Wood kitchen finish in Terra Oak

How to make a wooden kitchen finish work in your kitchen

Traditional Walnut kitchen base units

These traditional Walnut kitchen base units create an airy feel whilst showcasing the grained surface.

Wooden kitchens have long been popular for homes, but in recent years classic wooden kitchens have undergone a serious makeover.  This is largely through the emergence of many new wooden styles, colours and grain effects which have a much more modern look and feel to them.  Dark woods remain excellent for a refined or dramatic statement.  But in 2017 where textures, and light toned ‘Scandi kitchen themes‘ are still very much on trend, we are increasingly expecting to see paler, rough cut finishes. As well as enhancing a bright and airy kitchen feel, these paler colours are perfect for showcasing each wood door’s beautiful rich grained surface.

Choose the right wooden kitchen finish for you

Where real wooden kitchens will nearly always prove more expensive, wooden veneers and wooden effect doors can accommodate a wider variety of budgets, yet still afford a beautiful, quality kitchen look. These options also reduce the likelihood of warping. In the case of wood effect finishes (engineered from very high quality laminates) they can sometimes even be book matched. By matching, you ensure a continuous flowing grain pattern across the front of your doors.  Many of our most stunning kitchen designs have included wood effect laminate doors. They can be hard to tell apart from real wood finishes:


Get it right …Don’t overdo the wood!

Quartz and timber kitchen island

The contrast between the quartz and timber on the island, creates a stunning main feature in the kitchen

Wooden kitchen doors make a beautiful kitchen complement. However, it is important not to include it to the point of excess within a design. Particularly in larger spaces, such as generous kitchen extensions, very large banks of wood can make a room feel oppressive. To prevent this, it is often better to mix and match your finishes, combining wooden kitchen doors with other materials such as gloss or matt lacquer kitchen doors.  Similarly, it is better to choose contrasting materials such as quartz or corian for your worktops. Rather than layering wood on wood, and the same again for your flooring …Ideally your wood doors should effortlessly stand out, without ever having to compete with other woods.

Kitchen island with wooden doors

Having a kitchen island with wooden doors, contrasting with other finishes is both impressive and cost-effective

To this end, many of our clients opt for wooden doors on an island, set against a contrasting and more understated kitchen finish.  This approach creates a stunning feature of the kitchen island ensuring the beautiful wooden grain doors stands out as a kitchen highlight.  However, another benefit of this technique is it can make some of the more expensive wooden options more affordable. This is because there are fewer wooden doors required than if including them throughout the entirety of the kitchen!

Make light of it…

Terra Oak Laminate with white matt laminate wall units

The Terra Oak Laminate with white matt laminate wall units lightens up the overall space

If considering wood for your kitchen an important consideration for making it work is how much light your room receives.  Dark woods are better for large, bright kitchen spaces, creating an appealing sense of drama!   Smaller kitchen spaces can take dark colours too but unless flooded with natural light, dark woods risk overwhelming the space; the beauty of the rich grain effect may also become far less apparent. (If insistent on dark colours in a small room with poor natural light then our advice is to only include dark tones for the base level units, with lighter coloured wall units above).



Handleless kitchen with whitewash ash laminate kitchen island

This handleless kitchen with it’s Whitewash Ash laminate island finish, certainly brightens up the room

Conversely, pale wooden kitchen finishes will work for any size of room.

In smaller kitchens it can actually enhance the feeling of space, as well as create a warmer kitchen feel.
These light wood tones are very popular for Scandi kitchen themes, where pale colours, soft furnishings and simple accents dominate.

Other tips for making wooden kitchens work


Terra Oak Laminate finish with 12mm worktop

Modernity is defined with this Terra Oak Laminate finish and the Neolith Estatuario 12mm worktop

If planning a new kitchen and thinking of including wooden kitchen finishes, then depending on the look you want here are some other tips for making woods work:

  • If you are mixing and matching finishes, rich wood accents are great for warming up cool grey or cool white cabinetry tones.
  • Light colours will add warmth, whilst dark tones will create a dramatic or edgy statement!
  • Heavily grained woods such as walnut can look more old fashioned. If you want to include this but avoid a dated look consider adding modern elements. Handleless kitchen styles (available in all wood door options), as well as glass accents, metallic, contemporary furnishings, slim worktops, and stainless steel integrated appliances are among a few options.
  • Glass fronted cabinets or open shelving interspersed with wooden kitchen finishes are also good options if you wish to create a more ‘open’ and airy kitchen feel.
  • Don’t forget to think about your existing furniture.


If you would like to explore LWK Kitchens’ extensive range of wood kitchen finishes, then come see us in one of our showrooms, and we can help ensure a wooden kitchen option that’s just right for you and your home. Contact Us or call 020 7536 9266



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