Dreaming of a white kitchen? Consider this your inspirational wake-up call. Victoria McKenney, principal at Vancouver’s Enviable Designs, embraced a pristine pallor to transform the kitchen in this 15-year-old Kerrisdale home into a timeless, beachy modern haven. But when it comes to picking that perfect pale palette, there’s more than meets the eye. “Choosing white is very hard. There is a variety of shades including cold whites, warm whites, yellow whites, green whites,” says McKenney, emphasizing the importance of testing the whites in the space itself. “You really do need to bring the colour samples into the home and look at it during the day and at night and see how it changes with the different light sources in the room.” Another consideration? The overall aesthetic. “I like to choose a warm white for a more traditional kitchen,” she explains. “For a more modern feel, I tend to choose a crisper white.” For this kitchen, the timeless quality of a soft crisp white—Benjamin Moore’s Simply White—strikes the perfect balance as a “neutral soft white with a clean crispness.” The takeaway? Choose your kitchen’s white shade wisely; like Goldilocks, don’t settle until it feels just right.

Enviable Designs white Kerrisdale kitchen
Fresh Starts
McKenney’s sustainable ethos shines through: the designer chose to repurpose and revamp existing elements from the original kitchen instead of starting from scratch. “We repainted all the cabinetry,” she explains. “And we kept the countertops and backsplash but upgraded all the hardware, lighting and flooring,” she explains. A reminder that transition doesn’t always mean a complete overhaul. “You don’t have to completely gut a space to achieve something very different,” she says. Photo by Tracey Ayton


Enviable Designs white Kerrisdale kitchen
Pale in Comparison
White kitchens often run the risk of feeling clinical. To avoid this sterility, McKenney recommends using contrast: “You’ll want to balance out the cooler colour tones by adding some warmth through natural materials.” Enter warm, white oak floors and modern white oak bar stools, along with large pendant lights with rope-like rose cords that offer a more subtle pop. And for a bigger switch-up? Dark slate-grey cabinets on the island that boldly stand out against the white. It’s all about finding the perfect balance. Photo by Tracey Ayton