Gisele Bundchen's contemporary twist on this emerging design trend is the talking point of her kitchen

Unpainted cabinets are no match for a wood-appearing fridge, and designers love its natural aesthetic

Gisele Bündchen
(Image credit: Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Gaia Herbs)

We've all witnessed the popularity of unpainted kitchen cabinets, specifically raw wood ones. A highly versatile material, it's no wonder that many are forgoing paint jobs for natural cabinet finishes, which fit into a range of design trends. 

Putting a new spin on the trend is none other than supermodel extraordinaire Gisele Bundchen, who posted a video on her Instagram page showing off her modern, minimalist kitchen. Our eyes were immediately drawn to the wood appearance of the refrigerator, a unique take on the unpainted cabinet phenomenon, which is usually still reserved for pantries rather than replacing white or stainless steel appliances.

One of the most appealing aspects of incorporating wood exteriors into a kitchen is the endless coordination and style possibilities. Modern or traditional, minimal or maximal, wood is a true workhorse in its capacity to pair with different aesthetics and materials. 

We've seen this look in an increasing number of celebrity kitchens in recent months (including the likes of Zendaya), and its organic aesthetic is too beautiful to be categorized as a fad. But what makes this design trend so appealing? Experts weigh in.

'Natural wood cabinets provide a neutral backdrop that can easily adapt to different color schemes and decor styles in any kitchen,' says Deborah Lamberton, General Manager at ASAP Restoration. 'Natural cabinets can be paired with a wide range of countertop materials, backsplashes, and hardware finishes. This allows for nearly endless customization options to suit individual tastes, preferences, and locations.'

Deborah Lamberton

Deborah Lamberton is the General Manager at ASAP Restoration, which serves the general Phoenix area.

To optimize wood's appearance, Lamberton recommends combining different lights to highlight the unique finish of the material.

'Lighting plays a crucial role in emphasizing the beauty of natural wood cabinets, or just any kitchen space in general,' she explains. 'Incorporate a combination of ambient, task, and accent lighting to illuminate the space and showcase both the rich tones and fine grains of the wood.'

Finally, when considering which color palettes to pair wood with, Lamberton recommends a classic: neutrals.

'People can balance the warmth of natural wood cabinets with neutral tones such as white, gray, or beige for a safe, but classic look,' she says. 'Use these lighter hues for walls, flooring, or larger furniture pieces to create a sense of balance and harmony with the natural wood cabinet tones in the kitchen.'

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Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.