Blogger Joanna Goetz makes it work with white and wood

“Your kitchen should be as warm and as beautiful a space as possible.”

As the woman behind popular German lifestyle and design blog “Liebesbotschaft” (“Love Message”), Joanna Goetz is no stranger to exploring the many ways we can make our everyday lives more fabulous and fulfilling. So, when designing her kitchen she made use of her considerable expertise in good living to create an urban, yet rustic kitchen space that spoke to her (and suited her family’s welcoming and social lifestyle).

And she did it all by making the most of her favourite colour: white.

“White has always been my favourite colour because it provides the perfect basis for any kind of decoration. It’s airy and effortless and you can mix it with any other colours and still it would be perfect.”

Open space white kitchen island – both clean and minimalistic.

Open space white kitchen island – both clean and minimalistic.

Dominated by a sleek and white central island that she fell in love with on the spot, the aim for the kitchen design was to create the feeling of a Caribbean beach house – not the look. In fact, she built her kitchen around the island itself! Easily fitting 10 people it seamlessly integrates the hostess into the party action. The final result isn’t a direct replication of tropical living, but an effortlessly comfortable space. Much like being on vacation, when you walk into Joanna’s kitchen you instantly feel free to take your shoes off, walk around barefoot and be yourself.

White dominates the the kitchen and dinning area.

White dominates the the kitchen and dinning area.

In addition to using white heated floors that give the sense that the entire kitchen itself is floating (and provide a welcoming area for friends to sit down and socialise with a glass of wine), Joanna used a few other décor innovations to create the spacious look. One such innovation is white-on-white open shelving.

“I love the idea to put white dishes on white walls. Open shelves might look messy with colourful dishes, but if you only put white on them it still looks clean.”

For Joanna, the white on white shelving isn’t just a chic visual statement. It enhances her home’s open-door policy: “It makes it on the one side minimalistic. On the other side it is like what a kitchen should be: everything in an open space and you can come in and grab a cup, have a coffee and help yourself.”

However, since Joanna’s home located is in an industrial building, she was also focussed on tempering the cool urban style that the colour white creates with warm wooden elements. Discovered by Joanna and then cleverly repurposed to suit her kitchen’s needs, the subtle disruptions that the wooden elements create ensure the space is minimalistic, without coming off as too sterile. And thus, the white rustic kitchen was born.

“What perfectly breaks the minimalistic style of a kitchen are used vintage pieces of furniture. You see there is a little bit of history and a little bit of past in them and these small contrasts in such a clean kitchen always catch the eye.”

An antique wooden bench she found in her grandparents’ barn now holds her cookbook collection. Her growing array of well-seasoned cutting boards is stacked against the wall, waiting to be used – but not for cutting. Joanna has repurposed them for entertaining. They make wonderful platters for canapés and other dishes during her frequent dinner parties and other casual gatherings.

Vintage wooden rustic bench.

Vintage wooden rustic bench.

When it comes down to it, the combination of high-style minimalism with earthy wooden pieces is a reflection of Joanne herself: sophisticated, yet down-to-earth. And, that is the precisely the point! Whether you’re doing a full renovation, or are just redecorating your kitchen, ultimately it should reflect who you are. Not just your design tastes, but how you and your family live.

“What I want you to feel like when you come into my kitchen is to see this white space where you can breathe in and out and your personality can unfold. That’s what I love.”