It is with a grin and a “yes we can” state of mind, that I bring you this long overdue post. My question for you is, have you ever heard anyone say, I JUST LOVE MY HONEY OAK WOODWORK? ha
I’m sure there are people. And perhaps soon, there will be more, as it’s so wrong it’s almost right. But the honey oak/country/90’s/builder-grade cabinetry and trim many of us, INCLUDING MYSELF, live with, is just plain…………………………………………………………………………………
The trouble I have experienced, and perhaps you can relate, comes when I try to settle on a new direction. Painting everything white has long been my favorite solution, but in the wood obsessed Midwest, you fear resale issues.
So for my fellow design loving, oak wincing, trend loving, DIY’ers, why don’t we explore ways to modernize around the woodwork without actually changing the finish. Believe it or not, there are ways! Here are my favorites-
1. High contrast paint color. Love this example. There is something about the charcoal gray that immediately gives these “vintage” :) cabinets a young, fresh chance (the modern table helps too). Much better alternative to shades of tan, gold, or anything in the red/orange tuscan range. If you’re afraid of the dark, Benjamin Moore’s sparrow AF 720, is a great, touch lighter/warmer alternative.
2. Mix it up. Just because your woodwork isn’t ideal doesn’t mean you have to give up the dream. Don’t feel pressured to go ALL traditional to match. Pair the wood with decor you love. Mix finishes. Be bold. This room (by Caitlin Wilson) is a real inspiration, check out more here.
3. Add white. Isn’t this cute? At first glance I thought, I would have turned down that oak dresser… But in this context it shines! I believe in the power of white. There is no rule against the mixture of painted white wood and natural finishes. Mixing the 2 gives you the best of both worlds in my opinion.
4. Clean the lines. Your honey oak, when paired with too many cluttery accents, really starts looking country. So keep the lines very clean and the stuff minimal. This is a great example, and I have to say, I wouldn’t have considered this paint color? But it really works, and we learn everyday…
Readers, I hope this has opened your mind to possibilities.
(thank you lovelylalaland.com, Caitlin Wilson, apartmenttherapy.com, and Marvin Windows and Doors for the inspiration)