Consider how lighting both natural and artificial might change the color of your cabinets. London home by decorator...

Why White Kitchen Cabinets are a Classic Choice


And fully custom white kitchen cabinets will cost well over $1,000 per linear foot. Yes, kitchen builds or remodels are pricey, but it really is the most-used room in the home. It’s also worth keeping in mind that white cabinets can help with the sale of a home if you choose to move later, as they not only look great of their own volition but also allow prospective buyers to visualize potential changes to the kitchen in a way that more unique cabinets may not.

Are there any drawbacks to white kitchen cabinets?

No single element of your home is likely to be perfect; sadly, that’s just not how life works. So, though white kitchen cabinets have a lot of great stuff going for them, we do need to acknowledge a few of the drawbacks to white cabinetry.

The first con to white cabinets? The wear and tear. Whereas wooden cabinets—which is to say cabinets finished to look like wood with grain and all—can absorb and conceal minor dents and scratches, damage stands out on white cabinets like the proverbial sore thumb.

The second issue is a similar one: They show the dirt, stains, oils, fingerprints, and all. White cabinets are notorious for looking dirty if they are not regularly and carefully cleaned.

Thirdly, we mentioned previously how white cabinets can let other aspects of your kitchen shine, but if your space doesn’t have a lot of unique design elements going on, then white cabinets can be a missed opportunity to spice up an already overly neutral or even drab interior.

And finally, white cabinets can be tricky when it comes to lighting. Pale whites reflect light
around them and can make the space too bright, while many shades of white can take on a different and unintended color depending on the lighting they reflect, be it from the afternoon sun, the high hats, a chandelier, and so forth.

Consider how lighting, both natural and artificial, might change the color of your cabinets. London home by decorator Hubert Zandberg and architectural designer Jan Swanepoel

Photo: Simon Upton

We could add that some people think white cabinets are cold and sterile, but we hope we’ve dispelled that notion by now, given how many colors of white there are, how white kitchen cabinets invite all sorts of hardware, and how they work in concert with the rest of the space so very well.


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