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Opening Times (GMT): Mon to Thur - 8:30 - 5:00 Fri - 8:30 - 4:00
Wait a minute, put your socks back on, it’s not you – it’s the kitchen that’s naked. This month’s journal explores the recent trend of using raw or unfinished woods in your kitchen and combining them with other natural materials. As a passionate manufacturer of products made from a 100% natural material - fireclay - we wanted to share it with you.
We know that the ‘log cabin look’ is not everyone’s idea of a dream kitchen, but this recent trend is far more sophisticated than ‘Canadian Wilderness Chic’. Kitchens made of wood are clearly not a new thing, however a new-wave of timber kitchen styles are being installed by contemporary designers and architects in some of the most desirable homes around the globe.
This new aesthetic is often an innovative combination of design and nature, respecting the materials and letting them shine. You will find minimalist Scandinavian-inspired units made from unfinished plywood to allow the natural beauty of the material to add warmth and texture to the room. The tactile wood seems to soften the typical sharp modern look that is often associated with contemporary kitchens and their high-gloss glamour.
Designers are also turning to reclaimed wood like old scaffolding boards or old wooden flooring to repurpose as ‘Urban Rustic’ kitchen cupboards or worktops. Celebrating and showcasing the material for what it is, beautiful and unique. We love the use of striking contrast - glossy white fireclay which works well together with the matt textural finish of natural wood to position your sink visually at the heart of the kitchen.
Cabinetry can be made from almost any form of wood. From ‘on-trend’ plywood for the simple utilitarian approach, to rough sawn oak, for a solid textural statement. Choose a wood that adds good colour, texture or grain pattern. There are many hardwoods to choose from, ranging from the paler birchwood (that the native Americans once used to make their arrow shafts) to cocobolo, a purple-red hardwood with dark streaks that darkens over time. Also at the darker end of the scale is African blackwood, referred to as Mpingo by tribal Africans. This member of the Rosewood family is as you would expect – black. Up close it has violet streaks but from a distance appears as black as night.
Image Credit: Bert & May
It’s not just the cabinetry that can be made from wood of course. Worktops, splashbacks, flooring and wall cladding all have viable wooden options.
To avoid the full-on treehouse look, try blending other natural materials into your design scheme. Bare brick or stone walls work wonderfully with wood, and concrete worktops and flooring are also a popular partner for raw wood - giving a more industrial look. Unfinished materials also absorb sound better, dampening down the echoey feel often associated with minimalist spaces, creating a more intimate and cosy atmosphere to the room.
If sustainably sourced (check for FSC certification), wood is one of the most naturally sustainable and renewable materials on the planet. Over 90% of our wood in the UK comes from European forests that are expanding every year. Every cubic metre used removes a tonne of Carbon Dioxide from earth’s atmosphere according to the British Woodworking Federation.
Choosing to use wood in your kitchen really is as sensible as it is stylish. With no two pieces of wood being the same, your kitchen will always be unique to you.
If you have a raw wood kitchen with a Shaws sink, share it with us on instagram - we’d love to see it!
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