When crafting the kitchen of your dreams, it can be tempting to stock up on shiny tiles and sleek marble slabs. But, in your quest to score striking materials, be sure not to neglect one of the prettiest and most classic materials around: wood.
Wood looks great in just about any home, and it makes a natural addition to the kitchen where it can become shelves, cabinets, countertops, and more. Since wood can take on so many different colors and textures (depending on the stain you choose), there’s no one-size-fits-all way to decorate with the material. Instead, there are tons of different takes on the wood-filled kitchen. And all of them are—as you might expect—incredibly striking.
To help you understand the full range of wood-filled kitchen inspo that exists, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite wood kitchens—and we’ve cited a design idea worth stealing from each of them.
Commit to a Single Wood Stain
The simplest way to craft a wood-filled kitchen? Commit to a single wood stain—from ceiling to floor, and from wall to wall. Of course, this wood stain doesn’t have to be the only color in your space. Your appliances, your countertops, and your painted walls all offer opportunities to add color and contrast.
Line Your Ceilings and Shelves With Wood
When crafting a wood-filled kitchen, many of us jump to the most obvious way of accomplishing the goal: stocking up on solid wood cabinets. But this isn’t your only option. By lining your ceiling—and even your shelves—with wood, you can fill your space with the material and still have room to paint your cabinets whatever color you choose.
Spring for a Butcher Block Countertop
Marble, quartz, and granite have become such default countertop choices that it’s hard to imagine that there are other options out there. But there are—and wood is one of them. Spring for a butcher block countertop, and you’ll end up with a kitchen that’s both eye-catching and functional.
And since wood is typically budget-friendlier than marble, you might even save money by favoring the material.
Craft an Accent Wall of Wood Cabinets
Your cabinets don’t all have to be the same color. In fact, by filling your kitchen with painted cabinets—and leaving one wall of cabinets more naturally stained—you can create a (very storage-friendly) accent wall in your space.
Swap Metal Knobs With Wood Pulls
If you’re looking for a subtle way to add more wood to your space, consider swapping your metal doorknobs with wooden ones. This little switch should make your cabinets much more striking, without making them any less functional—and if you can match the door knobs to some of the woods in your space, even better.
Make a Statement With Chevron Hardwoods
It isn’t rare to see hardwood floors in kitchens. In fact, the design choice is so common that you might not even call a kitchen with hardwood floors “wood-filled.” But, if you want your floors to make more of a statement, consider laying out your hardwoods in a striking pattern. Chevron is one eye-catching option, but an inlaid parquet, basketweave, or herringbone design may work just as well.
Pair Wood-Lined Walls With a Bold Tile Backsplash
Your dreams of having a bold backsplash don’t have to disappear the moment you line your walls with wood paneling. Though it may seem like pop-of-color backsplashes only work in minimally designed spaces, they can actually hold their own against a variety of different materials, wood paneling included.
Pair your warm wood-lined walls with a striking tile-lined backsplash, and watch as the two complement each other rather than clash.
Match Your Cabinets to Your Floors
Selecting a stain for your cabinets can get intimidating, so why not work with the colors that are already in your space? If your floors are lined with blonde hardwoods, stain your cabinets to match. This will create a floor-to-ceiling effect that makes your kitchen feel decidedly wood-filled. You can always break up the color block with your countertops, ceiling, and backsplash.
Stock Up on Wood Bar Stools
When designing your kitchen, don’t just focus on structural elements, like built-in shelves and cabinets. Consider some of the more flexible pieces in your space, too. Bar stools may not be built into your walls, but they’re bound to become a focal point in your space. And by matching them to your cabinets, you can lend your space style and cohesion in equal measure.
Mix and Match Wood Cabinets
If you’re filling your kitchen with wood cabinets, you may think they all need to match. After all, they’re made from the same material. But the truth is, you can stain your cabinets two different colors just like you’d paint them two different colors. If the thought of choosing two different wood stains is overwhelming you, keep it simple by pairing a lighter stain with a darker one.
Line Your Drawers With Wood
One sneaky way to add more wood to your kitchen? Line your drawers with wood. The design detail will offer a fun surprise to anyone who opens your drawers, and it’s certainly more statement-making than leaving your drawers as is.
Pair Woods and Marbles That Almost Match
Wood and marble make a natural pair in any kitchen, and while the go-to is to pair a light wood with a dark marble (or vice versa), matching them can look just as pretty.
Since we’re talking wood-filled kitchens, use your wood as the starting point, then choose a marble that matches. This monochromatic approach should make your kitchen feel wood-filled, even if the materials are perfectly balanced.
Go Bright With Light Woods and White Tiles
Light-filled kitchens are a popular option, and you don’t have to forgo that just because you’ve stocked up on wood. By committing to a lighter wood stain—and pairing your cabinets with white countertops, walls, and tiles—you can let plenty of light in and reflect it all around the room.
Frame Your Doors and Windows With Wood
A less obvious way to work more wood into your space? Frame your doors and windows with the material. Instead of painting the trim around these fixtures, leave it exposed. And if you want to take things a step further, you can swap out your windows and doors with wood options, as well.
Match Your Island to Your Cabinets
Add cohesion to your space by pairing wood cabinets with a matching wood island. What’s nice about this approach? Neither your island nor your cabinets have to be bulky to make an impact. Instead, both can be incredibly sleek, and when paired, they’ll turn heads.
Play With Slightly Different Wood Stains
Searching for ways to make your wood-filled kitchen feel textured and dynamic? Consider layering different wood stains. Snag a light stain for your island, a slightly darker one for your range cover, and an even darker one for your shelves.
If you’re worried about overwhelming your space, keep your palette constrained to a small range of shades.
Add Interest With Wood Backer Boards
One underrated place to add some wood to your kitchen? The backer boards behind your shelves. This pop of wood paneling should make the items on your shelves stand out. And the good news is you can pair wood backer boards with shelves or cabinets of any color.
Use Wood Paneling to Craft a Statement Ceiling
If you’re open to reimagining the structure of your space, consider introducing wood paneling in unexpected ways. Instead of lining your floors, ceilings, and walls with the material, use it to craft new structures—like a box that changes the shape of your ceilings. This approach may be more involved than some of the others on this list, but we’d be negligent if we didn’t help you understand all your options.
Pair Light Wood Cabinets With Dark Hardware
Most cabinets aren’t complete until they’ve been outfitted with hardware, and since wood is such a versatile material, your drawer pull options are endless. One no-fail option you can turn to if you simply can’t make a decision? Pairing light wood cabinets with dark hardware. The combination will add contrast to your space without demanding too much attention.
Leave Structural Beams Exposed
Your kitchen might already be filled with wood—it’s just that the wood is covered up. So unearth some of the structural wood beams that make up your space, and consider leaving them exposed.
Sprinkle in Wood Accents
It’s possible to craft a wood-filled kitchen without any wood cabinets, shelves, or countertops. How? By stocking up on wood accent pieces. Snag a set of wooden bar stools, and hang a light fixture with a matching wood accent. These pieces will make an impact on their own. But they’ll look even more striking paired with hardwood floors.
Stain Your Wood a Surprising Color
When it comes to wood stains, brown isn’t your only option. There are plenty of sleek black stains on offer. And since you’ll be staining your wood—rather than painting it—you won’t have to worry about losing the texture of the wood grain.
Build a Sprawling Wood Island
Islands make a classic addition to any kitchen, and they offer an easy opportunity to bring new materials into your space. So if your cabinets are already painted a crisp white, don’t fret—you can warm things up with a sprawling wood island.
Cover Your Range Hood With Wood
Range hoods are a necessity in many kitchens, and since there are so many range hood covers on offer, you don’t have to stick with a classic metal option. Instead, you can snag a wood-lined range hood cover—and yes, you can probably find one that matches your cabinets.
Add Texture With a High-Contrast Stain
When choosing a wood stain, most of us focus on color. But wood stains can affect how textured a wood looks, too. This is good to remember in general. But it can be particularly helpful when you want to mix and match your woods without adding new colors to your palette.
Bring Your Space Together With Wooden Kitchenware
Cute kitchenware puts the finishing touches on any kitchen, and if you want to hammer home your wood-filled aesthetic, kitchenware can help you do it. Snag a few petrified wood cutting boards or carved wooden bowls, and leave them on display. These functional pieces will double as decorative accents—giving you a kitchen that’s pretty and fun to cook in.
Keep Your Palette Pared-Down for Maximum Impact
Wood is a versatile material and pairs well with a range of different color schemes. But if you really want it to stand out in your space, consider paring down your palette. Any wood will pop against the backdrop of crisp white walls, and it will pop even more if there’s no bold dinnerware, hardware, or décor drawing the eye away from it.