Help!! Please prevent a disaster!

last month


If you'd like some backstory read this below.....
If not, skip farther down. A few months ago we started designing the kitchen of our dreams. At the time we didn’t know much about what we liked other than when we saw a kitchen that we did like we thought, "oh that's pretty!" We quickly realized that we don't want white cabinets, painted cabinets or a farmhouse-style kitchen. We are not saying we don't like those styles, they are beautiful in most instances, however, we have decided we don’t want them for the space we are creating

We love contemporary design (not cold contemporary), clean lines, mid-century modern. Also, we love hints of Scandinavian re: warmth and simplicity.

Basically, we love nature and we love natural wood.
We feel these design styles are well suited to our home since it is a ranch, that was previously adorned with wall-to-wall carpeting and ugly 1980s paneling. Keep in mind we have a red brick fireplace located in the family room/living room that was painted by the previous owners. It is currently gray (we will be changing its color and are open to suggestions) -and it is visible from the kitchen, directly across from the island. Whatever color we pick for the fireplace must coordinate well with the kitchen.

With that in mind, we know that we are trying to achieve a very specific look that we know some will love or hate. We've looked at quite a few types of woods; Alder (too prone to dents) Maple (realized it had too much red) THEN we fell in love with White Oak.

We feel like we're soooo close! We just need to narrow in and make a decision.


Here is what we’ve chosen so far: Inset, slab, white oak cabinets -

Where we are stuck! Do we go Rift Cut or Quarter Sawn White Oak?

We have been staring at our samples for a few days now and it feels like we are getting nowhere.

The door is Quarter Sawn with a stain that has a glaze (the glaze is not available with the slab door style). The trim sample is Rift Cut in the stain w/o a glaze.

Here are the samples under two different lighting conditions.

These are TWO samples, not four! And we are choosing the cut/grain not stain!

We are aware there are so many things that change the look or appearance of natural wood: lighting, stain, and the fact that wood is not man made. There WILL be natural inconsistencies we’re aware and NOT afraid of that.

  1. Here are some inspiration pictures for Rift Cut

We played around with the idea of going with a light/blonde white oak stain but realized that it may be the impossible feat and the cabinet company says they won't do natural stain with a slab cabinet door.

2. Here are some inspiration pictures for Quarter Sawn

We are aware that some of these kitchens have fantastic grain matching and we know that our cabinet makers may not take the time to do that to this degree.

We don't want to drift too close to those ugly honey colored cabinets of the 80s/90s.
Our understanding is that rift is more modern looking because of its vertical lines and grain pattern but what do you think?

Also, we have settled with a darker stain on the cabinets because we'd like to go lighter with our red oak floors.

This is our first post here and a long one so if you made it here, thank you so much for taking the time to read and share your thoughts! We are so grateful.

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