Knotty and Nice: Explore the Options with Knotty Alder Cabinetry

As kitchen trends continue to offer us some of the best products and finishes that we have seen the last few decades, let’s talk about the movement away from traditional oak and maple cabinets to woods that are more natural and brown in tones.  Reclaimed wood and the farmhouse trend are still strong in design, and one wood species that work well with these trends is Knotty Alder.

Knotty Alder is one of the rustic species we offer at Dura Supreme Cabinetry. Knotty Alder is a smooth hardwood with a straight grain pattern and coloring similar to cherry, ranging from a light honey color to a reddish-brown hue. Because of the prevalence of knots, it is appreciated for its rustic, informal appearance. Knots will vary in size and distribution and will include tight, sound knots as well as rustic, open and split knots. Some knots may have open cracks that allow light to show through.

Alder may have some areas of burled wood which will appear darker when stained. Over time and with exposure to sunlight, Alder will actually become a shade lighter (mellowing) in color as the wood ages. One thing to note; it is the softest of the hardwoods, so you will want to consider the use it will get over time.

Natural Knotty Alder wood on a Cabinet Door Style from Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Alder accepts stains really well and therefore can have a light, beachy stain like Coriander, or go as dark and moody as Peppercorn. There is a stain to match any décor, whether you are complimenting your floor or countertops.  The appearance is a bit more subtle than rustic Hickory, and any knots and burling will be random when viewing a completed kitchen.  Here is a sample of what we offer:

Stain colors and finishes for Knotty Alder cabinets from Dura Supreme Cabinetry

A beautiful traditional two tone kitchen with inset doors using Knotty Alder on the base cabinets and painted white for the uppers.  The darker stain helps to even out the different tones of the Alder wood, yet the knots are still visible throughout the kitchen. 

Dura Supreme kitchen design featuring Knotty Alder cabinets designed by Kim Hoegger of Kim Hoegger Home, Texas.

Dura Supreme Knotty Alder cabinets in dark Patina Stained finish. Design by Kim Hoegger of Kim Hoegger Home, Texas.

This transitional kitchen shows off the wood variations and knots of our Knotty Alder in Cashew without being too over the top with its rustic appeal. The warm stain with grey undertones is right on trend with today's color palettes.

Dura Supreme's Highland door style in Knotty Alder with Cashew low sheen stain. Design by Molly McCabe – A Kitchen That Works, Seattle, WA

The stone wall is a great accent to this room and sets off the built-in Knotty Alder cabinets. The stain helps to even out the tone of the wood, yet highlights the knots and burling of the rustic wood.

Dura Supreme Knotty Alder cabinetry in a Hazelnut/Black Stain/Accent finish. Michels Homes, North Oaks, MN. Photo by: Landmark Photography

This two tone dry bar area shows off our weathered finish on the center cabinets, which adds to the overall rustic appeal of this small space that incorporates beverage and wine storage, as well as glass mullion doors.

Dura Supreme Knotty Alder cabinets in a combination of the Cashew stain and Weathered "A" finish. Design by Boyer Building Corporation, Minnetonka, MN

This soothing and cool green kitchen has added warmth with an island in knotty Alder in a “winter” stain.  Another transitional design that adds character by mixing the wood island with the painted perimeter cabinets, both in a simple shaker door style.

Design by Chad Esslinger Design. Photography by Picture Perfect House.

This kitchen uses a mix of old and new styles, using knotty Alder in a rich dark stain with a gorgeous stainless steel hood with brass strapping details that add to the rustic feel of the room. The brass hardware pulls it together, and the modern stainless steel range blends seamlessly with it’s surroundings

 Dura Supreme's Craftsman Panel door style in Knotty Alder with Hazelnut stained finish. Designed by Trisha Gaffney of Avenue 52 Designs. Dura Supreme Cabinets provide by Vawn Greany of Collaborative Interiors, LLC.

This gorgeous two tone kitchen in Knotty Alder with Praline finish is spot on for today's trends as well as into the future. The variations in wood tones on the center island, hood and dry bar are set off by the bright white cabinets. The
navy cabinets peeking from the butlers pantry adds another dimension to the colors, and the brass accents of the fixtures pull it all together nicely.

 Dura Supreme kitchen design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth, MN. New construction by Black Dog Homes. Photography by Spacecraft Photography.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Studio M Kitchen & Bath, Plymouth, MN. New construction by Black Dog Homes. Photography by Spacecraft Photography.

The knots add to the heaviness of this Dura Supreme door style pictured below, giving you the feeling that you are looking at an old piece of furniture that has been lovingly handed down from generation to generation.  Paired with pewter hardware and grey tone tiles, it is a beauty to behold!

The old world charm of our St. Augustine door in Knotty Alder with Heavy Heirloom distressing applied.

When it comes  to your next project, try being a little knotty and have your client consider using a rustic wood species like our Knotty Alder for their cabinets.  By educating them on the unique characteristics, showing the many different stain options, and how it can be used with today's transitional designs, they may discover what they thought was not to their taste is actually a style they will enjoy for years!

Look for my next article regarding Hickory… coming soon!

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