It's only NATURAL
South African Garden and Home|June 2020
It's only NATURAL
Aesthetics and functionality merge in these beautiful statement kitchens, where wood plays the leading role

Back in the ’70s, you couldn’t swing a lazy Susan without hitting a pine-clad kitchen complete with lashings of faux wood grain, marbled laminate and the obligatory presence of orange. But wood has re-emerged as the material of the moment, looking fresh, contemporary and suited to every budget.


Cool, calm and collected, this kitchen artfully marries clean-lined timber with chic black highlights.


  • The kitchen cabinetry in sustainable elmwood is a configuration of units chosen from the Sine Tempore collection by Valcucine.
  • The work surfaces, a customised addition, are granite.
  • The presence of black as an accent colour defines the decorative atmosphere, lending the space a sense of depth and urban sophistication. It’s found in the Shadows Suspension Lamps by Czech lighting studio Brokis, the powder-coated metal-framed stools by Danish studio, HAY, as well as striking artwork by Hanneke Benade.
  • Warm touches appear in the form of brushed copper accents on the mixer tap, and the tan leather upholstery of the stools.
  • The concrete ceiling, which adds a modern touch, has recessed lights as well as an integrated speaker.


Don’t be hesitant to introduce paintings in the kitchen. As long as they’re not at risk from being ruined by cooking splatters or steam damage, the presence of art will add unique character.


This contemporary space manages to be both family-friendly and streamlined.


  • The key feature of this bespoke kitchen is its seamless galley-style configuration that effortlessly integrates with the open-plan living space.
  • The choice of pale wood is in keeping with the clean-lined contemporary architecture.
  • A folding shutter-style door, barely visible when folded, can be used to close off the kitchen from the dining and living areas if desired.
  • The floating shelves, though full of everyday items, appear ordered and uncluttered. This is due to the mostly all-white crockery and clear glass.


Even something as simple as a small artwork or decorative ceramic can uplift a muted scheme. Organic shapes and textures also complement the contemporary Nordic style – think woven baskets, rough-hewn vessels and oversized light shades.


It’s not just cabinetry that looks good in wood. Here, the angular ceiling, clad in Western Red cedar, is a striking design feature. The mix of polished concrete and sleek wood has a strong aesthetic unity while creating visual, tonal and textural interest.



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June 2020