Design Dilemma: Wood Cabinet Options | Home Design Find

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Design Dilemma: Wood Cabinet Options

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It’s true that painted cabinets have been the fashion of the last few years. But let’s face it, wood cabinets are a keeper and will always remain a mainstay in kitchen cabinetry, even after the painted look has come and gone. There are a couple of reasons for that. For one, unpainted wood doesn’t show the chips and stains that painted wood can over time. And it’s amazing how adaptable unpainted wooden cabinets actually are, able to move from modern to rustic to traditional looks with ease.  Let’s take a look:



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In the kitchen above, homeowners achieved a very modern, casual and cheery look by pairing light pecan cabinets with a lime green wall and acqua kitchen island. Countertops are a gray Caesarstone. Wood has a way of pairing well with color, as it can prevent bright colors from overpowering. Light- to medium-tone wood cabinets work best with tropical colors like these, but if you’ve got dark wood cabinets and want to try this look, go a shade or two deeper with the wall color.


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Above, another take on the modern look. This homeowner has combined Mahogany wood cabinets with accent cabinets made of Imbuia, otherwise known as Brazilian Walnut. The look is sophisticated, sleek and utterly simple. Countertops are kept a basic off-white, as are walls. The two kitchens above show how unpainted wood doesn’t have to look “rustic.”


Unpainted wood can be a natural in industrial kitchens, as the wood is a  warm counterpoint to cold surfaces like stainless steel, which are usually prominent in an industrial kitchen.

The kitchen below has elements of different styles, including rustic, modern and industrial. Notice how the light wood brings all these elements together with great ease, combining well with stainless steel as well as the painted cabinetry with pulls that have more of a rustic feel.

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In the industrial kitchen below, dark wood holds it own when combined with exposed brick walls and industrial lighting built of pipes and exposed light bulbs. Again, wood has just enough gravitas to seem fitting in such a setting, but it always feels welcoming.
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And who says wood is only appropriate for cabinets in the kitchen? In the kitchen below,  warm wood shelving and countertops mix perfectly above stainless steel cabinetry.
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The industrial kitchen below, this time from Barcelona, Spain, uses salvaged wood on both the cabinetry and dining table. A small refrigerator is integrated into the cabinet at the end of the workspace. A cupboard behind the glass and bamboo partition holds another larger refrigerator and freezer combo.
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Here’s another view below.
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In the Maryland kitchen below, a clean modern vibe stays clean, but never veers too much away from the traditional. The dark wood works particularly well in this context.
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Contemporary Kitchen by Bethesda Kitchen & Bath Remodelers Case Design/Remodeling, Inc.

Retro 70s

The Australian kitchen below looks like it came straight out of the set of The Brady Bunch. The only thing missing is housekeeper Alice! And yet, there’s something of a contemporary vibe going here too. The sleek unpainted wood looks fabulous.

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Did someone say beachy? Wood can do beachy! Below, unpainted light oak island combines wonderfully with wood cladding of the sort used on ships, which has been appropriated for the wall in back of the stove and countertop in this beach house.
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Have we convinced you yet? If you are considering a kitchen remodel but had discarded the idea of using unpainted wood in favor of lacquered or enameled painted cabinetry, think again! Wood is warm, versatile, easy-to-maintain, and likely to stay in style for far longer than other options.

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