Modern Wood Kitchen Cabinets (Ideas & Options)

Modern kitchens come in a variety of designs, and one of the classic materials that can help you build one is wood. Modern wood kitchen cabinets can work perfectly to bring warmth to a usually cool style. The best thing about modern style is its simplicity and the high availability of materials you can use together to create a stylish design.

Kitchen corner with modern cabinets and bar with waterfall countertops

There are many types of modern wood cabinets to choose from, and the sleeker the look, the better they are for modern designs.


Modern Kitchen Wood Cabinet Design 

Kitchen with brown tile floors and modular cabinets

Modern wood kitchen cabinets are also known as contemporary designs, with their aesthetics rooted in European-style cabinets. While many modern-style cabinets are made from synthetic materials like plastic or glass, you can still integrate natural materials like wood by being smart about them.

The most important factor is the clean and sleek feel that the kitchen cabinet’s surface showcases. With the incorporation of natural wood tone, a modern kitchen cabinet can easily warm the kitchen up.

Wooden kitchen cabinets traditionally have milled and rounded edges in their framed doors. You can turn them more modern by sprucing up the door frame to look cleaner and sharper with seamless lines. This is also known as the transitional doors.

If you’re going for more modern construction, one thing you can consider is having floating cabinets. This cabinet style can easily contribute a modern atmosphere to your kitchen just with how it’s built. 

Why Choose Modern Wood Cabinets?

Kitchen with gray and brown color palette with two islands

Modern kitchens are popular for their clean and sharp lines that can sometimes be misconstrued as too cold or sterile. While hygiene is an important element in the kitchen, it has no business in its aesthetics. And choosing a modern-style kitchen cabinet can also pose a problem

The major downside with modern kitchen cabinet styles are they tend to be too sleek that it sometimes feels sterile and cold. This is where wood can come in handy to aid in its aesthetics. With a wooden component in your kitchen cabinets, there will be an added warmth to the mix.

This warmth is why wood kitchen cabinets are popular for many homeowners, offering a timeless or classic look and at the same time a softer modern edge. And they are the perfect element to add to an area to give it a softer and more welcoming vibe to contribute.

What Wood To Use For Modern Cabinets

Kitchen with wood paneling cabinets and floors, island and three bar stools

In building cabinets for your modern kitchen, it is important to consider the function and the benefits of the wood, along with the modern aesthetics that come with the choice.

The ideal choice remains to be the material that can cater to your needs and personal style while still within your budget. And while that may be unclear, there are specific types of wood that you might want to try out. If you don’t want to go all-natural in your kitchen cabinet, you can try out the following:

Birch Plywoods

White painted kitchen with birch plywood cabinets and large island counter

High-quality birch plywood cabinets make perfect interiors for your modern kitchen. They usually come with a lacquered birch veneer or a white melamine finish. With its fine grain pattern, this durable wood is simple in design, though it has a darker color than maple

Melamine (Particle Board) Cabinets

Kitchen with melamine cabinets

This material is the standard for drawer boxes and some cabinets because it is affordable and easy to clean and maintain. But melamine cabinets often have lower quality and so are much more short-lived, especially when installed in a heavy traffic area like the kitchen. 

For authentic and natural wood kitchen cabinets, make sure that you are ready to pay for them. If you are, here are some of the wood you can use for your modern kitchen cabinets.

Oak Cabinets

Kitchen with oak cabinets with wood slat wall

While you have the option of choosing either red or white, the former is more popular for traditional cabinet styles, while the latter is the ideal option for modern cabinet styles.

With its golden tone, white oak has a subtle grain pattern that looks clean and seamless. See more examples of honey oak and red oak cabinets here.

Hickory Cabinets

Gray kitchen with oak cabinets, and counter with blue stools

Hickory has the same grain pattern as oak and is also lighter in color, making it a good option for a minimalist modern style piece of furniture. Hickory cabinets are widely available and durable, making it a good choice overall.

Ash Cabinets

Kitchen with straight grain pattern cabinets and black island

Light-colored and with similar durability as oak, ash showcases a straight grain pattern that makes it excellent for modern-style kitchen cabinets. Ash wood is a good option especially when applied with a natural or clear finish for a bit of a shine.

Hard Maple Cabinets

Maple cabinets in the kitchen

While less dense than oak, maple wood cabinets are light-colored and feature a fine-grain pattern that won’t be too distracting when added to your modern culinary space. This option might take a toll on your pocket, though, since it might be a bit more expensive compared to the others. 

Cherry Cabinets

Cabinet made of cherry wood material and granite backsplash

This type is incredibly durable and versatile in aesthetics since it can be used for traditional and modern styles. While cherry wood cabinets feature a fine-grain pattern, its reddish-brown hue simply stands out. 

Pinewood Cabinets

Kitchen with pinewood cabinets and pendant lights over island

Commonly used for building cabinets, this is a softwood lumber and so may be less durable compared to the hardwoods in this list. Pine wood has a pale yellow color and subtle knots, though it can contribute to the modern look of your cooking area. 

Modern Style Wooden Cabinet Colors

Kitchen and dining area with blue backsplash and glossy dark cabinets

With many types of tree species to consider for your modern wooden cabinet, ideas will definitely be endless. The modern style is all about clean lines and seamless aesthetics. Given that modern style also delivers a sleek and sophisticated look, there are many ways you can achieve this appearance and vibe. 

When considering a wooden storage unit, there are two elements that can contribute to the modern style you’re planning on.

Color variations and grain patterns will be influential in identifying whether a particular lumber can be turned into a great modern cabinet. The color variations can be light, dark, or warm, depending on the natural color of the timber. 

Light Wood

Japanese style kitchen with light ashwood cabinets and gray backsplash

Going for light-colored lumber is the safe choice if you will be working on a modern-style kitchen cabinet. Since the cabinet needs to be simple with a touch of minimalism, you won’t go wrong in choosing a light-colored timber. Their colors can range from nearly white to yellow.

White oak is an example of a light-colored timber you can turn into a modern kitchen cabinet. Commonly available quarter-sawn, this type of lumber is an all-time favorite because of its straight grain pattern that transforms into a stunning ray flak pattern when quarter-sawn. This is why white oak is a popular material usually made into modern wooden cabinets.  

Other than white oak, white ash also makes an excellent material for a modern-style cabinet. This light-colored material has smooth and typically straight grain patterns that make it an attractive choice for a modern kitchen cabinet and a piece of furniture in general. They grow well in some parts of Canada and the east coast of the United States. 

Dark Finish

Kitchen with wood slab breakfast counter and cabinets with sliding doors

While light-colored cupboards are more common, dark-colored wood choices are still available for your picking. Maple and cherry timber are two excellent choices for your cabinets.

Maple is light-colored and has fine grains, which will look wonderful on a piece of furniture despite being less dense and expensive. Cherry, on the other hand, is durable and also has smooth and fine grains. 

Besides the type of wood per species, you can try a fumed wood. Its stunning dark color is the result from being exposed to ammonia gas, bringing out the natural tannins in the wood. The higher the tannin content, the darker it would be. 

Natural Wood Finish

Kitchen with waterfall quartz island and hanging lights

Besides light and dark-colored wood, you also have the option of just going straight natural for your kitchen cabinets. This does not mean that the light and dark-colored modern wooden cabinets are not natural in any way. With a wide range of color variations in natural woods though, they can vary widely. 

In between light-colored and dark-colored lumber, there are different warm woods to explore and they have colors that range from golden tones and orange to browns and reds. Two examples of these are teak and walnut kitchen cabinets

Teak kitchen cabinets come in yellow to golden brown shades (the shade varying depending on the part of the tree used) and darken with age. Despite being expensive, it is one of the most popular material in the world because of its sleek, straight grainings.

Walnut cabinets are also popular and well-known, especially because of their mellow and warm vibe, making them popular in contemporary style. This material also comes in two tones in its simplicity, making solid walnut cabinets a good addition to your home. 

Modern Wood Elements for Kitchens

Kitchen with long island with stools and track lighting

If you are thinking about the designs you can apply to your contemporary wooden cooking area, there are many to explore. One of the things you need to remember is that you have the option of not using the wood’s natural color.

You can either apply stain on the wood or paint on them if you prefer a different color. Sometimes, painting over timber will help hide the flaws on the surface and can even strengthen the material and lengthen its lifespan. 

Exploring state-of-the-art cooking spaces with wooden decor, neutrals, and classic colors is the safe way to go. Neutral colors keep the look simple and easy to match while adding visual value simultaneously.

Two of the most popular and common colors used are white and black. The colors can stand alone, or they can go together, and because of their solid, clean colors, they can easily be used for contemporary wooden cupboards. 

Modern White and Wood Combination

Kitchen with white brick walls and round dining table with armchairs

If you want to go for a look that’s effortlessly clean and seamless, you can choose a modern white kitchen integrated with wooden elements. To start with a contemporary culinary space, using simple colors like white is a safe place to start, especially if you tend to change your mind every now and then.

Adding natural materials to the mix softens the entire look without losing the futuristic impression of it. This is a good combination of minimalism, which is a style that fits well with modernistic style.  

If you’re going for a contemporary culinary space with white and wooden design elements, you can go for it in different ways. You can choose white countertops and match them with wooden cabinets. You can also match white cupboards and drawers and countertops with wooden flooring and ceiling. 

White Kitchen with Wood Island 

Kitchen with solid wood island, light concrete floor and shelf

Another option you can choose is a sleek white cooking space with an island with woodwork. You can’t go wrong with this combo, especially since they balance each other out. The white area in the food preparation space brightens the entire space, and the island balances the brightness by adding warmth to the mix. 

The island provides both durability and aesthetic elements to the cooking area. The downside with this material, though, is that its durability is not on par with a stone kitchen island. So this island, while it may stand up with daily wear and tear, can end up with scuffs and scratches in the process. 

White storage units and a wooden island base offer a stunning combination. This combination provides a solid visual anchor to the space, keeping the culinary space airy and lengthy yet, at the same time warm and welcoming.

Some of the wooden islands you can consider are the following:

• Beechwood island 

• White oak island

• Walnut island

White Kitchen with Wood Accents 

Kitchen with wooden accent backsplash and white island with chairs

When combining white and wooden elements, you can also do it in a way where your culinary space is dominated by white and just speckled with wood accents.

Considering that white and wooden accents in the culinary area are a classic combination, this will remain timeless and will never go out of style in the process. This means that you will get both a functional and a trendy combination at the same time. 

A white culinary area with flattering wooden accents will be aesthetically pleasing and ideal for state-of-the-art spaces. It is important how you integrate the wooden accents into your culinary space, whether it’s a warm wooden oven hood or frames, adding coziness and extra warmth in the process. 

Modern Black and Wood Design

Kitchen with chevron parquet floor, and counter with chairs

If you’re not that fond of the color white and tend to prefer something bolder and more dramatic, then black is a safe color to choose for a modern-style cooking area. And to give it a softer ambiance, you can add wooden elements to the mix. 

Black is undeniably a neutral color often regarded as the opposite of white. And just like all neutral colors, black works well when applied to any space and when matched with other colors. The same thing could be said about wood.

Wherever you think of installing woodwork, it can work well with what you already have going in the culinary area. And matching colors also won’t be a problem as long as you take into account the shade or color dominant in the type of lumber you’ve chosen. 

If you’re thinking about ideas for your contemporary black and wooden cook space, here are some ideas you can explore so that you won’t have to search anywhere else anymore. 

• Sleek black countertops and pieces of appliance matched with wooden cupboards

• Almost all-black culinary area with woodwork-paneled walls

• Wooden flooring, black matte table, and black hardware on wooden storage units for kitchens

You can go on and on when it comes to matching black and wooden elements in your cooking area, but the most important thing is to balance everything so that your culinary space won’t be too bold and dramatic or too rustic with many wooden components that you can barely call it a contemporary style culinary spaces. 

Visit our gallery of modern kitchen island ideas for more related content.

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