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Not Your Momma’s Maple: Maple Kitchens for Modern Times

By: Carrie on May 9, 2017

When it's time for a kitchen remodel, it's tempting to take on an "out with the old, and in with the new..." mentality. This is understandable, but do take care. Sometimes that "old" is actually high-quality, beautiful craftsmanship that deserves to be reconsidered in a new light.

10 Examples Why Your Momma Chose Maple (And You Can Too)

Case in point? These 10 kitchens incorporated maple cabinetry into beautiful, contemporary designs. Some still lend themselves towards the traditional, others are transitional, and a couple even took a modern approach.

While maple is considered outdated by some - namely custom cabinet manufacturers who love when homeowners choose to replace rather than reface - we think it's worth finding new ways to display high-quality maple cabinetry whenever you can.

1. Is this Stockholm or Seattle?

Maple has clean, streamlined grains, making it ideal for those who like a more modern or contemporary kitchen design.

In this Seattle home, the sleek, overall look makes you wonder whether you're in the U.S. or in one of Europe's upscale design studios. We like the blend of open shelving over the sink counters with full cabinet banks elsewhere.

2. A Warm, Cool White Kitchen

Frosty White Kitchen

If you like the look of a frosty white kitchen, you'll love the look of maple. It adds just enough warmth and color to provide visual interest, but without interrupting the overall color scheme.

Notice the uniform grain patterns achieved by the quartersawn maple in this San Francisco kitchen. The linear grains are echoed by the subtle, vertical glass insert pattern.

3. The Biggest, Smallest DC Kitchen

Like the look of finished wood but worry it will shrink your already small kitchen? This DC kitchen proves how maple straddles both worlds. It's light enough to prevent a cave-like effect, but its natural color adds warmth. Notice how the homeowners chose a unique maple pattern to give it more personality. Also, that coffered ceiling works wonders to make the kitchen feel more spacious.

4 So Fresh and So Clean

One reason Europeans like maple is that it's clean and fresh. It looks resonant when bathed with natural sunlight and can support any color scheme, even one with bright, citrusy hues, like those in this west coast kitchen design.

5. The Elemental Riverwoods Design

The maple cabinets in this Riverwoods design are one of multiple textural stars. From a dark brick fireplace in the open floor plan's living room (echoed by the dark, slate countertops), to the metallic supports of the suspended, upper-island cabinets, these homeowners were savvy when it came to mixing up the elements and textures in their contemporary kitchen - that looks at home in the traditional-transitional home's design.

6. The Dark and Light Contrast

Can't quite decide whether you want a dark or light kitchen? Then choose both. Maple cabinetry is pale enough to provide the "light" in the mix, allowing you to go darker with countertops and walls.

We're guessing the designer of this small, Magnolia kitchen used innovative storage options, allowing the homeowner to gain extra room on the kitchen end wall, where the tantalizing still life is displayed.

7. Mixed-and-matched Wood Details

Not sure how to incorporate your mix of wood textures and finishes?

Take your cue from the Bayview house kitchen, where rustic wood beams, sleek wood floors, variegated maple cabinets, and darker-trimmed window and door frames come harmoniously together. Choosing a more varied maple pattern (like we saw in the Biggest, Smallest DC kitchen) was a smart move because the contrasts in dark and light pull different surrounding finishes together.

8. Transitional Warmth and Style

We'll continue on the mix-and-match theme with this transitional Minneapolis kitchen. They went all out when it came to choosing a warm, cafe au lait color palette, with plenty of varying wood themes. We appreciate how the flowing wood grain in those shaker style cabinets is echoed by the swirling patterns in some of the natural stone backsplash tiles. Another major style bonus: check out that cherry crown molding around the perimeter that creates a bold, clean boundary between cabinets and ceiling.

9. Gray Stained, Monochromatic Maple

Monochromatic kitchens offer multiple benefits including a timeless background for ever-changing design styles and color accents.

We love the way this Bird House kitchen used a gray stain, which was absorbed well by the maple cabinets. The barely there wood grains have a driftwood-like appearance. Note the beautiful bronze/copper accents on the hood, faucet and bar stools, adding that extra special something.

10. The Contemporary, Traditional Kitchen

Yes, you can have a contemporary, traditional kitchen - as the Moskowitz's kitchen demonstrates.

Contemporary Traditional Kitchen Design

Prestige Plain cabinet doors offer just enough relief (especially when they're glazed) for traditional decor, but are sleek enough to remain in the contemporary category. Their complimentary, monochromatic countertop doesn't compete, and the delicate, mini-subway tile backsplash plays with the subtle color variations inherent in maple grains.

Speaking of subtle, maple is a perfect choice for a monochromatic kitchen in gray, black or white because it offers a subtle contrast with a natural sophistication. The maple ends up becoming a focal point. Again, we see how oil-rubbed bronze hardware adds a little style pop.

Are you re-inspired to use beautiful maple cabinetry in your contemporary kitchen? Stop by Kitchen Magic or schedule an in-home consultation and we’ll show you plenty of examples that will make your Momma (and you) proud.

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