The Key to Designing a White Kitchen? This Designer Shares Her Tips

Photography by Mac Jamieson

Text by Hannah Jones

When Annie and Coleman Krepps were redesigning the kitchen in their historic home in charming Homewood, Alabama, Annie knew one thing for sure: she wanted a white kitchen. Inspired by the clean lines and bright atmosphere, she thought white was the perfect way to make the open-concept kitchen and living room feel airy and light. Designer Sarah Moore had concerns, though. “I love a good white kitchen,” Sarah says. “But if everything is white, it’s going to feel too sterile.”

Photography by Mac Jamieson

To combat this, they originally planned to do a painted blue-gray island, but the more Annie mulled over the idea, the more hesitant she became. “Color can be added with fabrics and furnishings, and accessories can be changed easily,” she says. “A kitchen renovation is an investment, so we really wanted a kitchen that we wouldn’t tire of and that also would be appealing to others down the road.”

Going back to the drawing board, Sarah suggested that they paint the kitchen walls a slightly warmer shade, which ended up being the perfect idea. While the cabinets and the walls in the living room and hallway are Benjamin Moore Dove White, the walls in the kitchen are Benjamin Moore Ashwood. “This is what I have in my own kitchen, and it’s a very soft, pale, warm neutral,” Sarah says. “This little bit of an accent color between the cabinetry and the trim warms up the kitchen and offsets the cabinets so they pop against the wall.”

Though Annie was still hesitant, she agreed, and the decision paid off. With a hint of much-needed warmth in the winter, the two windows and walls still leave the space light and bright, and Annie got the all-white kitchen she wanted. From there, it was all about adding the cozy touches. An Oushak runner brings the entire space together while gold lanterns above the island keep clean sight lines but with a pop of chic color.

Photography by Mac Jamieson

In the dining room, Annie wanted to be a little more adventurous with her palette and chose to use a pastel green hue. The space actually doubles as the entry of their home, so it was necessary to give it a welcoming warmth to greet family and friends. “I thought that this room would be a prime candidate for a little bit of color and personality,” Sarah recalls. “It’s not too bold or too loud, but it definitely sets that room off and greets you when you walk in the front door.” The light hue also brightened up the dark wood antique furnishings in the room, leaving a bright and welcoming yet still sophisticated space, which, like the rest of their home, is exactly what Annie and Coleman wanted. 

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