6 Things You Should Pair With Wood Cabinets

By Laura Gaskill, Houzz

While painted cabinets have surged in popularity, unpainted cabinets made of real wood, either stained or left natural, are a luxury that will always work. But since wood cabinets come in so many tones that lend their own color to the mix, it can be tricky to know just what to put with them to make them look their best. Whether you rent or own your home, and whether your cabinets are new or original to the house, If you’ve been wondering what on earth to put with your wood cabinets, these ideas should help.

David Heide Design Studio, original photo on Houzz

Granite counters and gray-green glass tile. These red birch cabinets look warm and rich against a grayish-green glass tile backsplash and granite counters with gray tones. Try this classic look with midtone wood cabinets, like honey-toned oak or cherry.

If you liked the last look but have dark cabinets, consider giving it a slight twist — the deep tone of walnut cabinets looks stunning against light marble counters. Gray tile floors in a herringbone pattern and a watery gray-green glass tile backsplash offer contrast for a fresh, contemporary look.

Risa Boyer Architecture, original photo on Houzz

Marble counters, wood floors and statement lighting. Dark stained oak cabinets, marble counters and backsplash, and crisp white walls could read as a bit cold, but the gleaming pendant light, wood floors and wood island counter add warmth. If you have dark wood cabinets and want wood floors too, choose floors a few shades lighter than the cabinetry — a medium amount of contrast is easiest on the eyes.

Cabinets: rift-sawn white oak with custom stain; lighting fixture: a DIY project

Becki Peckham, original photo on Houzz

Amethyst pendant lights. Shades of purple work well with nearly any shade of wood, and amethyst-tinted glass is especially easy to coordinate. If you want to update your kitchen without changing the major features, hanging new pendant lights is a quick and easy way to make a big impact, even if you rent.

Pendants: Lung light shade

Camilla Molders Design, original photo on Houzz

Wild card: rich teal and red. If you are a color lover, don’t hold back! The kitchen is actually a great place in which to experiment with color, because even a small accent can make a big impact. The stained bamboo cabinets shown here have an almost tropical feel alongside the rich teal walls and tiles. Red is a vibrant mate for teal — try red stools at your kitchen island or red pottery on open shelving. Egyptian pendant lights add an exotic touch.

Christine Donner Kitchen Design Inc, original photo on Houzz

Soapstone counters and buttery walls. A classic farmhouse sink, a subway tile backsplash and butter-yellow walls are charming with cherry cabinets. Vermont soapstone counters offer contrast to keep the look crisp. Keep in mind that walls in the yellow range can make lighter oak cabinets look washed out — the lighter butter yellow works here because the cabinets are a richer hue.

Crown Point Cabinetry, original photo on Houzz

Marble counters and white subway tile. If you have naturally beautiful wood in your kitchen, like these reclaimed chestnut cabinets, consider complementing them with marble counters and white subway tile. Dark grout with white subway tile is more sophisticated than white — and easier to keep looking clean. Repeat the dark grout color with dark cabinet hardware and a black light fixture.

Related Links:

Choose the Perfect Kitchen Lighting to Pair With
Why Soapstone Might Be Right for You
How to Clean Marble Countertops

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