The Henderson’s love of natural wood comes only second to our love of natural light. In fact, it’s my personal thesis that you NEED a lot of wood in conjunction with natural light in order to still feel cozy. But can you have too much wood? Specifically in a kitchen? I think the old me would have said “Yes” because I love mixing things up and I love color. But I look at our kitchen here and so many others online and I think – I actually don’t think you can have too much wood – when done right. Wood is classic and timeless, warm and organic, not to mention (and why I’m here today) so much less maintenance.
The reason for us leaning into wood isn’t just aesthetics – painted cabinets chip so much easier than wood, and I prefer a camouflaged ding that you can barely see in the wood grain over an obvious paint chip. Now when I presented this agony to Anne’s husband, Richard, who owns Versatile (the sister company to Arciform that custom makes windows, doors, and cabinetry) he assured me that the painted cabinets can be practically chip-less if done right (and that’s all in the hands of the cabinet fabricator and painter – many of which do not do it right for long term). I have hired many “professional” cabinet finishers on many kitchens and all of the cabinets have still chipped within the first year. He was shocked and said that he’s never had that complaint. I even checked in with the Silverlake Hills house client yesterday and asked them if their cabinets have chipped – this one:
They said that “yes they chip” and that every other year they pay the original painter $150 for touchups. Now that is not that much, but I think it’s rare for the original painter (with the original exact paint color and finish) to do this. But I know for a fact that we had these custom cabinets professionally built and painted off-site, they cured for days between coats. To me, they shouldn’t chip!
That’s all to say we are skeptical about painted cabinetry (although Rashida’s post gave me hope and Richard said she is doing it EXACTLY right so only time will tell). Our wood cabinets at the mountain house are real wood, and just sealed with a matte wax, the black is stained reclaimed wood. I KNOW that we beat them up HARD, but nary a chip in sight. Sure if you look close you can see a ding or… 20, but it’s just different than a chip.
The Farm Kitchen (Kinda)
Now here’s an old rendering of the kitchen that was not even close to done and a billion things have changed, but just wanted to give you a sense of what we are working with – a big island, perimeter cabinetry, and fridge column next to a bar. NOTHING HERE HAS BEEN DESIGNED, meaning this is just for space planning and layout, no finishes have been selected. Thus the beginning of the exploration.
After speaking to Richard yesterday I feel more confident that they can deliver a practically chip-free painted cabinet, but I still want to explore with you how an all wood kitchen would look like.
I’m officially obsessed with this island. On that floor (note the awkward wood floor patching that looks AWESOME) and the knobs and framing that is a bit darker wood (looks like cherry?). Just so stunning. Now, what if the cabinets on the perimeter of that same kitchen were wood? Would it be too much? See here:
They did white on the perimeter but wood on all the counters. Now if they had done wood cabinets with marble on the countertops would that be too much wood? I think not. Also yes, note the wood pendants – these people love wood as much as we do 🙂
Now, this kitchen is a bit darker than we’d go but I think the all-wood look is just so pretty. The glass cabinets, farmhouse sink, and stone backsplash shake it up but otherwise, it’s a lot of wood (and it looks so pretty!).
While this kitchen might be a bit too modern for us, the use of the exact same wood on island, perimeter, and fridge columns is something I would NOT have done, but seeing it I’m like, “yah… this looks GREAT”.
This is the kitchen I keep going back to. Wood island. Wood island top. Wood cabinets and wood windows. The only thing that isn’t wood is the floor, countertops, and tile – but even if the floor was wood I think I would love it.
I know that you might be like “this isn’t farm-house-y” but I disagree. It’s just not “modern farmhouse” and instead has a more simple shaker vibe. As much as I love charming old details (which I do and we are still playing with how to bring them in) this looks warm and simple and just stunning.
The more I look at all of these the more I think I actually love all the wood. Sure it’s not eclectic or eccentric but I can do that with the styling. I love how that above kitchen shook up the profile of the drawers on the right cabinetry. So pretty!
So after much thought, my official conclusion is that you CANNOT have too much wood. I think for a more traditional/eclectic style you’d want to mix the wood tones (maybe the island is darker than the floor, for instance) but the seamless look is awesome for more contemporary spaces (like the mountain house). But like anything in design – you can DO ANYTHING if done right which is not super helpful but sadly it’s the truth. But what do you think? Would a “too much” wood kitchen be too much (or little) for you?