Wood cabinets never go out of style when it comes to kitchen design. There’s just something warm, inviting and timeless about the look and feel of natural wood cabinetry. If you’re looking to remodel your kitchen with a contemporary flair, wood cabinets can provide the perfect balance between modern and classic elements. Here are 5 beautiful examples of new contemporary kitchens featuring stylish wood cabinets.

1. Scandinavian-Inspired Contemporary Kitchen

This light and airy kitchen designed by deVOL Kitchens beautifully combines contemporary and Scandinavian style elements. The pale oak cabinetry provides a fresh, modern look while still retaining natural wood grain character.

Clean lines, ample storage space, and smart organizational features make this a highly functional cooking space. For example, deep drawers with dividers keep cooking tools and utensils neatly organized. Glass-front upper cabinets contribute to the light, open aesthetic while offering access to dinnerware on display.

Stainless steel appliances and white quartz countertops keep the look contemporary. Pops of green from live leafy plants provide an organic accent. The pendant lights over the large kitchen island add sculptural flair.

This chic, unfussy design proves that wood cabinets can absolutely be contemporary yet warm and inviting at the same time. The light wood brightens the space while the smooth, flat cabinet fronts provide sleek lines.

Key Elements:

  • Pale oak cabinetry with flat recessed panel doors
  • White quartz countertops
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Glass-front upper cabinets
  • Large kitchen island with hanging pendant lights
  • Abundant natural light
  • Live plants for organic accents
  • Simple, contemporary hardware

2. Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

This kitchen by studio McGee masterfully blends modern and rustic farmhouse elements. The beautiful medium-toned wood cabinets offer plenty of storage while making a stylish statement. Extra tall upper cabinets provide even more space for dishes and other kitchen items.

A large kitchen island includes a built-in sink, dishwasher, and seating for casual meals. The black and brass hardware and light fixtures add a contemporary edge. White marble countertops and backsplash provide sleek contrast to the wood cabinetry.

Despite the more modern features, the use of wood cabinetry, marble, and subway tile gives this space an undeniably rustic farmhouse vibe. It’s airy, bright and feels both spacious and cozy.

Key Elements:

  • Medium-toned wood cabinets with flat recessed panel doors
  • Extra tall upper cabinets
  • Large kitchen island with built-in sink and seating
  • Black hardware and brass light fixtures
  • White marble countertops and backsplash
  • Subway tile backsplash
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Abundant natural light

3. Contemporary Walnut Kitchen

The rich walnut cabinetry is the star of this contemporary kitchen designed by Martha O’Hara Interiors. The dark wood provides striking visual contrast to the bright white countertops and backsplash tile. Matte black hardware and fixtures further complement the walnut’s bold look.

A spacious kitchen island that doubles as a dining table enables casual meals and gatherings. The built-in banquette seating is a smart space-saving solution. A sleek black steel vent hood makes a contemporary statement above the range.

While the cabinetry itself has minimal ornamentation, the bold walnut grain provides plenty of texture and visual interest. The deep color palette gives warmth to the space, even with the abundance of crisp whites.

Key Elements:

  • Walnut cabinetry with flat, recessed panel doors
  • White quartz countertops and backsplash tile
  • Matte black hardware and light fixtures
  • Built-in banquette seating
  • Sleek steel vent hood
  • Large kitchen island with dining space

4. Transitional Kitchen With Wood Hood

This kitchen by Sawyer Berson beautifully pairs contemporary and traditional elements. The environmentally-friendly bamboo light wood cabinetry juxtaposes with the striking wood hood extension. The natural wood tones create warmth and interest in this airy kitchen.

Floating shelves in place of upper cabinets help keep the space feeling open. The kitchen island incorporates storage, counter space, and seating. Reclaimed wood boards used in the backsplash enhance the natural, handcrafted feel.

The centerpiece wood hood provides storage and accommodates a minimalist element—a purposeful fireplace with a linear, gas flame. This unexpected feature makes the space ideal for social gatherings and entertaining.

Key Elements:

  • Bamboo light wood cabinets
  • Wood range hood extension over the gas fireplace
  • Reclaimed wood backsplash
  • Floating shelves for open storage
  • Large kitchen island with mixed storage and seating
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Pale countertops

5. Modern Cherry Wood Kitchen

This sleek, contemporary kitchen utilizes dark cherry wood cabinetry and stainless steel appliances to make a bold style statement. The rich wood grain provides texture and visual depth. Despite the dominance of wood, the matte black hardware and trim keep the look modern.

The unique range hood has an architectural, sculptural quality that makes it a focal point. Its black exterior perfectly complements the cherry cabinetry. The expansive kitchen island functions as extra counter space and casual dining area with its built-in stools.

Strategic lighting, like the pendant lamps over the island and under cabinet lighting, make this a highly functional workspace as well. The reflective white quartz countertops combined with ample task lighting create ideal food prep conditions.

Key Elements:

  • Dark cherry wood cabinetry
  • Matte black hardware and trim
  • Sculptural range hood in black
  • White quartz countertops
  • Built-in stools in kitchen island
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Under cabinet and pendant lighting

Design Tips for Contemporary Kitchens With Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinetry can look especially striking in contemporary kitchen designs. Here are some useful tips for planning your own contemporary kitchen with stylish wood cabinets:

  • Combine wood cabinetry with sleek surfaces like stainless steel, glass, or solid surface countertops – This creates an appealing mix of natural and modern materials.
  • Incorporate matte black, brass or chrome finishes – This helps kitchen hardware, fixtures and details feel contemporary.
  • Use wood strategically as an accent – A wood hood or unique live-edge dining table still brings warmth without wood cabinet overload.
  • Experiment with cabinet colors – From light Scandi-style oak to bold walnut or cherry, wood cabinetry comes in many shades.
  • Utilize glass cabinet doors – Glass-front uppers promote openness and display dinnerware beautifully.
  • Consider handle-less cabinets – A sleek, integrated look is achievable with concealed hinges.
  • Add embellished backsplashes – Handmade tile, reclaimed wood, or patterned marble backsplashes provide visual interest.
  • Include architectural lighting – Sculptural pendants or sconces contribute a modern vibe.

FAQ About Contemporary Kitchens With Wood Cabinets

What colors pair well with wood cabinets in a contemporary kitchen?

Light countertop materials like white or pale gray quartz provide an airy contrast to wood cabinetry in contemporary kitchens. Stainless steel and black metal finishes also complement wood cabinets nicely in modern designs.

What kinds of countertops work with contemporary wood cabinets?

Quartz, granite, marble, concrete, and laminate are all suitable countertop materials that pair attractively with wood cabinetry in contemporary kitchens. Neutral solid colors are best for creating a streamlined look.

Should the cabinets be custom or stock for a contemporary kitchen?

Both stock and custom cabinets can suit a contemporary kitchen design beautifully. Custom cabinets offer more flexibility and personalization options. Stock cabinets tend to be more budget-friendly. The door style and finish you select will have a bigger impact than custom vs stock.

What hardware finishes look best with wood cabinets in a contemporary kitchen?

Matte black, chrome, stainless steel, and brushed brass hardware nicely complement wood cabinets in a contemporary kitchen. Minimalist hardware designs help retain a streamlined, modern aesthetic.

What backsplash tiles pair nicely with wood cabinetry?

Handmade subway tile, marble, travertine, stone mosaic, and concrete-look porcelain tiles all make attractive backsplash materials that work well with contemporary wood cabinet kitchens. Neutral tones keep the look modern.


Wood cabinetry remains a versatile and stylish option for contemporary kitchen designs. From Scandinavian-inspired light oak to rich walnut, wood brings warmth and texture to any modern space. Mixing sleek materials like quartz, stainless steel, or glass with natural wood achieves the perfect balance of organic and industrial.

With an abundance of beautiful examples, it’s clear wood cabinets can absolutely achieve a contemporary aesthetic. Keeping finishes, metals, and accent materials modern allows the wood to feel current rather than dated. Whether you opt for an edgy matte black look, rustic farmhouse vibe or Scandinavian minimalism, wood cabinets can be adapted to any contemporary style.