White kitchen design ideas for family living

Are you dreaming of a white kitchen? A space that is elegant, simple and can be used by the whole family? Well, we’ve asked two designers to come up with inspiring ideas for one of our readers (and for you to steal).

A family in Durham have had their kitchen redesigned by Gabi Riseley, design director at Henry Rose Interiors, and Hannah Quinnell, designer at Schmidt Beaconsfield. Their current space is outdated and the owners would like a bright and white kitchen that is in keeping with their Victorian terrace. KBB Journo Rachel Ogden finds the perfect designers and plans for them…

For a chance to feature in Kitchens Bedrooms & Bathrooms magazine and have expert designers help out with your own renovation, submit your plans here.

The client

Alex Nicholson, 45, a partnership and events manager, lives with her husband Simon, 47, and their daughter Emily, 16, in a Victorian mid-terrace house in Durham. They moved in 21 years ago and feel that the kitchen could be improved ergonomically and they’d like to redevelop the space.

The couple would like guidance on whether they should extend the kitchen’s outer walls and have a glass extension, or instead redesign the existing space without any additional building work. Currently, the kitchen is 7.6 metres long and three metres wide. Their budget is £30,000 including installation.

The white kitchen wishlist

  • The family would like to modernise the kitchen, potentially extending it to include a utility and creating a space that leads seamlessly into the garden. Plenty of storage is a priority.
  • Alex and Simon want to include eco and sustainable options in the new kitchen design. They prefer clean, white contemporary lines for a tidy, uncluttered look, and are considering a concrete floor or similar, combined with underfloor heating.
  • The couple would like to retain their existing American-style fridge-freezer and white goods. Also on the wishlist is a larder cupboard, plus an electric oven and hob.
  • They would like a brighter, more spacious feel with larger windows and more glass.

The moodboard

1. Large porcelain pendant light, £119.99, Dowsing & Reynolds. 2. Interior eggshell in Samantha, Angel Dust, and Mink Lashes, £36 for one litre, Graham & Brown. 3. Althia single-lever tap in Nude, £269, Abode. 4. London bar stool in teak with leather seat, £235, Where Saints Go. 5. Malibu Dekton worktop from the SilverKoast collection, £450 per sq m, from Cosentino. 6. Muse Botanic Concrete laminate flooring, from £32.49 per sq m, Quick-Step.

Design one

Gabi Riseley is the owner and design director of Henry Rose Interiors, which she set up six years ago. Last year, she was awarded Bathroom Designer of the Year 2023 by the KBSA for her project in a loft conversion.

Floor plan of a kitchen design
  1. The built-in Neff oven has a slide-and-hide door that retracts below it for convenience.
  2. The utility cupboard above the washing machine has shelving for laundry detergents and other cleaning products.
  3. The reduced-depth unit is set at a 90-degree angle to the fridge-freezer housing, this can store charging devices, post and keys, keeping surfaces clutter-free.
  4. The worktop has a large area between the sink and hob providing plenty of room for food preparation.
A white minimalistic kitchen
Henry Rose Interiors has created this kitchen for £28,618.

Compact and family-friendly white kitchen

Gabi explains her design process: “My starting point for Alex and Simon’s design was their desire for eco and sustainable options. For the kitchen furniture, I opted for Rotpunkt’s Urban Wild Oak cabinets with a warm Beach Grey slab door. A perfect twist on the classic white kitchen. They are made with Greenline BioBoard, an eco-friendly alternative to chipboard. I’ve paired this with Silestone’s Lime Delight composite quartz worktop. Both of these companies have sustainability at their core.

“I decided not to extend the room as I felt that there was plenty of space to achieve what was in the brief. However, to keep the space feeling light and airy, I’ve removed the window and the doors at the end of the kitchen and replaced them with a corner sliding door. This allows more light in and leaves the door on the right of the kitchen if they wish to extend in the future. I’ve also chosen to finish the walls in a similar tone to the kitchen doors. This creates an optical illusion of more space.

“The run of units begins with a second utility cupboard, which allows for the storage of the ironing board, vacuum cleaner and mops, and a hidden breakfast area inside a bi-fold dresser with drawer storage underneath. If the budget allows, I will always opt for drawers, whether visible or behind a door, as the contents are more accessible.”

A kitchen that maximises on storage
The clean run of units creates a good amount of storage and prep space.

The client’s verdict

“This design is probably our favourite and has given us a good base to work from. It has adapted our layout to show how the space can work much more efficiently. The look of the kitchen is very much our style – white units with wood are exactly what I would choose. I especially like how the washing machine is hidden, and raising it will make doing laundry more ergonomic – plus the room is more efficient and tidier. All the elements of sustainability that have been incorporated to create this space are thoughtful as well. Replacing our doors with a glass corner brings in extra light and makes the garden more visible. It’s amazing!” says Alex.

Utility area next to an American fridge freezer
The utility area is next to the fridge keeping the appliances together.

Design two

Hannah Quinnell is a designer at Schmidt Beaconsfield, the company she joined as an apprentice after studying art and design. She specialises in creating impact through the use of materials and themes.

Floor plan of a kitchen design
  1. A separate, raised breakfast bar allows the family to enjoy casual meals together.
  2. Various illumination solutions, including ceiling spots and under-cabinet lighting above the sink, ensure the working areas are well-lit.
  3. Deep shelves above the washing machine provide plenty of storage space for towels and other household items.
  4. The fridge-freezer sits at the end of the run. This is easily accessed from the breakfast bar or snug without entering the main kitchen area.
Scandi white kitchen with oak and marble
The total cost from Schmidt Beaconsfield is £28,214.

White kitchen with a luxurious twist

Hannah takes us through her design: “Alex and Simon’s brief was to create a modern and practical space for their family. I felt the primary challenge was integrating a contemporary space within a traditional, Victorian, mid-terrace property. I’ve achieved this by choosing a Scandinavian design theme with a focus on minimalism, clean lines and ergonomic functionality. So, we created this bold wooden and white kitchen.

“I decided the best way to transform the space would be to add a large side extension. Visually, the impact of the glass returning around the corner dominates, creating a strong connection between indoor and outdoor living. The kitchen layout plays a central role, with a secondary hidden utility, and a bright and airy family snug/TV area, bathed in natural daylight. The snug being cocooned in glass has been designed to transform with the seasons, allowing the family to enjoy cosy winter weekends as well as mid-summer sunsets. 

“The simplicity of the kitchen I’ve chosen contrasts with the intricate details of the original Victorian property and avoids the traditional look. A monolithic island acts as the connecting hub within the open-plan dynamic. It’s positioned with the centre point following through to the rear elevation and is home to a Bora venting hob, which is also centrally positioned. This forms two distinct food preparation areas on either side, which are in easy reach of the sink behind.”

An open-plan kitchen with huge windows
The opening of the space creates a fun family design.

The client’s verdict

“This design has some lovely features and the idea of a large extension looks great. However, it wouldn’t fit in our space very easily due to the layout of the main building. From a design point of view, there are several elements we will definitely consider. These include the utility storage space, the Scandi theme, white kitchen, and the concept of connecting with the outdoors. The wood adds warmth. But, having different coloured doors would not be something I’d consider as I prefer everything to be the same. We also like the living-space seating, too, because it makes the space more multifunctional,” says Alex.

Concealed laundry and utility area.
The laundry area stores all the important items.

Enjoyed this post? Click here to see two designers create a biophilic green bathroom

About Post Author

You Might Also Like


Want to get involved?

[email protected]

Sign up to our newsletter

Want the latest in your inbox?