Something Other than the White Kitchen


The white kitchen.. I have done a tone of them, and I do love them.  Clean, bright, new, shiny, updated - everyone wants one, it's the trend.  I was one of them 4 years ago when I renovated mine.  I did, though opted for black tile so I didn't have the all white look.  I was afraid I was get bored with that over the years and want a little depth.  The last kitchen I work on incorporated navy which I see popping up out there as a different option than the all white look.

photo by mekenzie loli

I am working on my new mountain house in Brevard and I cannot wait to start seeing white paint go up everywhere and the wood panel walls go away, but I did decide to incorporate a wood kitchen cabinet look to give the open concept room some depth.  While researching the look I started falling in love with the mix of wood and white, and I am becoming a little obsessed.  Take a look at some of my finds as far as style and wood tone.

Design by Dana Wolter Interiors 

Design by Charles Tashima Architecture

Now in my opinion what makes the wood kitchen work and not look dated is the lack of upper wood cabinets in the majority of these images.  A big dose of upper tile gives all these looks a fresh modern feel.

This home belongs to Pilar Guzman (editor of Conde Nast Traveler) and her husband Chris Mitchell (publisher at Vanity Fair).

 design by MRTN Architects

via Better Homes and Garden - designer unknown

How about something really modern . . 

design by Scott Posno Design

With the wooden kitchen cabinets comes a definite "look"  for the kitchen as well as through out the house I think.  I'd like to see more earthy materials along with the wood like wicker, cork an clay.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and is the most personal.  Friends gather for more casual meals and dare I say the dining room is often opened up into the kitchen with the more formal taking a back set to say a  home office.  With the outside world feeling complicated, unpredictable and sometimes unsafe, the kitchen is a warm welcoming place and more important than ever.  A lot more subtle and less "look at me" is going on in my dream kitchen.  Replacing the glossier finishes, which can be cold with warmer, richer finishes.  Mixing brushed or plaster walls can add to the texture and look and there has been a big push for matte finish appliances leaving the shine behind.  

Tile to go with your wood kitchen . . . well I have found Cle (here) and it was a hard decision to pick - so many cool patterns.  I have these going in the Brevard house.

Encaustic aka cement tile - what's that ?  I'll let Cle explain . . .

encaustic cement tile
here is our modern take on a historic tile that, over the past 150 years, has been referred to by dozens of names including encaustic cement tiles, cement tiles, concrete tiles, hydraulicos, cuban tiles, and so on. these alluring tiles have stood the test of time and have echoed their beauty across many continents.
clé creates one of the finest cement tiles in the world, and this quality still permeates a surface which is muted, varied, matte and silky. cement tile patterns and shapes are already impossible to refuse, but it's the variegated colors that make them one of today's most sought after tiles for, both, walls and floors, as well as, indoors and out.

Now if the wood cabinet is something you just can't get on board with.. what about a wood backdrop.  I saw this recently and paused for a gasp ... how gorgeous.

 design by INT2 Architecture

I recently did a little wood back splash for a wet bar area for a client of mine... not as big but the look is there . . .

photo by mekenzie loli

Was thrilled when this same client embraced the wood cabinet look . . . well half way at least !   How pretty, rich and warm is this modern look !

photo by mekenzie loli

But if the wood cabinet look is really something you aren't ready for... how about a this baby step . . .

design by Michelle Rothmeier and detailed on her blog tenjuneblog.com

Looks are always evolving . . . aren't they !