I spoke with a Consultation client today, a mother of two very young children. She was struggling because she could not decide which white to choose for her cabinet color.
Her kitchen, at the rear of the house, could be seen from the front door, first through the living room, then through the dining room, then, into the kitchen. She also needed to select paint for her walls in these rooms. This entire space, these rooms, I'd consider to be relatively small in size.
Here's what occurred to me. First, as a mother who raised three kids in a white kitchen(!) I needed to discuss the inevitable...dings, nicks, marks, wear, even non-kid wear combined with kid-wear! It's a bad scene, and if it doesn't happen right away, in time, it will. When asked when will it show, I replied, it could be the next day or much longer, but show, it WILL!
What I suggested was a soft, neutral, elegant shade, such as a light/medium greigy/beige shade. This type of shade can serve many purposes:
It will serve as a foundation for many other colors
It will not call attention to the kitchen from other rooms close by
It will hide marks better than a bright white shade would
It can look very sophisticated
With a similar shade on the walls, a bit lighter, this kitchen can really flow, when you are in it, or when viewing it from a distance. Many, many colors can be coordinated with this type of shade.
Alternatives we discussed were more creamy/yellow shades, but this top image of a kitchen I did, that's a nice shade too, has a bit of blue in it. Consider shades. They make a statement, hide the bad stuff (marks), and are just as easy to love as white, I promise! In the end, if you've just got to have white, of course, do it.