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A white interior can be stark and cold or energetic, light, open, and inviting. The use of white in any interior can be a challenge to produce the proper balance of other elements that really make white work. Texture, line and form are the basis to creating a beautiful white interior. Enlisting the help of a professional interior designer will make this daunting design puzzle come to life, saving you stress and, yes, even money. Combining various shades of white is very effective to create mood and a lovely shadow effect that exudes an inviting warmth. White does not mean an interior must be cold-feeling. The right wood tones, paired with texture and interesting architectural elements can enliven a space. It is also great for art lovers who appreciate a clean backdrop to highlight art or collections.

White is a great choice for kitchens. In the 1920s, white was usually the only color offered by manufacturers, and even with the advancements in design, white remains a popular choice. Throughout time and across many domains, white symbolizes happiness, innocence and purity — all attributes people will cherish for years to come. White also is commonly associated with sanitation and health, a desirable asset for any chef. Also, white gives off positive vibes everyone will enjoy. As the brightest color, white reflects light, creates space and makes any small kitchen feel spacious. To say the least, white is the supreme neutral; it makes everything else in the space look great.

White done right, White Done Right
When skimming design magazines, a dream kitchen can remain a fantasy due to modern appliances and expensive components used in luxury homes, but with the help of an interior designer, a client can save money by avoiding misleading investments and creating a space that is efficient and charming. In design, it is smart to realize that not everything needs to be upscale to look good. If clients want to spend the bulk of their budget on cabinets and less on countertops, an interior designer can help find affordable marble alternatives that look lavish without breaking the bank. With that said, it is smart to keep in mind that an initial investment goes a long way, especially in a traffic-heavy area like a kitchen. For example, wood butcher-block island countertops might seem like a great alternative, but they scratch, stain and wear easily. It is almost always better to go with a stone top, especially if the homeowner loves to cook, or has children running through the home.

No matter the time, white will always remain a color associated with happiness, class and simplicity. It is a neutral base most couples, designers, renters and families can agree upon. With selective material choice, appropriate color combinations and elegant accessories, a white kitchen can look less like an empty cutting board and more like a plate of tasteful design.

Lisa Samuel ASID, IIDA, is a Santa Fe native and principal of Samuel Design Group, located in the heart of downtown Santa Fe. She is an award-winning interior designer known for creating unique interiors imbued with warmth and elegance. Samuel ( is passionate about good design that supports well-being.