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10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks for Kitchen Cabinets


10 Easy Pieces: Architects’ White Paint Picks for Kitchen Cabinets

January 19, 2018

There’s no doubt about it: The color of your kitchen cabinets matters. In most kitchens, cabinets comprise the single largest surface area, so they have more to say than perhaps more than any other material. White remains the go-to color choice for most people, but which white? We turned to the architect and designer members of the Remodelista Architect/Designer Directory for their time-tested, tried-and-true favorites, and here are their picks.

jessica helgerson white kitchen trestle table
Above: Portland, Oregon, interior designer Jessica Helgerson likes Benjamin Moore Distant Gray in a kitchen that calls for a white that’s barely cool. (When she wants a little extra warmth, her go-to is White Opulence from the same brand.) Photograph courtesy of Jessica Helgerson.
heidi caillier white kitchen cabinets
Above: Seattle interior designer Heidi Caillier opts for Benjamin Moore Decorator’s White for kitchen cabinets. “It’s a bright, clean white that doesn’t have gray or yellow undertones to it,” she says, “so it plays nicely with other colors.” Photograph by Haris Kenjar, courtesy of Heidi Caillier.
gustave carlson white cabinets kitchen yellow walls
Above: Berkeley, California, interior designer Gustave Carlson uses Benjamin Moore Linen White. “I like my cabinets to blend with the room color,” he says, and finds Linen White works well on all surfaces. “It creates a quiet backdrop for the room’s activities.” MB Architecture & Design in Lincoln, Vermont, calls it “a crisp but warmer white.” Photograph by Laure Joliet, courtesy of Gustave Carlson.
cwb architects white kitchen cabinets
Above: CWB Architects in Brooklyn like Simply White from Benjamin Moore: Here they used a semigloss finish on the cabinets and a matte finish on the walls in the same color. Berkeley interior designer Lane McNab also favors the color, which she says is “a clean, fresh, vibrant, white but with a lot of warmth to it. It looks beautiful with most colors and great with many wood tones.” San Francisco interior designer Kriste Michelini is also a fan. Photograph courtesy of CWB Architects.
atema off white kitchen cabinets
Above: Atema Architecture in New York used Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace as a shop-sprayed lacquer in the kitchen of this Gramercy Park apartment. The color is “a great option that opens up the kitchen, allows other materials like countertops to pop, and creates a clean, modern look with a subtle hint of warmth,” said firm principal Ate Atema. NYC interior designer Suzanne Shaker says it’s “almost milk white, and it stays true to color in artificial light.” It’s also a favorite of Brooklyn’s Office of Architecture and NYC firm Mabbott Seidel. Photograph by Fran Parente, courtesy of Atema Architecture.

mcinturff architect white cabinets kitchen wood trim
Above: McInturff Architects in Bethesda, Maryland, reaches for Benjamin Moore Super White for cabinets and walls: “It is extremely versatile,” said firm principal Colleen Gove Healey. “It goes just as well with a warm wood as a cool gray.” Brooklyn interior designer Lorraine Bonaventura calls it “a classic, clean, crisp white that works well in every kind of light.” Photograph by Julia Heine, courtesy of McInturff Architects.
medium plenty white modern kitchen cabinets
Above: Oakland design firm Medium Plenty likes Collingwood from Benjamin Moore. Says cofounder Ian Read: “It’s an off-white that has a warmth to it. It feels less stark than a bright white but not too beige.” Photograph by Melissa Kaseman, courtesy of Medium Plenty.

pulltab design kitchen white cabinets
Above: Pulltab Design in NYC likes Wimborne White from UK paint company Farrow & Ball: “It is a beautiful, slightly creamy white,” said architect Jon Handley. “It’s a perfect balance between bright and warm.” Photograph by Mikiko Kikuyama, courtesy of Pulltab.
kim hoyt white brownstone kitchen
Above: Kim Hoyt Architecture/Landscape chose Farrow & Ball’s All White for the cabinetry in this Brooklyn brownstone kitchen: “We felt it complemented the pale blues and grays coming from the tile, the marble, and the stainless steel surfaces,” said designer Evelyn Zornoza. Photograph courtesy of Kim Hoyt.
10 Easy Pieces Architects White Paint Picks for Kitchen Cabinets portrait 15
Above: Studio Schicketanz likes Benjamin Moore White Dove: “I love this warm, milky white for its hint of ‘antique’ and its adaptability to modern as well as traditional spaces,” said architect Maryann Schicketanz. It’s also the pick of Mill Valley, California, architect Barbara Chambers, who says it “pairs well with cool or warm neutrals on the wall.” NYC firm Jacobschang likes a fifty-fifty mix of White Dove and Benjamin Moore’s base white. Photograph courtesy of Studio Schicketanz.
Consult the Remodelista archive of Paint stories to find the right shade for every room in your house:

For more information about selecting and sourcing kitchen cabinets and associated hardware, see our guide “How to Choose the Best Kitchen Cabinets & Hardware.”

Finally, get more ideas on how to evaluate and choose kitchen cabinetry and hardware in our Remodeling 101 Guide: Kitchen Cabinets & Hardware.

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