Pine Kitchen Cabinets

Gain insight on pine kitchen cabinets, a popular wood choice in many country kitchens.


Knotty-pine cabinetry matches existing cabinets throughout this friendly, family home. Warm tones make this room a great entertaining space. Note the step up to the working area from the bar area.

Pine kitchen cabinets are a popular choice among homeowners, especially those interested in a more rustic or country kitchen design as well as a low-budget option.

Crave-Worthy Kitchen Cabinets

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Form and Function

This kitchen was designed to accommodate an enthusiastic cook and entertainer who wanted a contemporary feel that would not be at odds with her colonial townhouse. To create this look, NVS Remodeling & Design used frameless Dura Supreme Cabinetry in maple, painting the perimeter units in a creamy white and the island in a surprising splash of yellow (Sherwin Williams Butterfield with Espresso glaze). "To maximize storage, we stacked the cabinets to the ceiling, and specified deep drawers and tall pantries," say the designers. "The open corner and ribbed glass doors prevent that wall-to-wall cabinetry look."

Young At Heart

"Creating a hip, young kitchen while respecting the architectural heritage of an old house can be a challenge," says designer Jason Ball. To meet the twin needs of this particular project, Ball chose cabinets in a traditional raised-panel style, but gave them a fresh look with a trendy color: Behr's Dark Granite, in a rich semi-gloss finish. Hidden storage features complete the clever design. Deep drawers under the range keep pots and pans handy; cabinets extend to the ceiling for maximum stow-away space; and a pullout on one side of the kitchen keeps dog food easily accessible.

Real Steel

For a client who owns a company that manufacturers steel scales, Hufft Projects designed cabinetry that would reflect his business and his life. "We used metal panels throughout the house," says the designer. "The kitchen cabinets are one example. The gunmetal cabinets are made from galvanized hot-rolled steel with a clear-coat finish over an MDF substrate. They have integrated edge pulls to maintain a clean, seamless appearance."

Classic Cottage Charm

For a homeowner with a deep love of gardening and a fondness for English cottage style, Wright-Ryan Millwork created custom cabinets of white pine finished with a specially mixed stain of brown and yellow hues. "Concealed storage was important in this highly functional space," say the cabinetmakers. "Flat panel cabinets have adjustable, roll-out shelving inside, and concealed European hinges and soft-close drawers." Decorative feet beneath the sink adds cottage flavor.

Light Effects

In this open-plan kitchen, a combination of glistening white lacquered upper units and a striated wood style below creates a tailored, contemporary look. "Storage and functionality were both key to the design, so we optimized storage space by continuing cabinets along the bottom and into the adjacent dining room," says the designer. Design by DKOR Interiors.

Summerhouse Sophistication

In this luxurious Hamptons-style kitchen, designer Jamie Herzlinger created an updated traditional look that's long on luxury. Acres of white marble top the dual islands, complementing the custom millwork's graphic interlocking diamonds, a motif repeated on the upper cabinets that line the long walls. Panels cover the built-in refrigerators, for a sleek, integrated look.

Contemporary Cabin Style

Set on a wooded waterfront property on Lake Superior, this contemporary cabin shows a close connection to its natural setting. Architect Nils Finne used eco-friendly materials throughout the design, including in the kitchen. "We used PLYBOO, an FSC-certified bamboo product, for the cabinets," he says. "The end panels are mahogany, as is the dining table."

European Elegance

Inspired by the homeowner's love of Old World design, Ron and Martha Wolford created a rich, traditional look with frameless, raised-panel cabinets painted steel blue and accented with a creamy glaze. Important extras include in-cabinet puck lighting, under-cabinet lighting, mirrored glass mullioned doors (not pictured), and marble countertops. For a cohesive look, "the kitchen's cream, gold, and blue palette flows into the family room and covered porch," say the builders.

Bright Idea

In this long, narrow house, Kariouk Associates Architects used walls of glass to usher in light and designed sleek custom cabinets in bold yellow to help to capture and reflect the sunshine. Walnut paneling and accent cabinets offer a warm contrast to the splash of color, keeping the kitchen grounded within the open plan.

Fresh Outlook

For the heart-of-the home kitchen in this traditional Massachussetts home, designer Maqued Barsoum created custom cabinets with rich detailing: inset doors and drawers; deep, stepped crown moldings and a custom range hood canopy. The soft, sage finish lends softness to the look, and helps to highlight the island's dramatic Via Lattea granite.

Pine wood tends to be lighter in color, although it can be stained to a darker hue as well. Pine wood also tends to have many knots, giving it a distinctive, immediately recognizable look.

Because knotty pine has these distinctive knots throughout, it's often best to choose pine kitchen cabinets in person. Individual cabinet surfaces may vary greatly due to the knots and other natural markings, so be sure to inspect your choices thoroughly before deciding on the cabinet set that's right for your kitchen.

Although pine kitchen cabinets can be made with different door styles and stained different colors, many knotty pine cabinets feature distinctive hardware and decorative pieces that together appeal to homeowners looking for a more rustic, country or even retro look. Natural pine also has a slightly yellow tint that can create a sunny, airy feel in a kitchen, brightening the space and creating a welcoming feel.

Another reason pine is popular with homeowners is that it is an extremely cost-effective wood. Although the cost of pine may vary among retailers, in general pine is a cheaper wood than oak, maple, cherry, mahogany, or more exotic woods like bamboo.

One thing to remember when choosing pine kitchen cabinets is that pine is a distinctly less durable wood than some other higher-end woods. That is because it is a softer wood and thus is more vulnerable to scratches, dents and dings. This is an important consideration as the kitchen is often the command center of the home and can be highly susceptible to daily abuse. Additionally, you should use extra caution when installing hardware onto pine cabinets or when pulling stools or other furniture up to an island bank of pine cabinets.

When you've sourced your pine cabinets from a home improvement or cabinet specialty store, it's time to install them. Cabinet installation can be a complex project, requiring DIY home improvement knowledge. If you've done it before effectively, there's no reason to think you can't install your own pine cabinet—however, if you're less than handy and a novice when it comes to cabinet installation, it's probably best to hire a professional. You'll pay more in labor costs but save time and energy, and you'll avoid the potential disappointment of a failed job.

Whether you are seeking out a retro kitchen renovation or are creating the cozy country kitchen of your dreams, pine is a material that is appealing due to its distinct look, its affordability and its availability at a wide range of retailers. You may also find it's easy to decorate around knotted pine, as its unique character lends itself to a particular rustic country aesthetic.

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