With an increasing number of modern developments using plastics, aluminium or just painted board for their kitchens, it's no wander that many people are rebelling against this banality by going back to the traditionally excellent design of wooden kitchens. Whether going for something bespoke and made of solid hardwood or pre-made units using wooden veneers there's options to suit all budgets and all kitchen sizes, all of which give a classy feel. You can easily make your kitchen seem like its something out of the country farm house or just give it that touch of class that only hardwood can deliver.

One of the main reasons people originally switched away from wood is that the increase in kitchen appliances made out of plastics or metal clashed with the soft colours of the wood and make the kitchen look cluttered. Luckily most of these appliances are a standard size with standard fittings allowing them to look like cupboards in any kitchen, meaning that a completely wooded kitchen is once again practical with only the glass of the oven door and aluminium or marble of the sink distracting from the soft wooden tones.

Of course the design effect of wood can be vastly different depending on how you choose to style your kitchen. The first choice to make is if you want to show off the wood in all its natural beauty, perhaps with a varnish or simply on its own, or if you want to give it a paint which will still reveal the material its made from but give your kitchen a more farmhouse feel or allow you to choose a colour that matches your style and the personality of your home.

Colours that can be picked are limitless, but the choice is important as it will give the kitchen its whole vibe. Light colours, and especially whites, will make the kitchen feel bright, clean and airy. This colour goes well contrasted with black or black marble surfaces as well as exposed brick walls. Meanwhile a soft blue or green colour adds to the friendliness of a kitchen, inviting you to go in and make something without being worried about spoiling the pristine whiteness. It also reminds us of nature and matches many of the products which are cooked here.

For non-painted kitchens oak is by far the most popular choice today. Oak never goes out of fashion and is perfect for many varnishes which subtly alter the feel of a kitchen. The grain of the timber is what gives oak its remarkable feeling of natural sophistication. Increasingly popular is North American Black Walnut, a dark timber with strong colour changes in its grain. The timer is rich and luxurious, with a price to match thanks to its relative rarity and the presence of knots in most boards limits the yield for use in kitchens. For those wanting something substantially lighter with less visible grain then maple might be your best option. It can create stunning patterns due to the slightly different hues of different boards, giving a great modern block pattern to a kitchen.