photos by Dave Pluimer Photography

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 always a safe classic, you may want to go bolder, more contemporary, warmer, brighter…. You may want to trade safe for spectacular.

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


White cabinets can appear stark, so it is helpful to balance that out with softer touches. Bring warmth with mixed wood tones that add 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.


When you choose white cabinets, you give yourself a great deal of opportunity to explore different colors, textures, patterns, and designs elsewhere. Try a graphic solution like:


This is a great way to achieve a contemporary look and feel in your kitchen. Geometric tiles also add exceptional depth to your space. 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.


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. Because you have a neutral cabinet to anchor the room, you can be bold in your color and pattern choices.


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

For example, you could do a deep teal 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!


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 (bright colors or gold is great here too!)

✦ Fixtures with flair

✦ Furnishings that tie it all together

This is your opportunity to infuse your own personality and style into your kitchen. Experiment and explore by introducing color, texture, depth, and visual interest, levering the clean canvas of your white cabinets.


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.

Basic white cabinets do not have to be “safe” or uninspiring. They can be spectacular. The ACo team is here to help you take your white cabinets from ordinary to extraordinary, connect online at to schedule a complimentary design consultation.