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Choose Wood Cabinetry to Create a Contemporary Look

Choosing Wood Cabinetry for a Contemporary Look: Expert Answers to Your Top 10 Questions


Contemporary design has gained immense popularity in interior decor, and one key element in achieving a contemporary look is the use of wood cabinetry. In this article, we’ll explore the most commonly asked questions about choosing wood cabinetry to create a contemporary look and provide expert answers to help you make informed decisions for your home.


1. What Types of Wood are Best for Contemporary Cabinetry?

When it comes to contemporary cabinetry, it’s essential to select woods with clean lines and minimal grain patterns. Popular choices include:

  1. Maple: Known for its light color and smooth grain, maple is an excellent choice for a contemporary look.
  2. Cherry: With its reddish-brown hue and fine grain, cherry adds warmth and sophistication to modern kitchens.
  3. Birch: Birch offers a pale, uniform appearance that works well in minimalist designs.
  4. Walnut: Dark and rich, walnut can create a dramatic contrast in contemporary spaces.

2. How Can I Achieve a Sleek and Minimalist Appearance with Wood Cabinetry?

To achieve a sleek and minimalist appearance with wood cabinetry, consider these design principles:

  • Opt for flat-panel or slab-style cabinet doors.
  • Choose handleless cabinets for a clean and seamless look.
  • Use a matte or high-gloss finish to create a modern, reflective surface.
  • Select a neutral color palette with bold accents for a contemporary twist.

3. Are There Sustainable Wood Options for Contemporary Cabinetry?

Yes, sustainable wood options are available for contemporary cabinetry. Look for:

  • FSC-Certified Wood: The Forest Stewardship Council certifies wood products that meet rigorous sustainability standards.
  • Bamboo: A rapidly renewable resource, bamboo is an eco-friendly choice for cabinetry.
  • Reclaimed Wood: Using reclaimed wood not only adds character but also reduces the demand for new timber.

4. Can I Mix Wood Types in Contemporary Cabinetry?

Mixing wood types in contemporary cabinetry can create an interesting contrast. However, it’s essential to do so thoughtfully. Consider using one wood type for the majority of cabinets and another for accents or an island to avoid overwhelming the space.

5. What Hardware Works Best with Wood Cabinetry in a Contemporary Design?

For a contemporary look, consider the following hardware options:

  • Minimalist Handles: Sleek and understated handles or knobs complement the clean lines of contemporary cabinetry.
  • Integrated Handles: Choose cabinets with integrated handles for a seamless appearance.
  • Matte Black or Stainless Steel: These finishes provide a modern and industrial touch.

6. How Do I Maintain Wood Cabinetry in a Contemporary Kitchen?

To keep your wood cabinetry looking its best in a contemporary kitchen, follow these maintenance tips:

  • Wipe down cabinets regularly with a damp cloth.
  • Avoid abrasive cleaners that can damage the finish.
  • Use mild wood-friendly cleaners for tougher stains.
  • Consider applying a protective sealant to prolong the life of the wood.

7. Can I Add Glass Inserts to Contemporary Wood Cabinets?

Adding glass inserts to contemporary wood cabinets can introduce visual interest and a sense of openness. Frosted or textured glass can provide a modern touch while maintaining privacy.

8. What Lighting Options Complement Wood Cabinetry in a Contemporary Setting?

Lighting plays a crucial role in a contemporary kitchen. Consider:

  • Under-Cabinet Lighting: Provides functional illumination and highlights the cabinetry.
  • Pendant Lights: Suspended above an island or dining area, these fixtures add style and task lighting.
  • LED Strips: Create a futuristic ambiance with hidden LED strips.

9. Should I Choose Open Shelving Alongside Wood Cabinetry for a Contemporary Look?

Open shelving can complement wood cabinetry in a contemporary kitchen, but it’s essential to strike the right balance. Use open shelves sparingly to display decorative items or frequently used cookware, keeping the overall design clutter-free.

10. How Can I Incorporate Contrasting Colors with Wood Cabinetry in a Contemporary Design?

Contrasting colors can add depth and visual interest. Consider these ideas:

  • Paint the kitchen island in a bold, contrasting color.
  • Use a contrasting backsplash or countertops to create a focal point.
  • Incorporate colorful accessories or dishware for pops of vibrancy.

In conclusion, choosing wood cabinetry to create a contemporary look involves careful consideration of wood type, design elements, hardware, and maintenance. By following these expert answers to your top 10 questions, you can achieve a stylish and modern kitchen that reflects your unique taste and personality.

11. Can I Incorporate Natural Wood Color Variations into a Contemporary Kitchen?

Yes, you can embrace the natural color variations found in wood to create a contemporary kitchen with character. Many contemporary designs incorporate contrasting elements, and wood’s natural variations can add depth and texture to your space. However, it’s essential to ensure that these variations complement the overall color scheme and design aesthetics.

12. What Cabinet Door Styles Work Best for a Contemporary Kitchen?

Contemporary kitchens often feature clean lines and minimalist designs. Therefore, cabinet door styles that work best for this look include:

  • Flat-Panel: Also known as slab-style doors, these have a sleek, unembellished appearance.
  • Shaker: Shaker-style doors with their simple, framed design can work well in contemporary kitchens.
  • Frameless: Frameless cabinet construction offers a seamless and modern appearance.

13. Are There Budget-Friendly Options for Achieving a Contemporary Look with Wood Cabinetry?

Achieving a contemporary look with wood cabinetry doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. To stay budget-friendly:

  • Opt for laminate or veneer cabinets that mimic the appearance of real wood.
  • Consider semi-custom or stock cabinets, which can be more cost-effective than custom options.
  • Focus on high-impact design elements, such as lighting and hardware, to make a statement.

14. How Do I Blend Wood Cabinetry with Other Materials in a Contemporary Design?

Blending wood cabinetry with other materials in a contemporary design can create a harmonious and balanced look. Some ideas include:

  • Combining wood cabinets with sleek, metal accents like stainless steel appliances.
  • Incorporating stone or quartz countertops for a modern and durable surface.
  • Using glass or acrylic elements in cabinet doors or backsplashes to add transparency and visual interest.

15. Can Wood Cabinetry Work in Small Contemporary Spaces?

Wood cabinetry can indeed work in small contemporary spaces, provided you follow some key guidelines:

  • Choose lighter wood tones to create a sense of spaciousness.
  • Opt for open shelving or glass-front cabinets to maintain an open feel.
  • Maximize storage efficiency with clever cabinet organization solutions.

In summary, wood cabinetry can be a versatile and stylish choice for creating a contemporary look in your home. By considering wood type, design elements, lighting, and your overall budget, you can successfully integrate wood cabinetry into your modern living spaces, whether it’s a kitchen, bathroom, or any room where you want to infuse a touch of contemporary elegance. Remember that the key to a successful contemporary design lies in thoughtful planning and attention to detail.

16. Can I Mix Different Wood Finishes in a Contemporary Kitchen?

Mixing different wood finishes can add complexity and depth to your contemporary kitchen design, but it should be done carefully. Here are some tips for successful wood finish mixing:

  • Stick to a consistent color palette for a cohesive look.
  • Use different wood finishes for upper and lower cabinets or kitchen islands to create visual interest.
  • Ensure that the finishes you choose complement each other and maintain the overall contemporary aesthetic.

17. What Are the Pros and Cons of Dark Wood Cabinetry in a Contemporary Setting?

Dark wood cabinetry can lend a dramatic and luxurious feel to a contemporary kitchen. However, it’s important to consider the pros and cons:


  • Creates a bold contrast in a light or neutral kitchen.
  • Adds warmth and depth to the space.
  • Hides stains and wear better than lighter finishes.


  • Can make a small kitchen feel even smaller.
  • Requires good lighting to prevent a cave-like atmosphere.
  • Shows dust and fingerprints more prominently.

18. Are There Trends in Contemporary Wood Cabinetry Design?

Contemporary design is always evolving, but some current trends in wood cabinetry include:

  • Mixing materials, such as pairing wood with metal or glass.
  • Bold color choices for cabinet fronts.
  • Minimalist hardware or hidden handles for a streamlined appearance.
  • Sustainability and eco-friendly choices.

19. Can I Refinish or Paint Existing Wood Cabinets to Achieve a Contemporary Look?

Refinishing or painting existing wood cabinets can be a cost-effective way to update your kitchen’s look. Consider these options:

  • Refinishing: Sanding and restaining or resealing existing wood cabinets to enhance their appearance.
  • Painting: Applying a fresh coat of paint in a contemporary color scheme to give cabinets a modern makeover.
  • Consulting with a professional for the best results and advice on which option suits your cabinets.

20. How Can I Make My Contemporary Wood Cabinetry Stand Out?

To make your contemporary wood cabinetry stand out and reflect your personal style:

  • Choose a statement piece, like a boldly colored kitchen island.
  • Incorporate unique hardware or cabinet handles.
  • Consider open shelving to display decorative items or artwork.
  • Add pops of color through kitchen accessories and decor.

See: Forevermark Kitchen Cabinets


In conclusion, wood cabinetry can be a versatile and timeless choice for achieving a contemporary look in your home. By considering various factors such as wood type, finish, design elements, and your personal style preferences, you can create a space that is both modern and inviting. Keep in mind that contemporary design encourages creativity, so don’t hesitate to experiment and incorporate your unique ideas to make your space truly your own.

Read: Advantages of Incorporating Wood Cabinetry into Your Home

Read: Achieving the Ideal Look with Wood Cabinetry

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