Kitchen Color Poll: White or Blue?

The great thing about personal home style is that there are few wrong answers. A good design debate can live on forever in our own brains, conversations with friends and here on this blog. It never has to end. So today I’ve decided to muse on kitchens in two very controversial colors: white and blue. 

blue and white kitchen
Photo (left) courtesy of Stuart Cohen and Julie Hacker; photo (right) courtesy of Tineke Triggs


Do you prefer white?

Going all white makes a kitchen look bigger, brighter and cleaner. The fresh, spotless look of white is also its biggest challenge, because it shows everything. Marbling in a light gray can go a long way toward hiding a smudge or two. But for the most part, white will look as tidy as you keep it. 

Photo courtesy of Anisa Darnell

You might worry that an all-white kitchen would look too sterile for your tastes. Sure, it’s great to go monochromatic in modern design, but what if you love a cozy kitchen? Don’t write off white too fast. Your kitchen can achieve a welcoming, rustic feel without using color. Accent the basics in a white kitchen with pops of color via artwork, dish towels, appliances or dishware. A white kitchen, in good shape, is smart for resale.

Photo courtesy of Alia Meyer

Or is blue for you?

Multiple studies have shown that blue is the most popular color in the world. So why not use it in the kitchen and call it a day?  Studies show that it’s the least appetizing color, which suggests it might not be the most logical choice, unless you’re prone to overindulging. For me, it all depends on the tone and how the color is used. A bold blue kitchen would be a great option for fun-loving homeowners who want a vibrant, energized space to entertain. But if you like to unwind with a cup of tea at night, you may prefer to cozy up elsewhere.

blue and white kitchen

Design by Kerri Kanter

 That doesn’t mean blue isn’t capable of creating a serene space. More muted shades, like grayish blues, seafoam shades and robin’s egg, are kitchen colors that make many people feel right at home.

Comments (19)

  1. Bonnie says:

    I just installed beautiful gray cabinets at my beach house! Neutral, but still a color! Makes me happy!

  2. Jessica says:

    I am divided as well as to whether I like the all white or color. I think warm colors is more inviting.

  3. Regina says:

    White kitchens have always been my preference….however, love your suggestion for adding grey hues for counter tops. Thanks for the fresh approach. This will really help. We are about to begin remodeling our kitchen:)

    • Laurie_March says:

      I hope you find some fun and interesting info here all over the site for your remodel! Let me know if we can help.

      Thanks for commenting!

  4. Mel says:

    Laurie I love the white kitchens best! I guess at some point in my life I was heavily influenced by Martha Stewart, and have always loved a portion of open shelving displaying white dishes. Her TV kitchens always looked so fresh, crisp and perfect for cooking. The second pic down is real kitchen beauty to me, again I blame Martha for my favorite kitchen style being white :)

    • Laurie_March says:

      Mel –

      I blame Martha for several of my design addictions too! Open shelving is a huge trend that is here to stay – although everyone has to incorporate it in ways that work for them. She has a line at Home Depot now that has corian countertops and cabinetry in some of her signature colors. I love the countertops.

      • Peppy Greenberg says:

        Laurie, I always worry about things getting dusty on open shelving in a kitchen, especially with steam and grease in the air. Is it practical, or do you have to wash things more frequently than you would behind closed doors? They say to only put things you frequently use on open shelving, but I'd like to display my favorite decorative teapots, sugars and creamers, etc. What do you think?

        • Laurie_March says:

          Some homes are more prone to dust than others, but you bring up a really good point.

          Yes, I'm sure there is more dusting, wiping down of dishware with open shelving. But for me, since I'm generally obsessed with glassware and vintage dishes, the beauty of my favorite things on display is so worth it for me! Even if I have to rinse out a juice pitcher before I use it.

          I say put up the teapots!

  5. jan says:

    We have a kitchen in a rental house that needs to be remodeled. Original cabinets from 1954 with original appliances that don't work. New cabinets are a must since appliances need to be replaced. Our daughter and 3 friends will live in the house for 3 years while they attend college, then we will probably sell the house. Small galley style kitchen. I'm having a hard time deciding between white and traditional wood. One realtor says "white" next one says "wood". Kitchen designers are the same way. I think white would make it look bigger, but the "keeping it clean" with college kids has me worried. What is your opinion?

    • Laurie_March says:

      Jan –

      Personally I'd lean toward white. One of the benefits/issues with white, though, is that it shows all dirt. As to holding up to three college students?? Well, I've known some very tidy college students. And I've known some that never cleaned in three years!

      Have you considered wood on the bottom and painted white cabinetry on the top? The white could help enlarge a smaller galley kitchen visually, while the medium wood tone on the bottom could hide most of the dirt.

      Or – perhaps the girls could all leave a security deposit that would cover a deep cleaning and/or paint job? Daughters and friends can sign a rental agreement that covers proper treatment of your investment – what a great step toward them learning how they'll want to treat their own property one day!

  6. T.Lloyd says:

    The white is a better design for the kitchen.

  7. tawny says:

    The white is nice, but to much white. What about kids? It wouldn't be white long.

  8. Deborah says:

    I helped my son remodel his very old kitchen (linoleum!) in his first house on a VERY limited budget. Did some minor reconfiguring, but basically just painted old, good-condition (and surprising ceiling-height) cabinets white, added marble-look laminate counters, except for satin-finish stainless (fabricated by a friend) on the island (configured from cabinets from a neighbor who was re-doing his kitchen). We also took the neighbor's old wood floors, and re-stained them dark, and painted walls light grey. The big splurge was a glass-tile backsplash in shades of grey. Stainless appliances were purchased from a local appliance store's bump and bruise room. We finished up with new hardware, lights, dark wood blinds and a couple bar stools. Doesn't exactly look like a million-dollar kitchen – like the first one above – but not bad for $2500!

  9. Eileen says:

    What I love best is a white and blue kitchen. I have white cabinets and a white floor with a glass tile backsplash in three different shades of blue. The countertops are a light blue Corian and the walls are painted pale blue. There is a hexagonal glassed-in cabinet at the end of a row of upper cabinets in which I keep my collection of cobalt and clear glassware. The door pulls are blue ceramic, the same ones recently pictured in a kitchen in HGTV Magazine. In the summer I have white sheer panels with a navy blue sea shell print on the windows. In the winter I switch to lined navy blue and white tiers and valances for a warmer look. In my mind there never needs to be a choice between blue or white. Blue and white is definitely the way to go. Interestingly, when I looked up blue and white kitchen in the Search feature on the HGTV website, there were relatively few examples!

  10. Connie says:

    My kitchen is white and has been for the last 15 years and I still love it. I put corian countertops in then and they still look great but I should have put in a more neutral color on them. I have been thinking about getting granite since that is all you see but I am glad to hear you mention corian again.

    P.S. Would love to know where to find the bar stools pictured on the top right (photo courtesy of Tineke Triggs.

  11. Barbara says:

    Blue is too cold.

  12. scooterblue says:

    I'm in process of remodeling a kitchen. I'm using white cabinets with brushed nickle knobs and pulls. They both have black centers. This is to tie in with the black granite counters. The appliances are black. I'm considering using corrugated tin as the wall treatment above the back splash. I'm not sure of the color for the walls yet. Possibly white, pale blue, or gray bead board. Any suggestions?

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