Are Wood Cabinets Coming Back in Style?

Cabinet makeovers are all the rage right now. Whether you’re freshening up your existing cabinets or starting from scratch with a new design, there are plenty of exciting options. But one question that often arises is, “Are wood cabinets coming back in style?”

Wood cabinets are making a big comeback and are the trending styling option on the market. Apart from being timeless, raw wood grain is easy to style, beautiful, and classic. This explains the ever-so-common honey-colored cabinets that are becoming more popular in modern homes.

In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss the types of wood cabinets in style today and why they are making a comeback. I’ll also cover how to care for wood cabinets to extend their lifetime. Let’s get started!

Are Wood Cabinets Coming Back in Style?

What Type of Wood Cabinets Are in Style?

While wood cabinets have been around for centuries, they’re currently enjoying a renaissance, thanks to their ability to pair with any design style.

The most common types of wood cabinets in style include alder, cherry, oak, maple, hickory, and birch wood cabinets. Indeed, whether your taste runs more traditional or contemporary, there’s a wood cabinet style out there that will perfectly suit your needs.

 Let’s explore these styles of wood cabinets further:

Alder Wood Cabinets

Alder wood is an excellent option when it comes to varnishing. This makes alder wood one of the best in cabinetry in terms of surface treatment to enhance its appearance.

Alder wood has a medium bending strength of 9,800 psi (67,568.62 kPa), making it a suitable material for cabinets given the extensive bending required to fit in tight spaces.

Aesthetics is a crucial consideration when it comes to choosing cabinets. After all, cabinets are a focal point in any room, so you want to ensure they complement your overall design.

While alder wood sports a subtle grain pattern, it can be stained to bring out its natural beauty or painted for a more contemporary look. If you’re going for a rustic vibe, leave your alder cabinets in their natural state for a beautiful weathered look.

Cherry Wood Cabinets

This is your go-to option if you want a more durable wood cabinet. Cherry is a hard and strong wood, so it can withstand the wear and tear of everyday use.

Cherry wood is also known for its unique grain pattern that features small, reddish-brown to blond streaks running through the wood. When stained, cherry cabinets take on a deep, rich color that adds sophistication to any space.

Cherry cabinets are incredibly aesthetic in a kitchen environment due to their predominantly red undertones. If your kitchen has white or cream walls, cherry cabinets will provide the perfect pop of color.

Like all hardwoods, cherry is susceptible to scratches and dents. However, you can extend the life of your cherry cabinets by using a soft cloth to dust them regularly and avoiding harsh cleaning chemicals.

Maple Wood Cabinets

Due to its strength and durability, maple is one of the most popular woods for cabinetry. Maple is so tough that it’s often used in bowling alley lanes and dance floors.

What sets maple apart from other hardwoods is its close grain pattern that gives it a smooth texture. This makes maple cabinets ideal for painting or staining, as the wood grain won’t show through the finish.

In most cases, maple is used for specialty custom artisan furniture due to its diverse grain structure. Its grains come in the following structures:

  • Curly
  • Flame
  • Tiger
  • Fiddleback
  • Rippled
  • Birdseye

If you’re looking for a classic look, go with natural maple cabinets. For a more modern vibe, try white or gray-stained maple cabinets. 

No matter what style you choose, maple cabinets are sure to make a statement in your home.

Oak Wood Cabinets

Oak is a type of hardwood known for its durability and strength. It is also a prevalent choice for cabinetry due to its beautiful grain pattern.

There are two types of oak wood cabinets:

  • Red oak cabinets: Red oak is the more popular type, as it is less expensive and easier to work with. It features beautiful straight and curved grain patterns that can be enhanced with a stain or paint finish. Red oak cabinets reveal the grains underneath the wood even when painted.
  • White oak cabinets: While white oak is more expensive than its red counterpart. It’s also more durable and has a higher resistance to rot and insect infestation. White oak cabinets boast a sleek and modern look due to the wood’s subtle grain pattern.

Birch Cabinets

Birch is a moderately priced wood, making it your go-to option if you’re on a tight budget. It’s a versatile, fine-grained wood you can stain or paint to match your décor.

Birch wood is light-colored, so it’s ideal for kitchen cabinets if you are looking to brighten up your kitchen – or bathroom. It’s also a good choice if you’re looking for a clean, contemporary look.

Since it takes finishes well, birch is a good option if you want to experiment with different colors and stains. You can also use birch cabinets to create a two-tone look in your kitchen.

Hickory Cabinets

Hickory is an exceptionally strong, heavy, and shock-resistant wood, making it an ideal choice for cabinetry that will see a lot of use. Such cabinets include:

  • Pantry cabinets
  • Kitchen island cabinets
  • Bathroom vanities

Hickory is also a good choice for custom-made cabinetry, as it can be carved and shaped into almost any design. The wood’s versatile tones that vary from pale cream to reddish brown also make it a good choice for light and dark-colored cabinets.

However, hickory is challenging to work with because of its strength. Thus, it’s best left to experienced cabinetmakers.

Expert Tip: When it comes to wood cabinets, there are many types to choose from as we have seen. And since each type of wood has its unique grain pattern, color, and price point, go for an option that compliments the overall look of your house and fits your budget.

Reasons Wood Cabinets Are Making a Comeback

Humans value things that make their lives worthwhile, and wood cabinets do just that. Wood cabinets are making a comeback because they offer both style and functionality.

Here are some additional reasons wood cabinets are making a comeback:

  • They’re more durable. Wood cabinets are more durable than their laminate or particle board counterparts. They can withstand heavy use and last for many years. Some types of wood, like hickory and oak, are so tough that they’re often used in high-traffic places.
  • They’re easy to clean. Wood cabinets are easy to clean and maintain. You can simply wipe them down with a damp cloth when they get dirty.
  • They offer more storage. It’s easier to outfit wood cabinets with additional shelves and drawers to meet your storage needs. In contrast, outfitting can be challenging with plastic or metal cabinets.
  • They’re better for the environment. Wood cabinets are a more sustainable choice than laminate or particle board cabinets. They’re made from a renewable resource and can be recycled at the end of their lifespan.

Wood Cabinet Trends

As they make a comeback in style, wood cabinets are taking particular trends aimed at making your kitchen more stylish, efficient, and sustainable.

Here are some of the trends:

  • Two-tone cabinets: Two-tone cabinets are a popular trend in wood cabinetry. They offer a unique look that can make your kitchen stand out from the rest. You can use two colors or finish one set of cabinets with a stain and the other with paint.
  • Natural woods: People find light-colored, unstained wood with linear grains more visually appealing. The wood’s natural beauty is also a selling point for many homeowners.
  • Open shelving: This kitchen cabinet trend is perfect for small kitchens or people who want easy access to their dishes and cookware. Instead of having cabinet banks lining the wall, open shelving gives the illusion of more space.
  • Matte finishes: This trend is becoming more popular in kitchen cabinets as it offers a modern look. In most cases, the cabinets are furnished with a low-sheen or eggshell paint. The matte finish also gives the cabinet a more rustic appearance.

How To Care for Wood Cabinets

As with anything else in your home, wood cabinets must be adequately cared for to keep them looking their best. If you don’t clean them properly, your wood cabinets may become sticky after cleaning. [Why Are Your Kitchen Cabinets Sticky After Cleaning?]

Here are some tips on how to care for your wood cabinets:

  • Wipe up spills immediately. This will prevent water damage and staining. Stains will make your cabinets unsightly and difficult to clean.
  • Use coasters. Coasters will prevent water rings and other damage from hot dishes.
  • Clean with a soft cloth. Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down your cabinets. You should avoid harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners as they can damage the finish.
  • Polish regularly. Regular polishing will keep your cabinets looking shiny and new.
  • Touch-up scratches. Scratches can be a pain to see, but they’re easy to fix. You can touch them up with a matching wood filler or paint.

Final Thoughts

Wood cabinets are making a comeback in style for a good reason; they offer both style and functionality. Homeowners also find it easier and more comfortable to work with wood cabinets due to their customizable nature. You can easily customize wood to fit your kitchen through bending, staining, or painting.

Moreover, wood is a versatile option, thanks to its different grain patterns. Go for a pattern of your liking or one that compliments your house.

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