Sylvester Stallone's kitchen gives the appearance of a modern rustic space thanks to this underappreciated material

Faux wood is low maintenance but has a high-value appearance – and it's celebrated in the Rocky actor's kitchen

Sylvester Stallone
(Image credit: Photo by Elisabetta Villa/Getty Images)

Unpainted, wood kitchen cabinets are an eternal staple in kitchens. They add a rustic quality to the culinary space and tap into current trends such as Japandi and organic modern; however, a caveat of these fixtures is their maintenance. 

As a porous surface, particular attention must be paid to cleaning products and accessories. For those looking for the natural appearance of wood with minimal care requirements, laminate is the answer.

Look no further than Sylvester Stallone's kitchen for inspiration: the Rocky star posted a photo of his home to his Instagram page, and his shiny, faux wooden cabinets pair well with the silver handles and appliances. The appearance is anything but cheap. In fact, the sheen makes the space feel clean and refined.

Though laminate may be slightly lower in price than natural materials, experts say that the benefits of this finish make it just as valuable in its longevity.

'First, they are super easy to keep clean,' says Michele Iapicco, Principal Designer at Iapicco Design Studio. 'You can clean them without worrying about water damage or harsh chemicals affecting the finish. Also, as they tend to have an MDF base, they are more cost-effective than solid-wood kitchen cabinets.'

The variety available within this finish is also a perk: one can achieve an intricate wood appearance, like Stallone's, or go for a marble or even printed or patterned look.

'There are so many styles and colors available you're no longer limited to white, grey, or golden-oak look,' Iapicco explains.

kitchen with white and exposed wood cabinets

(Image credit: Future PLC)

These faux wood cabinets work well beyond the kitchen, particularly in spaces where sinks or water is present and splashes are inevitable. 'I recommend laminate cabinets to clients on a budget and/or are looking for low maintenance in both kitchens and bathrooms,' she says.

Styling around laminate wood is much the same approach as it would be styling around real wood – an inclusion of natural materials and versatile colors is the best approach to making a kitchen space look cohesive and on-trend.

'For a modern rustic look, wood cabinets should be accompanied by warm neutrals, like creams and browns – in the kitchen, this could be in the form of wood utensils or linen dish towels as accessories,' Jennifer Ebert, H&G's editor suggests. 'We're seeing an increasing number of celebrities tapping into the wooden kitchen movement, so, if you're following suit, you can rest easy that you're in the best of company.'

Shop the edit

Below, find some kitchen accessories that elevate faux (or real) wood cabinets.

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.