Wood Cabinets in the Kitchen: Making a Comeback

Wood cabinets are always a classic choice for a kitchen, but white cabinetry has been winning the popularity contest for the past ten years or so. Painted cabinets in shades of blue, gray, and green have also dominated the culinary scene. But now, it looks like kitchen décor is trending back to wood finishes.

Wood Cabinets in Contemporary KitchenPhoto by Everingham Design


When I purchased my first home back in the 1980s, I don’t recall too many white kitchens. Everyone wanted wood – with the big question being the color of stain you chose.  

Rustic Kitchen with Wood Cabinets Photo by Everingham Design


Wood cabinets lend a certain amount of warmth to a kitchen perhaps people are feeling the need for comforting spaces in this day technology and social media.

Warm Wood KitchenPhoto by Everingham Design



Wood cabinetry pairs extremely well with painted surfaces, so if you can’t make up your mind, choose a combination of both.

Country Style Kitchen in Black and WoodPhoto by Everingham Design


Wood cabinets are no longer relegated to a smooth, waxed surface. Rough hewn cabinets prove just as classic and beautiful.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen with Open Shelves and Wood CabinetsPhoto by Everingham Design


I’m not really noticing a trend more toward light or dark wood finishes. Light wood is a great choice for a contemporary or Scandinavian look, while darker wood lends itself toward a more traditional or industrial style kitchen.

Scandinavian Style Kitchen with Open Shelves and Wood CabinetsPhoto by Everingham Design


To keep a kitchen light and bright when using wood cabinetry, simply use a lot of white in the room. It’s such a timeless look.

Rustic Kitchen with Wood CabinetsPhoto by Everingham Design


Wood cabinets that I personally prefer are ones that show the knots and grain of the wood. I love how the owner of this kitchen opted for a wooden cabinet base for the sink, while the rest of the cabinets are painted a soft gray.

Farmhouse Sink In Kitchen with Wood and Painted CabinetsPhoto by Everingham Design


What’s your preference when it comes to kitchen design? Do you like cabinets with a wood finish, or those painted in a favorite color?


See More Kitchen Inspiration:

Country Style Kitchens from the U.K.

Kitchen Wallpaper: Is It for You?

Charming Cottage Kitchen Ideas

The Best Kitchen Islands

Collection of Rustic Kitchens



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  1. Hi Jennifer
    I will be honest, I have never been a fan of white cabinets. I prefer wood. I do like a mixed look though and would love maybe a whiskey glazed cabinet on the uppers and a rich wood tone on the bottom cabinets. That would be ideal in my eyes. Thanks for all of the inspiration pics. They are all beautiful!

  2. I think wood cabinets are beautiful, however I do not like the Hickory cabinets I have seen lately to much difference within the wood. Beautiful pictures by the way!

  3. So glad to hear that wood is coming back. For 20 years when wood was in I had white cabinets. 13 years ago I remodeled the kitchen and went with wood cabinets. That’s when wood was out and white came in.

  4. Always have, always will love the beauty and warmth wood has to offer. These kitchen cabinets are stunning! Hopefully, they are making a comeback, for me they never left! Classic!!!

  5. I have had my solid oak stained cabinets for over 35 years. I like the look of wood that has been stained and you can see the beauty of the woodgrain. Additionally, I love to cook and I think it would be a pain to keep white cabinets looking pristine.

  6. Some of mine are wood with glass fronts and and my lower cabinets are white and i love them. I don’t really follow trends that close but it will be nice to see wood again.

    1. Would love to see a picture of your cabinets. Am wanting to add more upper cabinets with glass fronts to off set the different age in the stained oak cabinets.

  7. We have wood cabinets in our home too. Ours are maple with a bit of glaze. We love them and with all the painted furniture we gave it breaks things up.

    Enjoyed this post.


  8. I lived with subdivision-builder oak cabinets for over 20 years before I finally painted them white – and I’ve never regretted it. However, builder oak is not the only wood available and high end wood cabinets in high end homes remain beautiful and relevant.

  9. We completely redid our big galley kitchen five years ago when white was all the rage. We opted for white birch cabinets. We love this wood that is not too figured but mellow and warm. Then we jazzed it way up with bright red countertops! So many said we would get tired of the red countertops. Not a bit! Absolutely love them! Couldn’t possibly have gotten away with them with white cabinets. Beautiful with the birch.

  10. We just finished remodeling our kitchen this past year. We went for stained wood cabinets. Just couldn’t go with white….too cold, sterile and plasticity looking. So happy to hear that wood cabinets are making a comeback!

  11. I believe that the cabinet choice shoud depend on the overall feel and spirit of your home. Choosing a cabinet by fad will always lead to outdated cabinets at some point. The key is to know your home and choose something that will still look good in 50 years. My Los Angeles home is 100 years old and the painted wood cabinets look as stunning today as they did 100 years go. We did a little digging through paint layers and found the original color and stenciling from the 20’s. We used Farrow and Ball and came up with a nice ode to the past while updated the whole look. The most common comment I get is, “your kitchen is timeless.” The cabinets will get a fresh coat of paint, but not ever be changed out. Our other home is an Austrian Chalet at 7500 ft alt. White cabinets would look trendy and not be appropriate. However, wood (done right) will look good for years to come and our grandkids will never think of it as outdated, just… that’s grandpa’s house. Guests and visitors feel they are in the right space for the right home and environment. What does your home tell you about its history? If its a new home, what is the historical touchstone it is based on? You have more leeway with a new home, but still want to create a place that will feel timeless in another hundred years. Just like my LA home… a hundred years will pass and someone else will either love what you did or have to pull it out and start all over.

  12. I have a large kitchen with lots of wood cabinets in poor condition. I thought of having them painted but now think I would like to keep them natural. How do I recondition them? Will they have to be stripped. Are their companies that do this?

  13. I still love painted, but the natural ones I could live with too. Stained is to dark even a light oak color would be too dark for me.

  14. These are nice looking kitchens. I will always prefer painted cabinets, but do like the combos of wood and painted. Two tones are also fun.

  15. I’d like to know where that light fixture by the sink in the last photo is from. That is a wonderful piece.
    I like wood cabinets but we have white painted ones now. Our next I’m hoping for some wood, some brick and some green. A mid shade of wood stain is my favorite.
    Warmth is a good thing.

  16. Love all of these shown. When we redid our kitchen 12 yrs ago, I wanted painted, husband thought wood would be better and never goes out of style. I gave in to him. I love white cabinetry in the right home but would worry about keeping them looking good over time. Mine are solid cherry in natural that has darkened a bit over time. I have considered painting them but they are such a nice wood that I think I would be sorry. So I guess depending on the home, I love both painted and wood. So many options.