1. Rustic Farmhouse Style

Farmhouse style kitchens are eternally in fashion, with their charming vintage vibe. White Shaker-style wood cabinets paired with open shelving and butcher block countertops create a cozy rustic aesthetic. Accent features like brass hardware, pendant lighting, and apron-front sinks reinforce the old-world farmhouse look. This earthy style works well in both rural and suburban homes.

2. Modern Scandinavian Style

Scandinavian design is having a major moment, with its emphasis on minimalism, functionality, and natural materials. The use of light wood grain cabinetry along with white quartz countertops evokes the breezy, casual Scandinavian style. Accent walls, shelves, and backsplashes in natural wood add organic texture. Metallic finishes on fixtures and hardware inject subtle glamour. This modern look is fresh and serene.

3. Transitional Style

Transitional kitchens blend traditional and contemporary elements for a timeless, elegant look. Wood cabinets in a neutral shade like gray washed oak keep the ambiance relaxed. Mixing cabinet styles, such as Shaker cabinets on the bottom and glass-front cabinets up top provide visual interest. Other transitional features include marble countertops, subway tile backsplash, and vintage-inspired lighting. This harmonious blend fits any classic or modern home.

4. Contemporary Style

For a sleek, modern statement, glossy wood cabinets in a dark espresso shade make a bold impact. The rich color and high-sheen lacquered finish create drama and sophistication. Paired with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, this palette exudes contemporary designer style. Recessed lighting and minimal hardware reinforce the streamlined aesthetic. Make this look more accessible by limiting the dark color to the lower cabinets only.

5. Cottage Style

Romantic cottage kitchens are cozy and cheerfully styled. Painted wood cabinets in a pale shade like sage green help cultivate the light and breezy cottage vibe. Accentuate with exposed wood beams, carved corbels, and distressed detailing. White or butcher block countertops lighten up the look. For complementary contrast, opt for brass fixtures and black ironmongery. This dreamy style works well in older homes with quirky charm.

6. Classic Style

You can’t go wrong with classic cherry or maple wood cabinets, an eternally appealing choice. Their reddish-brown and creamy hues lend a refined, traditional ambiance to any kitchen. Glass-front upper cabinets maintain the visual lightness. Pair them with granite, quartz, or white marble countertops for timeless good looks. Stainless steel appliances and metal hardware in brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze complete the polished but unfussy aesthetic. This versatile, quality style suits homes with any architectural style.

Some Popular Types of Wood Kitchen Cabinets

When selecting wood kitchen cabinets, you’ll have many materials and finishes to choose from. Here are some of the most popular types of wood cabinets on the market today:

  • Oak – Known for its durability, oak is a wood with a distinctive grain that comes in several shades ranging from light to dark. Oak cabinets give a traditional or Arts and Crafts style kitchen a natural, organic look.
  • Maple – Valued for its uniformly pale color and smooth grain, maple offers a more contemporary look for kitchens. Maple takes stain very well.
  • Cherry – Prized for its warm reddish-brown hue and elegant grain, cherry wood evokes a classic style. It also wears beautifully over time.
  • Hickory – Hickory wood has a bold grain pattern and can take on more rustic farmhouse or cottage styles. It has a creamy white sapwood and brown heartwood.
  • Walnut – Walnut wood ranges from pale brown to darker chocolate colors. The dynamic grain has gray and purple undertones, creating depth. Walnut suits both traditional and modern styles.
  • Alder – Budget-friendly alder has a mellow tan color but takes stain and paint very well. It’s a versatile choice for painted cabinets or stain to mimic pricier woods.
  • Pine – Pine has a distinctive knotty grain. Knotty pine cabinets have a rustic, casual look well-suited to cabin and country kitchen designs.

Key Features that Make Wood Kitchen Cabinets Attractive

Beyond just the wood type, several design elements impact the aesthetic appeal of wood kitchen cabinets:

  • Door styles – From Shaker to inset panels to glass-front, the cabinet door style makes a significant visual impact.
  • Hardware – Decorative knobs and handles in finishes like brass, nickel, or black iron help reinforce the overall kitchen style.
  • Finish – Stain, paint, glaze, distressing – the finish options are endless for customizing cabinets’ color tones, sheens, and textures.
  • Craftsmanship – High-quality wood joinery and hand-built custom details take kitchen cabinetry to an artisanal level.
  • Molding – Crown molding and decorative trim lend traditional kitchen cabinets added elegance and architectural interest.
  • Lighting – Task lighting, under-cabinet lighting, and accent lighting all showcase beautiful cabinets and draw the eye to key design features.

So in summary, wood kitchen cabinets can take so many forms – from sleek contemporary frames to timeworn, farmhouse-style pieces. Proper selection of wood type, doors, hardware, finishes and lighting ensures your new kitchen feels cohesive and attractive.

FAQs About Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Q: What is the most popular wood for kitchen cabinets?

A: Oak and maple are likely the top two most popular wood cabinet options currently. Oak has a natural appeal, while maple offers a more streamlined look. Both are valued for their durability.

Q: Are all-wood cabinets better than plywood?

A: Solid all-wood cabinets are considered higher quality than plywood. But manufactured plywood cabinets with solid wood veneers can also be very durable and withstand moisture better if properly sealed.

Q: Should I get stained or painted wood cabinets?

A: This is an aesthetic choice that depends on the overall kitchen design and your personal style. Stained wood shows off the natural wood grain, while painted cabinets give you endless color options.

Q: How do I clean wood cabinets?

A: Use a wood cleaner and microfiber cloths. Avoid harsh chemicals. Don’t use wet cloths; always wring them out well. Too much moisture damages wood over time.

Q: Can you change the color of wood cabinets?

A: Yes, wood cabinets can be transformed by applying new stain, paint, glaze, etc. Proper sanding and priming need to take place before applying any new color.

Q: Should I get open or closed shelves on kitchen cabinets?

A: Open shelves provide easy access in commonly used prep areas. Enclosed cabinets hide clutter and create a streamlined appearance. Using a mix of both open and closed storage provides the best kitchen functionality.


Wood kitchen cabinets offer a warm, natural look that pairs well with so many design styles from Farmhouse to Modern. Choices like oak, maple, cherry, and walnut each make their own aesthetic statement and provide long-lasting quality and durability. Details like cabinet door style, hardware, lighting, and finish allow you to customize your wood kitchen cabinets into a stylish focal point that reflects your personal taste. Taking time to carefully select the ideal wood species, finish, and accents will ensure your new wood cabinets look attractive for years to come.