Thur 5 - Sun 8 September 2024
Auckland Showgrounds, Greenlane

Wood cabinetry is back in the kitchen

Winter- Ready Homes: 8 Tips for Canterbury Residents

Kitchen cabinets are not just for storage. As the biggest outward facing surface area, those kitchen surfaces are also your best opportunity to make a bold design statement in the home.

Seventies kitchen cabinetry had a love affair with wood; usually a honey spice or dark walnut stain, raised panel cathedral doors and bold grain patterns paired with harvest gold and sunset orange.

Forty years later wood or wood-look cabinets are creeping back into style; but this time they’re subtle enough to be future proof.

As with many things in the design world we have the Scandinavians to thank, as their simplistic, streamlined and natural aesthetic has heavily influenced this resurgence.

But there are a few evolutions to help the 2018 version capture the warmth and texture of this look while ensuring your kitchen will remain contemporary for another few decades.

Keep it flat
These days there is a wide variety of interesting door styles available, and while recessed or raised panel detailing can look great – especially if you are after a Hamptons seaside, French cottage, clean modern traditional or classic rustic look – these selections can date quickly.

For timelessness with wood or wood-look cabinets, stick to simple full overlay doors with flat slabs. Remember to hide those hinges, otherwise they become one textural element too far. Handles should be your third dimensional focus.

Go ‘nude’
Each type of wood has a characteristic colour and grain pattern, and while the seventies tried to capture the naturalness of wood they missed the mark with their selection of golden yellow oaks and dark mahoganies. Timeless soft luxury with wood or wood effects can be achieved by choosing from a light, neutral palette of raw and natural patinas with low intensity cerused texture finishes for depth.

Let it shine
To keep it looking fresh, kitchen wood or wood-look cabinetry needs to be paired with other elements that enhance, not compete with it. Plain countertops, low key splashbacks and streamline hardware lets the wood be the star of the show. The one exception to this rule is floors; in this analogy they are the stage and can be dark or light, painted, tiled, stone, or even more wood.

A sense of space
To keep the modern kitchen with wood cabinetry from feeling crowded, consider transparent or open back chairs, large windows with lots of natural light, use glass where you can, focus on open plan rather than galley spaces and try not to have more than one wall of overhead cupboards.

With our Colonial heritage, we all have a natural affinity for wood, so, with a bit of care and design flare, it’s time to let it back into the kitchen.

If you’re thinking of renovating or building this year, then visit the Auckland Home Show, 5 – 9 September 2018 at ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, to get free expert advice from more than 500 leading industry experts and suppliers.  See for more info!