If you had asked me 15 years ago if I would ever do lighter woods in my home, my response probably would have been a vehement “no”. Growing up with a plethora of bad yellow oak flooring all over our home, I hated the way we had to design around it (we, meaning my parents of course – me i just give it the evil eye). But, as with all things, tastes changes and styles evolve and nowadays, I’m really loving some of these lighter woods. Especially in the kitchen…

lauren liess white and wood kitchen

More specifically, I’m loving the effect of a white kitchen with a counter or island that brings in a wood element. The counter stays white, but the facade incorporates a new wood tone…

modern country white and wood kitchen

Like this. I especially like the idea of using reclaimed wood here, since most of the time you don’t want to use it all over the house – or don’t have enough to do so. It adds that perfect rustic touch.

modern loft kitchen white wood and brick

This look could also go thoroughly modern (not my style, but man do I love that ceiling!)

white and dark walnut wood kitchen

Or really high contrast. I like that in this kitchen they used the island as an opportunity to get away from all the white-washed wood in the space and add something darker. The dipped stools are the perfect tie-in too.

white and wood panel kitchen with pops of yellow

If you’ve decided to go with a starker kitchen design – whether all white, a little industrial, or even grey – I think this is a great way to add a little richness and texture visually. Becuase kitchens should be warm and inviting!

I could see how this detail could be easily incorporated into an existing island too – depending on the style. It’s essentially just installing paneling – similar to above. You could wrap it all the way around, or just do a section of the island under the counter, and voila – instant update to the kitchen.

images :: lauren liess // de[luxe] design studio // via trendland // in2 architecture // via red online


  1. Ashley Minck

    I love this. I think it would be particularly beautiful in an open shore house kitchen. I love the contrast between the darker wood floors with the reclaimed wood (almost driftwood colored) island. I’ll have to bookmark this for future projects.

  2. VeronicaCo

    Really nice kitchen, I just can’t stop starring at it, I gonna be an architect so this is kind of fascinating me (: I like that photograph at the fourth pic.

  3. Kate Zucconi

    I love images 3 and 4 with the clean lines and more refined wood! Great contrast ideas, and those dipped stools are a great tie in! The use of different textures in kitchen 4 and the painted brick and wood ceiling are really interesting!

  4. Stephanie Anderson

    I’m looking for cabinet hardware like in the first picture (long pulls in black). Cannot find anything anywhere. Do you know where those are from!?


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About Cassandra LaValle

Cassandra LaValle is the founder and editor-in-chief of coco+kelley where she explores trends in fashion, decor and entertaining, highlighting pieces that exude classic design and glamour. As a designer, she consults clients across the globe on styling their homes and private events from her offices in Seattle.