones.
Did you read the story about a reader of Hello Lovely who was inspired to create a kitchen like Tina’s (The Enchanted Home) when he built a home? Find it HERE.
You could also introduce black or brown-black on the windows:
Choose a Warm Cabinet Paint
So many possibilities! You can always think beyond wildly popular creamy whites such as Benjamin Moore White Dove and Sherwin-Williams Alabaster) for cabinets. But which color? I write about white paint here.
Back in 2021, I discovered a convenient way to try and buy paint…
CLARE paint can be ordered online, and here’s a putty-like light beige with warm undertones I chose for two baths here at the Georgian called No Filter:
Bear in mind that in most cases you won’t even find “beige” in the paint color name:
Patterns from Backsplash, Floor & Fabric
Patterns, geometry, prints, and texture help a white kitchen live large. Remember Lily Aldridge’s kitchen?
I’m sure you have noticed how common it is for homeowners to opt for pattern on kitchen floors these days. This tile below is the same one we chose for our son’s condo – see that project here.
Coppery tones are always a smart choice when you’re searching for warmth and cozy:
Metals, Living Finishes & Antiqued Metals
Even if a fancy French range and custom range hood with metal trims isn’t in the budget, hardware for cabinetry probably is. It could also be as simple as cozying a corner on the counter with vintage brass candlesticks. Not that any of us will be renovating our kitchen to be this…
but isn’t it a fun fantasy to take in?
History & Antiques Exude Soulful Warmth
Mixing vintage and antiques with new works for a good reason.
There’s a sweet tension created.
And feelings of nostalgia and wonder and even romance.
Boarded Walls, Shiplap & Brick
Whether it’s shiplap on the walls, beadboard on a backsplash, or wood planks on a ceiling, warmth from texture is a smart way to turn up the welcoming relaxed cozy factor while dialing down the “precious.”
I mean if there’s an opportunity to add brick you can always do the barreled ceiling thing…
Oh my goodness, AI fantasies are gonna make us crazy for awhile!
Folksy, Quaint, Charming Style
While modern sleek kitchens with can at times feel timeless, a folky one with vintage touches and simplistic storage yields a home-y warmth that is hard to beat!
Doesn’t it just invite you to slow down and breathe deep?
Upholstered & Traditional Counter Stools
If your white kitchen design will include a breakfast bar or island, think about cozy counter stools for color, texture, and form.
Upholstery for stools is another opportunity to add softness and comfy cozy texture.
Layering with fabric and upholstery is a wonderful way to help a kitchen feel less utilitarian and more like a welcoming living area.
Notice how the folds of this Roman shade soften and warm a sink area with the sweetest gingham skirt!
Bonus Inspiration from Rose Uniacke in London
I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.
Peace to you right where you are.
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