A minimalist look in the kitchen is great: fresh, timeless and easy to keep clean – but the heart of your home should be cosy too. The place where you cook, eat, chat over a cup of tea, and unwind with a glass of wine needs to be comfortable and inviting. Effortless cool is fine in moderation, but to give your kitchen a warm, homely feel, there's nothing better than real wood doors.

How to choose your real wood kitchen doors

The first thing you'll want to think about is the overall look of the room. Having real wood cupboard doors undoubtedly brings a hint of rustic style to the kitchen – visible woodgrain and knots catch the eye and add detail to your chosen door design. But even if you’re not looking for a country cottage-inspired look, you can still have woodgrain doors. Choosing paler wood types like Maple or Ash will keep things bright and fresh, which is especially important in smaller spaces. You can enhance the more modern details of a natural wood door by selecting the right handles - sleek bow/bar-shaped handles in brushed nickel or stainless steel will add a more current look. Browse our collection of accessories for more inspiration.

Oak doors will give you a more mid-toned, golden finish, so will suit a wide range of room sizes and styles. Oak is also one of the more hard-wearing woods, making it an excellent choice for the kitchen - oak doors can withstand a little more wear-and-tear than softer woods like pine. It's a good idea to do a little bit of research into the types of wood that will work best in a busy family kitchen - soft woods will be a little more fragile than hard woods, so they'll need more care and attention. Colour is also a key factor to consider - do you want a blond wood, an intense dark wood or something in the middle? Lighter or more middling shades will be the most versatile, but if you've got a spacious kitchen, a darker wood will look really striking.

Classic or contemporary?

Real wood doors are of course perfect for creating that farmhouse-inspired look, and if that's what you're after, our Windsor door is ideal. This oak Shaker door has the recessed central panel and four-part solid wood frame typical of Shaker design, but it also has delicate beading around the panel, which softens the style a little and adds a touch of traditional character. The Windsor door is a mid-toned honey shade - not too pale, not too dark - so it will suit a huge range of interiors. If you want to redecorate a few years down the line, the Windsor door in Oak gives you plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing colours for your walls, worktops and flooring.

The Chartwell door in Ivory

If you're going for a more contemporary look, real wood doors can still work beautifully. Natural woodgrain will soften a simple, unfussy door design, and stop it looking too cold and clinical. Our Chartwell style is another solid oak door, but it's a classic Shaker, with the crisp lines, a four-part frame and a recessed central panel. The Chartwell door sits somewhere between conventional design and something a little more up-to-date, so it will be a real asset in a fresh, modern kitchen.

Real Oak Kitchen Doors
The Chartwell Oak door

Caring for your real wood doors

While it’s true that real wood doors may need a little more TLC than MDF or acrylic doors, a real wood door will last for years and years. It's easy to touch up any small imperfections that may appear through daily use – small scratches can be easily sanded away, and a coat of varnish with have them looking as good as new in no time. You'll just need to keep an eye on your real wood doors - like you would any piece of furniture. What's great about natural wood doors is that if, after a few years, you fancy a change, you can add a layer of paint or lacquer to change up the colour or finish of the doors.

We'd love to know your thoughts - whether you've got real wood doors already and love them, or if we've convinced you to consider them for your home. Let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.