Thinking about incorporating natural wood kitchen cabinets in your home, but don’t know where to start?
If you have a Pinterest board for kitchen design ideas and love watching home improvement shows on TV, then you’re likely itching for a kitchen upgrade. One of the most effective ways to improve your kitchen without doing a complete remodel is to invest in new cabinets.
New kitchen cabinets completely change the personality of the room. Many homeowners try to save a few bucks by purchasing build-it-yourself medium-density fiberboard (MDF) cabinets from big-box retailers. At Puustelli, we’re challenging that trend with eco-friendly, high-quality, and customized natural wood kitchen cabinets. Today we’re exploring:
- Our favorite Scandinavian natural wood kitchen cabinet designs, and
- Different types of wood for kitchen cabinets.
7 Stunning Natural Wood Scandinavian Kitchen Cabinets
At Puustelli Kitchens, we create custom kitchen designs for creative homeowners. With the highest quality cabinets and innovative thinking, we’ve completely transformed hundreds of kitchens. One of our favorite design trends is natural wood cabinets. Real wood cabinets are timeless, elegant, and far more sustainably sourced than the mass-produced MDF cabinets at big-box retailers. To gain some inspiration, check out 7 of our favorite natural wood cabinet designs.
1) An Accessible Kitchen With Rich Colors
These gorgeous cabinets in a French Walnut make this kitchen feel earthy and elegant. The warm, medium-tone wood cabinets add dimension to the modern black and white room. This kitchen is also completely ADA compliant. With accessibility features that make working in the kitchen far more complementary than complicated, it’s no surprise that a completely custom kitchen has multiple benefits.
2) A Dreamy, Bright Loft
With a loft as vibrant as this one, mass-produced, white fiberboard cabinets would have completely washed this kitchen out. Unfortunately, so many homeowners end up with cabinets they aren’t 100% in love with because they opted to save a few dollars by purchasing cheap, lackluster cabinets. However, this lofted kitchen completely comes to life with the addition of light wood cabinets like these. The stainless steel appliances keep the area feeling modern and bright, while the plants and unique lighting fixtures tie the whole room together.
3) Simple, Modern Design
We love how modern kitchen designs aren’t afraid to be a little moody. With a black kitchen island, gray walls, and black paneling, this kitchen is the true definition of modern. These medium-tone cabinets help add dimension to the space while maintaining a sophisticated feeling. Simple, classic colors like the ones featured here can make a kitchen feel brand new for years. The natural wood grain on the cabinets adds a wonderful sense of texture to the clean lines and geometric setup.
4) Maintaining the Classic Feel
In this kitchen remodel, the homeowners wanted to maintain the integrity of the original wood paneling on their windows and doors. We love how the light wood cabinets and flooring tie the classic feel of the home together. There’s no reason to completely redo a kitchen for the sake of being modern when timeless elements like these define the word “homey.” These cabinets make the room feel welcoming, not stark. Simple upgrades like new cabinets and countertops modernize this kitchen without sacrificing any of its original character.
5) Natural Light & Natural Wood
There’s nothing quite like skylights, large windows, and natural wood cabinets to make you feel connected to nature. The light wood cabinets paired with the wood floors and window frames help this home feel connected with the beautiful scenery outside. Many homeowners who want bright kitchens assume their only option is to go for an all-white scheme. While all-white can accomplish this, there are so many other avenues to explore that are more creative and personalized. This light wood makes the room feel open, bright, and happy in a more tailor-made way.
6) Modern Contrast
Grey and white have been the face of modern color schemes. We love how this customized kitchen plays with multiple elements of modern designs. The grey walls with white paneling instantly make the room feel contemporary and bright. However, the space is more personalized with stainless steel features and the dark wood cabinets on the kitchen island. Everything about this kitchen design screams “sleek, yet comfortable.” Even with contemporary features, the natural wood adds an earthy feel to the kitchen, making it the perfect place to gather, socialize, and create memories.
7) Timeless Dark Features
We’ve showcased a lot of light and medium-tone wood cabinets, so we had to include a timeless dark wood design. These dark wood cabinets bring a sophisticated and luxurious vibe to the kitchen. However, the design doesn’t feel overpowered by the dark color thanks to the stainless steel appliances and glass door upper cabinets. The dark island countertop adds a dramatic touch to the design. The smaller details of a kitchen design can often tie the entire room together, which is why working with a custom kitchen designer is often far more worth the time and money compared to cheap, DIY kitchen cabinets.
The Best Types of Wood for Natural Wood Kitchen Cabinets
There are many types of wood in the world, but not all of them make for fantastic kitchen cabinets. When choosing the natural wood you want for your cabinets, keep the following considerations in mind:
- Grain: Different wood types have different grain patterns.
- Color: The natural color of wood can be beautiful, but you can also utilize stains to change the color.
- Construction: There are different ways to construct wood cabinets, and different construction methods may add to the price of cabinetry.
Here are 10 of the most popular types of wood cabinets:
1) Red Oak
Red oak is very popular for kitchen cabinets because it is durable, yet pretty inexpensive. This wood works best for traditional cabinet styles thanks to the very pronounced grain patterns.
2) White Oak
White oak is similar to red oak, but it’s even stronger. The color has more golden tones to it with a subtle grain pattern. White oak is typically only available for custom designs, not for stock cabinets.
The natural light blonde tones in hickory can be left alone for a paler design, or it can be stained. The grain patterns and durability are similar to oak. You’ll most often see hickory best-suited to rustic, farmhouse-style kitchens, but it isn’t frequently used in custom cabinetry.
4) Hard Maple
More expensive but less dense than oak, hard maple is a popular choice for custom and semi-custom cabinets. Hard maple has a fine grain and a lighter color that can be stained. However, hard maple usually looks best with a natural finish to achieve a light, modern feel.
As a relatively inexpensive but attractive wood, birch is popular for semi-custom and stock cabinets. It takes stains and finishes very well, so it can often be disguised as a more expensive wood. Wood stain can help it look like cherry or maple. Many homeowners enjoy the subtle, yet stylish grain pattern.
Cherry wood cabinets are durable, and they can withstand bumps and knocks. The reddish-brown tone of cherry darkens with age, and this type of wood is frequently used for traditional, formal styles. Typically, cherry cabinets get stained so that the color looks more uniform.
As the only softwood on this list, pine dents more easily than hardwoods. However, Eastern white pine and Western white pine are popular choices in cabinetry because of their unique and fashionable look. Pine is most frequently used in rustic, country designs because it often features unique knots in the wood.
Ash is comparable in durability to oak, but the color is much lighter. Ash features a straight-grain pattern that looks incredibly contemporary. Typically, you’ll see ash used in semi-custom and custom cabinet designs.
Walnut is an incredibly versatile wood for traditional and modern kitchens alike. The material is durable and easy to maintain, making it a go-to choice in custom cabinetry. The rich red-brown color adds a warm sophistication to any kitchen.
Pecan wood cabinets aren’t the most popular, but they’re dramatic, rare, and beautiful. This type of wood has a natural charm thanks to the naturally contrasting appearance of the grain pattern. The grain is usually straight but can be wavy and feature characteristics like knots, color streaks, and pinholes. These quirks make pecan an ideal choice for charming rustic designs.
How Your Cabinet Choice Affects Your Health
At the beginning of this article, we briefly touched on how stock cabinets are made from MDF (medium-density fiberboard). Even with impersonal designs and styles to the side, MDF can be dangerous for the environment and for your health. MDF is made to look like real wood, but it couldn’t be further from it. MDF is made with an adhesive that contains formaldehyde, which “off-gasses” into the air. The off-gassing of formaldehyde can cause health issues like:
- Irritated nose and throat
- Itchy eyes
- Increased risk of cancer
That’s right; the cabinets that you spend every day around could ultimately cause you health complications. Not to mention, these gases further chip at our environment, especially when they’re mass-produced in factories. Even though the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) passed the Formaldehyde Emission Standards for Composite Wood Products Act of 2010 which established emission standards, there is still no good way to include formaldehyde in your home.
The eco-conscious cabinet designers at Puustelli care about your health and the environment. We have high standards for our natural wood kitchen cabinets. When you choose cabinets from Puustelli, you get eco-luxury that promises:
- No MDF or chipboard
- No formaldehyde-based glues
- No endangered wood species
- 100% recyclable biocomposite cabinet frames
You’ll read all about how custom cabinetry is more stylish and personalized to your lifestyle and design preferences. But, custom cabinetry comes down to way more than just designs. Indoor air quality isn’t only important for keeping you healthy long-term, but also for protecting any family member or guests who are immunocompromised. It’s incredibly important to pay attention to the products that you bring into your home because you’ll be spending the majority of your days surrounded by what you’ve installed. Thankfully, with Puustelli natural wood cabinets, you’ll be safe from harmful gasses all while enjoying a beautiful, personalized design.
Experience Natural Wood Kitchen Cabinets in Your Own Home
We hope that our ultimate guide helped you feel inspired about your upcoming kitchen remodel. Even if you don’t have the budget to completely redo your entire kitchen, simply opting for new cabinets can completely transform the space. You don’t have to be confined to mass-produced stock cabinets that everyone else has. Bring your personality to life in a more eco-friendly and health-conscious way when you opt for eco-luxury cabinets from Puustelli. Explore all the design options available to you when you view our brochure. And if you live in Minnesota, make an appointment to view our kitchen showroom! We look forward to transforming your kitchen.