White Kitchen with Dark Wood Floors: Would We Do It Again?

If we could do it all over again, would we choose a white kitchen with dark wood floors?

dark wood floors in white kitchen with two islands full of drawers, living room in background
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When it became painfully clear that we had an Emergency Kitchen Demo on our hands, I had to suddenly start thinking about the new kitchen we had to put in…fast.

Rocking a six-month-old infant to sleep on my lap, I turned to the only design sounding board I had at the time (besides me, myself and I): the internet.

But I didn’t go to the internet for the biggest decision: cabinet color. I instinctively knew what our space needed. And that was white.

Yes, white cabinets. White white white cabinets. All day long.

(See the precise logic of why we did white cabinets here. This space absolutely needed it. Follow your gut!)

And I didn’t go to the internet for what I thought was the next-biggest decision: flooring!

I already knew what I wanted. Ever since we’d bought our first house almost 10 years prior, I’d wanted dark wood floors. I’d admired the crisp look of white-walled homes and white kitchens with dark wood floors for so many years, I couldn’t count them.

(If you’re not sure what color or style of kitchen flooring you want, you’ll want to read our 25 Pros & Cons of Dark vs Light Hardwood Floors!)

white kitchen with dark wood floors and island with drawers

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So when I say I went to the internet, it was to choose everything after that point. I’d already made the decision that I wanted a white kitchen with dark wood floors and light cabinets and drawers. (Actually, we did almost 50 drawers & ZERO lower cabinets in our kitchen!)

Now the question was how to go about choosing those other details, but more on that later!

First, let’s dive into the most popular questions on this topic:

  • “Why do a kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets in the first place?”
  • “Should I do light or dark wood floors with white cabinets?”
  • “What are the pros and cons of dark hardwood floors?”
  • “What if I want some rooms to be light and some to be dark?”
  • “Would you do dark hardwood floors again?”
white kitchen with dark wood floors

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“Why do a kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets in the first place?

kitchen with dark floors and white island with drawers

If you’re not sure what color or style of kitchen flooring you want, you’ll want to read our 25 Pros & Cons of Dark vs Light Hardwood Floors!

Let’s say you’ve determined you want a kitchen with wood floors (any color) and white cabinets. Maybe you’ve had tile before, and you want the warmer, slightly softer feel of wood floors. Or maybe you want hardwood floors throughout the rest of your home, and you’d like to extend the wood floors into the kitchen for consistency.

Whatever your reason, going for a kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets is a classic look that will never go out of style! Yes, I’m making that claim!

I feel like it’s like blue jeans. They’re classic, right? You can pair them with anything.

So yes, you can quote me.

“A kitchen with wood floors and white cabinets are the blue jeans of the home.”


white kitchen stove and range with drawers below, dark wood floors below
Even in this photo with just a slice of dark wood
kitchen floors showing, you can see how stunning that pop of contrast makes it!

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t any other lovely kitchen floor-and-cabinet combos—far from it! But when in doubt, a white kitchen + wood floors is always a safe, classic choice. It can be made “trendy” by things like cabinet style and hardware, but just the starting point alone of

white + wood

is one of the greatest combos in the history of the world. It has the crisp, clean look of the white mixed with the warm, organic feel of the wood.

So really, you can’t go wrong!😄


“Should I do light or dark wood floors with white cabinets?”

Many people wonder whether they should do light or dark wood floors with white cabinets. Now, this really is a question you can only answer after looking at your space, as well as the factors listed in this post I wrote.

I’ll pause while you go read that, then come back here…




Read it? Alright! We’re on the same page, now let’s get back to it!

dark kitchen wood floors in white kitchen, with barstools at island
If you want a timeless, beautiful, and organized kitchen YOU NEED THIS!

So let’s say you’ve determined your space can get away with it: dark wood floors with white cabinets. You get plenty of natural light in your kitchen, or you have soaring ceilings, or you just genuinely want that deep, rich, cozy feel in your kitchen from the dark wood floors to contrast with all those white kitchen cabinets.

Then your decision is easy! You now know for sure you want a white kitchen with dark wood floors. You can start moving onto the next step, which is better defining exactly what kind of dark wood floors you want. Your options will range from

  • sanding and re-staining your current hardwoods
  • installing new hardwood floors (or engineered hardwoods, or another material)
  • glossy vs matte
  • weathered vs smooth (and the whole spectrum between those)
  • and approximately 17,000 different shades of what constitutes “dark” hardwood floors

However, if you’ve read my post on interior color (it doesn’t apply to just paint! It applies to flooring too!)…

…and, after some thought, determined your kitchen might need to go lighter, then you have your answer! Perhaps your ceilings are on the low side, or you only have one window into your kitchen, or you’d just overall prefer to have the most light, airy kitchen possible!

In that case, going with a light wood floor with white cabinets will bounce more light around your kitchen and give you that look you want. It will be lower-contrast than a white kitchen with dark wood floors, but that decision is totally up to you.

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Our Kitchen with Dark Floors and Light Cabinets

Are you looking for some crisp contrast? Having a white kitchen with dark wood floors achieves that. Below you can see one of our islands (we have two) with extra deep drawers…

white kitchen island drawers, extra deep drawers with chrome drawer pulls
We created a drawer guide so everyone can experience the magic of drawers!

Take the tour HERE!

If you come in from our front door and head to the right, down the hallway towards our kitchen, here’s what you’d see (if you’re focusing on our floors, which I hope you won’t, because I only clean them when I’m about to take pictures and put them on the internet! 🤣 only halfway joking):

dark wood floors with light cabinets in background
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Does that mean I don’t like cleaning them? No, not at all. I actually like that these floors tell me when they’re dirty…

white kitchen with dark wood floors and white cabinets, two islands with drawers
Notice something different about our kitchen? Why we designed our kitchen island without pendant lights!

…but THIS white kitchen is where I’d figure about 97% of our household mess happens! So we clean this area more often than the rest of our floors.

Right about now, you may be wondering about the answer to this next question…


Would we do it again?


No, really. It’s a good question!

But you’d have to clarify more before I could give you an answer.

Ya see, if you’ve read my post about how to choose interior colors (yes, I will keep encouraging you to read it until you’ve read it—I’m convinced it’s THAT helpful!), you’ll know that choosing the right color of your floor is dependent on so many factors.

We chose the combination we did for this house, in all its unique glory.

So would we choose dark hardwood floors again, such as, in our next house?

Answer: Depends on the house!

But if you’re asking, “If you could go back in time and do your white kitchen with dark wood floors again, would you?” that’s one I’d have to think about in order to be 100% honest with you.

The thing is, they’re not difficult to clean. And that’s the #1 reason I hear about people poo-pooing dark hardwood floors. They are 100% the same to clean as light hardwood floors. The difference is in how much they show you whatever debris is on them (and what color is your debris? i.e. do you have a white dog or a black dog?).

I’ll go more into this next week in my “Pros & Cons of Light vs Dark Hardwood Floors” post, but for now the easy answer to give you is YES, we would do them again.

white kitchen with dark wood floors and white cabinets, two islands
Here’s a shot of our white kitchen with dark wood floors from last year. (You can tell it’s from last year because it’s before we made our DIY ottoman!) You can also see how our floors are not black, they’re just a dark brown, because the barstool legs are black and much darker.)

I hesitated only because I looooooove to experiment with different things, and if I was to be enabled to go back in time with the experience I have now (having experienced how this house and white kitchen look with the dark floors), I might be tempted to try something different! I’m an adventurer!

However, if I couldn’t take my current knowledge “back” with me, then I definitely wouldn’t be tempted to do something different because I am 100% glad we have gotten to try and experience having dark hardwood floors!

It’s like plants. Sometimes I’m dangerous at nurseries because I want to try owning every plant that exists. If I haven’t tried growing X type of avocado before, I wanna try. I want to experience as much as I can. (Hence my Adventurer/Learner personality type.)


Dark vs Light

Question: “What if you have some rooms where you want dark floors and other rooms where you want light floors?”

My answer is in our upcoming post on The 25 Pros and Cons of light vs dark hardwood floors!


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  1. 5 Brilliant Kitchen Organization Ideas that make life easier!
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  3. 3 cabinet storage ideas every kitchen needs.
  4. How we did 100% kitchen drawers instead of cabinets!
  5. How we made our kitchen look bigger.

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Nancy

    I just love everything about your kitchen….counters w/drain board etc!
    We’re about to redo a small kitchen.
    Thinking of dark floors too, though we have to go with engineered because of humidity.
    Would you share what your floors are?

    1. Jess

      Thanks Nancy! So…we actually ended up not being happy with this brand of floors long-term, and they discontinued the product as well, so my best advice would be to go with a reputable brand you’ve researched!😄 (Because of the craziness of our kitchen remodel not being planned all those years ago, we had to select a floor FAST and just trusted the local shop we bought them from who recommended the brand…which ended up being awful and terrible customer service, so…lesson learned!😅 If you have the luxury of time, research brands!😎)


  2. David

    Hi Jess,
    Love your selections for kitchen and laundry room. We too are removing a wall between kitchen and living- dining areas. Love the white cabinets in both kitchen and laundry room, could you share name of manufacturer and door style for both? We also going with dark floors – we went with engineered wood product that we used in rest of house- thank you for sharing

    1. Jess

      Hi David, and thank you! Sounds like you’re moving along on your project! For our white cabinets in those rooms, both were custom-made!

      Matt and Jess

  3. Sarah

    Thank you for sharing your tips and perspective! I moved into a new home a few months ago and the kitchen needed a major facelift. I got dark LVT installed for the floors, but I’m getting my cabinets refinished in a few weeks and have been going back and forth on choosing white for the color. Reading your thoughts definitely helped me narrow down my decision!

    1. Jess

      Awesome, Sarah! So glad to have helped with your decision. White is classic and never goes out of style! 😉

  4. Ellen Cabral

    Excellent choices! And I totally agree with your post about how to choose interior colors ?. I have done that in every home I’ve had because sometimes what I did in one house doesn’t work in another. Also, have I told you that I LOVE your DIY ottoman?

    1. Jess

      Thank you so much, Ellen! You’re 100% right that what works in one house doesn’t always work in another. And thank you–every member of our family LOVES the new ottoman! 🙂 It’s getting puh-LENTY of use around here!

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