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Complete Guide to Custom Office Cabinets: Styles, Materials, and Wood

Office cabinets and furniture come in a variety of styles to fit your desired aesthetic. But, infinite choices are a little like having no choice, at all – if you don’t know what to look for. This guide provides everything you need to know when deciding the style of your custom office cabinetry and furniture. 

Learn everything you need to know about the styles, materials, and wood types available for your office’s casework. Find the right style to suit your desired atmosphere and aesthetic. And, discover how to make intentional choices regarding your office’s cabinet and furniture design. 

Office Cabinets: Styles and Materials in Custom Office Casework

Office cabinets and furniture are the first things someone notices when entering your work environment. Immediately, the tone of the room is set by your choice of office aesthetic. And the aesthetic is determined by the style and materials you choose. 

Every office incorporates wood to a certain extent – often, to a large extent. The choice of wood for your office cabinets, desk, and shelves is instrumental in creating an atmosphere. Most offices feature casework made from elegant, dark hardwoods. 


Walnut offers a rich color variation across each cut of the wood. It makes for good feng shui, in that the wood is very hard, durable, and sturdy. And, it takes well to stain, which allows you to choose the specific walnut hue your office cabinets and desk take. 


Mahogany exudes refinement and traditional craftsmanship. It features dark red grain, which becomes darker over time. Like walnut, Mahogany is very durable and resistant to damage. 


Cocobolo is a great choice to add some unique natural colors to your office cabinets and furniture. This hardwood is rare and features red, purple, and yellow hues, with dark lines running throughout. Over time, the color becomes darker and takes on an orange hue.


Ebony is a classic dark hardwood, featuring an almost pure black color. It is heavier than mahogany or walnut, and is just as durable, making it perfect for hard writing surfaces. Ebony is often used as an accent wood in office cabinets and furniture, thanks to its highly contrasting color.  

Traditional Style Office

The traditional style office cabinets and furniture feature a rich, dark red or brown hardwood. Often built-in cherry, walnut, or mahogany, a traditional office creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The architectural style for traditional offices dates back to Victorian times.

Traditional offices compliment custom ornate millwork and finely-crafted accouterment. A good complementary material for chairs is black studded leather. Lighting units within the office cabinets should emit warm, candle-like light to bring out the deep colors of the wood. 

Rustic Style Office

A rustic style office features natural wood and simple elements. Neutral colors are used to foster an unfinished look to the wood. A rustic office looks handmade like it comes right out of a log cabin in the woods. 

The rustic look often incorporates purposely distressing the wood to elicit a natural aesthetic. This style is the perfect complementary form to any room that is cold and uninviting. The natural elegance of the rustic office style balances a pale, white, tile floor room.  

Industrial Style Office

Industrial style office cabinets and furniture often incorporate black metal and hard angles. In, both, residential and commercial applications, industrial style decor has become a popular choice. The mixture of steel and wood creates a modern art deco aesthetic, which is perfect for any home office with an urban view. 

An industrial office cabinet may feature lighter wood, such as pine or spruce. Since this style incorporates steel into the weight-bearing elements, craftsmen can use softer wood without sacrificing structural integrity. To balance the cold, industrial feeling of these materials, place some potted plants around the office. 

Mid-century Modern Style Office

Like an office right out of the 1950s, a mid-century modern style office adds an unmistakable flavor to any environment. Featuring a combination of dark hardwood, manufactured hard surfaces, and glossy steel, this style exudes refinement and appreciation for architecture and art. 

Contemporary Style Office

Last, but not least, the contemporary style office is clean, simple, and minimalistic. Featuring a mixture of pale wood, matted steel, and glass, this office style exudes a modern corporate identity. Choice contemporary office cabinets and furniture to show everyone that walks in what the new-age of business looks like.

Your office should display to the world the flavor of your profession, in a way that fits your personality best. Still don’t know which office cabinets and furniture style to choose? Talk to a custom casework designer today to make your dream office a reality.