Wood kitchens: from dark timber to light oak

wood kitchens

While many kitchens are made from wood, the trend for raw and unpainted cabinetry is gaining popularity. The latest designs include anything from heavily grained dark timber, to light panelled oak.

Wood kitchens are far from dated. Picture grainy fronts complemented by luxurious surfaces, stylish handles and striking flooring that unify the look. Don’t know where to start?

Here we show you how to embrace this tactile and contemporary look…

Washed wood units, smoked glass wall cabinets, stone worktops and splashbacks, and organically-shaped kitchenware – this Eggersmann Design kitchen strikes the perfect balance of luxe and modern-rustic style. What’s more, it also features statement Belvedere Quartzite on the wall for a show-stopping focal point.

Eggersmann Design kitchen
Eggersmann Design kitchens start from £80,000. Photography: Ben Robertson / 7am Creative. Interior design: ALJ Studio.

The units in this wood kitchen are made from white American oak, which was chosen for its soft shade and striking grain pattern. For consistency, the designers used the same timber on all drawer fronts, worktops and floating shelves. Fresh white paint on the walls, ceiling, and tall cabinets helps create contrast and highlights the wood.

Minimalist wood kitchen design
Naked Kitchens projects start from £44,000. Architect: Dom Wilson.

Love the contemporary Nordic style? Opt for pared-back surfaces, modern fixtures, and simple décor. In this scheme by Barr Kitchens and made by Barr Build, blackened ash and brown stained oak- panelled cabinetry contrasts marble and polished plaster, for a minimalist yet sophisticated look.

Nordic wood kitchen
Barr Kitchens designs start from £35,000. Photography: Lucy Walters Photography.

More truly gorgeous wood kitchens

Fluted designs are an on-trend choice for taking a scheme up a notch. The kitchen is no exception, so revive your space with help from reeded wooden units. Here, the smoked glass display cabinet for crockery and memorabilia works well with the fluted fronts.

panelled kitchen
Rotpunkt’s Memory RI fluted veneer wood units in Old Forest Oak. From £12,500.

Scandinavian design is synonymous with soft, neutral shades, natural materials such as wood and stone, and effortless multi-functionality. So enhance the practicality factor in your kitchen with grainy units, over-hanging worktops and a mix of open shelves and closed wall cabinets for your storage needs.

Scandi kitchen
Nordic Nature range, price on application, Magnet.

If you imagine a farmhouse-style design when you think of a wood kitchen then get ready to be wowed. This style of cabinetry can be glamorous, especially when paired with metallic handles and bold surfaces. Mix door fronts to add depth and choose neutral flooring and wall paint to make the wood grain shine.

Wood kitchen
Luxe kitchen, from £20,000, Life Kitchens.

How to create an airy and bright design

Create a light and bright design by mixing tactile elm wood and white spray-painted doors and drawer fronts. The door fronts in this wood kitchen by West & Reid feature a striking grain while the Unique Calacatta Gold worktops are from Compac.

Bright wood kitchen
A similar bespoke kitchen from West & Reid starts from £35,000. Photography: Chris Snook. Architects: Smith Brooke Architects. Interior Designer: Child Stewart Design.

So: is an island top of your wishlist? If you have plenty of space available and love to entertain, then why not go for double islands. This way, you can separate your cooking zone from your washing up area, and make the most of your storage. For your cabinetry, choose a panelled wood design to embrace the trendy look.

Eggersmann wood kitchen design
Islands in Eggersmann Oiled Black Steel; tall cabinets in Eggersmann Ontario Black Walnut; worktop in Eggersmann Bianco Nuvola Quartzite and Eggersmann Oiled Black Steel. From £40,000.

The industrial style is becoming more popular. So, a simple way to recreate the look is to opt for natural materials and exposed finishes, such as concrete and wood. In addition, choose matt black handles and appliances, steel shelving solutions plus stone-effect flooring for an extra industrial edge to your wood kitchen.

Industrial style units
100% recycled wood Omega‘s English Rose and Chippendale in Artstone Dark with Walnut RTA – so lush. Price on application.

Consider using dark wood

Then we have dark wood, which is ideal for achieving a cocooning feeling in your kitchen. So, to maximise your space, go for a U-shaped layout with a mix of cabinet heights and LED-illuminated open shelves. This handleless wood kitchen by Pronorm boasts a cosy feeling through the Hemlock Lava textured woodgrain doors while the matt lacquer Carmine Red solution and veiny worktops in different thicknesses add character.

Black wood kitchen
Pronorm kitchens start from £12,000.

Firstly, who says wood kitchens have to be light? Go the dark route with a black wood kitchen. Secondly, you can transform your dated design by adding new door fronts. If you love dark interiors, why not choose yours in a grainy black wood finish. Lastly, take it one step further with clay, plastered walls, stone-inspired surfaces and chrome fittings.

Black door fronts
The Superfront Plain doors and drawers in Obsidian Wood, from £50, feature Superfront Bar handles, from £27, and the Superfront Leg Metod plinth 220, priced £65.

In conclusion, wood kitchens are the new popular style. So if you’re planning a renovation or in the midst of a project, why not give them a try?

Need more inspo? Check out these handleless wooden kitchens: a new sleek and modern trend.

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