Natural wood cabinets can bring classic charm to any kitchen, which is why they’ve remained a popular choice for homeowners throughout the years of revolving interior styles. But with the kitchen being one of the most frequently used, well-loved rooms in your home, you need kitchen cabinets that can both look great and handle some serious wear and tear.

Let’s take a look at some of the best natural wood cabinet options for kitchens, factoring in both appearance and durability. 

Softwood vs. Hardwood Cabinets

Before you start looking at all the different types of natural wood for your cabinets, you can start narrowing down your options by understanding the differences between softwood and hardwood lumber

Softwood lumber comes from evergreen trees. They grow faster, and therefore have less density and straighter grains. Although softwoods are great for a number of applications, they don’t usually provide the aesthetic appeal or longevity that’s necessary for kitchen cabinetry. 

Hardwood lumber comes from deciduous trees, or those that lose their leaves every year. Hardwoods grow relatively slowly, so they tend to have more intricate grain patterns, higher density, and better durability — making them an ideal choice for cabinetry. 

4 Best Types of Natural Wood Kitchen Cabinets

Given the softwood’s lack of durability, it’s usually best to focus your natural wood kitchen cabinet search to hardwood options. Below, we’ll highlight four hardwood options that our kitchen design experts have found to look and function the best for homeowners: 

1. Oak Cabinets

Oak cabinets are known for offering great durability at the most affordable price. They’re lightweight, low maintenance, and adorned in unique, flame-like grain patterns. 

Many homeowners choose to stain their oak cabinets with a light shade, resulting in a contemporary appeal. However, it’s also possible to use a darker shade to amplify grains with deep brown or black hues. 

2. Maple Cabinets

The fine texture and smooth, uniform grain pattern of maple cabinetry creates a timeless look that’s highly desirable for many homeowners. And, as one of the most durable hardwoods, maple cabinets can guarantee your kitchen remains beautiful for years to come. 

Maple cabinets naturally have a pale, creamy white color, but their occasional red streaks add a subtle, vibrant touch. These streaks can be deepened with proper staining and offer an aspect of personalization and individuality to your space. 


3. Hickory Cabinets

Hickory cabinets are a popular choice for those looking to incorporate a rustic style within their home. This rustic edge comes from its two-toned appearance, which combines light white streaks with darker, reddish wood — offering similar tones as cherry wood, but at a fraction of the price.

One thing to know about hickory cabinets is that many stains can’t penetrate their tight grains. Instead, a clear finish is needed to seal them for ultimate protection.

4. Cherry Cabinets

Known for their naturally rich and luxurious dark coloring, installing cherry cabinets is an effective way to add a touch of warm elegance to your kitchen. This elevated appeal does come at a higher price than other natural wood cabinetry options. That said, cherry also ranks high on the durability scale, so the lifetime value often makes a higher price worth it.

Cherry cabinets are compatible with most stains, but are usually best paired with deep mahogany and walnut shades. They’re also known to naturally darken as they age, continually deepening the rich appeal they’re known for.

At Zeeland Lumber & Supply, we offer our customers a wide selection of natural wood cabinets, sure to add to any home’s style. Our cabinetry experts are happy to provide recommendations based on your specific application. To get more information on our top cabinetry brands and style options, stop in our store, give us a call, or contact us online.

Skip to content