Beautiful North Carolina Kitchens Awash In White

Posted on | March 12, 2014 | No Comments

I am definitely very partial to the wonderfully clean, crisp and classic look of white kitchens. My own kitchen is white, after all! White kitchens have been a Southern tradition for many years, and now it seems they are experiencing a renewed popularity with homeowners in North Carolina. To get a better understanding of just how popular they are, as well as a bit about the ins and outs of creating one of these beautiful kitchens, North Carolina Design caught up with Gina Arledge, owner of The Kitchen Studio in Greensboro. Gina is a bona fide expert in all kitchen styles, and she was happy to share her thoughts.

Images Courtesy of The Kitchen Studio. Photography by Dustin Peck. ©

“White kitchens really are a classic timeless staple in the South,” Gina explains. “We often go into homes from the 40′s and 50′s. Some have their original cabinetry, and it’s often white. There was a dip in popularity for a good 7 or 8 years in the late 90′s and early 2000′s. We were still doing white kitchens, but there just wasn’t much demand.”

Gina says that, in the end, white has won out again. “Right now 70 percent of the kitchens we’re seeing are white. I think the demand has resurged because people are looking for something a little more simplified and less ornate, with cleaner lines and less muss and fuss. They appreciate the crispness, lightness, brightness of a white kitchen, as well as the classic feel that it offers.”

White is also a highly versatile choice for a kitchen. “White can act as a blank canvas that accommodates anyone’s tastes,” says Gina. “It can be very classic, and it can be very, very contemporary. And today, painted white wood is available at any price point, so there’s no barrier to having a white kitchen. Essentially, white crosses all design styles and budgets, and it can work for anyone.”

White kitchens do come with some challenges. First, there’s the day-to-day challenge of keeping them clean – especially seeing as kitchens are inherently messy areas. “It’s true that white is not as forgiving a finish,” notes Gina. “You do have to be more thoughtful about making sure that spills are cleaned up quickly. That said, white paint has come a long way. The high-quality factory finishes and UV top coats available now offer a better shield from dirt and stains.”

Another challenge of creating a white kitchen is avoiding a look that’s too clean. “If you’re not careful, white can look a little sterile,” Gina explains. “I like to pair it with rich wood floors to add warmth. I also like to give the homeowners areas where they can incorporate their personal style, like open shelving for decorative items.”

Gina notes that there are many ways to add personality to a white kitchen. “You can add a bit of color with fabrics and window treatments, and character with pendants and bar stools. You can go retro, or combine some modern elements with some traditional elements. The possibilities really are endless.”

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