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Kitchen cabinets today are becoming more cutting edge. Americans are turning away from traditional oak materials to more modern and exotic alternatives. According to a set of online surveys done by North America’s largest cabinet manufacturer MasterBrand Cabinets, exotic and generally more expensive alternatives are becoming more popular. Oak and maple are still at the top with the largest dollar share of purchase but both have declined in popularity over the past five years. According to the survey oak materials had a 20% decline in total dollars spent, whereas exotic woods like alder, pecan, pine and walnut grew 44% over the same period.

On average, kitchen cabinets remain in homes for 20 to 25 years before they are replaced. The kitchen is a central part of the home and “Whatever people put in there runs through the rest of the house” says Beth Dilbert, senior manager for market research for MasterBrand. More recently there has been a shift towards bolder cabinet materials, which reflects a broader move towards modern designs.

The shift has led to many more Americans experimenting with bolder woods and colors. While medium-colored finishes still make up the largest share of cabinet finishes, those that are painted or have a dark-colored finish have gained more than 40% in dollar share over the years. Many of these fancier woods also come with larger price tags and can be up to 20% more expensive.

What do you think about this shift? If you were to update your kitchen today, what type of cabinets would you want?

This article can be found in its original form on Wall Street Journal Real Estate