Minimalists have moved to sleek wood cabinets White-painted cabinets have dominated American kitchens for years. In homes built in 2012, 67 percent had white cabinets, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. This year, many consumers, builders and kitchen remodelers are moving to a warmer feel. Upscale companies (like Corian) that are known for austere systems are delivering minimalist but still mellow kitchens in oak, walnut, larch and the like. Minimalist cabinets have plain unframed fronts with recessed pulls and no trim of any kind. They are often paired with wraparound countertops. Cabinetry above the countertop often extends to the ceiling with one or two cabinets. The wood, though protected by lacquer, has a soft, raw look. Customizers offer many finishes. One interior designer lists cerused oak, bleached walnut and sandblasted fir. New York designer Russell Groves says there's more to creating a warm kitchen than cupboards. Flooring, lighting, countertops and even knobs and pulls play a vital role. Quoted in The Wall Street Journal, he likes hardware for drawers in special finishes like painted bronze and blackened steel, which punctuates cabinets beautifully. Some people want timber to come from locally grown trees so they can feel more connected to the outside.