Quality Cabinets Matter in the Luxury Kitchen

Gray is, in many ways, the “new white,” and as this color takes off in popularity, designers are seeing new possibilities for this color palette.

“We do a lot of painted cabinets right now,” says Mark Roden, president of M&R Custom Millwork, in Belvidere. “I would say seven out of 10 kitchens we do these days are some version of white, off-white, gray, dark gray or light-gray.”

The trend is spreading beyond the kitchen, as more homeowners match the rest of their house to their newly remodeled kitchen. New homes, especially, are receiving painted trim in other rooms, in order to match the white kitchen.

Despite the incredible popularity of painted cabinets, don’t rule out the power of stained wood. Traditional finishes are still in strong demand, and some new styles are adding a degree of “sex appeal” to wood finishes.

In recent years, Roden has seen more requests for cabinetry where the wood is stained lightly and the grain is positioned horizontally. It creates a sleek, modern effect that pairs well with lighter-colored countertops and stainless steel accents. The doors are typically flat, with no inset.

“The grain goes left to right, and it fits well with a high-end veneer and a contemporary flat door,” says Roden.

When selecting cabinets, it’s important to know who you’re buying from. There are some pretty tempting deals online, but they’re sometimes too good to be true, says Roden.

He’s spent 40 years producing cabinetry and other woodwork all made-to-order. Custom cabinetry sometimes has a reputation for being more expensive, he says, but in reality it’s often a better value for the money. The difference lies in his ability to meet exact specifications.

Roden and his team take time to meet with clients and understand their vision. Should an issue arise, either in production or installation, the team can respond quickly.

“Some people don’t know they’ve made a mistake until it’s too late,” he says. “Then, you have to order a replacement, the factory has to make a new one, then get it to the distributor, and it could be weeks of delay. We can overcome a problem in a matter of hours or days.” ❚

M&R Custom Millwork is located at 1979 Belford North Drive, Belvidere, (815) 547-8549.