How to Update Oak Cabinets From the ’80s
Wood cabinets can be a divisive topic. You may love them, relishing in their “real” and “solid” look and feel. On the other hand, you may think they’re too nostalgic or tacky to belong in a modern kitchen.
One thing’s for certain, though: Oak was built to last, and oak is here to stay.
If you’re feeling like your kitchen is stuck in the 1980’s, here are some steps you can take to update oak cabinets so they fit in the 21st century.
Update Oak Cabinets for Modern Style Points
Arguably, wood cabinets never went out of style, per se. Rather, specific aesthetic choices can make cabinets feel trendy or dated. Honey oak cabinets, for example, can feel like a blast to the past, as their golden tones were once a staple in ‘80s and ‘90s kitchens.
To combat accidental aging in your kitchen, we’ve compiled some of the simplest ways you can refresh your oak (and other wood) cabinets for a modern twist. These include:
- Updating cabinet hardware – One of the quickest and easiest pick-me-ups you can choose is updating your cabinets’ hardware. Look out for on-trend pulls and knobs in black, brushed gold, oil rubbed bronze, or polished nickel. You can also opt for gold or brass, but beware—these finishes can clash with the wood if you select the wrong tones. Steer clear of this by choosing antique brass.
- Painting, staining, or refacing – Painting or staining oak cabinets can certainly bring dated oak cabinets into the modern era. Don’t feel like you’re limited to just whites or neutrals—try incorporating sultry dark tones or even fresh pops of color. You can also reface your cabinets, which involves applying a veneer over the existing doors. For this option, it’s always wise to consult a professional.
- Adding glass to cabinet doors – One of the ways to give your oak cabinets a facelift is by incorporating glass in your cabinet doors. This can lessen the visual “weight” that all-wooden cabinets occasionally suffer from. Plus, you only need to refresh a few doors to make a huge impact.
- Revamping your backsplash – An elegant, contemporary backsplash will provide excellent contrast against more traditional wood cabinets. From trendy white or gray subway tiles to natural stone like travertine, the possibilities are limitless.
- Refreshing the surrounding décor – Want to update your kitchen without really updating your kitchen? Simply clear away clutter and refresh the surrounding décor! Oak cabinets have a unique grain that should be shown off. Complement their visual interest with other refreshing elements such as copper decorations, color-coordinated vases or bowls behind glass doors, plants and other greenery, a fresh utensil holder with stunning stainless utensils, or even a decorative hand soap dispenser.
These smart tips can make a world of difference in your kitchen! However, sometimes a simple refresh just doesn’t cut it. In that case, consider a fresh set of cabinets and a new perspective.
Let’s Work Together
At Special Additions, we’re here to offer our design expertise while helping you create your dream home. Let us help you achieve your next kitchen renovation, bathroom remodel, and beyond. Our quality cabinetry will elevate your space’s style and complement any taste, whether you’re searching for classic elegance or cutting-edge trends. Contact us for a free quote and let’s get to work!