There are a lot of variations to white oak. Most white oak is really more of a light brown than a white, with antique white oak being an exception. Most very light brown oaks are considered white.
Now, why are these colors so popular among homeowners, interior designers, and kitchen designers?
For one, it's a neutral color. Neutral colors are very "in" right now in contemporary design because they help to bring out the subtleties of furnishings and textures.
Often times the textural components of a space can get lost in the fray. Interior designers' education teaches that a neutral backdrop creates a welcoming interior when mixed with warm textures such as rough wooden elements, shiny tiles, nubby linens, and brushed velvet.
For instance, if the walls of a room are painted in a bright red, then the bold color will take prevalence, making any textural elements disappear into the backdrop. This can make a room feel unwelcoming by omitting a layered, textural design.
Neutral colors don't overwhelm the senses. Most people consider this to be the greatest feature of neutral colors, you will seldom become weary of them. Have you ever painted a room in a bright, bold color? If so, did it take long before your grew tired of it? More often than not the answer to this question is no. Because it's so overwhelming to our senses. It's usually better to have the bright things be subtle, because then they pop more and as a result their effectiveness is increased. With neutral cabinets such as white oak, your personal tastes can come to the forefront, allowing you to show off your brightly colored appliances, or vibrant countertops.
Neutral can be applied in almost any circumstance.
We have already gone over why neutral is best for contemporary kitchens and interiors, but a wonderful thing about neutral colors is simply that they work with any style.
In addition to the color scheme, white oak cabinets are popular because they're natural and have a pleasant texture. One goal of contemporary designers is to make things feel natural. For some reason natural settings seem to bring us peace. Perhaps it's due to our roots as a society, perhaps we crave a taste of what once was.
Yet another reason white oak is popular is durability. Oak is a strong wood with a lot of structural integrity. Most high end cabinets are built with the intention of being able to withstand being disassembled and moved from one home to another. After all, if you're going to spend a lot on quality cabinets its understandable that you may want to bring them with you upon moving.