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Dark or Light – Wood Considerations for Your Kitchen


Over the years, wood has been a very integral part of kitchen décor, particularly when it comes to cabinets, trim and flooring. However, with so many different stain color options, it is often difficult to decide between dark wood or light wood. You need to consider the style of the wood, what type of lighting you have in the room, the size of the room, and any existing hardware you wish to keep, as well as paint colors, when making the decision about the color of the woodwork in your kitchen.

Architecture is Important

The first thing that you should consider when trying to determine whether to use light or dark wood in your kitchen cabinets is the style of architecture that is already found in your kitchen. If your kitchen is full of dark wood and trim, it might be good to find a wood shade that will match the other wood found in your kitchen in order to match. In addition, if you would like the feeling in your kitchen to be homey and comfortable, a dark wood might be a good choice for you. On the other hand, if you would like your kitchen to feel more open and airy, some light colored wood might be a better idea for you. The lighter the color of your kitchen cabinets, flooring and trim, the more light will be able to bounce around give your kitchen a more open feeling. If you would still like to add some dark contrasting colors, your granite countertops are an excellent option. You can choose a darker colored granite that although it meshes well with the lighter wood, provides a little more depth to the space.

Lighting Makes a Difference

You will need to determine how much natural and artificial light will be present in your kitchen in order to decide on what color the wood elements should be. If there are many windows in your kitchen or you have some really bright artificial lights available, you will have more freedom to choose a darker color for the cabinets, flooring and trim. Conversely, if you do not have a lot of natural or artificial lighting in your home, it might be a better option to choose a lighter color for the wood elements. This will enable your kitchen to feel more spacious and bright, even though it does not have a lot of light.

Size Matters

When it comes to choosing between light colored wood or dark colored wood, the size of the room really makes a difference. If you have a smaller kitchen, using dark wood could make the space seem even smaller. On the other hand, if you have a very large kitchen, dark wood can bring the space together, allowing your kitchen to feel warm and inviting, as opposed to open and cold. With that said, light colored wood does make a good addition to a large kitchen as well. It can provide you with an even more open feeling, and make entertaining simpler, as your guests will not feel crowded. Again, if you would like to bring the space together more, and give it a more cozy feeling, you could choose a darker color for the granite countertops, drawing the attention to the center of the room.

Wall Colors

There are many colors and styles of paint that you can choose to use in your kitchen, and they also might help to determine what color the wood elements should be. If you choose a darker color paint, you may want to consider a lighter wood color, to add a bit of contrast and keep the kitchen from looking to dark and dreary. The exact opposite is true with a light color, wherein you can choose darker wood. When it comes to white walls, it tends to get a bit tricky to make the wood color decision, as white looks good with both dark and light wood elements. In this situation, you would definitely need to take the other tips into consideration before making a final decision.

If you are an individual who likes to change out the paint colors every few years, which many people do, you may want to choose a medium colored wood. This would provide you with a little more leeway in choosing paint colors in the future. In addition, when it comes to your granite countertops, you would want to choose a more neutral color that looks great with a variety of different shades of paint and wood stain colors.

When it comes down to it, personal preference is really the key. If you have taken the rules of deciding between light and dark wood into consideration, but your personal preference is sending you in an opposite direction, go with it. Remember, it is your kitchen, so you need to love it. These are just a few ideas for helping you make the decision, but ultimately, whether your kitchen is small, large, architecturally unique or square, choosing the color of the wood elements should be based on what you want to see in your home!

Image Credit: Mark55Spark




2 Responses

  1. Thiago daLuz

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen countertops in Edmonton of this quality. I’m going to have to look into getting some installed, because these are absolutely beautiful.

  2. Jessica

    Add Table Lamps – Put table lamps on your island or dining table to make your kitchen feel like a room, not a laboratory