Oak has been popular in the 1980s and 1990s. In fact, oak cabinet styling and furnishings remain a popular choice among kitchen builders even to this very day. Even people who design bathrooms and laundry rooms prefer oak cabinets.
It’s easy to see why. Oak is a very sturdy wood. It can definitely last a long time if you know how to properly care for it. Also, when oak is used in certain dryer and colder parts of the country, it won’t rot or develop nasty spots of blemishes.
The challenge with oak is how to use it so it gives your room a fresh look. The problem is a lot of people have this impression that if you use any kind of oak furnishing, you have an interior space that is outdated.
The key here is how do you freshen up the overall look of your interior space without having to let go of the oak cabinets or furniture that you have fallen in love with for many years? Here are just some oak cabinet decor ideas.
1. Paint them over
The best way to change the look of your oak furniture is to simply paint them over. This way, you preserve them and give them a new look at the same time. It’s always costly to have to replace them. It’s also a waste of perfectly good oak if you just throw them out.
Timeless colors for painting over oak cabinets include white, gray, black, taupe, or cream. You can also add new hardware to complement your newly painted oak kitchen cabinets. Some glass backsplash, laminate countertops, or other elements can showcase more than designs.
If you have the budget for it, you can take things to a whole other level and replace your counter with stone. Keep in mind that you don’t have to actually get the real thing. No need to go with real stone if you don’t have the budget for it. There are lots of faux stone countertops in the market.
As long as you don’t plan on doing some heavy duty cutting and chopping on your kitchen countertop, low cost decorative tops can add quite a bit of pizzazz to your kitchen area-even if you are stuck with older-looking cabinets.
2. Dual tones
You can have a dual-toned kitchen that will go well with your oak cabinet. You don’t have to have a consistent oak theme for all your cabinets. Try painting over some of them while keeping the others in their natural color.
The key is to have a nice little variation between oak elements and non-oak colored areas. Some are overwhelmed by too much oak while some prefer the oak overload. But employing dual tones is a clever way to break this pattern.
Just how will you mix the oak and colors? It all depends on your personal preference as well as the current look of your kitchen. Sometimes, a strict almost mechanical interval of oak and other colors can seem a bit off. To save time, money, and possibly headaches, start on one small part of your kitchen and see how it looks. Scale up to the rest of the space but make sure to mix things up to ensure that this pattern looks good throughout your kitchen.
3. Add light hues
Oak is usually a weighty color. It can’t be too much. So try to add some lighter shades to the room to break the oak color saturation. You can employ white flooring, light countertops, you can even put up pale wall paint. You can then provide accents into the room by providing cheerful shades such as orange or yellow.
4. Mix things up
The rules of the past no longer need to apply today. Trends that tend to be matched together before may still work today but are not considered the only themes that will work for everybody. You can pair up various wood tones together and still get a fantastic finish. Even tones that may seem a bit ‘off’ can actually work if mixed and matched with other tones. The key is to experiment with a small part of your kitchen and see how the change will play out when scaled up to the rest of your space.
You can enhance oak with a walnut stain and then fuse it with rustic or natural wood to emphasize the grain. Also keep in mind that you are not stuck with just one type of walnut stain. They do come in a wide range of hues. Again, play around with different hues until you get just the right match that works all day every day.
5. Contemporary and clean
Oak is an amazing piece of wood and, even without enhancing it, can provide a tremendous amount of color and personality to any kind of interior space. To say that it looks good would be an understatement indeed.
You can still, however, add style to it by installing modern handles, sleek design countertops, as well as fixtures, a backsplash, and modern shapes, which will also add style to that overall clean oak look. You can introduce some art pieces or accessories to the room to balance the heaviness of the wood.
One commonly used oak accenting technique is to use modern handles with some oak or woody accents to them. This way, you get the best of both worlds-you get nice modern accents while referring back to the overall oak theme of your kitchen. Using this technique, you get to have your cake and eat it too.
Make no mistake. You can even put in plants to add a little bit of greenery in addition to the oak. Don’t think that since you have a lot of oak to work with that you are somehow stuck. You’re not. The only limit to how you can spruce up the oak overload is your imagination and creativity.
Oak is a neutral, saturated, and heavy color that has a lot of personalities. It can make your cabinets look dated. But this doesn’t mean that you have to throw out the oak. You can supplement it, work with it, and paint over it so you can still use it in this day and age.
Don’t feel that just because you’re dealing with oak that you necessarily have to spend a tremendous amount of dollars getting that interior space up to date. You have a lot more options than you care to realize.