Add your color and style to monochromatic kitchen
Including color in the island and other accents can enliven a classic white kitchen.

Jennifer Leischer Design and Decor columnistThe monochromatic white farmhouse kitchen appeals to many design aficionados.

I know you’ve seen this classic look. The clean lines of the crisp edge, Shaker style cabinetry. The natural Carrara marble or manufactured wispy gray white stone countertops, with polished or honed sheens and timeless square edge details. A classic nickel and glass chandelier and timeless cabinet hardware. An apron or extra deep white cast iron sink with a gooseneck, pulldown faucet.

Whits Painting

This kitchen is down-right good looking and hard to resist when daydreaming about a kitchen remodel.

But if you like color, the monochromatic white kitchen might seem drab or sterile. Where is the punch of color or texture? What can possibly be exciting about a kitchen that has no pop?

Veronice Gomez State Farm
Veronice Gomez State Farm

Highlights bring in color

While the cabinetry may be all white, the decorative details that you choose to highlight will bring in the color and texture you desire.

Against an all-white backdrop, a contrasting range hood or island is striking and bold. These two areas are great places to add decoration and detail. Consider painting either of them in a contrasting color, which may become a consistent accent color throughout your kitchen. If you like the idea of rustic and reclaimed wood details, wrap the range hood or island with reclaimed boards or newly finished lumber. Using natural finished wood details softens the stark look of the all-white cabinets. Natural wood is also less formal than a white painted finish, creating a friendly balance of texture and colors.

East Bay Regional Parks
East Bay Regional Parks

The tiles used for the backsplash and countertops are another great place to add some drama. When it comes to tile, think about how much of it will be on display and what you expect of your tile. A quiet and subtle backdrop that relies on sheen or natural stone attributes can make a statement. Or a bold, geometric painted design and interlocking shapes demands to be seen and appreciated, perhaps becoming the focal point. Think of the countertops in this same way. With so much square feet on display, countertops are an opportunity for more white, or slabs that have bold natural veining, texture and color.

Layering lighting

Lighting is an important element to any kitchen. Consider layering lighting, with undercabinet lighting to illuminate your countertops for tasks or as ambient lighting. Place recessed cans above appliances, pantries or other significant storage cabinetry.

Burkin Electric

Don’t forget decorative, ambient lighting over the island on centered in the kitchen. This is your opportunity to add sparkle. Perhaps a classic antique or polished nickel lantern, an oil-rubbed bronze metal drum shade, or a crystal or glass bauble chandelier. However you interpret sparkle, this is your opportunity to add some to your kitchen.

The monochromatic white kitchen is a classic design that has been around for quite some time, with no immediate end in sight. These kitchens are easy to love because from a design perspective, they are a somewhat simple idea.

Ouimet Funeral Chapel

But really, the monochromatic kitchen can be as elaborate as you’d like. Contrasting details, colors and textures can make your kitchen unique and full of color.

Jennifer Leischer is the owner of J. Designs Interior Design based in Clayton. Contact her with questions, comments and suggestions at [email protected].