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What colors go well with a white kitchen?

A white kitchen can be a gorgeous, timeless choice that brightens up the space and makes it feel clean and airy. However, an all-white kitchen can also come across as bland or sterile if not balanced properly. The key is choosing accent colors that complement the white rather than clash with it. Warm, inviting paint colors and materials will bring life into the space and prevent your white kitchen from feeling cold.

Go for Soft, Neutral Tones

When deciding which colors pair best with a white kitchen, stick to soft, neutral tones that will enhance rather than compete with the white. Cool-toned grays, beiges, and browns are safe yet sophisticated options. Try using these hues on wall paint, flooring, backsplashes, and countertops for a cohesive look.

Specifically, some great color options include:

  • Light gray
  • Warm greige (a mix of gray and beige)
  • Cream
  • Oatmeal or tan
  • Mushroom or taupe
  • Light brown

These colors have enough pigment to add subtle contrast against the white but not so much that they visually dominate. They lend just enough nuance while allowing the clean white to shine.

Consider Layering Woods

For a natural, organic look, layer white with varying wood tones. The richness of wood adds warmth and texture against the crisp white backdrop. Try installing wooden floors, choosing wood cabinetry or furniture, and incorporating wood accents like open shelving and cutting boards.

Some great wood shades to pair with white include:

  • Golden oak
  • Espresso
  • Walnut
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Driftwood

Just be sure to anchor the woods with plenty of white on cabinets, walls, and countertops so the space doesn’t become too dark or busy.

Add Pops of Color

While you want to stick mostly to quiet neutrals, adding some bright pops of color can really make a white kitchen come alive. Vibrant colors introduce energy and whimsy. Just use them sparingly in accent pieces like bar stools, dishware, appliances, and art.

Some great bold colors to liven up a white kitchen include:

  • Navy blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Emerald green
  • Sage green
  • Canary yellow
  • Sunny orange
  • Cherry red

If you want to echo these bright pops in a more subtle way, try them in pastel versions like sky blue, mint green, or peach for an equally cheery look with less contrast against the white.

Incorporate Natural Materials

Natural materials like stone, marble, and travertine can provide an organically elegant complement to white. Their veining and coloring lend nuance while still remaining neutral. Try using natural stone on the floors, backsplash, or countertops.

Some great options include:

  • Marble
  • Travertine
  • Limestone
  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Sandstone

Mosaics made from these materials can also infuse white kitchens with subtle pattern and visual interest.

Don’t Forget Black and Metallic Accents

For a more modern, high-contrast look, punctuate all that white with sleek black or metallic finishes. Try using black window frames, hardware, lighting fixtures, barstools, or appliances to dramatically stand out against the white.

Metallic accents like brass, copper, or chrome offer a glamorous, reflective quality that bounces light around an all-white space. Consider satin nickel or oil-rubbed bronze faucets and handles, pendant lights, or mixing in some metallic finishes on bar stools, appliances, and hardware.

When using black or metallic shades, apply them sparingly so they remain accent colors against the predominant white. A little goes a long way in making a dramatic statement.

Soften with Textiles

Don’t forget about soft textures like fabric, cushions, and rugs to provide visual warmth and comfort. Layer in textiles like:

  • Throws, pillows, and cushions in warm neutrals and soft patterns
  • Natural fiber rugs like jute, wool, or cotton
  • Sheer curtains to diffuse light
  • Tea towels and appliance covers to introduce colorful prints

These textiles prevent a white kitchen from feeling too sterile and add inviting visual softness.

Create Cohesion with Color Scheme

When combining colors with your white kitchen, stick to a cohesive color scheme so the look remains balanced and harmonious. Some examples:

Soft Neutrals Palette

  • White cabinets, walls, countertops
  • Light oak wood flooring
  • Warm greige paint color on accent wall
  • Chocolate brown leather bar stools
  • Cream fabric curtains
  • Golden brass hardware and fixtures

Navy, Wood & Brass Scheme

  • White perimeter cabinets & island
  • Dark brown wood countertops
  • Navy blue mosaic backsplash
  • Brass hardware and lighting
  • Walnut wood open shelving

Black, White & Metallic Scheme

  • White shaker-style cabinets
  • White herringbone backsplash
  • Black soapstone countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Oil-rubbed bronze faucet
  • Glossy black pendant lights

Mix and match your favorite hues and materials while keeping everything in the same tonal family for a pulled-together look.


White kitchens have a light, airy elegance but need the right accent colors to keep them from feeling sterile. Sticking to soft neutrals, natural woods, and touches of bold color or black and metallic creates a warmer, more inviting vibe. Layer in plenty of tactile textures as well for a finished, welcoming space. With the right complementary color scheme, a white kitchen can feel fresh, lively, and uniquely you.

Color Where to Use
Light grays Walls, cabinets, flooring
Tans and browns Flooring, stools, decor
Wood tones Floors, cabinets, shelves
Pops of color Decor, stools, dishes
Natural stone Backsplash, countertops, floors
Black Hardware, fixtures, accents
Metallic Fixtures, hardware, stools
Textiles Rugs, curtains, pillows