In kitchen design we are seeing a leaning away from stark whites, and a leaning towards more tonal whites, especially paired with natural, true brown, lighter stained woods. With this resurgence in stains comes the rise of Quarter-Sawn White Oak (QSWO). This is an oak cut to show more of a straight grain (vs the cathedraling grain pattern of traditional oak). This is accomplished by cutting slabs of wood from the tree radiating out from the center of the tree, instead of straight through the center with successive parallel cuts. Below is an illustration of this technique.

The difference between Quarter-Sawn Oak and Plain Sawn Oak showing a log and where the cuts are made to create the unique grain patterns.

This is not your grandmother’s oak. It is sleek and modern, while still being warm and inviting. The straight grain doesn’t compete with other elements in the room, making it a perfect organic backdrop to the other design decisions happening around it. And the ‘hidden’ design bonus with oak—it is super strong and durable.

Dura Supreme Cabinetry offers quite a few stain options in our Quarter-Sawn White Oak wood species.

Several samples of Quarter-Sawn White Oak stained finishes from light to dark by Dura Supreme Cabinetry.

Quarter-Sawn White Oak can be a beautiful choice for soft contemporary styles, especially when paired with Dura Supreme’s Pearl paint finish, as seen below in the Hudson door style, a shaker door with a beveled inside edge profile:

A beautiful white kitchen with light stained Quarter-Sawn White Oak accents for the wood hood frieze, floating shelves, and ceiling beams.

Dura Supreme kitchen designed by Erica S. Caserta of Showcase Kitchens, Canton, Connecticut. Photography by Robert Harpin Photography.

Another example below in our shallow shaker door style, Parker, also paired with a Pearl, painted cabinet:

A modern kitchen with white painted cabinets and light stained Qtr. Sawn White Oak accent cabinets and kitchen island with a waterfall countertop.

Dura Supreme kitchen with cabinetry designed by Sammie Cook with Liberty Bay Cabinetry and builder WGC in Redmond, Washington. Photography by Sammie Cook.

The straight grain also lends itself quite nicely to slab door styles, like Dura Supreme’s Camden door style in a Sesame stain. A minimalistic look, but with warmth and character:

A warm & contemporary kitchen with black accents, white countertops, and light stained Quarter Sawn White Oak cabinets with a slab door style.

Dura Supreme kitchen design by Plain View Design + Build and Cabinet Haus, North Dakota.

Here is another view of the same kitchen, giving further insight into the warm, minimalistic style of the house:

Second view of the Dura Supreme kitchen design by Plain View Design + Build and Cabinet Haus, North Dakota.

With the examples above one can see how Scandinavian style, modern contemporary, soft contemporary would all be well served by Quarter-Sawn White Oak in Dura Supreme’s collection of on-trend stain finishes when paired with whites and grays.

We have also seen black finishes getting peppered in with Quarter-Sawn White Oak in the hardware choices above. Black really does ground designs, and here are a few more examples pairing Quarter-Sawn White Oak with Black paint.

A light, white oak kitchen island with a white wash like stain and black appliances, accents, and waterfall quartz countertop.

Dura Supreme kitchen with kitchen island in Quarter-Sawn White Oak.

Above is Dura Supreme’s Avery door style in a Coriander stain, with a Black painted curved wood hood, black dishwasher and Cambria quartz waterfall countertop in Blackbrook.

Below is Quarter-Sawn White Oak in Alabaster stain paired with a Dura Supreme’s Black gloss acrylic on the Allura style door in an office design.

An urban office with a contemporary Quarter-Sawn White Oak cabinets with slab styled doors.

Dura Supreme office in Quarter-Sawn White Oak with the Alabaster stain paired with Black Gloss Acrylic cabinets.

Dura Supreme also recently introduced an Onyx stain, almost black, and looks great on our Quarter-Sawn White Oak, perfect for times when you want black but with a little texture. Below is an example of this-

An almost black stained shaker cabinet door with Quarter-Sawn White Oak wood.

Dura Supreme’s Onyx stain on the Quarter-Sawn White Oak wood species.

A dark, almost black, Onyx stained Quarter-Sawn White Oak shaker door laying on a white countertop.

You can also achieve a contemporary, moody vibe with Quarter-Sawn White Oak, as shown below in the shallow-shaker door style Parker in a hanging vanity, against the backdrop of marbley-grey large-scale wall tiles.

A Dura Supreme wall hung vanity in Quarter-Sawn White Oak with the Alabaster stain.

I will finish with one more bathroom vanity, from Dura Supreme’s Furniture Vanity Collection, Style 6, in Parker, Quarter-Sawn White Oak, Coriander, with black flooring, fixtures and hardware:

Dura Supreme Furniture Style Vanity #6 in Quarter-Sawn White Oak. Design by Sammie Cook with Liberty Bay Cabinetry and builder WGC in Redmond, Washington. Photography by Sammie Cook.

As you can see, Quarter-Sawn White Oak can contribute in a big way to many of the trending design styles we are seeing today. Paired with tonal whites, pale grays and blacks, the Dura Supreme finishes offered on Quarter-Sawn White Oak just sing. If you are interested in incorporating Quarter-Sawn White Oak into your next project, your local Dura Supreme designer is well qualified to help you achieve your goals!

Sandy Kloncz is the Lead Designer and blog author for Dura Supreme Cabinetry

Sandy is the Lead Designer for Dura Supreme Cabinetry with 15+ years of involvement in the field of Kitchen & Bath Design and degrees in Interior Design and Mathematics. Sandy’s experience ranges from running all aspects of a Design+Build firm to creating beautiful cabinetry designs at Dura Supreme. She has been a judge through the Builders Association of the Twin Cities for their semi-annual Parade of Homes Tour and is continually inspired by creative uses of space, appreciating projects where form and function are blended seamlessly.

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