Cabinet advice needed.
Hello, I've been lurking here for awhile and love the advice I get from that alone. We are currently designing our new kitchen but have run into some stumbling blocks. First our budget is for red oak, we may upgrade to knotty alder or poplar (although i don't want to). I really like the look of the dark chocolate with red undertones. However the samples we have tried make the oak look very 70s due to the grain pattern. We have just sampled penetrating and wiping stains so far. We are planing on trying the General finishes java gel stain to see if we like that look better. I guess my question is what is the most cost effective way to get the look we want which is a rich color with understated graining. Should we put the money into a different wood or into the finishing?
Here are two looks that I like.