All white kitchen- new classic of fad?

marvelousmarvinAugust 10, 2013

After that Diane Keaton movie, it seemed like it spawned this trend of white kitchens with white shaker cabinets, white subway tiles, dark soapstone/granite countertops, stainless appliances, dark wood floors, etc..

In a era where advertisers try to generate new trends every couple of years, that kitchen style stayed popular for a long time and remains relevant today. Some might even call it a new classic, where that look may remain still popular years later.

But, in the last couple of years, I've been seeing more and more kitchens with white cabinets, light colored countertop like carerra marble or quarzite, white subway tiles, stainless steel appliances, and dark wood floors.

If the Diane Keaton kitchen is a design classic where it'll still be popular years from now, what do you think will be the fate for this white kitchen with carrera marble countertop look?

With all that white, will that look be dated in a few years?

Or, since white is classic and neutral, do you think that white kitchen style will become a new classic?

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I mistyped the subject heading- I wanted it to say All white kitchen- new classic or fad?

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 1:56AM
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The all white kitchen is neither new nor a fad.

The Neo-English Kitchen or One True Kitchen as coined by the detractors not the fans of the look will IMO ebb and flow. Because it became extremely popular in the Hamptons and for users of GW Kitchen Forum does not mean it was replicated to any significant degree out there in fly over country or real America(depending on your POV.)

There are a certain number of people who love the look. Some bought others hope to have the funds in few years to buy one. So people years from now will still be buying them. There will be updates making them more modern others will chose to go more retro or authentic to distinguish them from the 00's kitchens.

Almost every kitchen reflects the time period in which it as built. Very few kitchens can you post a picture of and people can't tell the decade it was made. It usually contains a lot of custom made pieces. Most of these "unique" kitchens are laughingly bad. To go completely against convention, make your own design statement and have it stand the test of time is a rare accomplishment. Kudos to those that achieve it.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 5:03AM
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I think it you look, you can find pictures of all white, or nearly-all white kitchens from every decade of the 20th century, at least after WWI. Some of them are obviously of a particular period, some of them it's harder to tell except for the appliances.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 6:57AM
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I'm seeing all white kitchens in high end homes in my area now. I suspect all white in and of itself won't be a fad, but over time details of the kitchen will probably date them to a specific era, just like most kitchens.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 9:48AM
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I agree with all of the above. This discussion come up on occasion. In ten years, your reno will look dated.
But, I wonder too, my white kitchen reno with subway tile backsplash will be five years old this coming winter. I still see renovations on here of white kitchens with subway tiles. Does that mean my shelf life will be extended? :)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 9:54AM
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I got an all-white kitchen in 1991. I LOVE white kitchens and would want to replace my kitchen with an all-white kitchen again, but, yes, I am concerned that the white shaker, white subway tile, white counter will look so 2010ish soon. At least in my area, about 3/4 of all kitchens are now white.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:07AM
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It's not new...white kitchens have been around a long, long time. My mom has a Tudor house and the original kitchen was white. It is the door designs, backsplash, etc that dates a kitchen IMHO.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:08AM
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White kitchens are classic. Wood kitchens are classic. It's only dated if you decide you don't like it anymore and want something more current looking to the times. Everything carries its time stamp. Who knows what will come down the road next to entice the senses into a desire for change.

I kind of expect my kitchen will probably wear out before I tire of it because there are things about it that I have always loved. So it's classic me, lol.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:39AM
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The house I grew up in was built in 1948, a custom design, considered very modern for its time. The eat-in kitchen had sleek white metal cabinets, top and bottom. As I recall, there was a dark blue formica counter with a metal edge and dark blue linoleum floor. Later there were updates (newer appliances, daisy wallpaper! and white shutters at the windows), but the cabs, counters and floors never changed. It was a great house with a wonderful kitchen. It was like a third parent to me.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:51AM
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I've been pondering this for a while.
I think a lot of it (white) is geographical for the U.S.A.

Here in South Florida, you couldn't sell a house if it didn't have a white kitchen 20 years ago. Now, I think everyone wants dark stain wood look.

However, up north, I think it is the opposite. And, I get the feeling that the majority of GW posters are Northerners (which to me is any place North of Florida...LOL).

Anyway, yea, Northerners have been living with dark wood look cabs for decades/centuries and now want a lighter look.

I do find it bazarre that most all the kitchens I see posted here on GW are pretty much the same. That's not a bad thing. They are all gorgeous. Just the same white shaker, wood floors, dark counter. It's just a little odd to me. And, it is sort of what I was thinking of for my reno.
Makes me wonder about the psychology of all that.

I don't think the white is a fad. But maybe shaker, wood floors and granite are. I prefer laminate to granite just because granite is so hard, heavy, and expensive.
Unfortunately I understand that I pretty much HAVE TO do granite or whatever solid surface.

Anyway. just babbling.

I'm not familiar with which Keaton movie you referred to.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 1:31PM
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The kitchen referred to in the OP is the kitchen from the movie "Something's Gotta Give". See the link below to see the house, including several pics of the kitchen starting with the 12th picture down.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Beach House in

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 1:43PM
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Thanks buehl

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:00PM
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This is not meant to insult anyone...I know people spend and have spent a lot of money on their white kitchens.

I have always liked white kitchens (even when dark wood was everywhere) and I still do. But for years, white and other painted kitchens were what you did, when your wood cabinets were getting too old/beat up...or you wanted a lighter, fresher look. It was also an easy way to tie together new cabinets or added pieces...just paint them all to match.

These large, white/marble Edwardian(?) kitchens are beautiful, but I think they will be very dated. That isn't a bad thing, but I think darker woods will make a big comeback...just because it will be different. Once the public realizes that white is 'in' then all the trendsetters will have to find a 'new' look :)

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:36PM
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Holly- Kay

I think white kitchens are classic and timeless. A white kitchen is my dream kitchen but when we renovated our's white just didn't seem the right fit so I went with glazed and stained maple. I truly love it. It is very far from perfect but it fits our imperfect home perfectly. As much as I love it I will always crave a white kitchen.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 2:36PM
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I live in a progressive, desirable area just an hour north of San Francisco and I'm not seeing the proliferation of white kitchens in the average middle-class home. I have one and I don't know anyone else who does. The neighbor across the street freshened his old cabinets by sanding and resealing. He didn't add any hardware. They still look 1991 although less grimy. My friend a few blocks away gel stained hers a murky java, again preferring to add no hardware. Both of these households have access to design trends and influences, but have chosen looks that are not white.

I have learned a lot here at GW. I look at things differently, including my own kitchen and those of others. But just because we see so many white kitchens here or in This Old House magazine doesn't mean they're a trend (or even desirable) in the mainstream.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:15PM
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MarvMarvin....not sure if you are just posing the question, or are embarking on your own remodel and want input on which way to go. If it's the latter, I say don't pay attention to trends and get what appeals to you and fits your budget. Trends come and go...although shaker is considered timeless I'm sure at some point it will also be considered "outdated." Many people also think granite will be "dated" even though it is a natural material. Unless you are remodeling for immediate resale...please yourself.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:17PM
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White kitchens have not been out, anywhere in the West at least, since the separate kitchen was developed, for servant use long, ago in large homes, and in modest homes here well over a century ago now. Like wood-finish kitchens, the basic idea of a white kitchen is always in and becomes extra popular in waves, during which time every possible new variation has its day, more to come no doubt.

As for white stone/composite counters, they truly are new for the typical kitchen owner over the past few decades, a product of newer technology, and now that they're here white stone-type counters will remain classic.

You know, there are only so many colors to choose from. For the most part, virtually all-blue, all-orange, all-green, yellow, red, etc., kitchens just don't give virtually-all-white much competition.

Virtually-all-brown, as long as the brown's from wood, is the only virtually-all-X look that has ever competed.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 3:22PM
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White kitchens are classic and IMHO do not go out of style. In thinking back, my parent's kitchens from the 50 and 60's had white painted cabinets. They had wallpaper instead of subway tile. My husband's grandparents had white cabinetry with pink and green ceramic tile! Perhaps the accessories change (tile, countertop material, appliances etc) with each decade, but the white cabinetry transcends the years. It is a "timeless" look for a traditional or period house.

If you have a modern, futuristic or a "Frank Lloyd Wright" look, then wood could possibly be more appropriate. Fit the style, color etc. to your home and pick a look that pleases you.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 9:56PM
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There is a look that I have always loved, and it is the shaker style cabinet. When I say Always, I mean ever since I visited Pleasant Hill KY as a young teenager. So I love the white shaker, but also if it is blue, red, green or natural wood, painted or stained. There is something about that utter simplicity that just pleases my eyes.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 10:46PM
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I always loved both white kitchens and cherry kitchens. My favorite is Beaded inset white kitchens but for my kitchen when I saw the pictures with the same style in the middle I have now as most of my cabinets are 39" wide, it no longer appealed to me for my home. I do not want a style in the middle of the doors as I have a small kitchen and need more space. But I still love the look and if money was no object I would just have smaller cabinets and more of them so I would not have to have the stile and still do the inset look. I feel white kitchens will be in style for a long time.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 12:05AM
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I think a lot of the granite slabs I see in the warehouses out there already look dated, and I think this is what's going to show the era of the kitchen in the next decade. You only need to look at kitchen styles in Europe and Australia to see where designs are headed...

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 3:58AM
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If Europe is an indication, and where I live European design is certainly a trend, then we're seeing a comeback of wood, including oak, slab doors, integrated handles, paneled DW, fridge. And yes, the wildly patterned granites are out.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2013 at 5:26AM
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