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White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Posted by rahull (My Page) on
Thu, Apr 17, 14 at 19:00

I am trying to choose Ikea cabinets for my mid-19c. townhouse and I notice that white kitchens are extremely popular. I also notice that people interested in kitchen design are overwhelmingly female.

Do you think white kitchens are considered feminine in any way? Would it be strange for a 20-something single male to have a white kitchen in his house?

I am interested in white because magazine articles say they are "timeless" and "classic." Are there other such colors in the Ikea lineup that can be considered classic?

If there is such a thing, what are some masculine color schemes (cabinet, floor and countertops) that I can go with that will stand the test of time?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

If the walls were painted pink, yes. But you could choose taupe walls...


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I first thought, "No, white kitchens aren't feminine." However, this is an interesting question because most guys I know are gung-ho over wood or wookd-look kitchen. So, maybe look into the darker IKEA wood kitchens.
I also think that guys, younger guys, may be more into the more streamlined kitchens, i.e. flat fronts.





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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Interesting question. But now that you've mentioned it, I see a single guy with a dark wood kitchen.
Are all the white kitchen for females and couples? It does seem so, at least here are GW.

Are you interested in selling in a few years? Could you see yourself in a white kitchen?


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

My first thought was no. But I do think white bedroom furniture is often perceived as feminine. So maybe a white kitchen could be too?

If I wanted a white kitchen and wanted to make it feel masculine, I'd go for dark stone countertops--granite or soapstone and a dark floor. I say that because I think darker furnishings are generally considered more masculine, ie studies, man caves, etc.

Honestly I would consider the style and flow of the whole house more important than feminine vs masculine.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I would say that you should get what you like. You're the one spending the money.

I think that we often hear of white kitchens in a home with a female influence, but I don't think of it as necessarily exclusively feminine. Actually, I think you could "man" it up nicely.

Also, it depends on "where you are" in your life...is this a place you are likely to stay in long term and possibly add a spouse and perhaps kids? Is it some place that you are likely to sell sometime in the relatively near future and is likely to be for a younger married couple just starting a family, etc.

I see these as being masculine white kitchens...I see these appealing to the iPhone based crowd. It's clean angular lines, paired with some "male" components - a masculine wallpaper or a brick wall...to me this looks like a kitchen that could be in a loft space, condo, townhouse, or the right free-standing single family home.

Something like this:
http://www.cococozy.com/2012/07/going-long-in-one-wall-kitchen.html

This one is a combo of light and dark:


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I'm a mid 20s something guy and I have a very traditional white kitchen. Absolutely love it. Never thought about it being feminine. Wouldn't have it any other way.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I've never associated a white kitchen with it being feminine -- to me it is a neutral. It is the accessories and finish items that spin it one direction or another. The tile, the window coverings, the hardware, and the lighting fixtures push it one direction or another.

Here's a mostly white (black island) kitchen that reads relatively masculine. Dark wood floors and trims, black hardware, black industrial lighting, industrial chairs and strong geometric tile. Even with a white island, it would read masculine, and industrial/traditional.

Take the same kitchen, paint the island light aqua, put up a floral roman shades in a similar hue, add polished nickel hardware, add colorful accessories to the glass cabinets, swap in crystal pendants/sconces and new stools and the same base room would read feminine (even with the same cabinets, counter, floor and BS)

Another thing to consider is how long are you going to keep your home -- life in the 20s could be very different than the 30s.

BTW, you could pull off the same look using Ikea materials.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

At first I was thinking, yeah, for a guy more clean, modern...but then I remembered that yours is a 19th century building. That needs to be respected IMO.

The kitchen that Gooster posted just above seems like a great inspiration picture. You could also do the lower cabinets in one of Ikea's dark finishes and the uppers in white, like Ramsjo white with either black-brown or red-brown, or Lidingo white with gray. For the counter a white, gray, or blackish color would work with either of those.

As long as it seems to fit the house, it will be just as timeless as the house.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I have a mid century kitchen and we just did the high gloss white and love them in our space. they work well because the overall space is open, light and airy. Dh (very masculine taste) says it's his favorite room in our remodel. we have a grey counter, grey floor and grey paint and it looks balanced to me.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

We're redoing our kitchen and both my husband and I are very decided on white cabinets. He likes them as much as I do. Not quite in such agreement on everything else. I'm with the poster who said it's all about what you pair with the white.

We've ended up deciding on Absolute Black for countertops and we're currently looking for a subway tile backsplash. I think both will have the kitchen leaning towards the more "masculine" side of white cabinetry.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Funny... I was looking at that kitchen Gooster posted and feeling nostalgic about my days living in Chicago.

Then I noticed that the kitchen was in Chicago. Funny how the mind picks up on these things.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I think that the key to your decision should be "mid-19c. townhouse". What goes well in the house? White is neither feminine nor masculine, but a great neutral upon which to build. Many cabinets in older houses were painted white.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Do you think white kitchens are considered feminine in any way? Would it be strange for a 20-something single male to have a white kitchen in his house?

Not at all "feminine" ... and if the 20-something single male kept them nice and clean it would be AWESOME!

Feminine white would be white cabinets with curvy moldings, fancy backsplash, and fluffy curtains with flowers on them.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Mid-19th century town house doesn't mean that you can't have a modern kitchen as long as it uses some classic elements. Plenty of European houses, which are centuries old, have modern kitchens.
Check out www.apartmenttherapy for kitchens, e.g. this one in Amsterdam (white)

Also, check out "masculine decor", including kitchens below.

I think if you go with white, I'd stick to the Abstrakt doors.


However, I really think that wood kitchen will come back sometime soon. They are already making a comeback in Europe, so you could go with IKEA Orsa

or Sofielund, Gnosjo, Romsjo... or something like this:

Here is a link that might be useful: manly decor


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Since I do the vast majority of the cooking, I designed our recent black white kitchen reno.
 photo IMG_1383Medium.jpg

Feminine?
My wife doesn't think so.

I'm attaching a link below with more pics.

Here is a link that might be useful: Black & White Kitchen

This post was edited by willtv on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 15:12


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

If you are thinking resale at all... white kitchens can be a huge selling point. Modern or Traditional white kitchens - a white kitchen can sell a house. So it's a great investment. If you add in butcher block, metals and soapstone I think it would go a long way to making it feel more masculine though. You could even do 12 x 12 soapstone tiles with super thin grout lines that make it feel like a solid surface top but much more affordable.

We had a mountain second home for a while that we remodeled... and my husband chose the white ikea cabinets. He just thinks white kitchens can be bright and clean looking.

I love white kitchens (as a female), but I'm hoping to get a light blue kitchen in our new build. Now that might be a bit feminine for a bachelor. :)

Gray with brass and black accents would be fabulous for a bachelor, if you decide to do something different than Ikea. Oh, or navy. There are some amazing navy kitchens out there! My next kitchen will be painted Farrow and Ball Hague Blue. It's incredible.

But white is a good safe neutral that I think appeals to a ton of people for good reason.

NOTE: The Chicago Kitchen Lab kitchen (above) is my husband's favorite kitchen inspiration picture out of the hundreds I've shown him (poor guy).


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

My DH chose white cabinets when he replaced our house's original kitchen many years ago before we met (he was living here as a single guy). The kitchen he put in had white slab front doors similar to Ikea's Harlig line, only more expensive. When we redid the kitchen a couple of years ago, the only preference he expressed was to have white cabinets again. We used Adel off-white, a warmer look for our 1940's house than the bright glossy Abstrakt would be. You might also look at Applad, which is a very nice-looking white slab front (nicer than Harlig) at a lower price than Abstrakt.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

Fascinating question. I am nuts about the blog Japanese Trash: Masculine Design. Here are some kitchen photos from that blog:

Here is a link that might be useful: kitchens

This post was edited by feisty68 on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 18:09


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

And here's a Scandinavian kitchen that I would consider quite masculine. It would be really fun to do a kitchen like it using IKEA boxes, matte black slab fronts, and dark wood vertical dividers/countertops/plinths. It could be a very handsome, customized-looking kitchen. The white paneled walls lighten up the look.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I agree that a white kitchen is pretty neutral. I think a white kitchen could be made more masculine with - abundant natural wood, stainless or black appliances, dark contrasting elements, industrial or rustic elements. Things that would make it more feminine - wallpaper of any kind, most tiled backsplashes, "splashes of colour", curves, corbels, delicate-looking chairs/stools, fanciful lighting.

This post was edited by feisty68 on Fri, Apr 18, 14 at 19:02


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

White cabinets aren't feminine. Don't get white b/c you've heard it's timeless (I agree, it is), get it b/c you like it. You'll know if you like it if you're drawn to kitchens in magazines that have white cabinets. By drawn, I mean, you're instant reaction when you turn the page and see it for the first time is positive. I honestly think accents and details are what femme up a kitchen, or any room.....accents accents and details can also make i feel more masculine. You can think of white cabinets as a blank canvas to do with as you will.

Gooster, that is one of my all time favorite kitchens. The subway tile with the dark brown wood trim is "it" for me. I would love to even just be in a kitchen like that in real life to see if it evokes the same feeling in person.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

i also think that Lidigo, Stat, and even Adel are more feminine and probably too country for a young guy.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I think a wood kitchen could be and is just as timeless, just again depends on the "extras" that it is paired with.
It's most important to make sure the kitchen fits the house; what I hate most is when people spend a ton of money on a kitchen that is completely unconnected to the rest of the house.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

My husband picked his last kitchen, medium brown, and expressed a wish for a light or white kitchen in our latest reno. Well, he wanted bisque but I interpreted it as white.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

As raee suggested, the Romsko is a masculine profile with lots of hard edged beveling. The simpler Adel shaker variant is similar to what is used above.

magsnj: I love that kitchen as well. I find it to be a great modern, urbanized take inspired by Edwardian/Victorian sculleries and industrial age factories. Perhaps a little later than the original period, but logical modernization.

This post was edited by gooster on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 12:08


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I think what makes Ramsjo more masculine is when it's in the darker wood color. See the white Ramsjo for comparison, even with a more contemporary vibe.

Oh, and oak is back. IKEA Rockhammar



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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I know a few single men the designed their kitchens with white cabinets and dark counters and nothing too curvy in the kitchen. I also know a few single men that did the shaker look in a very dark wood. I think both are timeless and not masculine.


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RE: White Kitchen Cabinets = Feminine?

I'm an older guy (old enough to be your father) and do not care for the all-white look, be it in the kitchen, bath, or any room. Some showcase homes on Houzz, Houseplans.com, etc. are almost entirely white - kitchen, dining, living room etc. I prefer wood cabinets, light, medium or dark colored wood and rooms with some color.

That said, I do not believe white cabinets are necessarily feminine. It depends more on the overall look, the type of doors, trim, etc., other decor. Cleaner lines are usually considered masculine while cabinets such as the following with curley cues I would consider feminine, as well as the chandeliers.

I would suggest, however, that you do not attempt to look for something "timeless". You can be sure anything done this year will look dated in 20 years; maybe sooner. I'm amazed at the number of people posting on these forums who replace "horribly dated" rooms with what they think is "timeless". One can replace a "horribly dated" room with a look that is in a style interpreted today. Unless something is a historically accurate reproduction, any style interpreted today will look dated in the not too distant future.

It's more important to do what you like and do it in good taste. Go to the kitchen site on Houzz (linked below) and scroll down until you get to the "Cabinet Finish" menu. Filter the pictures on different finishes and then add other filters such as for counter top type. Explore until you come up with something you like. And if you have your heart set on white rococo cabinets, go for it (although I still think they'd be girly. ;-)

Here is a link that might be useful: Houzz kitchens

This post was edited by DreamingoftheUP on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 22:19


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