There’s a good reason why Shaker cabinets have lasted the test of time. Their simple design is arguably as classic as you can get, making them well-suited for a wide range of tastes. Get them in a versatile wood tone, and years down the line, they’ll look just as refined and understated as they did the day you first installed them. These factors—we think, at least—are part of what makes Chris Loves Julia’s Semihandmade collaboration, designed in partnership with Chris and Julia Marcum, so appealing.

Launched in 2018, the CLJ collection includes Semihandmade’s classic Shaker doors in three different wood finishes of MDF fronts, all compatible with IKEA’s Sektion cabinets. Cove, a light oak tone, is undoubtedly the most popular style. Where you might normally opt for white, cream, or grey cabinets, these textured thermofoils add warmth to a space in a way that’s at once subtle and striking. These five spaces all feature Chris Loves Julia’s cabinet fronts in Cove, in a variety of ways—each one totally inspiring.

Wood farmhouse kitchen island

White kitchen cabinets with wood island

Photo by Nicole Dianne; design by Jessica Jones

The Contrasting Island

The kitchen island is always a great opportunity to try something different in your space. You may be preferential to monochromatic cabinets, but opting for a contrast (even a subtle one) in this central hub can have an impressive result. This kitchen by designer Jessica Jones is mostly outfitted with Supermatte Shaker cabinet fronts in White, but uses Cove fronts for the island, lending an ever-so-slightly rustic touch to the thoroughly modern space. Gold accents throughout keep it looking contemporary.

White kitchen cabinets wood cabinet storage

Design by Chris and Julia Marcum

The Floor to Ceiling

When your cabinets don’t reach your ceiling, you can miss out on some valuable real estate. That’s why Chris and Julia Marcum went all out on a storage wall in this kitchen. The Cove cabinets cleverly extend even above the countertops to make an otherwise empty space even more hard-working. Simple, matte black hardware looks particularly striking against both the oak-hued and white fronts.

Slate gray floor white and wood kitchen

Photo and design by Liz Tallman

The Ground Floor

In this space by Liz Tallman, Cove fronts on the lower cabinets create a soft midway point between the slate-grey flooring and the white shiplap walls. Plus, they play up one design detail on display: An enviable collection of wooden cutting boards. White cabinets up top keep the space nice and bright.

White wood kitchen

Design by Ashley Rose of Sugar and Cloth

The Refined Minimalist

If you love the look of an all-white kitchen, allow this design by Ashley Rose of Sugar and Cloth to persuade you to shift out of your comfort zone. Here, tiles, slab front upper cabinets, and a range hood seemingly blend in to one white canvas, while lower cabinets and an island with Cove fronts make for an ever-so-subtle contrast, lending the room a touch of warmth that’s further accentuated by gold cabinet pulls from Sumner Street Home.

White and wood kitchen with black accents

Design by and photo courtesy of Brooke Christen of Nesting with Grace

Wood kitchen island with black pendants

Design by and photo courtesy of Brooke Christen of Nesting with Grace

The Detail-Oriented

In a room full of small yet impactful details—the contrasting backsplash grout, the herringbone flooring, the bold lighting choices—simple cabinetry acts as a solid foundation in this design by Brooke Christen of Nesting With Grace. The choice of Cove fronts for the island makes it stand out from the all-white cabinetry of the kitchen, without creating a distraction.

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What’s the best paint color for my kitchen cabinets? How do I personalize my rental without renovating? Which interior design trends will stick around beyond 2021? How did marble become so popular in kitchen design (and should I splurge on my dream countertops)? Our interior design journeys are filled with questions which we at SemiStories attempt to answer every week through expert interviews, inspiring home tours, and trend reports. “Do As a Designer Does,” our monthly advice column, takes us behind the scenes of kitchen and bathroom design (and beyond) by spotlighting the best brains in the business. Here, we turn the microphone over to you to ask all your burning interior design, trend, and renovation questions to your favorite experts, from Sarah Sherman Samuel to Bobby Berk. Have a question? Shoot us a message on Instagram, or email us at editorial@semihandmade.com for a chance to be featured! Have you ever wondered why certain details exist in your home? Maybe you’ve questioned who came up with the idea for forks, or perhaps you’ve contemplated how pantries have evolved over centuries—after all, both can be intriguing in their own right. The truth is, most of what we surround ourselves with at home has an interesting story to tell. In our monthly series “Design History” with (actual) design historian Amy Azzarito, we’ll explore the backstories of your favorite things. Home tours are intriguing for a reason: they give us a rare glimpse into the way other people live and inspire us to improve our own spaces. Maybe it’ll motivate you to paint your laundry room a bright sunshine yellow, persuade you a stacked teal backsplash is the way to go, or convince you the entryway is the perfect place for a gumball machine (hey, why not?). Whatever you take away, we have no doubt you’ll get tons of kitchen and bathroom design ideas to bring home. Are farmhouse islands here to stay? What will be the biggest interior design and hardware trends in 2021? Will the pandemic affect what homes of the future look like? Our weekly trend stories will keep your finger on the pulse of interior design, renovating, and more.
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