Plywood kitchen ideas - Grand Designs Magazine
eco-friendly kitchens: The Main Company uses sustainable plywood for kitchen cabinets

5 kitchens showcasing sustainable plywood

Looking for low-impact kitchen materials? Plywood is both eco and budget-friendly

By Hugh Metcalf |

Stylish, sustainable and affordable, there are many reasons to consider plywood for your kitchen project. Architects, designers and homeowners have started to embrace this humble material to create innovative, playful spaces that are both eco- and budget friendly.

These five plywood kitchen ideas from real homes showcase the material at its best.

Scandi style

With a light wood grain and pale, neutral colouring, plywood is a great choice for minimalists and fans of Scandinavian design.

In this eco-scheme created by Sustainable Kitchens, the stainless steel worktop – a must for the client, who runs Vietnamese cookery classes from her home – perfectly complements the exposed birch plywood finish.

sustainable kitchens ply scandi kitchen - home renovations - granddesigns

Photo: Charlie O’Beirne of for Sustainable Kitchens


Featured on the first series of Grand Designs: The Street, Chris Haines’ Graven Hill home was hailed as Britain’s first U-build house. Chris’ original idea was to use shipping containers, but it soon became clear that this would be too costly.

Instead, the architect, Studio Bark, proposed the cost-effective CNC modular plywood system. Ply wasn’t just used for kitchen cabinetry, but for much of the build, with exposed pipes lending an industrial feel.

grand designs the street ubuild ply kitchen - home improvement - granddesigns

Photo: Lenny Codd

Natural plywood

While plywood may be a manmade material, it’s great for still capturing a gentle wood grain that brings a natural element to your space. In this kitchen, an exposed plywood island has been mixed with a veneer in a rich green, as well suspended shelving that creates a houseplant feature to really drum home this space’s connection to nature.

It was designed by The Main Company, which has a reputation for crafting beautiful kitchens from new, salvaged and reclaimed materials, but also creates new designs from ply.

eco-friendly kitchen by The Main Company

Photo: The Main Company

Playful décor

Playful geometric tiles, vibrant kitchen accessories and a bespoke plywood pegboard all add to the sense of fun and whimsy in this Sustainable Kitchens design.

Here, plywood takes on a naive, lo-fi quality that really adds character and charm to the space.

sustainable kitchens pegboard plywood kitchen - home improvement - granddesigns

Photo: Sustainable Kitchens

Contemporary styling

This kitchen just goes to prove that even though this material might be thought of as raw and unrefined, it can be used to striking effect in a modern, luxurious scheme.

Playing against poured concrete surfaces and sleek black cabinetry, plywood appears unfussy and unpretentious in this kitchen by Finch London.

finch london concrete worktop with plywood kitchen island - home improvement - granddesigns

Photo: Finch London