mlaloia67

Stained kitchen cabinets vs. white

maria
6 days ago

We have started thinking of remodeling our kitchen. I know the trend is all white kitchen. Not a big fan of all white and don't think it would really go with our house decor. Does anyone do stained cabinets these days? We love the look of cherry cabinets with all the grain showing through, although didn't really want too dark of a color. Have thought of maybe going with an off white color cabinet with a medium color counter just because I don't want my kitchen to look outdated when it's just remodeled. Husband hates that idea. He definitely wants the look of wood and all the grain, thinks that has a lot of character to it. Not planning on moving so decorating for resale isn't an issue. Also don't like the idea of how white cabinets show everything. Anyone with white cabinets tell me they are hard to keep clean and show every little nick, but other than that they like their white kitchens. And yes I know white kitchens never go out of style. Wondering what color stains/wood cabinets are in style now.

Comments (29)

  • Sherry Brighton
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    I wanted a woodgrain too, it suits my home better than white.


    I ordered red birch in a natural finish for my reno beginning in August. I have cherry now and I wanted to go lighter.


  • maria
    Original Author
    6 days ago

    Thanks. Glad I'm not alone. On line every kitchen looks exactly the same, white cabinet, white counter and white backsplash. No character at all. I like contrast so the white cabinet with dark counters is much better than white on white, but still a wood grain fan. Were your cherry cabinets dark?

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  • tartanmeup
    6 days ago

    Here's a 2020 Houzz article that talks about different wood species for kitchen cabinets with designer kitchen examples. Stained wood is trending back big time for kitchens so if you do a Pinterest search, you're bound to find endless inspiration. After seeing the inspo pics out there, get estimates from local cabinet places. Your budget (and cabinet style) will help determine the wood species.

  • nycbluedevil_gw
    6 days ago

    I’m with you. I love wood-stained cabinets. In my city apartment, I have walnut cabinets but lightened the look with white marble counters. In my country house, I have cherry cabinets with soapstone cabinets. The wood cabinets stand up to the abuse they can sometimes get with lots of people in and out of the kitchen.


    Right now, I am remodeling my country house kitchen and wanted a lighter look but I insist on wood-stained cabinets. Like you, I don’t love all-white and I am concerned about wear and tear, especially on lower cabinets. So I reached a compromise with myself! Lower perimeter cabinets and door fridge panels and tall cabinets will be a bleached rift-cut white oak with a darker-stained island. The upper cabinets will be painted BM Simply White. Countertops will be the same all around (Taj). I think that the white uppers will provide a real lightness to the space while the stained lowers will provide interest and will be more durable than paint.

  • Sherry Brighton
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    @maria they were/are a medium toned cherry with the character of wood grain showing. They are actually lovely but dated. I have a small kitchen and I wanted to go lighter flat panel instead of raised cathedral arch!

  • badgergal
    6 days ago
    last modified: 6 days ago

    Cherry cabinets do not have to be dark. My cabinets are natural cherry- no stain on them. They are 11 years old. They were a bit lighter when they were initially installed but to my eyes they have not continued to get darker and darker each year. I think they look they look warm and rich. The picture below was taken just now on a very cloudy, dreary day without all my light on.(If you tap on the picture it should enlarge)

    Here is a close up to see the beautiful wood grain.


    If you do decide to get cherry wood, I highly recommend that you make sure to get “select cherry” so you do not get a lot of sap wood in your cabinets. Sap wood is very light/yellowish white and will stand out.

  • nycbluedevil_gw
    6 days ago

    Badgergal, I have always loved your kitchen. I used to lurk here a lot in 2012 when doing my city kitchen.

  • anj_p
    6 days ago

    We actually just picked cabinets for our kitchen and did stained on our island and white on the perimeter.

  • Nancy K
    6 days ago

    I prefer stained wood. I think white cabinets show up better than stained cabinets in pictures and that is why so many people like them. However, I do not like white cabinets at all in real life. We are doing our kitchen in rustic hickory. I love the warm feel of stained wood. And I do not want a kitchen that looks like everyone else’s which appears to be what most people do want. How it “feels” is more important to me than what it looks like online or on HGTV.

  • Nancy K
    5 days ago

    I love your cherry kitchen badgergirl as well as the dark countertops which IMO show off the wood much better than lighter ones.

  • maria
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @Nancy K thank. Makes me feel better that I’m not alone

  • Port of Indecision
    5 days ago

    White is timeless my ***. Nothing is timeless. You can have something of a time that's still gorgeous (and some times stand up to that better than others), and perfect for the house, but nothing in design or fashion is timeless.


    White cabinets with white fake marble quartz and white subway tile will be the honey oak with beige laminate and beige 4x4 tile of the 2050s- nothing really offensive, just out of date.

  • tartanmeup
    5 days ago

    @maria you're hardly alone with preferring wood cabinets over white! And even if you were? You're designing this kitchen to suit YOUR taste and lifestyle. Let the masses choose what THEY like. :) I chose maple slab doors for my kitchen 15 yrs ago and fleetingly regretted the choice a few years ago. If I could redo my kitchen, I'd go with wood again. Paired with white, most likely. I think it's a classic easy-on-the-eyes combo.


    Maybe something like this...





    Or this...




    Or..


    well, I'll start by winning the lottery. :D


    Best of luck to you with your choices. Hope you'll share pics when you can. :)

  • Nancy K
    5 days ago

    Port of Indecision...great points! And the fake marble quartz? Yikes...makes my skin crawl. And what about quality? It seems that white low grade cabinets are preferred over high quality stained wood? I tried to go with quartz...could not do it. I feared it would be the “cultured marble” of tomorrow.

  • Nancy K
    5 days ago

    @tartanmeup Great point about doing what YOU want vs. the masses. I wonder how many people have gone with white kitchens just to follow the trend vs. getting what they really wanted.

  • tartanmeup
    5 days ago

    Especially when resale isn't an issue (which OP mentioned)! Otherwise, if you're planning on selling within 5 years, it's not a bad idea to do what's being done locally. Kitchens cost a lot to do and you don't want a "to your taste" kitchen being the thing that prevents a profitable sale. In any case, it's more important the kitchen suit the house.

  • Rachel Simanski
    5 days ago

    I like the look of white kitchens.... in other people's homes. I don't want a white kitchen. I love my oak cabinets. They are solid & hide life well, which is what I need in my life. I would stress over every mark on white cabinets.


  • maria
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @Rachel Simanski I love this look. This is what I was leaning towards, although I did want lighter brown cabinets. Beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  • darbuka
    5 days ago

    Follow your heart, not the herd. I did…medium stained birch, soapstone, and celadon green crackle tile. Love the warmth of wood!



  • maria
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @darbuka Love it! How old is your kitchen? Looks new. It's in my color family that I'm considering. Thanks

  • darbuka
    5 days ago

    Maria, Thank you! The kitchen is now just over 5 years old. Everything about it, still makes me smile.

  • maria
    Original Author
    5 days ago

    @darbuka Can I ask what brand they are?

  • darbuka
    5 days ago

    The cabinets are from Tedd Wood, one of the better semi-custom lines, not much mentioned on this forum. Made in PA. My contractor lead me to them, via a KD. Very well made, great customer service.

  • vinmarks
    5 days ago

    darbuka your kitchen is one of my favorites. I love everything about it.

    Maria go with what you love. I am not a fan of white kitchens. I love wood. I love it stained and natural. I love seeing the beautiful grain of various wood types. I love the warmth of wood. I would have loved to put stained wood cabinets in my current kitchen. I live in a log cabin. I didn't like the look of stained cabinets with the rest of the pine logs in the cabin so went with natural maple. But if I were ever to have a traditional house I would definitely go with stained wood cabinets.

  • Nancy K
    5 days ago

    Maria...listen to your heart and go with the grain!

  • mbjewett
    5 days ago

    I have both white and stained wood cabinets. The island is pewter green. Almost done with my kitchen renovation!

  • julieste
    5 days ago

    tartanmeup


    I am planning on natural maple, slab door cabinets. What about them is it that you now regret?

  • tartanmeup
    5 days ago

    @julieste: oh, not the look, trust me! I still very much enjoy the light colour and simple slab door design. They suit my house. What I regret is who I hired to make them. He had been highly recommended by friends but the install was full of hiccups and after a few years, one of the doors was totally trashed. Budget was limited at the time so cabinets were affordable veneers on mdf. I knew I wasn't paying for high end but still. I had looked at Ikea at the time but they couldn't seem to fit their cabinets in our our U-shaped kitchen.

  • julieste
    5 days ago

    tartanmeup


    Interesting that we also have a U shaped kitchen, and I had been seriously contemplating IKEA until I realized that there are both supply chain problems and problems in maximizing the space within our kitchen.


    My cabinet maker is going with real wood rather than the mish=mash you describe. Glad to hear you still like the look; I consider it a pretty classic look.