Salma Hayek's natural wood kitchen cabinetry is the surprising trend that designers are championing for 2025

Embrace natural textures and neutral tones for a modern kitchen that's calming, easy to love with, and on-trend

Salma Hayek
(Image credit: Getty Images / Emma McIntyre / Staff)

The material used for the cabinet doors in your kitchen is a key design consideration, given that the door and drawer fronts usually make up the single largest element of the room. While many of us are tempted to have painted kitchen cabinetry and joinery for its wipe-clean ease, varnished natural wood, with its innate beauty, sets an artisanal and interesting tone. 

'The demand for wood kitchen ideas is growing to meet the desire for a connection with nature indoors,' says Paul Welburn, senior designer, at Roundhouse.

The use of natural materials has increased considerably during the pandemic and will strengthen in appeal as unpainted kitchen cabinets become a firm fixture. Not only do they have a rich aesthetic quality, but they are increasingly being recognized for their health benefits (reducing the amount of chemically treated items in the home). 

With this beautiful yet simple design, Mexican-American actress and film producer Salma Hayek demonstrates how oak cabinet kitchen ideas can add warmth and depth to a kitchen. The latest wood kitchens are forgoing painted cover-ups and revealing their true beauty.

The freshest way to do wood? As natural as possible. Wood kitchens have always waxed and waned when it comes to kitchen cabinet trends. Now, rich walnuts and the unusual linear patterns of wenge and zebrano are making way for paler textural timbers. Wood suits contemporary and classic schemes, from smooth flat-fronted modern cabinetry to rough-sawn country-style cabinets, so there is a timber look for everyone.

Unpainted kitchen cabinets have fallen out of favor in recent years, yet they can bring warmth and character to a space that may otherwise feel cold and clinical. However, take care not to overwhelm the space with wood finishes – consider adding painted elements, and contrast tones and textures to prevent the space from looking homogenized, as in this design by Sims Hilditch.

‘Consider ways to bring interest to the kitchen with lighting, hardware, and countertops. This way you will still have some personality in your space,’ says Georgia Zikas, founder of Georgia Zikas Design.

If you're considering investing in wood kitchen cabinets for your kitchen remodel, you're in good company. Many experts believe we'll be seeing this kitchen trend in 2025. Wooden kitchens are a simple blank canvas from which you can experiment with your décor. 

‘As a natural material, the tone and pattern of wooden cabinets may vary from the samples you first saw. You should allow for this when planning your scheme,’ says Leila Touwen, co-founder of Pluck Kitchens. ‘Also the color may change subtly over time.’ Celebrate these differences as they’ll make your kitchen unique.

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Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.