Monday, January 7, 2013

4 Great Countertop Colours for White Kitchens

I love white kitchens - always have. I think they are so clean looking and timeless and homey. I painted our kitchen cabinets three summers ago and still love them (you can see read about it and see pictures here)

My friend Ricki Jill from Art@Home is doing a makeover on her kitchen this month.  She is trying to make some decisions about what kind of countertop to use so I thought I would help her by providing inspiration pictures of some gorgeous white kitchens.  Ricki Jill has white cabinets and walls and a limestone and travertine floor tile.  She needs to decide not only on the countertop, but also pick a colour to paint the island, and possibly select a new backsplash.  You can see her present kitchen here.

When I looked through photos of beautiful white kitchens the countertops fell into four main types - white, black, wood, and beige. Apart from the wood counters, I haven't considered what type of material the counters are made from as so many of the manufactured materials look very close to natural stone and in the end it is the colour and the sheen that impacts the overall look.  There are many excellent articles on what type of countertop to select based on durability, maintenance, and cost - all important factors, but it is the look of the kitchen that I'm after here. A must read series of blog posts are on Maria's blog Colour Me Happy.  She loves white kitchens and gives lots of helpful information about selecting and decorating white kitchens.

Let's have a look at some white kitchen inspiration photos working our way from the most common countertops -  Miss Popularity white - down to the least common - beige countertops.  

1) White 
The white-on-white look is very popular in kitchens as it is so clean looking and easy to live with.  You can add colour to the kitchen through accessories or paint on the walls which can be changed more easily than a countertop or tile backsplash. White counters range from pure white manufactured materials to white with gray veins or speckles in natural or engineered stone. This is a consistently classic, timeless look and there were oodles of inspiration photos - these are some of my favourites.

Canadian House and Home

Reasons to Breathe


7th House on the Left
Interior Bathroom Design
Style at Home
Maria Killam, Colour Me Happy
2) Black/Charcoal Gray
After white counters, black or charcoal gray were the next most popular.  They provide a nice contrast with white cabinets and the dark countertop colour can tie in with the appliances or the backsplash.  The black/gray and white are neutrals so other colours can easily be incorporated into the kitchen as accent colours.  We have a charcoal gray laminate in our kitchen and I love how easy it is to care for - red wine, beets, cherries, or any other tough food stains are not a problem.  

Margot Austin

For the Love of a Home

Canadian House and Home

Nine and Sixteen


3) Wood 
Wood countertops are a lovely neutral and really warm up the kitchen. I have heard good things about wood counters as long as they are well sealed or routinely oiled, but they are still more delicate than many countertop choices. 
A Country Kitchen
House Beautiful

via Young House Love

Often kitchens incorporate more than one type of countertop and wood can be a good choice for a part of the counter or the island.

Cobi Ladner's kitchen via Chatelaine

4) Beige
I did find some white kitchens with beige or light brown countertops although not many.  I especially like the first kitchen below.

Traci Zeller
Edmo Woodworking
The Garden Web
So there you have it - four countertop colours to consider with white kitchens.  By far the most popular are white and black/gray counters and for good reason as they are timeless, classy, neutral, and look good with a variety of different accent colours.  

What colour countertop appeals to you the most?  It will be interesting to see what Ricki Jill selects.

p.s.  You can read about a rainbow of kitchen island colours in this post.

Pin It

Linked to Tutorials and Tips Link Party at HomeStories A to Z


  1. I love white with wood. Its so warm and inviting I just want to put on an apron and start making bread!!

  2. I love white with wood as well. I also love a mix of counter tops in a kitchen. I am all about a practical kitchen as I think most of us, well many of us, live with smaller rather than larger kitchens. We have wood on some and stainless steel on others. I think it really comes down to the overall look that you are going for in your kitchen. My personal favourite in the above images would be ...For the Love of a Home and then ....7th House on the Left. Very inviting.

  3. I have white cupboards and I love them. When we were planning our kitchen I needed to pick a laminate and it was very hard, because truth be told, I didn't Love any of them and I wanted to find one that I loved. So I went with a new one that formica had just put out, I liked it and I still like it, but I don't LOVE it. What I do LOVE and secretly desire is a MARBLE counter top. I LOVE every image I have ever seen of them... a secret fantasy! ;) Unfortunately for me, I have seen a marble laminate since and I really LIKE it, but it's too late.
    Hugs, Cindy

  4. I love your inspiration photos! A white kitchen is definitely on our list of home improvements...I can't decide if I should just paint our cupboards or just keep saving for a total remodel! It's such a hard decision. Thanks for sharing, I will definitely "Pin" this too my dreamy kitchen board!

  5. One of my goals is to "redo" my kitchen this year. Of course I will be painting the cabinets white, but I have been debating about the color of countertops. I'm stuck somewhere between white marble and grey quartz. Thanks to this post, I'm leaning more towards the grey. Thanks for posting this. It has helped me :-)

  6. Great post. Very informative. Images are also very good. For more detail please visit

  7. What a beautiful collection of kitchen inspiration! Thanks for sharing, Laura

  8. Decisions, decisions! This is great, having all the visuals in one post, Grace! I can't thank you enough! Ironically, your first photo under beige is what we have now, and the island is painted almost the same color as ours! I would not be removing the granite except that it's damaged and the seams are 1/4" to 1/3 " wide.

    I'm very surprised how much I like some of the lighter charcoal gray countertops...I wasn't expecting that.

    I LOVE Cobi Ladner's kitchen....such pretty details and she has a nice mix of finishes.

    I can't wait to show these to Mr. Art @ Home if he survives the afternoon, LOL!

    Thanks for my virtual flowers...they make an appearance in My {NOT SO} Happy List post. ;P (But the virtual flowers really did make me happy!


    PS I'll be back several times today ;P

  9. I want new countertops so bad that I would take any one of these! They are all just beautiful. I bet you had a great time looking for all this inspiration!

  10. I too am a lover of all white kitchens! It's so easy to then add color through towels, curtains, etc.

    Have a very Happy New Year!