KITCHEN TREND: NATURAL TIMBER

The simplicity of unpainted wood feels both timeless and fresh – and is a style update that has us in a whorl.

KITCHEN DESIGN PROJECT

Bespoke kitchen in White American oak, from £36,000, Naked Kitchens. Oak Super Stave worktops with Nano coating, £315 linear m, Norfolk Oak. SF9390X1 single oven, £1,149; SF4390VCX steam oven, £1,179; CTP3015X warming drawer, £379; S7220FNDP freezer, £929; S7323LFEP fridge, £869; PGF32G gas hob, £299; PGF30T-1 teppanyaki, £1,099; PGF32I-1 induction hob, £679; LD116S-2 Mira double sink, £279; Amalfi filtered tap, £559, all Smeg. For similar polished concrete flooring, try Lazenby.

THE PROPERTY

A four-bedroom, red-brick country home in Norfolk.

DESIGNER

Louise Berry, Naked Kitchens.

See more timber kitchens here.

WHAT THEY DID

At first glance, this wood-on-wood scheme appears effortless. Look a little closer and the meticulous craftsmanship shines through. ‘The owners wanted a modern design with the artisanal quality of traditional wood furniture,’ says designer Louise Berry, who worked with architect Dom Wilson.

White American oak was chosen for its tight grain and soft tones. It was finished in a specialist Nano coating, developed by Naked Kitchens, to provide resilience while retaining its natural look. ‘Using the same material for the worktops and for wrapping the drawers gives a modular effect akin to a sideboard,’ says Louise. ‘We wanted each section to feel like a piece of freestanding furniture, far from a mass-produced, fitted kitchen.’

With such a reduced palette of materials, Louise and Dom worked hard to introduce subtle design notes as, with a wood-dominated design scheme, success lies in the details.

Carefully planning the pattern of grain, the finish, and the way the drawers are framed and units connect will pay dividends.

One example is the box-joint construction of the drawers, which shows the pattern on the side and front of each corner. Every drawer front was pre-selected from the same tree to ensure the grain runs horizontally along each elevation. ‘We had to be exceptionally careful. If one panel got damaged, the whole alignment would have been ruined,’ says Louise.

With such a reduced palette of materials, Louise and Dom worked hard to introduce subtle design notes as, with a wood-dominated design scheme, success lies in the details. Carefully planning the pattern of grain, the finish, and the way the drawers are framed and units connect will pay dividends. One example is the box-joint construction of the drawers, which shows the pattern on the side and front of each corner.

Every drawer front was pre-selected from the same tree to ensure the grain runs horizontally along each elevation. ‘We had to be exceptionally careful. If one panel got damaged, the whole alignment would have been ruined,’ says Louise.

To boost the kitchen’s relaxed vibe, the island’s plinth is set far back for a floating feel, while open wall shelving echoes the charm of a Victorian dresser. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets – housing ovens and refrigeration – are painted in the same white as the walls to ‘fade into the background’.

Only the fridge and freezer have protruding handles, for ease of opening. ‘Keep the overall shapes crisp and clean, and the innate beauty of the timber will give all the decoration you need,’ says Louise.

See more kitchen trends here.

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