Mention the phrase “rustic cabinet” to someone and they might think of old cabinets made out of roughly hewn slabs of wood. Nothing fancy; just a mountain man spot in the woods with a few cans of food inside.

But for others, the idea of rustic cabinets is a dream come true. This is because rustic designs can be just what they are looking for. The overall concept of “rustic” in modern society has changed over the years. In fact, it is now used for architectural styles and more, meant to describe something a little closer to nature. A little rougher than the typical cabinet in terms of looks, but still comfortable and very beautiful.

So what is it that makes cabinets rustic? The wood, of course! In many homes, you’ll see cabinets made of everything from wood composites to solid wood. In each case, the color and grain of the wood is as uniform as can be. There are very few knots or variations in the wood overall. If the cabinets are of solid wood, then they are made with a higher grade of wood, chosen in order to match together well for the uniform look.

Rustic cabinets, however, avoid high grades of wood and instead opt for wood that includes more variations in color, grain, and can have more knots and other so-called “imperfections.” These are, in fact, not imperfections at all – they simply don’t have the right look that many people want for their cabinets. But if you want rustic cabinets, then this type of grade is the ideal choice.

Assuming you work with a manufacturer that fully understands your desire for all things rustic, you should be able to choose from wood taken from sustainable forests as well as reclaimed lumber. Reclaimed lumber comes from old locations such as barns and other buildings that used solid wood but are now defunct. This lumber is cleaned up and carefully inspected to make sure it is still completely usable. Reclaimed lumber can have a lot of character that new wood doesn’t, giving your cabinets that older, more worn or antiqued look. This can be the exact design that you’re looking for, making reclaimed lumber an excellent choice.

Don’t forget, once you have chosen the wood for your cabinets, you also need to choose the hardware. Consider how you want it to match, if you need it to look weathered as well, and so forth. This will give you a good indication as to what metal you should look into (Brass? Nickel?) as well as what finish you will want it to have.

Once your choices have been put together, you can begin to give your kitchen that rustic overhaul you’ve always wanted.

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