A frequent design dilemma that I encounter during client meetings is how to select paint colors to complement or coordinate with their honey oak trim. Here in Des Moines, many of the houses that were built in the 1980s and 1990s and even 2000s prominently feature glossy, lacquered, honey oak trim. The prospect of painting all of it, whether it’s your own time and labor or paying a professional, can be daunting. (Update: We just had the oak trim painted in our new house, and it cost a small fortune, but it was so worth it!)
But, maybe you don’t want to paint the honey oak. Some of my clients actually prefer the look of natural wood. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Honey oak can be quite beautiful.
The most important thing to understand about honey oak is that it has a color, and that color is orange. When you are selecting paint colors, furniture, and accessories or, more importantly, fixed elements like countertops and tile, it’s very important to keep asking yourself: “Does this look good with orange?”
If you are challenged by color, and many people are, this is a good time to call a professional. A good designer can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in bad decision making.
I met with a couple last week who was facing this very same issue. They had honey oak cabinets in their kitchen and honey oak trim throughout the entire home. I recommended that they use a creamy white or pale gold on the walls, which would be a drastic improvement from the stark builder’s white that they had been living with for eight years. For their kitchen backsplash, I suggested two options of marble subway tile, both of which included some golden veining.
Other colors that would look beautiful with honey oak are warm grays with green or bronze undertones. In bathrooms and bedrooms, blue-greens can also look lovely. Stay far away from any beiges with pink undertones. If you have a hard time understanding the undertone of a light neutral, look at the darkest swatch on the strip. You can usually see the base color more clearly.
Do you have honey oak trim or cabinets in your home? If so, how did you embrace it?
Do you live in the Des Moines area and need help making your home feel more like you? Give me a call today at 515-344-3140 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.