Wood kitchen cabinets are a standard element, but creative designers are showing new ways to feature the beauty of natural wood in your kitchen. Often, kitchen cabinets are painted or made from a stock wood variety that is a inexpensive and — let’s face it — a little boring. Unexpected wood features, whether they are rustic or highly polished, add interest and warmth to even the most modern kitchen designs.
View in gallery Pale natural wood was a popular choice to pair with modern materials in minimalist designs, such as this one from Ar-Tre. The light wood keeps the kitchen new and fresh, otherwise, this amount of wood could pull the design too far into the traditional realm. The wood stored at the bottom for wood-fired cooking adds a rustic element. View in gallery This warm honey-colored wood kitchen island by Toncelli belies the modern conveniences and technology concealed within. Using wood in this way preserves the cozy feeling many people want in a kitchen, but not at the expense of new technology and the latest appliances. View in gallery At EuroCucina in Milan, Team 7 exhibited many wood kitchens like this one. The deeper colored wood cabinets and drawers play well with the stone countertop and backsplash. Also, the wood is finished in a way that draws out the dramatic wood grain, which is clearly visible. View in gallery These dark wood block stools, also by Team 7, are a little different from most others. These blocks can swivel because they are attached to a smaller block. They would also be a good choice for seating in a tighter space since they can be pushed fully under the table when not in use. View in gallery Wood can also be used in the hood and lighting area above the island, not just for wood kitchen cabinets. A Team 7 kitchen included a wood shelf above the lighting. View in gallery The light wood kitchen cabinets include the same wood in the pull-out drawers inside the cabinets. View in gallery The light wood kitchen cabinets include the same wood in the pull-out drawers inside the cabinets. View in gallery Here, Team 7 shows that it’s possible not only to mix materials, but also colors of wood. The wooden bar extension, shaped like a parallelogram, is made from a darker wood than the wood kitchen cabinets. By adding in other dark wood elements, such as the bar stools and the knife blocks, the mix works well. View in gallery Stosa Cucine presented a retro kitchen that uses rustic wood walls, butcherblock countertops, and even a natural branch element as a utensil hanger. View in gallery A shiny, modern, state-of-the-art gas cooktop from Smeg is combined with a rustic butcher block island in this Stosa kitchen. By carefully incorporating modern elements, the kitchen can still achieve a rustic, farmhouse feel. View in gallery Spagnol’s natural wood shelving mixes well with the more polished wood kitchen cabinets underneath. The light wood of the open shelving keeps the design casual. View in gallery The industrial, yet polished, structural elements enhance the casual nature of the wooden shelving unity. View in gallery Moving beyond just wood kitchen cabinets, designers are adding wood elements like Spagnol’s wall with open concept display shelving units. We’ve also noticed that wherever natural wood is used, kitchen accessories include plenty of live herbs and plants. View in gallery Sleek white handle-less cabinets by Spagnol are combined with the wood wall feature as well as a wood countertop that can also serve as a dining table. View in gallery The warm colored wood countertop is paired with support lets that feature industrial details, such as legs reminiscent of a sawhorse, metal plates and stud. View in gallery Spagnol also exhibited this highlight polished wood kitchen island, which is definitely a bit more formal than the previous kitchen design. Still, the beautiful grain of the wood is pronounced and a focal point of the kitchen’s design. View in gallery The organic nature of the live edge wood bar juxtaposed with the shiny modern range hood/light combo and sleek kitchen island is a true mix of materials as well as designs. Spagnol’s design is a great example of how you can incorporate natural wood into any kitchen design and are not limited to wood kitchen cabinets. View in gallery Another example of open concept wood shelving is this wall unit shown by Snaidero. Instead of using only wood kitchen cabinets, the open box shelving units keep the feeling light and allow you to showcase items instead of hiding everything behind doors. This is a direct contrast to the recent trend of “hidden” kitchens. View in gallery Wood details ale also showing up inside cupboards and cabinets, such as for shelf edging, wine racks and storage boxes. These cabinets were in the snaidero display at EuroCucina. View in gallery Scavolini achieved a really old-school look with their wood countertop and old-fashioned bread-box style cabinets. Paired with traditional painted wood kitchen cabinets and rustic elements like the wrought iron backsplash hanging storage, it’s a real throwback. View in gallery In the “hidden kitchen” trend, most of the designs tend to be modern and sleek. Here, Polaris Life has hidden the appliances and kitchen elements behind rustic, natural finish wood kitchen cabinets. The company’s specialty is working with wood. View in gallery Here, Polaris Life has teamed a minimalist cabinet design with a natural wood backing for the low open cabinet and a wooden butcher block countertop extension. View in gallery In another example of mixed materials, Nolte Kitchens has combined a modern countertop with a wood countertop extension and free standing wood kitchen cabinets. View in gallery Neff may be known for its cutting edge induction cooktops and other cooking technologies, but their kitchen display included a natural wood shelving unit with plenty of room for kitchen garden herbs as well as anything else you might want to display. View in gallery NatureDesign exhibited many freestanding natural wood pieces that can be incorporated into your kitchen, whether you have wood kitchen cabinets or not. This sideboard would be a perfect natural accent from almost any kitchen. View in gallery NatureDesign’s natural wood tabletop is rustic. the use of a long, metal stabilizer that is visible through the top is a modern element. View in gallery NatureDesign also showed this substation butcher block countertop paired with a modern cooktop. The heft and natural look of the wood countertop keep the feel hand-hewn and homey. View in gallery The natural wood butcher block countertop element is repeated n the storage unit underneath. The dark metal hardware reinforces the rustic feel. View in gallery Neff combined pale wood with other cabinetry materials like a solid surface material and glass to create this eclectic but natural feeling kitchen design. View in gallery NatureDesign presented this very rustic, freestanding wood kitchen cabinet. The slim design would it to be incorporated in many kitchen designs. View in gallery The inside of the wood cabinet door has the same hand-hewn feel, while the shelving is smooth and very functional. View in gallery Martini showed this modern wood kitchen island that has a bold red accent. In a show of mixed styles, the wood cabinets surrounding the island had both contemporary and traditional accents. View in gallery This traditional style accent graces the wood kitchen cabinets in the dining area of the Martini kitchen and at the opposite end of the island. View in gallery A contemporary accent — a backlit grill design — highlights Martini’s traditional wood kitchen cabinets. View in gallery They might be made of a traditional warm brown wood, but the design of these Martini wood kitchen cabinets is anything but boring. The detailed parquet design is a highly desirable trend and only serves to enhance the beautiful wood grain. View in gallery A more modern design in the wood — this natural leaf pattern — pairs well with Martini’s other contemporary elements. View in gallery A closer look reveals the intricate design of the leaves and branches. View in gallery Marchi Cucine’s mixed material kitchen has an industrial feel that is softened not only by the addition of a wooden dining table,m but also by the wood wall behind the partially exposed shelving. The unique glass-fronted doors are sliding elements. View in gallery Another eclectic material mix was this kitchen design, also by Marchi. The wood countertop extension serves as a dining table. The wood wall behind the open, lighted shelves adds a warm feel to the kitchen. View in gallery Wood paneling on the wall by the rang hood and behind the open shelving again features n another Marchi kitchen. The wood kitchen cabinet door on the right adds to the appeal as does the wood butcher block kitchen table top. View in gallery Even traditionalist, luxe brands like La Cornue make use of wood to add warmth to their designs. This highly polished kitchen has shiny, mixed metal hardware that highlights the wood grain. View in gallery Hacker Kitchen’s design is modern, but still includes a butcher block countertop element that extends beyond the island. It adds workspace, an element of warmth as well as a natural serving area. View in gallery Even small wood details change the nature of a kitchen’s design by introducing an organic element. These wood countertop elements in KitchenAid’s stainless steel island are a good example. View in gallery Even if you don’t have the budget to redo your countertops to add wood elements, there are other options for incorporating wood. This freestanding butcher block table by Joko Domus would be a useful addition to any kitchen. The company offers a variety of standalone elements like this one that work singly or can be combined. View in gallery High-end Italian kitchen company Officine Gullo adds a luxe wood butcher block countertop to their island. View in gallery Gullo’s distinctive cabinets and appliances include these well-turned wood handles, which are an excellent match with the company’s metal detailing. View in gallery Gatto Cucine uses a very natural looking wood for its kitchen island and unusual shelving unit. The shelves are open, with tall sliding glass doors. The center section is composed of slide-out crate storage units. View in gallery In shelving like this, it’s not just the wood that provides a rustic, country flavor: it’s the design itself. The sliding barn-style doors are glass and give the entire unit an open feel. View in gallery Gatto’s natural wood kitchen cabinets and island are given a bit of an industrial feel with chalkboard back and rustic planter boxes hung from chains above the island. View in gallery The wood kitchen cabinets in the island will store most all the tools you need. View in gallery Details like an open storage box shelf at the end of the wood kitchen island make the difference between a basic island an a great one. View in gallery The crate-style wooden shelving allows you to pull out each unit and take the entire box, or just the one or two items that you need. the crates would also let you store loose time such as potatoes or unions, as well as dishware, packaged goods, and kitchen utensils. View in gallery Gatto’s special “invisible” induction cooktop is also set into a wood kitchen island. The smooth surface of the counter/cooktop pairs well with the warm wood. View in gallery These wood kitchen cabinets from Febal Casa have frosted glass doors that give you a glimpse of the LED lights edging the glass shelves inside. It’s yet another example of using wood in conjunctions with the latest kitchen innovations. View in gallery Even an outwardly stone-centered island like this one from Elam can include warm wood accents like wood shelving. While the wood is not the focal point of the kitchen island, it lends an organic touch to an otherwise cold stone island. View in gallery Dada Cucine also combined wood kitchen cabinets in a warm tone with a pale stone countertop, including an extended sink apron. View in gallery Cucine Lube combined a solid surface counter top with a wood kitchen countertop and paired it with touch controlled wood kitchen cabinets. View in gallery Comprex added a wood shelving extension to its modern white kitchen island. View in gallery A very sleek stainless steel kitchen with red accents by Biefbi is toned down through the addition of a wood kitchen countertop extension. The wood surface can serve as additional work space and a dining area. View in gallery Smooth, dark cabinets by Bauformat are accented with a rustic wood drop-front cabinet and a drawer. View in gallery Similarly, pale wood kitchen cabinets front this workspace by Bauformat. The pale wood plays well with the patterned wall and induction cooktop. View in gallery Wood can also accent a more traditional kitchen design like this one from Arrex. The natural wood kitchen cabinets are set against a gray colored base, backsplash and range hood. View in gallery Adding a wood bar extension to an island is another great way to incorporate wood. Here, the shelving below also adds a wood element to the Arrex kitchen. View in gallery A wood kitchen countertop, paired with a modern farmhouse sink set atop the wood, in a unique combination. The base and wood countertop are more traditional, while the sink style is new. View in gallery People who prefer painted wood kitchen cabinets can still incorporate the element of natural wood by swapping out some of the cabinetry or adding an open shelving unit, as in this Arrex kitchen. View in gallery Minimalist wood cabinet design works well with a pale wood because it extends the modern feel. Here, the Arrex design is enhance through the cabinets that are devoid of visible hardware. View in gallery Arcari’s mix of wood kitchen cabinets in a natural color and beige cabinetry adds interest. The pinwheel-style design of the cabinet doors plays up the wood grain and adds a new textural element to the design. View in gallery Ar-Tre’s design, which uses wood kitchen cabinets in a traditional panel style, paired with a modern surface countertop is a good example of how to mix more traditional cabinetry with modern elements.
Mixed metals, materials and wood colors, combined with a melange of decor styles proves that almost anything goes when it comes to designing a kitchen. And, no matter which style you prefer, there’s an effective and visually pleasing way to incorporate natural wood into your kitchen design.