10 September 2018

Note from Sara: Hi guys! I am so excited because today we’re launching a new series called Rising Stars on The Remix blog where we explore trends we’re predicting will pop in the next few days, months and years. Recently, in the office, the team and I have found ourselves ooohing and aaahing over the freshness of white oak kitchens. They feel so modern and warm. So I’ve tapped Mackenzie to dive down the white oak rabbit hole and share more about the beautiful trend with you. Enjoy!


Via | Photography: Michael RobinsonHome Builder: Jon Kogan, Highgate BuildersArchitecture: Bill Massey, Massey Associates ArchitectsInterior Design: Andrea Goldman, Andrea Goldman Design

When designing a kitchen remodel, there are the obvious things to think about – countertops, backsplash tile, cabinet hardware, etc. And while those are all very important aspects of the design, the real pièce de résistance is the cabinetry. It’s not only essential for storage and functionality, but it’s usually the largest factor (and expense!) in any kitchen and can make or break the overall design.

Processed With Rookie Cam

Via | Designer: Marianne Brown + Caitlin Creer (of Caitlin Creer Interiors) | Construction: Northstar Builders | Architecture: Sugarhouse Architects

One kitchen trend we’re seeing more and more of –and absolutely loving– is a simple, minimalistic look with wood, specifically white oak, utilized in it’s most natural form. By focusing on the quality of the materials being used and showcasing true workmanship, you’ll not only have a stunning, modern space, but you’ll also have one for many years to come. This is a take on a not-so-new trend for other living areas in the home – a casual, easy and relaxed look – nothing overly “done”. We always like to incorporate vintage items or pieces that look like they have been in that same spot for years, if not forever. And there’s no reason that same feeling can’t be brought through into the kitchen.


Via The House of Silver Lining

What we truly love about white oak in the kitchen is it’s neutral, full of depth and dimension and it also creates a soft sense of luxury that really can’t be matched. Plus, the design possibilities are truly endless – whether your taste is ultra-modern or leans more towards traditional, white oak cabinets can go in any direction you take them. Wood cabinetry used to be a thing of the past, but we love that it’s coming back in style. To bring your look to the current era – contemporary, rustic, whatever style your heart desires – go with rift-sawn cuts of white oak. Rift cuts have a more linear grain rather than the “cathedral” or “heartbeat” grain seen on wood cabinets from the past. And since we’re letting the natural finish shine through here, the look of the grain is so important.


Via | Builder: Patterson Custom Homes | Architecture: Brandon Architects | Photography: Ryan Garvin

If you decide to go with white oak cabinetry in your next kitchen remodel, we think the best part about this selection is that you really don’t need much else. Keep it simple, the wood is the star of the show. For a wow factor, pair the cabinetry with white Calacatta marble countertops, or for more functionality, a white Quartzite. Try bringing your countertop up the wall. White oak just complements the natural stone look beautifully. But you really can’t go wrong with a simple elongated subway tile. We love to top it all off with matte black or brushed brass cabinet hardware & lighting. For a twist, polished chrome is an unexpected mix between the softness of the white oak and “shiny and new” silver finish.


Via Parkes and Lamb Interiors

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, and white oak cabinetry adds instant warmth that will definitely have you wanting to spend more time in the kitchen than any other room.

Still curious about white oak? Contact us to learn more.

36 responses to “Rising Stars | White Oak Kitchens”

  1. Kim says:

    I really like the white oak cabinets. Do they have any kind of finish on them or is it just a clear coat finish on them?

    • White oak is our favorite as well! Some of the photos are a clear coat and some of them are stained. We suggest Minwax Pickled Oak for a medium light finish and Minwax Simply White for a light finish. You really can’t go wrong with either! Hope this helps!

      • Bree Rodriguez says:

        Or mix both Minwax Pickled Oak and simply white  to make a custom stain color. I am trying this soon.

  2. Lori F. says:

    I also would like to know what the finish is. They are beautiful! Thanks.

  3. Kim says:

    Ok, one more question. Do you know if that clear coat is oil or water based?

  4. Lori F. says:

    The bottom pic from Parkes and Lamb Interiors appears to be plain sawn vs. quarter sawn. Can you confirm? I think it looks great and quarter sawn white oak is not available to us. Thanks.

  5. Casey W. says:

    I’m in love with the White Oak look. I’m wanting to use this for our island in our kitchen remodel, but I’m having a VERY hard time finding them available in stores near me or online.
    Are these cabinets only available custom made?

  6. Beth Sullivan says:

    Are the cabinets solid white oak or oak plywood with a veneer? My cabinet maker is having a very difficult time executing the correct stain. They look artificial or pink or yellow. Nothing is getting the “natural” look.

    • From what I can tell it looks like oak plywood with veneer.

    • Lori Faison says:

      My cabinet maker has been able to achieve a very similar look using solid white oak, Minwax Simply White (appears to be applied very lightly or applied and then rubbed off) and finished with a “dull” or flat varnish. I’ve learned that oil based varnishes cause the yellowing and water-based do not. My cabinet maker was not willing to use the water-based (I think he just wasn’t familiar with the product and didn’t want to warranty a product he didn’t have
      experience with), but the dull finish does appear to reduce the yellow. The white stain actually appears slightly gray in the grain which I think cuts down on the pinkish tone. I would send a pic, but I don’t have my cabinets, yet. Hope this helps. I spent hours
      trying to replicate these cabinets!

  7. Lisa B. says:

    Beautiful kitchen! I am also using white oak cabinets in my new home. Can you tell me what hood vent was used?

  8. Elena says:

    Can you recommend a cabinet maker in the Austin area that can make white oak bathroom vanities?

  9. Elizabeth Yi says:

    Can you recommend the best color for the hardware when the cabinets are natural rift white oak? I am struggling with choosing black, polished nickel or brass. The counter tops are carerra marble (waterfall). Thank you!

  10. A round of applause for your blog post. Much thanks again. Really Great!

  11. I love what you guys tend to be up too. This type of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to my own blogroll.

  12. Rachele says:

    Hi, just wanted to mention, I loved this article. It was practical.
    Keep on posting!

  13. Free Stuff says:

    I have recently started a blog, the info you provide on this website has helped me greatly. Thank you for all of your time & work.

  14. Priscilla Holt says:

    I loved this blog post on the white oak cabinets! You made my day and I appreciate all the clarifying questions on the sawing. And your answers.

  15. Adrienne says:

    Some of these images look like the wood has some pickling. Do you recommend pickling to achieve this look?
    Also, I have read that White Oak can require bleaching first to get the bright natural tone without yellowing or redness in the tone. I’m in the Central Texas area, is that necessary to bleach first or can we achieve this with just the Minwax colors alone you mentioned?

    • Jill Ortega says:

      I love white oak… I also did my island, bath cab’s and linen cabinets and having a difficult time finding someone to finish without the red/pink tone on the veneer part of the white oak cabinetry. Is bleaching the key?

  16. Sach says:

    Hi, I am wondering if national cabinet brand would carry these white oak cabinets? I am in Raleigh NC, would love to get some recommendations on who can offer these cabinets

    • Gabrielle Lowrie says:

      Hi there,
      Unfortunately, I can’t think of one off of the top of my head. I recommend reaching out to a local builder in your area and showing them the images for reference.

    • Julie says:

      I’ve found quite a few large manufacturers that have quarter or rift sawn white oak. Schrock, Medallion, Diamond, Omega. Also Kemper and Kitchen Craft. Many custom cabinet folks too, like Crystal Cabinet Works and Rutt. I’ve also seen references to Amish and Mennonite cabinet makers as a cost-effective quality custom option. I’m working through all this now!

  17. Melissa says:


    I was reading questions and I didn’t not what the white oak was originally sealed with other then a comment about using a water based product. What product do you recommend to protect it from staining from cooking etc?

  18. Rebecca says:

    I’m obsessed with white oak cabinets 💕 Haven’t been able to find them prefab, anyone know of any suppliers that sell them prefab? I’m in Southern California interested for CA, FL, TX & GA if anyone knows of any suppliers in any of those states

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