White on White: Kitchens

This afternoon I’m finally giving into myself and allowing a moment of indulgence of my greatest ‘want’ at the moment… to revamp our kitchen. The great moving debate is a constant source of discussion in the Norris household right now, can we afford it, where do we want to live, how long would we stay, how long can we stay in this house… the possibilities are endless. While our kitchen is only just over 5 years old, it was chosen by the developers we bought the house from and although perfectly nice, it’s totally not to my taste.

So at this minute I’m bouncing between knowing it’s the sane thing to do to leave it, to needing to do something with it to preserve my own sanity. We’ve considered everything from extensions to makeovers although I always stop short of an entirely new kitchen. I actually like the oak-look shaker units and handles but hate the grey and white tiles and the high gloss granite effect work top. So I spend my time fantasising on pinterest about my dream kitchen and thought I’d share a few of my favourite features with you today.

Painted Cupboards
If I was to do anything in our kitchen it would have to be budget friendly and given that I already like the style of the cupboard doors it seems sensible to paint rather than replace them. I’d love a dove grey or off white paired with pale granite tops or maybe wood, although I know the marks on it would bug me massively.

Grey lower units // blue-grey island unit // Marble tops.

I always love marble worktops in magazines, but I’m not sure if in the actual home it would look outdated and opinion varies on how hardwearing it is. Not ideal for a functional space.

Open shelving
I’m totally torn when it comes to this next feature as although I love how it looks, I imagine it must be very high maintenance. Perhaps if you have a maid then having your crystal lined up on the shelves neatly would be beautiful but in reality, I don’t fancy greasy cooking steam getting all over them and the potential for breakage with the inevitably regular clean.

French sign // Neat floating shelves // Shelves with green and blue accents.

It’s a lovely casual look for a mixed cooking and eating space though and I’d love to be able to do it one day, perhaps in a larger kitchen.

Metro Tiles
Not a new trend but one I’ve been in love with for a while now, metro tiles bring a touch of the urban to any kitchen, classic, country or a mix of eclectic elements. They seem to work everywhere and add a clean streamlined modern look where you need to balance out other design features or sometimes appear quite deco in their styling.

Close up tiles with plant // Country kitchen

Down-right dreamy spaces…
Sometimes, there’s no denying that there’s inspiration and then there’s aspiration. I couldn’t help but include some of my all time favourite kitchen spaces and dream I might create something similar one day.

1 // 2 // 3 // 4

So, what’s your kitchen style readers and am I making your heart beat a little bit faster over these beautiful cooking spaces this afternoon?


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14 thoughts on “White on White: Kitchens

  1. I painted our cabinets and it completely transformed our kitchen. I bashed them up a bit first then painted them to look distressed so they went from boring standard issue to looking like old wood. Go for it. It’s a cheap way to make a big change.

    Make sure you get a professional standard primer then you can put any paint you like on them. Got mine in a Dulux paint centre- it’s competely different stuff to a consumer primer like in Homebase etc.
    Love these photos and metro tiles are my favourite. I just need to be rich now!!

  2. Oh Kitchens!! I like your style Rebecca – country chic!

    My dad is a Kitchen designer, an amazing one actually (I may be slightly biased but he really is!) and so I like to think he has passed some Kitchen design ethos onto me. I have a very similar taste to him. Simple, clean, linear and most importantly, functional. I truly believe that a kitchen can make the difference to the quality of life and the way a house is lived in and enjoyed. A Kitchen should be a social space, one in which to enjoy company and good chat!

    Go ahead Rebecca – get that kitchen you’ve always wanted!! 🙂

  3. I feel your pain Rebecca, I’ve wanted a new kitchen since I moved into my house 5.5 years ago and for no other reason than that I want to put my own stamp on it. It’s a perfectly nice cream kitchen but there is hardly any storage or cupboard space and I’m just dying to get a new one. With funds limited after I moved in I decided to leave it thinking I would change it in a couple of years but as time has gone on, we are more than likely going to be moving into a bigger house very soon (I hope!) so it’s not much point spending loads of money on a new one. But I do love the shaker style (in cream or duck egg blue) and dream of a kitchen with a big island unit with breakfast bar area, Belfast sink, wooden worktops, Smeg fridge or maybe American style one, metro tiles (didn’t know that’s what they were called but have loved them forever) and a nice big family table that we can all sit around, heaven……!! Hubby and I are thinking of the next house but the only problem we now have is where to move to….stay in Manchester or move somewhere else in the UK or abroad, gulp!! Decisions decisions x

  4. I love nothing more than a white gloss brick tile and grey grout! Swoooooooon! So happy to see that metro tiles feature in your kitchen wish list Rebecca – such a classic!

    I too am undecided on the open shelves – love them, love how they look, but practicality wise I just know they would drive me potty! What about, instead, having one feature shelf? With a mix of kitchen goodies, picture frames, a globe etc… and little hooks underneath so things can hang down from the shelf too! A nod towards the trend without the full dusting and cleaning commitment! I’m a big pinner too and I’d say over half of all my pins are of kitchens: http://pinterest.com/Mrs_Moo/the-cowshed/

  5. What about tile paint as another simple and cheap way of removing at least one of the bits you hate? I have lime green tiles in my very small kitchen and have been meaning to paint them forever.

    In terms of changing worktops, I have wood and it is a nightmare, requiring regular treatment, unable to tolerate much water, burnt where it sits by the gas hob, and currently needing sanding and revarnishing. The granite might not look so bad if the cupboards are painted?

  6. I really love the way our kitchen looks at the moment (we got in early enough to choose it off plan when we bought our flat) and it will be one of the things I miss the most when we move – the boy is very keen on moving at the moment.

    I’m not really sure what style our kitchen is though (erm it looks a bit futuristic!?!) with red gloss units and silver glass metro tiles (didn’t know till this post that they were called metro tiles) and lots of black / chrome ‘white goods’. I will not miss the upkeep on the high gloss units – you can see every single finger print and aren’t supposed to use any harsh cleaners, ditto for the granite floor tiles. I don’t think I could cope with open shelves for the same cleaning issues mentioned above! xx

  7. Having lived in houses with granite and marble worktops they are a nightmare to keep clean and look as if they need a good clean 5 mins after you’ve done it – especially black ones! We put in white Corian worktops (http://tinyurl.com/c37xd2h) in our last house, against walnut units and it looked fabulous (even if I say so myself!). It can be moulded into any shape and is so easy to keep clean (a bit of barkeepers friend works wonders). It comes in a multitude of colours and any marks can be easily sorted out by just having the work surfaces remoulded. We’ve been living in India for nearly 4 years now and whilst having a nice kitchen here, I still miss my lovely kitchen in our London house! I say go for it and do something that will make it more in keeping with your taste / style! xoxo

  8. I love all of the kitchens you posted – we moved into our house in February and while our kitchen is perfectly functional, it’s pretty tired looking and I would love to change it one day. Unfortunately the garage roof needs replacing first! (it’s literally disintegrating onto my car)

    My parents inherited a beautiful hand made oak kitchen with their house, but it had awful green textured melamine-type worktops, complete with melted bits! They have replaced this with sort of honey-coloured mottled marble, which looks gorgeous – it’s totally transformed the whole room. They are finding it very practical – the patterned marble doesn’t show watermarks like black, and my dad has been enjoying making pizza dough directly on the worktop!

    They also got some new appliances and I am now v. jealous of my mum’s induction hob and double ovens….

  9. When we moved to our flat it also had a newish kitchen, which was ‘fine’, but not to our tastes. We didn’t want to spend a fortune as probably won’t be staying there for many more years. So we kept the B&Q units and bought new doors (taking advantage of one of their frequent 20% off weekends, with an extra 10% (I think?!) voucher from another flyer).
    We are fortunate that my fiance’s Dad can get trade prices at some retailers so we got a real oak worktop at a reduced price. And we also managed to use up almost all of the offcuts from the sink and hob by using any leftovers for shelving and some serving platters. I wasn’t sure about real wood at first because of the problems Liz mentioned above, but my fiance is pretty obsessive about the (his) worktop (he and his Dad installed the kitchen – another way to save costs, if not necessarily time!), so he maintains it regularly, and we’ve not had any real problems with water or heat damage. Though that may change in a few years.
    We also went for Metro tiles, I love them!!
    While our kitchen is probably my favourite room now, it is teeny weeny, so would love a dine in kitchen in our next place. Lots of inspiration in the images above – Thanks! xx

  10. We renovated our kitchen in the flat we used to own and we had the metro tiles (along with chunky wooden work tops!) I love them and I am dying to put them in our kitchen but its just not a priority at the mo as like you our kitchen is liveable (but ugly!) I want a smeg fridge too!!! Gorgeous inspiration! x

  11. I love metro tiles and used them when I re-did the kitchen in my old flat in 2003. It was a nightmare trying to find them back then and I was really sad to lose them when we sold the flat.

  12. Love these images and they were very very similar to my own when we were in the midst of our own kitchen remodel! The open shelving hasn’t been anywhere NEAR the nightmare that I had been afraid of, especially if you ensure that what you put on your shelves are things you use all the time. I have been pleasantly suprised and have been thinking about doing a post about it soon!

    This post has just reminded me that we need to get our arses in gear and get ours finished! xxx

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