Wood Options for Stained Cabinets in Westchester and Fairfield County Kitchens

In most kitchen renovations, homeowners in Westchester and Fairfield Counties are selecting cabinets that are predominantly painted finishes. But more and more are we seeing the use of stained finishes, which allow you to see the wood grain and coloring through the finish. Here is quick summary of some of the wood options for stained cabinets we are using at East Hill Cabinetry.

First, let’s start with the wood species we are using less often:

Maple- Because it has a very neutral natural color, we can stain maple many different stains and tones.  Maple is a close grain, which makes it very hard and durable, but it will not stain consistently- stained maple will always look blotchy.

Natural maple example as a wood option for stained cabinetry.
An example of natural maple

Cherry- This wood has a beautiful grain with very rich colors.  Because cherry starts pink naturally, it will always have red tones regardless of how dark we stain it.  Cherry also has significant variation in color and grain, even within a single door. Expect to see a lot of natural marks in the wood (worm tracks and gum marks), which are part of the character.

Custom cherry inset bar cabinetry in Darien, Connecticut.
Bar cabinetry in cherry with a stain slightly darker than natural (“American”)

Next, here are the woods we are staining most often for our clients:

Quarter-Sawn White Oak– Oak is characterized by its very pronounced, textured grain.  “Quarter” refers to the way the wood is cut, which creates a more linear and tighter grain. We use both rift and quartered woods in production.  We expect to see rays, flecks and tiger-stripping in the wood.  Because white oak starts with a very neutral color, we can stain it with many different tones.

Stained quarter sawn white oak vanity in Rye, New York.
Vanity cabintes in a quarter-sawn white oak with a grey stain (“Meteor”)

Alder- This wood has a mix of the best parts of maple and cherry.  Alder has a neutral natural color like maple, but has a very nice grain like cherry.  It takes stain well, and we use it for its uniform color, consistent and straight graining.   We have options for “select” and “knotty” alder.

Select Alder stained custom cabinetry vanity in bathroom in Westchester County.
Vanities in select alder, with a beige stain (“Dune”)

Walnut- Walnut has a rich and warm color, with a smooth grain pattern.  There are fewer stain choices, as walnut starts quite dark.  It has a timeless richness that goes with both warm and cooler color palettes.  

Walnut mantle on custom hood at East Hill Cabinetry showroom in Norwalk, Connecticut.
A stained walnut mantle on this custom hood (“Buckskin”)

See our video below for more on stained cabinetry!

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