Joanna Gaines' unpainted kitchen cabinetry in her TV kitchen is the trend to have for 2024, according to experts

Embrace authentic beauty, old charm and flawless minimalism of raw, unfinished kitchen cabinetry

Joanna Gaines
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cooking might be a passion, but interior design is Magnolia magnate Joanna Gaines’s true calling, which is clear from her on-set kitchen, used to film Magnolia Table. The Gristmill, where the show is filmed, and constructed in the late 1800s, is this old piece of history. The bare stone walls, and raw, unpainted kitchen cabinetry, give this space a rustic feel that still is unlike anything we've seen on television cooking shows before.  

In a conversation with Architectural Digest, Joanna Gaines spoke about wanting to craft a completely authentic space. 'The beams were painted, and sanded down so you could see the raw wood,' she says. 'I wanted it to feel textural, simple, and clean.'

The balance of old and new is captivating, but it is the raw kitchen cabinet idea that is the real standout star. Unfinished, unpainted cabinetry is an esthetic we predict will top kitchen trends in 2024. 

Unpainted cabinets have fallen out of favor in recent years, yet they can bring warmth and character to a space that may otherwise feel cold and clinical. However, take care not to overwhelm the space with wood finishes – consider adding painted elements, and contrast tones and textures to prevent the space from looking homogenized, as in this design by Joanna Gaines. 

‘Consider ways to bring interest to the kitchen with lighting, knobs and countertops. This way you will still have some personality in your space but keep true to the core of the Shaker aesthetic of clean lines and flat surfaces,’ says Georgia Zikas, founder of Georgia Zikas Design.

There is no standard template for a traditional kitchen, similar to Gristmill, simply it must be warm, welcoming, and filled with heritage-inspired elements. Get the look by embracing softly-grained wood kitchen cabinets, or even oak cabinet kitchen ideas.

Each year there is a new ‘must-have’ paint shade for cabinetry, but well-made wooden cabinetry with beautiful graining and depth is an excellent way to achieve a timeless look. For example, this unfinished timber design has a rich aesthetic quality that is believed to be good for our well-being.

The use of natural materials has increased considerably since the 2020 pandemic and will strengthen in appeal as unpainted wood becomes a firm fixture in our modern kitchens. Not only do they have cozy-like qualities, but they are increasingly being recognized for their health benefits (reducing the amount of chemically treated items in the home). 

Shop the rustic kitchen edit

Jennifer Ebert

Jennifer is the Digital Editor at Homes & Gardens. Having worked in the interiors industry for a number of years, spanning many publications, she now hones her digital prowess on the 'best interiors website' in the world. Multi-skilled, Jennifer has worked in PR and marketing, and the occasional dabble in the social media, commercial and e-commerce space. Over the years, she has written about every area of the home, from compiling design houses from some of the best interior designers in the world to sourcing celebrity homes, reviewing appliances and even the odd news story or two.