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Golden oak kitchen updates!

December 14, 2012

We bought the house 7 years ago, at that time we loved the golden oak solid all custom cabinets...now not so much but it isn't in the budget to redo them. Eventually I think we may re-finish them but not now. I know golden oak isn't a popular choice around here but it is what I have to work with.

We are going to do new counter-tops, new sink, new back splash replace the window behind the sink and hopefully a new floor! I'm wishing as our appliances broke we got stainless but we have black and they are all new (within 3 years old)

I don't know what type of surface we are using yet it is a price factor to this. We have about 8-10 K to do this soup to nuts so I'm hoping that we can just update it all. Here are my pictures I need rec's on counter top color, flooring colors and types (tile is out and with large dogs and three active boys not sure how I feel about hard wood either)

You can't really tell but the counters are a dark green and the backspash is a white tile with green grout and random tiles with pictures of herbs on them, there is also a brick wall near the fridge) here is a link to the Photobucket of the kitchen (there is the entry way in there too which is under construction, and pictures of the cork floor I thought I liked but I don't) http://s276.beta.photobucket.com/user/toxicmommy/library/home/Kitchen -

We live coastal so I was thinking a weathered type floor in white?

We MAY be selling within the next three years so I'm looking for something that appeals to most people. I'm going to bring our personality i through accent pieces and colors. I'm looking for ideas on the wall color, counter-top color and surface type, as well as backslash ideas. I've spent tons of time looking at kitchens but not many are golden oak and if so they are all outdated like ours :)

ETA: the flooring planks were just some cork that I was trying to see if I liked not the actual floor! :)

This post was edited by threeboysforme on Fri, Dec 14, 12 at 11:55

Comments (14)

  • CEFreeman

    I don't understand the "hate golden oak" thing here, myself. If they're solid cabs, great. Many, though, were just builder grade, which just means kinda crappy. You have some gorgeous cabinets there, I think would refinish well. You could also whitewash them easily, to go with your more coastal vs. country feel.

    I'm not a decorator, nor a KD, but IMHO I think you might want to consider losing the valances? And have you considered simply removing the cabs over the peninsula and adding a/some nice pendant(s)? From what I can see in the picture, it looks like you've got lots of cabinet space.

    You know what? I was trying to figure out why this kitchen looked familiar. It's configured just like mine! But where it looks like you have a cooktop, I have a wall from fridge across, and am making a credenza for the cooktop area. Your walk-thru is where I have a door. Your door to the right is where my stove is. To the right of that, I have 16' of cabinetry that goes into the (same) dining area!

    Enough about me.
    Someone will jump in with magic suggestions and you'll be great.

  • autumn.4

    threeboys-we have golden oak. I dog on it myself but I think it's because I've looked at it for 14 years and I'd probably say that about any other kind of wood too! They were solid boxes and in good condition so we didn't want to pull them out either. If you are hoping to go into a different style with them you could just get new doors that match the boxes in color but a different style. We did replace a couple of doors and it wasn't as pricey as I thought. That was after I tried to strip and re-stain them myself. I had the stain supposedly custom matched but guess what, it wasn't even close. I completely ruined them and because it was darker there was no going back.

    So - on to your golden oak kitchen. We kept our cabs, put tile in (2 boys and a dog here also) which has been bullet proof so far. We also did a back splash and used uba tuba granite which matched better than anything we had seen and because it's not rare the price was as budget friendly as granite can be. We also changed our pulls from brass to nickel but I think ORB would have been nice too.

    Another similarity-we WILL be selling in a year or two so we did a modest update. I know nothing is for everyone but it beats what we did have and in our area most don't purchase a house and then start gutting rooms, they prefer move in ready.

    Here is our honey oak goodness (before and after):
    Granite was $2500 (installed including sink)
    Tile was $1,500 - we installed
    Backsplash was about $400 I think - we installed

    You can see we are missing the sink fake overlay - that was one I had ruined and we didn't have it back yet.

    Not a great picture but our tile (in my opinion the bigger the better - less grout):

    No worries - oak will be in and out and in again. I have been looking around at kitchens and everything is looking 'weird' to me because I am used to so much grain that maple for instance looks plastic to me because it is so smooth. Go figure! I guess I will need to look at something in between like Cherry but I don't really like red tones. On and on it goes!

    I hope this information was helpful. Good luck!

  • aloha2009

    Autumn4, I'm not fond of oak but I have to say that you really made it look nice. My eyes went straight to your backsplash and counters. It seems like often the oak just comes out so strong, but it was secondary to your more contemporary features. Great job!!!

  • herbflavor

    the cooktop in the walkway coming from the passage shown on the right is a serious issue. The most importnt thing to do here is fix that arrangement. The serpentine arrangement of the two L's in this kitchen is rather unusual.....probably a posting of an overhead of everything would be in order. The counters and backsplash replacements would be a much lower priority in this kitchen for many people.

  • PRO
    Sophie Wheeler

    Don't put money into doing something cosmetic here. The functional issues trump making it pretty. If you must do something, then just paint things and maybe take down the cabinets over the peninsula. No new counters that will take most of your budget. Save that money to create a more functional layout in a few years.

  • cawaps

    I'm going to vote with Hollysprings here: That layout looks like a real problem. If you don't do the cosmetic update, you're a few years closer to being able to do a functional redesign of the kitches. I was running through the alphabet trying to characterize your kitchen--not U shaped, not L shaped, not G shaped...wait, I think it's an S shape! The range, without a hood, in the traffic zone--not good.

  • angie_diy

    If you haven't read the post I link below, you should!

    Here is a link that might be useful: Design around golden oak

  • PRO

    The kitchen has too many functional issues to worry too much about aesthetics at this point. Save your money and address the real problems.

  • colorfast

    I also vote you should wait.

    Your user name is "3 boys for me," which says to me that you have a lot of action going on in that kitchen to get those boys fed. I have two boys and a girl so I can relate. One thing your kitchen has going for it is all that storage. If you don't have teens yet, they go through a lot of cereal (as just one example).

    I am not the layout guru some are. But I can see that it's
    a country mile from the table to the fridge for a gallon of milk, and the microwave is even farther. Plus, all the non-cooks in the family would be getting in the way of the cook. The other obvious thing I notice is that you don't appear to have a decent range hood (maybe a downdraft).

    Would encourage you to build a layout of your current kitchen. Measure the wall lengths, the cabinet lengths etc and write them all in. Scan it in and put it on a photobucket account. From there, it's pretty easy to load it onto this thread.

    I would actually start this process now and take 1-2 years to really figure out what you want. One thought I have is that you could potentially save a lot of those cabinets (especially the boxes) and reconfigure them into a new layout. Good luck!

  • threeboysforme

    Whoa! thanks for all the replies! The functionality of the kitchen isn't really that bad it works well for us. We have no storage or pantry area, the house is very small and very old. Our kitchen is very unique but for now it works.

    Autumn your kitchen looks fantastic! that gave me lots of inspiration. It made me think my kitchen could at least look half way decent even with the golden oak!

  • colorfast

    Three Boys,

    I am glad the layout works for you, but I would be unhappy in your kitchen. If I were coming from a tiny apartment and didn't have kids yet, I might buy your home not understanding how the layout would function.

    I'd rather buy your home "as is" knowing the kitchen needs redone, than buying it with a poor layout but pretty granite on top. I would feel guilt ripping out the granite and flooring you just put in.

    Do the update if it would be enjoyable and worthwhile for your family. Don't count on "getting the money back out of it" when you go to sell your home.

  • gmp3

    I am wondering if you could move some of the cabinets around to make a better layout. We did that in our last home, we had similar cabinets which we painted white. As others have said Layout will be important when you sell.

  • friend85

    autumn.4, What is that back splash called? I want it in my honey oak kitchen with our uba tuba counters.

  • autumn4

    Hi friend85 - thank you. I did really enjoy it myself. I didn't get it here but this looks to be the same thing:

    Indian Autumn and California Gold (Multi) Slate 2x4 Mosaic from South Cypress

    California Gold 2x4 From Discountglasstilestore

    We used the California Gold - if you google that you will see it at
    several places. I can't remember where we got it now but I do know it
    was tumbled.

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