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Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy

By 03/09/2016February 10th, 201774 Comments

We are finalizing the finishes and colours for Crystal’s white kitchen (see the before pics here). These are the two options we discussed.

Option 1

Marble looking quartz with off-white cabinets and a walnut island with light floors (rift white oak), here are some inspiration pics.

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy

Via DecorPad

This floor is darker than what we are installing but this is the idea (above).

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy | Maria Killam

via Pinterest

We are installing hardwood floors (NOT REMOTELY GREY TILE) but the rest of this kitchen fits into option 1.

Here’s another lovely stained island and white kitchen but what do you say about the tile (above)? What is happening in comparison to the white kitchen? And what’s the neutral undertone of the floor tile? Leave your assessment in the comments.

Option 2

Absolute black countertops, true-white cabinets and rift white oak hardwood floors.

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy | Maria Killam

via Style at Home

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy | Maria Killam

Via Studio McGee

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy | Maria Killam

Via Luxe

Which would you choose? Crystal likes the black countertops because she thinks it adds a more masculine element to a white kitchen so that’s what we’re doing.

The last three kitchens don’t have any grey in the flooring making them classic because you can’t identify the trend in which they were installed.

Terreeia and I are in Cabo for 10 days, and we brought my Mom, she’s never been to Mexico so she’s excited (and isn’t my wifey generous to allow my Mom to come along 😉

After doing two events almost in a row in Vancouver and Dallas, we are ready for some rest and relaxation!

Two Classic White Kitchens To Copy | Maria Killam

Photo by Maria Killam

Tracey emailed me this note with her review of the Vancouver course in February:

“Thank you Maria and team for a fantastic course in Vancouver!! Love, love that through your course I now feel confident to articulate my design choices, together with the visual component of your colour boards, to ensure the client has clarity on both the design process itself and on the value of the design services provided.

This course has reignited my passion for interior design and especially the “business” of interior design. Thank you!” Tracey Menchions Design

Don’t forget to weigh in on the colours in that second kitchen and which kitchen you would choose!

If you would like to transform the way you see colour, become a True Colour Expert.

If you would like your home to fill you with happiness every time you walk in, contact us! We would love to help you choose colours, select the right combination of hard finishes or create a plan to pull your room together. You can find our fabulous e-design consultation packages here.

Related posts:

Interesting to Classic Kitchen Counter and Backsplash Makeover

White Kitchen Cabinets for the Most Timeless Kitchen

Ask Maria: Help! I Don’t Want the Same Kitchen as Everyone Else!

140 pins


  • Mariann says:

    Option 2! Surprising myself because I want white quartz countertop. ..may need to rethink this. Love the last picture for flooring. I have quarter sawn and rift white oak flooring and love! Install as long boards as you can to avoid a choppy short board look.

    • Ann says:

      Maryann, I had the same reaction you did. I have been making plans to replace our current countertop with white quartz, but seeing the black in these photos, I may have to reconsider. I have been warned against black countertops because they are not very forgiving when it comes to showing crumbs, smudges, etc. I would appreciate comments from those who have lived with black countertops for a while. Would you install them again?

      • Kim says:

        Ann, I’ve had both black granite and now a black quartz countertop. I will not choose black ever again though I love the look. Both of mine showed water spots. I am constantly wiping up any water spatter from the faucet because if I don’t the water spots can’t be removed from the quartz no matter what product I use. I’ll get white quartz the next time. With my black granite countertop I had city water. With the black quartz, we’re on well water.

        • Ann says:

          Kim, Bless you. I think you’ve saved me a lot of trouble. I suspect our water would do the same.

        • Couldn’t agree more black shows every single thing, although if you use it in a honed finish, that helps. 🙂

        • Holly says:

          Oh yes, the water spots, forgot to mention that in my reply below – the only thing that really works is Soft Scrub, but NO bleach in it, just the regular type – I was given that advice by a local, self employed countertop installer. It actually even helped get rid of the rings where the original installers set the can of sealer as they were working on them – let me tell you how awful it was to see rings all over my brand new quartz countertops!! YIKES!! Thank heavens the Soft Scrub worked!

      • Karina says:

        Hi Ann, I used to have black galaxy granite countertops, and on my new house I now have white quartz (frosty carrina). Although I like the look of the white quartz, I think the granite was much more forgiving in terms of showing any dirt – not that I can live with much anyway. I never noticed any stains on either of them. I insisted a lot in going with quartz, and although it’s maintenance-free, to be honest I don’t think its beauty is on par with real stone.

      • Tifany says:

        I LOVE my black counters and have had a variation of black or dark gray installed in all three of the homes where we remodeled/built. There are trade-offs to everything and I think it’s a matter of your personality and what cons you are more willing to handle. I actually like to see crumbs so I know what needs to be wiped down. Contrast that with the highly polished busy granite I disliked in the rental we stayed in while building because you could see all the crumbs at an angle when the light hit it but couldn’t see them when you were working directly on them. It made me crazy because I was never really sure my counters were clean. I’d rather be able to see what needs to be wiped but then that’s my OCD issue. That said with my husband and I working from home as well as homeschooling our kids it’s not unusual for us (including the kids) to cook and prepare meals/snacks all day long, and I did not want to have high-maintenance countertops.

        I think the caveat is making sure you use some sort of “texture” (visual or tactile) to the material you use. Anything out of place is so much more highly visible when a surface is solid and shiny. Just that little bit of visual variation whether texturally (honed or leathered) or in the stone makes for a much more forgiving countertop. The striations in our honed black granite makes it look very similar to soapstone where the black shows enough to makes sure things are clean and hides just enough so I am not OCD about constantly cleaning after myself or my kids.
        To Crystal’s point, I love the balance and masculinity our surround black countertops bring to the honed marble on our island and the white subway tile. With medium wood toned floors, our kitchen is not too stark or sterile looking and appeals to modernists as well as traditionalists.

        • Carol says:

          Black soapstone seems to have variations in the photos I see. It isn’t variation in pigment, but rather in surface texture.

          My daughter has very dark forest green counters and they show everything…. crumbs, water marks, etc.

      • Rose says:

        I have 2 houses.
        One with white countertops.
        One with black.
        I never know when the black ones are really clean. It’s unsettling. I prefer the white.

      • Holly says:

        I’ve had dark grey quartz countertops for 15 months – white cabinets, medium tone hardwood floors, and while I do like the look overall, I’m kicking myself for not going with the white/grey marbled quartz. They do show all crumbs and dust, and being a clean freak, I’m always wiping the counters down. It’s also given my kitchen a dark, overcast look, even with bright light streaming through tons of windows all around the kitchen and breakfast nook. The only thing that helps is having the lights on all over – but I won’t waste energy/money, just so it looks brighter & more appealing to my eyes. 🙁

      • Julie says:

        I have black laminate from the previous homeowners – I can now recognize the black and maple was a 90s trend 😉 I don’t recommend it. I like my counters and wipe a lot anyway, but with the black I’m constantly irritated by the look of crumbs, flour etc, even in the middle of cooking. If someone (ahem) uses a less than clean cloth to wipe, the water marks are also really obvious.

  • Ali says:

    Looks like your at Sandos Finisterra in Cabo, my favorite resort.

    I prefer Option 1, with wood flooring, however, I currently have a kitchen that is very similar, and I have brown tile, that I didn’t replace due to the expense and I don’t mind it at all. The tile in your picture is rather grey.

  • Amanda says:

    I don’t know, Ali – I think that is the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica! If so, it is just absolutely perfect! You will never stop thinking about the shrimp tacos at that swim up bar. We had them every day and 5 years later I still crave them! Have a wonderful time!!

  • Terrye says:

    Just curious as to how Terreeia pronounces her name.

  • Michele says:

    I like Option 1 with the rift white oak flooring. There’s something about tile flooring in kitchens that I don’t really like, and that tile with the greenish undertone looks like it’s pulling out the reddish in the wood. Would love it if you came to California in 2017!!! Wouldn’t T and your mum like to visit sunny California (hint hint)?

  • paula Ryan says:

    I would choose the black countertop…but make sure it’s honed and NOT shiny solid black-it shows spots like crazy and will make your customer crazy. The tile in the first pic looks like purple undertone and the white tile on backsplash looks like it’s making the cabinets I right? LOL

    • Cynthia says:

      Solid black, no matter what the finish, shows every single spot, every grain of salt, ever speck of dust. If black is used, it should be well mottled.

  • Joanne says:

    I also like the first option – but not the stain on the floors or the island. I am always drawn to a creamy white, rather than a stark white. I am with Mariann – last floor is beautiful.

  • Jane says:

    Option 1: first pic. I don’t like the gray cabinet – it just sits there and doesn’t add anything to the room. The white tiles on the wall are okay. they look shiny in a weird way. the wood floor is perfect. The second pic has an awful tile floor – looks like purplish undertones. I find it too splotchy and vague looking. makes the wood on the cabinets look too red. I think if you are going with that strong of a white cabinet you need a more definite floor.
    I prefer option 2 – the first picture with the vertical backsplash and the black countertops. Although I have black countertops and it would be nicer to have lighter ones so I could see where cleaning is needed.
    About 10 years ago I was in a dated 80’s white kitchen and it was bleak and depressing.

  • Kris says:

    Option 1 dark counters show more dust and grease than white ones

  • Kendal says:

    The tile flooring in photo 2 looks taupey and DIRTY compared to the lovely white kitchen. I second Paula’s advice to do honed black counters. We have honed “Nordic Black” granite with off white cabinets (SW Greek Villa) and it’s gorgeous, looks a bit like soapstone, but low maintenance and timeless!
    Terreeia’s name is pronounced like Maria but with a “T.” I’m proud to say I know this because I had the pleasure of attending Maria’s Dallas class last week! To anyone considering it, PLEASE TREAT YOURSELF AND GO! It was terrific!

  • aprilneverends says:

    Well I am a huge fan of walnut, and combination of walnut and white/walnut and cream..I love it for years already since I first saw it..20 years ago? So my personal choice would be the first option, of course.
    As for the stone tile-I see blueish gray. It might be purple gray, but it just reads colder to me than that. I don’t like dark stones like this one in general, so I can’t be objective here. The kitchen pictured is still gorgeous, but I’d prefer another flooring-something that reads less cold.
    I hope you have a great vacation, Maria!

  • Pinkie Crabtree says:

    I would choose the studio McGee kitchen. Love the x on the cabinet doors as well.

  • Lora says:

    Love love Option 1. It looks so warm an inviting. That’s the look I’m getting in my new home construction. In large kitchens some whites can look cold and sterile. I’m also using a warm marble subway tile, classic but with beautiful veining of gray, beige, and gold; and a white quartz counter. Love the white oak floor, getting that too. Wood is so basic and neutral and classic. Tile can date you fast and limit your color choices, believe me, I’ve been there.
    One more thing – I was told by the kitchen design people that honed countertops show more spots than polished tops. They said they don’t even display honed tops and discourage getting it. Maybe it depends on the color you get – white or black; please inspect.

  • My first instinct on the floor tile is taupe. Second is purple gray. Either way: yuck. I might like the white counters better, even though my own are dark.

    For everyone with shiny granite that spots: Bayes Granite Countertop Rejuvenator is the answer!

  • Ann says:

    The Pinterest kitchen above is a good illustration of the problem we are currently having: trying to design a classic white kitchen that does not have wood (or faux wood) flooring. We are opting to install tile floors when we remodel our kitchen because the red mesquite flooring throughout the rest of our house is so difficult to match. However, finding a tile that is “classic” enough has been a real challenge. We have been steering away from high maintenance natural stone, and the porcelain options are either gray or pinky beige. What do you think about Mexican terra cotta tile? Not Saltillo tile, with lots of pink and yellow variation, but the more uniform terra cotta handmade tiles? With off-white cabinets, subway tile backsplash and either black or white quartz countertops? Is this too stylistically incompatible?

    • teresa says:

      You might consider cork flooring. the options are huge, it wears like iron, can be refinished is QUIET, SOFT and insulative. If you drop dishes they literally bounce. I’ve had them in many home, all old. They’re often used in libraries and museums where they could be mistaken for wood. If they can put up with that abuse they’ll put up with anything! That said, terracotta sound lovely.

      • CINDY G. says:

        I just had cork flooring installed last fall and love it. An additional plus for me it that it doesn’t get cold in the winter. My last house had tile and seemed to stay cold all winter long.

    • aprilneverends says:

      You can work with a store on staining your terracotta certain way, thus having more control of a color. You can also work with them on how the surface will feel-more smooth or more rough( less slippery)
      I wouldn’t go too white with it-if you love white your better bet would be creamy, milky color. Warm white, not bright white.
      I think darker shade of terracotta might be quite beautiful. It reads warm as hardwood, very nice feeling.
      Your subway tile will look best though if tiles are handmade..handmade tiles often have this subtle almost invisible variation, playing into “rustic” quality of terracotta.
      Warning: terracotta breaks and gets stained pretty easily. Paint should be done either before the floors are put, or tiles should be tightly covered. From what I know, you’ll also have to reseal it from time to time. But not very often-once in a couple years if I remember correctly. Maybe less often than that.
      I admit I have a hard time imagining black countertops..I’d go with warm white everywhere, and let the floor be the quiet star.
      You don’t have to have your subway tile bright white too…they have gorgeous color ranges for these, if you go with handmade option.
      Of course all this implies you find the stores/manufacturers needed, the ones that know what they do and what they sell. I’m in Southern CA, and even here it’s not that easy.

    • mrsben says:

      @Ann: I currently have terra cotta tile in both my kitchen and solarium; however ‘aprilneverends’ makes some excellent points about it. It can damage easily however because the colour is throughout the tile; cracks or chips are barely noticeable. That said; it can also be treacherous when wet plus quite destructive if you should drop glass or china ware on it. Also shall mention; for any hand-made tile (due to its irregularity in sizing) ensure that your installer is one who has experience in laying it. -Brenda-

  • Monica says:

    I had black glossy granite countertops for 14 years and they did show every bit of dust and every fingerprint. Constant cleaning was a must. When I remodeled the kitchen 5 years ago, I selected honed white marble for the perimeter and honed black granite for the island. Turns out maintaining the marble is super easy whereas the honed granite is looking blotchy. No more dark/black counters for me.

  • I’m not a fan of the tile floor either. I do agree that a medium brown wood floor (instead of gray) is so timeless. That’s what we installed a couple of years ago, and I love them! Black countertops are beautiful, but they do show everything. Have a great relaxing vacation!

  • Christie says:

    Black countertops are definitely the most difficult to maintain as EVERYTHING shows on them. If you wipe them with a cloth that is not perfectly clean (and you have light that is reflected in them) it can look much like windows that were cleaned with a dirty dish cloth. Think of maintaining a black car that must be wash and polished everyday.
    Black is beautiful, but it is the most divisive color. They are beautiful, but are you prepared for the necessary daily maintenance to keep them looking beautiful–some people are, but others are not.
    Most of my clients (with children) that have used it or who have it would never use it again.

  • Jessa says:

    Ann, I have a classic terra cotta tile in a few places in my home and I think it’s like Maria says, some things are like jeans. I’ve loved it for years although there are days where the orange feels really strong. So I would suggest as “washed” of a colour as possible.

    For all the people putting hardwood in your kitchens – think twice! We have engineered maple in our kitchen and all it took was the fridge water line to leak over the course of a work day and the floors are ruined. When we replace it will be with a tile, possibly a wood-look tile. I love the give of hardwood underfoot – tile is so hard – but this hardwood runs through my whole living/dining/kitchen and 1/3 of it is ruined now. It has big gaps between the boards and the problem seems to be growing over time as they press their neighbours out of alignment too. Just a caution for you to consider!

  • Carlyn says:

    I think terracota tiles would look good and be classic. Our house was built in 1920. It has medium brown oak in all the rooms except kitchen and bathrooms. We’re planning to renovate them to look more original and will have cream cabinets with soapstone counters and slightly mottled black and white linoleum tiles in a checkerboard pattern. For now we painted the 80’s oak cupboards and the walls cream as a place holder. I’m another person who doesn’t care for bright white. It wouldn’t look right in our old house.

  • I love the looks of the last Luxe picture. The floor is beautiful. The second picture has a floor with purple undertones and is too busy. I personally have always loved the look of a white kitchen with black counter tops. However after reading all of the negative comments about black, I will not be installing them for myself. It also depends on how much direct light you get that shows more blemishes.

    Eager to see the final arrangement of Crystal’s new kitchen.

    Have a fun vacation!

  • Kay says:

    Ann, I’m not sure the terra cotta tile would marry well with the rest of the kitchen. But how would it look against the hardwoods in the rest of your home? If it were basically the same color (and same undertone!), it might look fine. Usually terra cotta tile looks so orange.

    Maria, that tiled floor is pretty terrible. Where the light hits it it looks reddish purple, and in the foreground it looks green. I agree with people who vote for white counters, unless the black is mottled enough not to show up dirt and dust. The subway tile is not a good match to the color of the cabs.

  • Sue says:

    My vote is for the white counters. I have white Quartz and love it!
    Here’s hoping you, T and your mum have a fab time in Cabot. A well deserved vaca after all you did in the last two classes.

  • Sue says:

    Stupid auto correct!
    I meant Cabo!

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Hello! I am seeing purple or blue in that tile floor and not clean colored like the cabinets.

    So as for what I will pick… I like the ones with the darker counters. I feel these give more balance to the room.

    Ironically just yesterday we ordered cabinets for our tiny 10*10 kitchen! We will have a wood or dark gray/black counter – not glossy- (my experience shine causes issues period- like footprints on a high gloss floor, fingerprints on lacquer furniture) that works with our floor. I have a quote for butcher block and reclaimed barnwood counters and then a few laminates (cost concerns). Due to our wavy tilted floor (due to the construction and age of this home) we basically have to do a vinyl again. ** Say what you will… I am going TRENDY and BOSSY in the style of the vinyl floor and so excited with the choice! BUT fear not friends! I am very well aware, and educated via this blog and others, that it probably will have to go at some point. So I am embracing that thought and we are having a loose lay vinyl sheet good- no glue or anything. When ready we will lift up the transition strip to the dining room, pull up the quarter round around the perimeter, and put in whatever we want at that time (maybe the newest trend then- why not?). I do feel smart 😉

  • BillP says:

    I think the black countertop looks dated and country. White with black was used in new construction 20 years ago. White marble or quartz would be my preference. PS masculine and feminine elements? set her straight, please, Maria.

  • Mid America Mom says:

    Hi Ann! What I suggest is maybe consider what was appropriate to the style, geographic location, and time when the home was built? Or a more subdued version of that.

  • Elaine Allison says:

    Love the kitchen in the 2nd pic except for the tile floor.
    Currently visiting in a new condo with white, quartz counters. Absolutely love them. So easy to see everything while cooking. Maria you helped me choose new interior paint colours for my newly bought, 80’s home in Penticton a few years ago. I’m very happy with the choices especially the Palladium blue in th the guest bedroom. Just wanted to let you know.

  • Theresa says:

    Option #1 gives off classic vibes —except for the appliances it will hard to tell when it was built. Hate the pink undertones in the tile—detracts from the serenity of the space!

  • Claire K says:

    To answer Maria ‘s question, the tile floor has a cool undertone–grey with blue-green undertone. The stained wood of the island has a warm, orange undertone. These two are not the best match. Either get warmer tiles or cooler wood stain.
    To answer other people’s questions about black countertops, I have Absolute Black granite in primary and second home. One is a honed finish, the other is a distressed finish. They are both accompanied by white cabinets and white subway tile and darker wood floors. The look is classic, like Maria says. I love them both and have no trouble with cleaning them. I have statuary marble in the baths, which I constantly worry about staining, but I never worry about the AB granite. It looks crisp and classic and easy to care for. Do NOT get a polished finish. My comments apply to honed and distressed finishes. Polished would be a nightmare 🙂 .

  • Jo says:

    Option 2. The white on white is just too stark, the black gives it more depth. Another option to absolute – if you want just a bit of movement that does not overpower – is Jet Mist (Virginia Mist) granite. Polished or honed (my preference is honed), it’s beautiful.

  • Nancy Simsion says:

    Ok the black is beautiful. Looks really great. But NEVER would have it. Have you ever maintained black counter tops Maria? It’s just not worth it to sacrifice everything else for style. Style has to fit in with your life. Do you have a maid? A live in house keeper? It can’t be just for looks unless you want to live in a magazine. I’m amazed at those who choose style with no function and I assume they don’t really live in their show places.

  • Emilie says:

    I can’t believe no one has mentioned how the honed black granite counter top will eat up the light in your kitchen. I would never again do a black or really dark counter in any room because of that problem. I’ve added lamps to the middle of the large island and had to increase the wattage in the ceiling cans and the pendants to maximum. Never again, even though is looks so stylish.

  • Katy says:

    I must be missing something. I do not find my black countertops hard to keep at all. In fact, this is the third time I’ve had a black/white kitchen with light wood floors. It looks so classic. Can be elegant and clean with minimal accessories or change themes instantly if I’m in an accessorizing mood. When I look at the first photos above…I feel that something is missing. When I look at the black countertops it looks grounded and finished. I have yet to grow tired of the combination and can honestly say it is no harder to keep than my lighter countertops in other areas.

  • Phyllis E says:

    Heh–am I seeing an undertone clash in the first “inspiration” photo or is just on my monitor that the island appears to have a purplish taupe undertone to the wood stain, while the flooring appears to have a greenish undertone? (I am saying this tongue in cheek, but I really do see it, LOL! See, we are learning from you!) I do love the coral colored blossoms, though! (Are they quince?)
    Maria–I am so jealous that you get to go to Cabo on vacation! Did you have to rub it in with enticing photo, ha, ha? So glad you can go and take your mom!

  • LeeAnn says:

    Absolute black granite is a nightmare to keep looking clean

  • Kelly says:

    I love Cabo! Have a great time. If you have time, drive up to Todos Santos for the day. Best burger I have ever had in my life in a little dive there. Shut Up Franks I think. Beautiful place. Where are you staying?

  • Fra Na says:

    Like the last picture above the best.
    We did white cabinets, walnut floors, white oversize subway tile backsplash (4×12) and absolute black honed granite counters on the perimeter. LOVE IT, not any harder to care for than anything else we have had. We did put in really good LED undercounter lights so no problem with the black sucking up all the light. Our island was the splurge – honed Luce de Luna quartzite which is silvery grey with beautiful veining. This is our fifth and last home. Thank you Maria, you blog has been invaluable as I spent a year doing this house.

  • Martha says:

    I vote for the last picture with the white cabinets and black counter top. I have had a white counter top and a black counter top. The black granite is not absolute black. It has some flecks of black pearl in it. In fact that is the name of the granite, Black Pearl. It does show water marks etc. but isn’t very hard to keep looking nice. The white counter top I had showed everything. Every piece of lint, ever speck of dust, every speck of pepper, just everything. I liked the look, but I was constantly wiping it down. I just like the look of the black counter best though.

  • Beth B. says:

    I like the look of my black counters with my off white cabinets, but it’s true, the smudging is the worst! I wouldn’t do it again unless they were honed.

  • Laura says:

    I agree that dark (polished) counters show everything even the smears after cleaning. I hate mine. I have dark antique brown granite on my perimeter and a white granite with viens and lots of quartz on my large island and everyone much prefers the white!! It’s a classic. I did a leather finish in my master bath on basic dark yuba tuba granite and it’s much easier to keep clean. However, I have a leathered finish on absolute black granite in another bath and it’s horrible…like a rough chalk board you can’t ever get clean.

  • Tamara says:

    I vote for the first two kitchens, white and walnut are such a nice combo. I did my kitchen with white cabinetry and two walnut islands, with 4 inch wide rift quartered oak floors, but topped them with a creamy Quartzite called Taj Mahal. The creamy countertops make the kitchen! The veining in the stone picks up the brown of the walnut cabinetry and the white cabinetry.

    • maurie says:

      What white did you use to compliment your Taj Mahal? I have it and the first go was a little too blue gray which makes me crazy because it looks dirty and cold…HELP!!! I also dont want it to go too Yellow because TM can have a slight pink undertone and Id rather not amplify the pink in that or yellow in a cabinet. I am considering BM Dune. Any help would be great! Thanks

  • sandyc says:

    To Ann/s comment re the Pinterest kitchen, I relate to the concern about porcelain tile, especially the faux wood. This is going to be the way I’m going to re-floor my entire home here in Arizona – the only logical option for me, but I’ve had the same experience with a perfect looking tile turning grey or pink in my mostly shaded house. Since my color palette is cream, I need yellow/gold undertones, absolutely nothing pink, no grey and nothing dark that’s going to look like the caves some of my neighbors have created in their homes. And my eventual white kitchen will be toward a creamier white as well. Your terra cotta floors sounds like a major decision not to made lightly. I’d read every bit of advice given here and I’d google all over the place, HOUZZ and any other site, for rooms with terracotta floors to see if and what you like. Good luck.

    As far as the pix, don’t dig that island in the first one; the grey tile in the second one is so not good; I don’t care for black countertops but if I had to, I’d go with the Studio McGee thinner one – not so obnoxious; and the floor in the last pic is my favorite.

    Hoe your and Terreeia and your mom are having a wonderful time in Cabo.

  • Stacy says:

    I think the key is some contrast. If you do lighter floors and white cabinets, then I think the countertops are begging to be darker. If you have white cabinets and medium/dark floors, then you can do white or dark countertops. Some balance is in order. I have dark wood floors and white kitchen cabinets with a greige granite countertop, and I love it all….gives me the white cabinets I love with the contrast to balance it all out. If you go all light, it seems very sterile, and while some people love that, I don’t.

  • Beth says:

    So confused …… I have read your blog for a long time. I was under the impression that your opinion was that ONLY medium brown wood stained floors are timeless !?

  • mrsben says:

    Personally; looking at the complete floor plan if at all possible I would continue the same hardwood flooring used in the adjacent space(s), however would lay it opposite to the other(s) so it would define the space. As for the choice in countertop colour, definitely NOT black as IMHO it is a colour that is notorious for upkeep no matter its element and like so many others who have commented I opt for quartz as it is definitely ‘bullet proof’…. ☺. As for masculinity I would be tempted to go with the marble look paired with a solid gray island countertop. (There is nothing as classic as a pair of men’s gray flannel trousers not to mention a gray business suit.) Last but not least so the room does not come across as being sterile; the addition of texture and colour in accessories should warm it up whic can be readily replaced when outdated or just tired of. -Brenda-
    P.S.: Hoping you, Terreeia and your Mom are enjoying your vacation and are soaking up the sunshine.

  • Suzi says:

    It is probably the lighting or my monitor but in the last three photos (option 2) showing white oak floors I see pink & can’t unsee it. I’ve had this problem with real life flooring decisions also. That doesn’t make the gray tile in option 1 better, however.

  • Wendy says:

    I have black soapstone (for 10 years now) and love it. It’s the true black. So low maintenance. I have it with a modern white back-splash. We have well water that is hard but doesn’t leave spots on the soapstone. My sink is a custom farm soapstone sink. Looks as good as the day it was made. I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Marilynn says:

    I did a soft white kitchen with black countertops and a black chevron backsplash and LOVE the contrast and texture. I added a white oak floor and a tribal killim for the floor. black pulls because my house had ugly 80’s brass and I just. can’t.even. That said I am a nut about cleaning the granite. Retired though so I have the time! lol

  • Margret says:

    Maria Maria Maria! Can you please tell me what is coming next, as I am just about done with all these white kitchens! I have a 1999 kitchen( maple shaker cabinets, maple floor, stainless appliances, and a ubatuba countertop, which I have updated by painting one wall black( looks pretty elegant actually), and which is sort of on trend because I have banked all cabinets on a single wall, leaving all other walls cabinet free. But it does need to be updated, and I am pretty sure that by the time I get it together, white on white will be out, which is good because this is starting to feel so …safe.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Haha, well in my opinion, white will never be out. . . it will go from white to cream to cream to white but if you can’t show me an 18 year old wood stained kitchen that is hard to pin down when it was installed but you can do that with an 18 year old white kitchen. . . the fact that it’s trendy right now doesn’t mean it’ll be out, it’s a timeless kitchen that happens to be trendy.
      Hope that helps,

  • Sharen says:

    Hi Maria, I’m new to this blog and I am loving it. I’m in the middle of renovating my very small kitchen and have I’ve always loved white kitchens. I’ve made several choices on my own without a designer. After reading so many wonderful suggestions and inputs from you and fellow bloggers I’m so pleased with my choices. I went with a dark charcoal porcelain tile 12 x 24 (not too concerned about being trendy or the practicality of dirt showing), Bengala Nero. White cabinets, farm style sink and country style faucet. My big splurge was the quartz countertop by Cambria in Brittanicca. And trying to stay with a classic white kitchen I went with a White mother-of-pearl backsplash. And just recently I found Whirlpool appliances in white ice that have a classic look. After changing my mind so many times from yellow to grey to black and white I love my choices. I hope to send pictures when it’s done. Thanks Maria for all your help!

  • Christine says:

    Maria, I’m looking for any blog you’ve written on choosing the right color of wood flooring for white kitchens. I’m about to order wood flooring and am worried about “Somerset Classic Collection – Red Oak – Gunstock” as my choice….am needing to order it soon. Your blog is the BEST, your advice is always on point! ♥

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Christine, your floor should coordinate with other furniture pieces or at the very least be a classic and timeless medium brown or light maple, the end. Hope this helps, Maria

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