Oak Kitchen Transformation

Before you scroll down and expect to see oak cabinets vanish behind paint or get thrown out the window, my clients decided to keep them!

Unexpected, right?! Poor golden oak gets a bad rap (I've been known to bash it myself) but you can absolutely make it work--and that's what my clients wanted to do. After getting some quotes for painting that would've eaten up a lot of their $10K-$12K budget, and without the time to DIY, they decided to roll with it and spend the money on other goodies. 

Here's how the room looked at our first meeting:

This is a big ol' kitchen, but thanks to the green walls, appliance garages, and wood-trimmed laminate countertops, it felt dark and cramped. And that fan was low enough that all of us--who are tall--were nervous about potential head-bonking. So aside from ensuring head safety, my clients wanted to lighten things up and make the room feel as large as it really is.

I think we nailed it:

Let's break it down, shall we? 

First of all, those appliance garages were taken out to free up more counter space. The counters themselves were replaced with a solid surface from Samsung, and we emphasized some of its gray speckles by choosing a gray backsplash.

We also installed track lighting, updated the cabinet hardware, got stainless appliances, and painted the walls Balboa Mist by Benjamin Moore.

They are SO happy with the space now, and not just because there's no fan looming overhead. Even with the same cabinets, it's a new room.

Have you ever had a pull a Tim Gunn and make something work in your kitchen? Are you seeing oak cabinets in a new light? How great is this backsplash?