Wood in the kitchen: get the look without the worry

Newsletter article, June 2013

Wood gives a warmth and character to a room that can’t be matched by any other material. That goes for the kitchen too.  Despite what many people think, wood can be used in the kitchen without it being expensive or high maintenance.  It can even be integrated into an ultra modern sleek design too.  

Kitchen with wooden island unit

So what are the good points?  Whatever the material, most kitchen worktops are at risk of getting scratched, chipped, etched, scorched and stained. 

Wooden worktops with an oiled surface are both relatively cheap to buy and easily maintained and repaired.  Wood can be sanded back and re-oiled to make it look like new.  Non-wood materials, on the other hand, may be expensive to buy and then difficult (or impossible) to restore to their original good looks. 

Choose woods with natural properties that make them water resistant.  Naturally oily woods like iroko - a tropical African hardwood - repel water, so are sensible and beautiful options for kitchens (and bathrooms too).  However make sure the wood you choose is sustainably sourced and 100% FSC certified.  We can advise you on the options available to you.

One way to enjoy the aesthetic appeal of wood, and have a very practical kitchen, is to combine different materials, as in the kitchen shown in the photo above.

All cooking and washing surfaces are made from a darkish quartz which is extremely heard wearing and non-porous.  It doesn’t stain either unlike white quartz can.

The centrepiece of the kitchen is a stunning solid walnut breakfast bar, which brings warmth and balance to the space, matching the floating walnut shelves above the sink.

 Top kitchen cabinet sin oak


You could choose to integrate wood into an ultra modern, sleek kitchen as in the stylish white example above.  The majority of the cabinets are a modern design without handles, and sprayed to a slick sheen finish in white.  The worktop is in quartz.  In beautiful harmonious contrast, the higher cabinets are in mellow oak, the grain running through the fascias from beginning to end.   And at this height they are well clear of any potential damage.

Of course you may prefer to use wood just for details such as shelving and wine racks.  These can make beautiful display pieces and add softer details to otherwise hard-edged designs. 

Take a look at more of our kitchens and please do call if you’d like to discuss ideas: we’ll be happy to work with you to develop your perfect kitchen in 3D.  


Bespoke oak wine rack

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