Fall is coming! Cool weather, changing leaves and slouchy sweaters are right around the corner. While you prepare to stay warm for the winter, consider warming up your kitchen, too – with wooden counter tops.

Adding wood elements to your kitchen adds a natural warmth and beauty that is surprisingly easy to maintain. Many installations can be cleaned with warm, soapy water (rather than harsh chemicals), which makes adding materials like bamboo and cherry wood an eco-friendly option. When wooden counter tops start to look worn, a quick pass with a belt sander makes them look new again. Some can even be paired with a polyurethane top coat that makes clean up even easier and prevents stains.

Kitchen Design Concepts used dark woods to make this kitchen cozy while keeping modern elements like stainless steel appliances.

Best of all, adding wood to your kitchen can be easily personalized with small details. For instance, laser engraving a phrase or family name on the side of a thick butcher-block counter top can add a customized touch. Integrated knife slots can both save space and create an interesting focal piece.

Kitchen Design Concepts added a personal touch to this kitchen with a raised bar area and integrated display cabinets below the counter tops.

With a wide variety of colors, patterns, and finishes available, it’s easy to find the perfect wooden details to cozy up your kitchen for the long winter ahead!

Our intern is Desiree Johnson, a 27-year-old journalism graduate, and Texas native.