Light hardwood species like ash, alder and beech are popular choices in contemporary furniture design. We’ve all seen it at a certain Swedish chain known for contemporary and inexpensive design. The pale wood has a decidedly Scandinavian feel to it. Both ash and beech are popular choices for cabinets.
Pale wood on vertical elements like cabinets and horizontal elements like counters and floors create a nice flow throughout living spaces. Light wood cabinets will seamlessly blend with the floors. A mix of gray stone, maybe soapstone or concrete, and pale wood on the counters can offer a nice contrast between light and dark, warm and cool. You can be strategic and contrast certain areas if you want to focus on a specific area of the room, too.
Since we’re talking about light wood and gray accents and they’re both neutrals, pops of color would really stand out in the space. You could use bold artwork or incorporate bright colored décor around the space. The colors would make for a nice addition but be careful not to take over the simple two-toned color palette created by the pale woods and deep grays we’ve been discussing.