Beyond Basic White Cabinets to Something Spectacular

Beyond Basic White Cabinets to Something Spectacular

When you are cooking, it’s great to stay with the classics. They’re satisfying, and they’ll never go out of style. But sometimes your palette craves something different, fresh, exciting. An unexpected herb, a bold spice, a savvy substitution that transforms the dish. The same is true of your decor. While basic white cabinets are a safe bet, you may want to go bolder, more contemporary, warmer, brighter…. You may want to trade safe for spectacular.  

There are a world of options that help you elevate the basic white cabinet. Some inspiration as you make your dream kitchen a reality: 

Create Upscale Appeal  

For a sleek, upscale look, consider a mix of white and black with gold accents. This is a bold choice, and when done well, it is both contemporary and timeless. Many people are hesitant to go with black in their kitchens, but with white cabinets and strategic gold touches, the results are stunning. 

Try lower cabinets in black with gleaming gold hardware, plumbing, and lighting fixtures, while the upper cabinets are white. There is clean, crisp contrast between the white and black, and the gold elements add refinement and elegance.  If you have an island, either white or black can work beautifully. 

Gold can be tricky; it is important not to overdo it and to find the right gold. If every single drawer pull, handle, fixture, appliance and even the backsplash is gold, it becomes clear that it is too much of a good thing. As we mentioned, use strategically.  

Embrace Graphic Design 

When you choose white cabinets, you give yourself a great deal of opportunity to explore different colors, textures, patterns, and designs elsewhere. You already have a strong base: now to add dimension and visual interest. Try a graphic solution like: 

Geometric Tiles 

This is a great way to achieve a contemporary look and feel in your kitchen. Geometric tiles also add exceptional depth to your space. A tiled backsplash, for example, can transform an ordinary space into something extraordinary. You can even extend the tile to an entire wall (e.g., the wall where your range is) to create an eye-catching focal point. These tiles will make your white cabinets pop, while the neutral base will emphasize the beauty of the tiles. Win-win! 

You can go bold and edgy or opt for a more classic, yet still dimensional, tile. With the exceptional variety available on the market today, you can get the look you want.  

Floral Wallpaper  

The kitchen hasn’t always been a prime place for wallpaper, but that is changing thanks to advanced new options that stand up to the more humid conditions. Floral wallpaper, like the tiles we discussed above, delivers a sense of depth to your space and creates a pleasing experience for the eye. You can use it on an accent or feature wall, in the breakfast nook or corner booth, or on the spaces above your cabinets (if they do not extend to the ceiling). Because you have a neutral cabinet to anchor the room, you can be bold in your color and pattern choices. 

Covering all the walls with a floral pattern may be overwhelming; use it to add color, depth, and texture without overpowering your other design elements. You can easily tie it into the decor as a whole. For example, pull a color that runs through the wallpaper and repeat it in accessories, such as flowers, placemats, crockery, etc.  

We also love a good geometric wallpaper, used as you would floral. It’s a different feel, but that may be more to your style. In any case, the right wallpaper breathes beautiful life into your kitchen. 

Exude Warmth  

The kitchen is the heart and soul of many of our homes. Warmth isn’t just a style choice; it is symbolic of the reception guests receive when entering your space — as well as the feeling you get when you use it. White cabinets can appear stark, so it is helpful to balance that out with softer touches. One way (among many!) to bring warmth is with wood tones.  

A common question we hear: if I use wood, does it all have to be the same? No! Matching everything makes your space appear flat and uninspiring, while mixing wood tones adds interest and depth.  First, you want to find a dominant tone; this is used on your floors, base cabinets, or even center island. You also want to select a medium and, perhaps, a lighter tone for other elements such as shelving, your range hood, or  kitchen furniture. Be sure they are in the same “family,” in this case, warm tones. This creates intentional contrast.   

It’s best if each tone is repeated at least once. So, you might have an island that picks up the warm undertones in the floor and blends with the shelving. Your base cabinets may be a medium tone that is picked up by the undertones in your chairs. Lighter tones can appear in decorative touches, such as wooden bowls. This warms up the white upper cabinets. Repeat the white also: a planter, jug, pitcher, or canisters on open shelving and/or countertops is a lovely touch. 

Brighten It Up 

Simply introducing some color is an effective way to create a stand-out space. Some of our favorites: 

  • Classic Navy 
  • Deep Teal 
  • Bright Orange 
  • Country Blue
  • Charming Mint 

You could do a deep teal, for example, on your base cabinets. White countertops will provide a stunning contrast and a perfect transition to a tile backsplash that pulls some teal out for consistency. White upper cabinets complete the crisp look. There’s nothing basic about these white cabinets! 

Add Life with Accents 

Life is in the details, and so is design! When planning your ideal kitchen, do not neglect the “small” things, like: 

  • Unique hardware 
  • Eye-catching lighting 
  • Bold appliances (gold and gold is great here too!) 
  • Fixtures with flair 
  • Furnishings that complete tie it all together 

This is your opportunity to infuse your own personality and style into your kitchen. The “small” touches have a big impact on your overall results. This is also a great place to experiment and explore by introducing color, texture, depth, and visual interest, levering the clean canvas of your white cabinets. 

If you have an appetite for something different, something more adventurous, something more you, it is a prime time to introduce new design elements into your kitchen. Basic white cabinets do not have to be “safe,” ordinary, or uninspiring. They can be spectacular.  

The ACo team is here to help you take your white cabinets from ordinary to extraordinary, visit our showroom or connect to schedule a free design consultation.  


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