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Exploring Wood Tones in Soft Modern

By Robert Bakes, Co-Founder & Head Of Design Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry

With demand for modern kitchens on the rise, there is a gap in the market for a tempered design that offsets the minimalism that hinders many homeowners from committing. In response, Bakes & Kropp Fine Cabinetry has developed the Soft Modern kitchen design – an approach that layers warm wood finishes to soften the sterile feeling commonly associated with modern aesthetics. 

Wood, with its inherent organic characteristics, exudes a warmth that synthetic materials cannot emulate. This natural warmth stands in captivating contrast to the cool tones of glossy materials typical of the popular kitchen aesthetic. Especially evident is how the wood grain introduces a soothing and inviting dynamic against crisp white cabinets and countertops. When wood is integrated as cabinetry faces, it adds an essential, organic touch amidst the otherwise polished finishes.

In this Soft Modern kitchen design, for instance, a light walnut finish provides balance to the modish metallic backsplash and glossy white countertops and cabinetry. Above, a custom Bakes & Kropp range hood with polished nickel accents creates harmony between these finishes. 

We’re finding that as the demand for more sociable kitchen design grows, so does the need for softer finishes. A natural grain not only contributes an element of texture and depth but also bestows the kitchen with a lived-in, approachable aura that resonates with comfort. 

In modern kitchen design, sleek surfaces and reflective finishes typically dominate, and so the introduction of wood details offers a necessary stroke of balance. Against the backdrop of crisp cabinetry and countertops, these wooden elements provide a tactile contrast seamlessly bridging the gap between contemporary and timelessness. The visual contrast, especially when set against elements like white marble, underscores this balance. The interplay between the sheen of refined countertops and the authenticity of wood creates a design equilibrium. Further, the natural hues of wood beautifully complement and enrich the modern kitchen’s neutral color palette, underlining this design harmony. 

Here, custom walnut cabinetry finished with a soft, natural sheen adds warmth to the kitchen’s modern style to balance the opulence of a marble island top.

Apart from visual appeal, wood offers tactile comfort. Its softer and warmer touch compared to metal or stone surfaces can make the kitchen feel more approachable and comfortable for daily use. The texture of the wood juxtaposed against the smooth, veined surface of the marble introduces a diverse tactile experience. This variation in textures adds depth and dimension to the design, preventing it from feeling flat or monotonous.

Above all, wood is a classic material that never goes out of style, ensuring that your kitchen design remains timeless and adaptable. Its incorporation into modern kitchen aesthetics through finishes and accents is a nod to the adaptability it offers. The presence of wood stands as a beacon of balance, grounding contemporary design elements and making them feel inviting and attuned to human needs. Ultimately, they don’t just enhance the design; they instill it with a profound sense of stability and permanence.