White kitchen cabinets never go out of style. But what do you do when your white kitchen is just a little too bright and overexposed, and you need to add a little organic gravity into the mix? You add in some deep, luxurious wood accents in the form of some additional cabinetry. Wood and white make a luscious combination that balances perfectly between being clean, bright, sensual and earthy. Watch how natural wood transforms any kitchen into an inviting space that beckons you to come in and linger in The Complete Guide to Natural Wood Kitchen Cabinets.
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The whiteness of your kitchen cabinets can be both beautiful and problematic. On the one hand, it creates a stark contrast that makes your other kitchen features pop. These 10 kitchens show just a handful of the ways that you can combine white and wood into one, cohesive design that will never grow old, tired, or out of date.
1. Massive Island Focus
Very light, white kitchens sometimes get a little sterile or cold in looks, which can make them a little off putting when you picture yourself living in it. Add in a giant, honey-toned kitchen island, however, and the room just got a lot homier. With inset cabinets on one end to accommodate additional kitchen seating, and a white waterfall countertop that perfectly matches the cabinets across the room, this island invites you to come in and pull up a chair. The wood grain on the slab cabinet doors is the perfect contrast to the smooth white slab doors just across the way.
2. Built In Style
If this kitchen had been totally white, it would have lost out on a lot of the character and charm that the built-in wood cabinetry and appliance panels on the inside wall bring to the table. The subtle grain shifts between the cabinetry and the panel covering the refrigerator add a lot of depth to the room, while lending some gravity to the space at the same time. You feel grounded in this room with its abundance of natural light and matching glass inserts in the two styles of cabinetry. The deep wood tones simply add balance and keep the space from becoming blindingly white from the skylights above.
3. Deep, Dark, and Daring
Many people mixing white with wood tones strive to keep the wood light so as not to darken the room too much. A very deep, rich stain on the wood, however, can add a handsome look and feel to the room at the same time. This kitchen with its dark bank of cabinetry on one wall looks and feels rich, decadent, and charming. Your eye is continuously pulled back to that dark wood, making it the focal point in the room, and the perfect counterpoint for the window placed just across the way. The dark tones in the floor help to tie everything together into one cohesive design that is still light and airy, but with a more serious undertone.
4. Let There Be Light
When you really want the light in the room to be the focal point of the design, and you still want to add in a little extra dimension, using a very light, bleached wood can be the perfect touch. This kitchen balances glossy white upper cabinets with very light wood lowers. A waterfall island counter in the same glossy white tops the light wood as well, tying the two sections together easily. The stone backsplash has similar light tones to it, effortlessly combining all of the colors in the room, including the stainless appliances.
5. Triple Tone
Can’t decide between white, natural wood, and a trendier dark gray stain? Why not use all three in one space to create a modern kitchen with a lot of depth, dimension, and interest all in one space. This kitchen perfectly blends white upper cabinets and kitchen island with gray stained wood lowers. Natural wood tall cabinets pick up the tones of the wood ceiling, which helps to lower the focus in the room slightly while tying in the wood accents in the rest of the house beautifully. Now you have one, cohesive design that is light, on point, and consistent at the same time.
6. Mid-Tone Balance
It can be difficult at times to combine bright white cabinetry with a very rich, dark wood. You sometimes need a mid-tone to help bridge the two and create a design that flows rather than jags the eye. This kitchen strikes just the right balance by utilizing a light toned wood floor that sits perfectly between the white and darker woods and lets the whole kitchen work together in harmony. Meanwhile, the different grains of the two woods help to create contrast to the smooth white, bringing interest and dimension to the design.
7. Natural Accents
What do you do when your kitchen already has some very prominent wood accents, but you want to include some white cabinetry? You pick up those dark wood accents on the lower half of the kitchen to balance the space. This kitchen has deep, dark ceiling beams crossing the space into the next room. A dark wood floor and some dark wood lower cabinets create balance in the room, while the white uppers and glass inserts create the illusion of additional height and a light, airy feeling in the space.
8. Lightening Up
Using white cabinetry in a kitchen can also be done to help lighten up what would otherwise be a very dark room. This kitchen with its dramatic ceiling beams and dark wood floors would appear oppressive and overly dark if wood cabinetry was used throughout the space. Therefore, the tall white upper cabinets add a much needed light note to the room, mimicking the shape and size of the windows and helping to brighten up the room, preventing it from sinking into gloom. The final results are charming and full of character and dimension that let the dark wood shine.
9. Depth Contrast
One of the issues for some people who hesitate to use white cabinetry in their kitchens is the ultra-smooth surface it often presents in contemporary spaces. That’s what makes pairing it with natural wood so attractive; the many different types of wood grain available give you the ability to create as much depth and contrast in the space as necessary to achieve your desired results. This kitchen uses a very dramatic wood for the island and lower cabinets, which contrasts perfectly with the smooth white pantry and uppers for a room that has a lot of depth and feeling.
10. White Centers
When you want the white cabinetry to become the focus of the room, why not move it right into the center of the space? This kitchen utilizes natural wood with a lot of character and grain around the perimeter. Windows take the space of upper cabinets to provide a lot of natural light, which is then reflected in the white cabinetry on the center island. The island automatically draws the eye, while also lightening and brightening the room. The effect is crisp, clean, and inviting, naturally drawing you in and bringing you straight to the island to have a seat.
Mix It Up in Your Kitchen
If you’re trying to decide between white and wood in your kitchen, why not take the plunge and include both? White and wood cabinetry are the perfect complement to one another, balancing lights and darks effortlessly for a kitchen that is full of character and interest. Try mixing it up in your kitchen to achieve a modern design that will definitely stand the test of time.
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