All About Kitchen Cabinets: Cherry

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Who doesn’t love cherry?

With their rich color, fine grain and excellent durability, cherry cabinets evoke luxury and refinement in modern kitchens, and are indicative of a homeowner who cares about quality.

A solid and versatile wood that stands up to wear with grace, cherry is well-suited for many styles of kitchen cabinetry. You can hardly go wrong with this choice, but there are some quirks you should be aware of when designing your kitchen around this classic wood type.

Cherry Design Notes

Naturally light to medium brown, cherry stains anywhere from strawberry blonde to dark walnut. Prized for its warm red hues, cherry will further develop these ruddy tones and darken in color the longer it is exposed to light.

While this unique trait makes it desirable, it’s important to plan ahead. If you don’t want to take any chances with your color palette, look into cabinet wood that has been aged at least 6 months. Also, don’t freak if your custom-made cabinets arrive a bit lighter than you expected. Its just part of the magic of a truly unique designer wood.

In terms of style, cherry is suitable for a variety of panel designs from the ultra-modern to the ornate and traditional.

Because the quality of the wood speaks for itself, it’s easy to see why many designs in this wood favor plainer, more unadorned Shaker, Mission, or Craftsman styles. Historically, though, cherry has been a staple in traditional kitchens, whose luxuriously carved and molded woodwork is a natural fit for this refined material.

Colors, Lighting, Accents and Appliances

Whether you choose a light or dark finish, cherry is solidly planted in the warm color family. Embrace that cozy feel and avoid overtly cool or blue tones. Stick to complimentary warm hues and natural patterns for a well put-together look.

One of the things you should look out for is a tendency for heavily wooded kitchens to appear a little dark and closed in. You can combat this “old library” feel by installing plenty of lighting fixtures and keeping accent colors and materials light and bright.

Glass, stainless steel and bright metal accents, fixtures and appliances work best in a cherry kitchen. Black finishes will often appear too dark. White appliances can be too stark. Steel and other metal tones give good contrast, while not being overly bright.

Floors & Countertops

Look for light-colored materials of good quality to keep the space open and consistent. Whether that means flooring in tile, stone, or wood, that’s your call, all work well with cherry cabinets. If you do choose wood, make sure to pick a finish that is complimentary but lighter in color. Blonder shades will separate the cabinets from the floors and open up the space visually.

The same theory goes for countertops. Light shades work well, and natural stone, quartz, steel and even concrete provide amazing counterpoints.

As always, stay away from large expanses of dark colors and low quality materials (you’ll thank us later). If you’re going to splurge on something like cherry, don’t skimp on floors or counters.