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The New Cabinet Stain Colour for Kitchens

By 01/19/2018September 29th, 202040 Comments

Renovating your kitchen or bathroom this year? There’s a new kitchen cabinet trend and it isn’t paint – it’s a new wood stain colour. See my take on this new stained cabinet trend and how to make it work with a white kitchen.

Okay here’s one more post from my participation as part of the Modenus Blog Tour at the 2018 Kitchen and Bath Show.

If you missed the first post, read it here.

The biggest news in kitchens besides BLACK, is the new and trendy wood stain.

It looks something like this:

Kitchen source |  Cote de Texas 2018 trends report (The best one I’ve read)

Read more: The New Look of Natural Wood Kitchens: Timeless or Trendy?

And this kitchen style fit right in to one of the first kitchens I saw at LG when we had our cupcakes and champagne gathering on the first morning of KBIS!

LG has a new line of matte or flat black (AND fingerprint-free) appliances that they were showcasing (see below).




How to design a white kitchen with wood-stained cabinets

Did you notice the white countertop? That’s all you need to work with a wood-stained kitchen. Solid white or some type of marble looking laminate or stone — whatever works for your budget and the neighbourhood you live in.

And when I say white, I mean off-white or cream too. Choose whichever white works for your hard finishes and coordinates with your trim, etc. If you are stuck on which white works for your kitchen, download my White is Complicated, A Decorators Guide to Choosing the Right White here.

And then, some kind of white backsplash. There are many patterns available today if subway tile is not your thing (this was a display kitchen at the show which is why it’s not completely finished with a backsplash). Whatever you do, DO NOT install a 4″ backsplash like the one here.

Looking for an alternative backsplash to subway tile? Here are some beautiful kitchen designs with no backsplash.

If you do choose black appliances, I like it when the black colour is repeated in the countertop, like this kitchen:


Or if you are considering the drama of black cabinets, get rid of the uppers, as I mentioned in my 2018 Trends report here.

And then you might introduce black appliances to keep the look seamless as Nate Berkus did here:

Nate Berkus

See all of LG’s products here.

New Kitchen & Bath Appliance Technology

At this market, Thermador introduced a new line of appliances with a glass detail on the front.

Immediately, I noticed that it had a green beige undertone. Not a detail you might observe if they were installed in a wood stained kitchen as they were displayed at the show. However if the kitchen was white, you would definitely notice it.

Greige is a big trend in painted kitchens, which would be perfect with this particular line of appliances. I took the liberty of placing a kitchen with greige painted cabinets beside one of the photos I took at the show.

Now it looks even more intentional and coordinated.

Thermador | Kitchen pic 

I was blown away by this entertainer’s dishwasher. It holds 24 wine glasses. No more leaving this chore to the end of clean up after a dinner party! See more about this here.

The flexibility of their integrated refrigerator (below) is so beautiful you can hide your dishwasher behind an entire wall of art.

I can’t wait to see this installed in a real kitchen!

Art wall – Can you even tell there’s a refrigerator behind this?

They have new technology where you can just push in with your hip and the door opens. So amazing! Read all about how you can customize this system here.


Mr. Steam hosted a beautiful lunch for us on the last day where I learned all about the amazing benefits of having a steam shower in your home!

I wish I had been in this presentation before I renovated my bathrooms last year! I would definitely have installed one in my main bathroom! Especially because I’m a Finn, so I grew up with a wood-heated sauna, which is also very steamy.

Who knew there were so many amazing benefits of steam:

MrSteam created SteamTherapy® to help educate and promote the deeply therapeutic benefits of steam. A daily steam shower is one of the most refreshing rewards you can give yourself.

SteamTherapy keeps you glowing as warm moisture opens your pores, leaving your skin softer and more supple. Steam cleanses and nourishes the skin, leaving it with a healthy glow. It hydrates dry skin.

And, hallelujah, it can also aid in the fight against cellulite while boosting your metabolism. That daily steam indulgence is a natural detox that removes harmful impurities from your body.

It can also enhance your breathing, leaving you with an improved sense of tranquility, promoting restful sleep and wellness.

As if that weren’t enough, steam is also recommended for the relief of symptoms of colds, flu, sinusitis, bronchitis, allergies, asthma, throat irritation, arthritis and more. Sore, tired muscles? Rigid joints? Steam eases the pain. And don’t forget the wellness benefits of aromatherapy and chromotherapy, along with the calming swirl of music that turns that dreadful day into a distant memory.

Seriously, who doesn’t need this in their life?

Mr. Steam

Mr. Steam showers are affordable and the generator is the size of an average briefcase! Read all about how to choose one here.

Design features with wood mouldings


Did you know that Metrie is the largest supplier and manufacturer of solid wood and composite moulding in North America?

By milling their own products, Metrie has the internal capability to create custom profiles and streamline production and shipping. Metrie operates seven solid wood and MDF manufacturing facilities, plus 26 distribution centers in the U.S. and Canada.

To show you all the many ways their moulding can be incorporated into your designs, here are three vignettes in their booth.



The photos above are from Metrie’s Very Square, French Curves, and Fashion Forward collections. Each of their Then & Now Finishing Collections™ is inspired by a different architectural style. They’re interpretations, carefully designed to work with the most up-to-date decorating styles and trends. They truly are beautiful!

Here are a few more rooms incorporating Metrie Mouldings:



I will have trouble looking at my walls that are currently devoid of moulding now that I’ve written this post!

 (Turquoise doors are Metrie) by my good friend Lisa Mende Design. See her entire portfolio here.

Here’s that DXV Tub that I have in my bathroom too! You can see it here.

It was really fun to catch up with Kristie Barnett from the Decorologist! She attended one of my first Specify Colour with Confidence workshops years ago and is rocking it out with her own staging course and books and videos about decorating and choosing colour!

Kristie wrote a fabulous post on Metrie Mouldings here. 

Kristie Barnett and Maria Killam

Thanks again to Modenus for including me on this blog tour!

Related posts:

Classic and Timeless Wood Stained Kitchens

When to Break the Rules Around Choosing White (or Cream)

Help! My New Kitchen Makes the Rest of my House look Old


















31567 pins


  • Val says:

    For a moment I thought they brought this gorgeous cat to the show :)))

    Thank you for the post, Maria, and especially for the info about steam showers. We are going to refurbish our shower room sometime this or next year. I’ll definitely look what options are available in the UK.

  • Julie S says:

    I have been seeing this wood stain color for the last year and it definitely looks new and fresh to my eye. Does it have a name yet? It’s not too far from golden oak yet less yellow and I’m seeing it with low sheen finishes instead of the shiny clear coat I associate with stained kitchen cabinets. I can easily imagine in 10-15 years it will place a kitchen firmly in the teens decade (which is why my kitchen is white) but I’m still liking it. DIY bloggers seem to have ditched the old favorite Minwax Dark Walnut stains and are going for Special Walnut or Provincial, which yield a similar color.

    The steam shower sound lush. I do an oil cleansing method on my face from time to time which involves applying a very hot washcloth to steam open your pores, and it makes me feel and look amazing.

  • Lucy says:

    Nice pictures! It sounds like you had a good time and gathered a lot of new ideas. As far as I am concerned the new wood color is not new to me! I still love a white kitchen. I guess if you live long enough all trends, colors and styles recycle. I do like the mouldings however. I have always thought they were classy! Black appliances are not for me but they look stunning in the pictures.

    I will go back and re-read the post again because there is so much information!

  • Marla says:

    Create your own cheap steam shower: mount a shower curtain in a ceiling track above your shower/tub.

    • Maria Killam says:

      That is exactly what you have to do when you have kids and their sick and need steam, haha. Maria

  • Diane says:

    Love your blog from the Builder’s Show

  • Nancy says:

    Interesting reading .
    I was wondering if you have ever considered a internet course ?
    Thank you

  • Martha Bunn says:

    Have you seen the new Sunset Bronze appliances by Whirlpool?

    • Maria Killam says:

      I have not seen them in person no, they look copper on-line? So good if you are introducing orange or pink accents in your kitchen perhaps? Maria

  • Katy says:

    Hi Maria,
    Do you think you could write about what color to paint moldings? (Unless you have done so and I missed it). I have seen them painted in contrasting colors, in the same color, in a subbtle contrasting color. I see in your article above a couple different styles. Just wondering what you have to say about them. Is there a right and wrong? I know if the ceilings are low and the ceiling trim is contrasting, it often accentuates the low ceiling – and just looks bad. Pethaps you have some rules of thumb?

  • Janet E. says:

    Maria, I love the fact that you generously refer/link us (your readers) to so many other great design blogs through your posts. The Cote de Texas 2018 trends link showed some gorgeous room designs! Thank you!

    • denisegk says:

      Yes to this. Maria is so confident in her content and readers that she does not display the insecurity you see with some other bloggers who write as if all their info just appears fully formed in their minds, with no external sources informing or influencing them. Perhaps Maria struggles privately with insecurity, but she is victorious over it every time she posts. it is part of why I keep reading here while I have left many other blogs behind me.

  • Rhonda says:

    Nice to read your post about steam showers. My husband remodeled one of our bathrooms last year and installed a steam shower. At the time, I thought it was a ridiculous waste of money and something we would never use, but now that the bathroom is complete, our entire family absolutely loves the steam shower. An added benefit–it has completely cleared up my teen’s acne!

  • Mary-Illinois says:

    I have a good friend that hasn’t done any decorating in the last 30 years. She mentioned to me recently that they plan on re-doing her kitchen this year. And she was getting advice on what to do from her contractor! I told her she needs to hire a kitchen designer.
    She also has all cream colored woodwork in her entire home. So her plan to do a white kitchen isn’t the best idea. If she did a wood stained kitchen should she do a cream counter & backsplash?

    • Maria Killam says:

      I’m glad you asked. When I say white, I mean true white, or off-white or blue white or cream. Whichever white works with your house! So yes her kitchen should be cream! Maria

  • Squeak says:

    I’m not wild about the new wood stain, but I love the greige painted cabinets.

  • Judy says:

    Does the molding trend say that we are moving away from the minimalism trend?

    Also, used to have a steam shower is our custom home and I miss it so much. Not for any of the reasons that you mentioned but because on a cold day I would turn it on before I entered the shower. I would be able to step into a nice warm shower without using a lot of water from the shower to heat it up. In our drought stricken area, this is a big plus. On a cold day, it was wonderful to step into a warm misty jungle-like atmosphere! I highly recommend it’s use.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Well I wouldn’t call it a new trend exactly. Metrie was one of the Modenus sponsors so that’s why you’re reading about their moulding. Thanks for your comment! Maria

  • Kay says:

    People who have steam showers had better make sure the water going into the shower is free of chlorine–it seems as though the steam might drive the chlorine even deeper into the tissues than a regular shower does. One of the problems with chlorine, aside from its drying effects, is that it fits the iodine receptors in the thyroid gland, thus displacing the iodine your body needs with a chemical it can’t use. Bromine and fluoride do the same thing, contributing to what has been termed an epidemic of hypothyroidism. When we renovated, we had a whole house water filter installed to deal with the problem.

    • Jean says:

      Thanks Kay. I was thinking the same thing. We have a steam shower that we enjoyed until we read about the chlorine issue. I think a whole house filter is the answer! Now if I could just figure out which one!

  • Liz says:

    Maria, you’re killing me! I’ve wanted that wood stain for years, but I don’t know what wood/stain combo to go for.

    What color do you call that? And which woods are trending? I’m scared of getting a yellowed oak look or a pinkish maple.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Hi Liz,
      I do not have those details, sorry! I would show this photo to your cabinet maker.
      Thanks for your comment!

  • Seamama75 says:

    Loving the wood with white! Getting ready to do this in my master bath with Calacatta marble hex floor. Does the “NO 4” backsplash, whatever you do!” always apply?? We have an awkward window situation where there isn’t room for much more than a 4” backsplash of any kind and counter top fabricator suggested 4” backsplash to match countertop, which I immediately said “NO!” to, but now not sure what else to do. Perhaps no backsplash?? We are using white subway in alcove bath/shower surround and (probably, not confirmed) a very subtle marble’ish quartz (Silestone Eternal Statuario).

    • Maria Killam says:

      It applies more in kitchens than for bathrooms, but maybe try a 2″ or a 5″ backsplash with the same matching countertop material to make it look less common? Hope that helps, Maria

    • mrsben says:

      @Seamama75: Hope you don’t mind me chiming in but having recently renovated four bathrooms, I opted for no backsplash whatsoever and not only are they aesthetically appealing but I have encountered no problems in performance. Just ensure the surrounding area is properly primed, a good quality paint is used and the countertop (mine are all quartz) is installed/sealed properly. -Brenda-
      P.S.: Should mention in one bathroom by doing so, it gave me the opportunity to install a mirrored wall (ceiling to counter top/wall to wall) which visually opened up the space.

  • mrsben says:

    Oh, if I were building a new home the ‘Mr. Steam Shower’ would be high on my priority list for sure! As for the Thermador products, do love the option of side-by-side refrigerating/freezer columns. however being being a fan of all white kitchens no black for me of any kind when it comes to appliances as have been there and done that. As for the introduction of stain wood into a kitchen space love the idea provided it does not have a pink undertone … :). -Brenda-

  • Mary S says:

    I want to call that wood stain color “pecan,” but I am the only one who would know what I was talking about!

    • denisegk says:

      Oh, I remember when pecan was last popular where I am – turn of the current century. I think you may be correct an this stain is an updated pecan. It’s not exactly the same as what I remember (though my monitor could be off b/c I’m on my laptop), but it’s very close.
      Whatever this stain is, I like that it gave me the same feeling that lightly whitewashed or limed wood does. It feels clean and bright and unfussy. While still being pretty and not yellowish. 🙂

  • love how you show the oven color side by side with the cabinets- you can see it so well!! such fun we had at KBIS- great post Maria!

  • Debbie says:

    We put in a steam shower 20 years ago when we finished our ensuite master bedroom/bath over the garage. We did it because my husband has alot of sinus problems and it has been terrific. We also used it with our son who has asthma. But I never thought about the chlorine issue.(though we use it only intermittently). I learn so much from this blog and all the terrific comments. thank you.

  • Nancy says:

    Hi Maria thank you for all the latest tips !
    What color would you call the wood they r using in cabinets !
    I’d it a
    Light brown with golden tones ?
    Thank you Nancy

  • Molly Stewart says:

    I came back to read this blog post again after reading about Sage being the hot trend for 2018 according to Pinterest and what people are pinning. To my still learning color eye, it seems sage would be a good chioce for a neutral with this warmer wood cabinet color you saw at the bath show. I am just starting to learn more about Sage and where to use it in my new (temporary) house as it has long been a soothing, easy to live with color for me. I’m curious if you are seeing Sage becoming a hot neutral or if Pinterest Pins aren’t (yet?) showing up in people’s requests.

    • Maria Killam says:

      Yes it’s coming back, slowly. . . I have a designer fabric book full of sage fabrics. But it was a big 90s colour so it will probably only be popular with younger set. . . Maria

    • Paige White says:

      I live in Huntsville, Alabama and many new home builders are using sage for exterior applications (paint and siding). It is very soothing and aesthetically pleasing in this area with our mountains and trees and looks good with other popular neutral colors of neighborhood homes.

  • Marilyn Bayless says:

    I vaguely remember a wood stain similar to the one in the first photo. I think they called it “pickled”. I like lightly stained Maple cabinets. Are they classic and timeless ? Are they ever coming back ?

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