White Oak Kitchens

Photo courtesy of Cambridge Home Company

White oak is an incredibly versatile wood for cabinetry and design elements. Naturally less orange in tone than it’s red oak counterpart, the naked white oak look is everything right now. Best of all, it’s overall muted and subtle appearance will carry it through an “on trend” look and into classic feel well into the future.

The trick is going for a matte sheen, there are top coats that your cabinetry manufacturers should be able to recommend that will hush the yellow and orange brassy tones, alternately if you opt for a 5% white stain, or faint grey undertones, that can certainly help too.

Photo: Danielle Jackson / Courtesy of Magnolia

Joanna Gaines has a cooking show that will be coming up on the Magnolia network, and they have released images of the gorgeous set. The queen of restoration has done it again; this space feels like a warm hug. Time worn but stronger for it, every element from the concrete countertop to metals are muted in tone and sheen.

Photo: Mooielight

White oak is just as home in a more contemporary feel as well. These grain-matched slab doors pictured above add warmth and visual interest. Keep in mind material sheet size limitations when considering a grain matched look.

White oak does very well when paired with other painted colours. See my picks above: Top Left: Essex Green PM-11 Benjamin Moore, Top right: Chantilly Lace OC-65 Benjamin Moore, Bottom left: Hale Navy HC-154, Bottom right: Black Satin 2131-10.

I like neutral and warmer metals with white oak, so matte black or modern brushed gold are both excellent choices for hardware.

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The No Corner Kitchen

With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy a kitchen with NO CORNER CABINETS. Corner cabinets can be awkward and an often mismanaged bit of real estate when talking about precious cabinet storage space. In the example above by Whitten Architects, yes there is a corner, but it is inside a walk in pantry. I LOVE this layout! A pocket door hides your shelving, and the fridge has been built into the wall portion. See, neat and tidy!

OR, you could have your main cabinet run fit between two side walls, this is also a clean and efficient use of space and works well with an island in front for prep and as a gathering place as in this above example by Jason Ball Interiors.

Now if you must utilize a corner here are some suggestions:

A corner sink. This also requires planning ahead as you will want to have windows at the corner preferably. Examples above by Paragon (left), and HGTV (right). Read more

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Tile Backed Cabinets

A simple and effective way to add dimension to an (almost) all-white kitchen is to add texture. I love the use of subway tile to the backs of glass-door cabinets! Shown in the image above featured in Style at Home, the subway tile backsplash is carried into the tall display cabinets. It works incredibly well because they did not select a busy tile, or differing color, it blends in but adds a subtle depth that does not compete with anything that could be placed inside the cabinet itself.

In this scenario by 82mm, the countertop material is the same marble slab used for the backsplash, so the simple white subway tile offers a different material without competing for attention.

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Rochdale Cabinet Hardware


The utterly handsome Rochdale cabinet hardware collection has become my go-to choice for cabinet hardware because they are so versatile! It is not hard to see why; the riveting has an industrial appeal that is huge right now, the style is not fussy and has a very nice generous feel when you use them to open a door or drawer, and the colour is perfect. This image shows them in their graphite finish which is akin to a dull iron, it is not a solid black but has a slight grey undertone.

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Graphite Kitchen


Samsung’s new Black Stainless Steel finish is a game changer. Offering a new alternative to the most popular by default; stainless, the Black Stainless is a richer, deeper neutral without having to go to a full black appliance. Bravo Samsung. Here we see the French Door Refrigerator with Showcase. What can you pair it with? Here are some great options:

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Eclectic Kitchen by SieMatic

Siematic Beaux Arts Kitchen

SieMatic Kitchens have raised a very good proposition with this kitchen design; why choose one type of cabinet for the entire kitchen? All other rooms in a home are filled with coordinating pieces of differing styles, textures and colors to reach your desired effect, so why not in the kitchen? See the glossy ebony walnut of the fridge/ pantry, the matte lacquered finish of the lower cabinets, and then the polished chrome framed uppers. This kitchen is from their Beau Arts line.

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Wren Kitchens

Wren Kitchens modern and sleek

Wren Kitchens seem to have a lot of things most of my clients want ticked off their kitchen lists; clean lines, gorgeous colour choices, and efficient designs. In this kitchen above, the long horizontal lines of the open shelving, and large drawers with tubular pulls are simple and elegant, it is a kitchen that accentuates a pretty modern lifestyle.

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Kitchens by Susan Fredman Design Group

Susan Fredman Design Group Kitchen 1

Three is the go to number in interior design, so it comes as no surprise that this gorgeous well appointed kitchen designed by Susan Fredman Design Group has 3 stone topped islands, and coffered ceiling inserts. This space could be used for so much, I find myself staring and imagining the cocktail parties, Christmas cookie stations, and just every day living that would take place in this extraordinary kitchen.

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French Kitchen Island

French Kitchen Island Carrara Top

I love the simplicity of this Carrara topped island. The little details on the antiqued cast steel legs give this island a french feel. An open concept bottom is nice too, for either easy to spot goods or you could set a stool on either side and allow for leg room since the supports run near the middle. Since marble has a wonderful heat conductivity, it is often seen in bakeries for quick cooling, and the natural veining is gorgeous. Just watch the wine glass, since marble is porous too!

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Aqua Kitchen Inspiration

Kitchenaid stand mixer in aqua sky ice

Small appliances are a fantastic way to add a shock of colour or add primary direction for a kitchen palette. Incorporate a fun colour in your kitchen cabinetry as a painted back bead-board like in this kitchen, or through small appliances like the Kitchenaid stand mixer– it is available in 27 colours like pistachio or persimmon.

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