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Thanks to its earthy color tone and warm vibe, oak wood represents one of the best cabinetry materials for traditional kitchens. While other cabinet style trends come and go, it looks like oak designs managed to stand the test of time. It’s still a favorite material for many homeowners looking to remodel their kitchens.
Some people consider oak cabinets to look a little outdated considering the latest design trends. Before you decide to fully replace your old cabinets, however, it’s worth considering some inspirational ways to modernize them. There are lots of creative ideas you can use to update the look of oak cabinetry while still enjoying the timeless vibe of the material. Check out the following design rejuvenation techniques that will show you the surprisingly versatile side of oak kitchen cabinets.
1. Industrial Aesthetic
If you’re looking to bring some modern appeal to your oak cabinets, it’s strongly recommended to pair them with more striking materials. A good example is the use of concrete and metal accents. The combination between dark charcoal gray and warm oak wood results in a beautiful industrial vibe. The kitchen feels revitalized while benefiting from a greater tactile depth and still retaining a slight vintage element.
2. A Mix of Old And New
Oak kitchen cabinets look stunning in a transitional kitchen that offers a stylish blend of old and new elements. The wood cabinetry forms a gorgeous combination with the charm of exposed ceiling beams and other rustic details in the room. At the same time, you can easily notice a sense of modernity emanating from the stone countertop and the overall sophisticated shapes and clean lines in the kitchen.
3. Natural Style
When you’re trying to update the style of oak kitchen cabinets, pay attention to their finish. It’s recommended to leave the material in its natural state without any shiny finish that might give the cabinets a tacky look. Focus on the surrounding decorative accents to introduce a considerable modern presence. A colorful backsplash featuring geometric patterns could look stunning when contrasted against sleek oak cabinets with their natural finish.
4. Stone Flooring
Natural textures are mixed together very effectively in modern kitchen designs. If your oak cabinets feel outdated, you could try changing the flooring to refresh the style of the space. Natural stone in a dark tone works like a charm for this purpose to infuse the space with a new layer of sophistication. This is a nice modern touch to combine with honey-toned oak cabinets. There are different stone flooring colors available if you prefer less contrast and better coordination with the wood cabinetry.
5. Ambient Lighting
With the help of inventive lighting solutions, you can easily modernize the style of plain oak cabinets. Choose recessed lights, spotlights, or light strips to warm the space under the cabinets and create a cozy look. Use a flat front cabinet to make a focal point while open shelving brings an airy vibe to the space. Another beautiful detail is the polished finish of streamlined hardware that complements the oak cabinetry very well.
6. Quartz Countertop
Oak kitchen cabinets show off an impressive level of flexibility considering how easily they can be integrated into modern spaces. Quartz countertops look particularly sleek when used on a kitchen island that features oak cabinetry. It’s a sure way to modernize the kitchen and create a contrasting textural effect. The sleek white surface blends elegantly with the rich details of the wood. A distressed brick wall matches the same neutral vibe for a cohesive kitchen design.
7. Timeless Look
A rich shade of brown manages to bring out the timelessness of oak kitchen cabinets. Take a look at this modern kitchen designed with a strong rustic flair that exudes pure comfort and luxury. The antique bronze hardware looks like a perfect match for the painted oak cabinets. Despite minimal furnishings, this kitchen boasts a distinctive sense of richness through the powerful visual impact of its materials. The marble veining complements the natural style of the wood grain.
8. Two-Tone Design
Many traditional kitchens can feel a little overwhelming due to the strong presence of wood materials. A two-tone cabinetry design represents a simple way to bring a sense of visual balance while also adding interest. Keep the upper oak cabinets in their natural state and paint the base cabinets in a contrasting color. White or other neutral tones work best to make the visual transition more comfortable. However, vibrant color shades can also be used well if you prefer a bolder statement.
9. Customized Appearance
Thanks to its neutral color style, oak wood cabinetry can be conveniently used as a solid decor base to incorporate splashes of color in the kitchen. Making a customized appearance is a breeze if you pick your decorative accessories carefully. It doesn’t matter if your oak cabinets aren’t open because you can create a gorgeous display around them to personalize the entire area. Even simple ceramic planters can bring a nice touch of green to mix with the natural wood tone of the oak cabinet.
10. Ultra-Modern Finish
Oak cabinetry might not seem like the first choice for crafting an ultra-modern kitchen look. However, the unparalleled versatility of the material makes it possible as shown in this beautifully-finished kitchen with integrated oak cabinets. The rough texture makes a good contrast with the smooth surface of the countertop. The simple straight lines of the kitchen island cabinets help to create a sleek minimalist kitchen style.
11. Dark Oak Cabinets
If you’re looking for a way to give oak cabinets a stylish modern twist, try using a dark color scheme. Together with a polished concrete floor and elegant granite countertops, this black kitchen looks fabulous. The main attraction is the dark finish of the oak cabinets which creates an ultra-modern vibe. For added sophistication, the color scheme incorporates silver elements that provide some much-needed contrast. The large stretches of black-toned cabinetry can feel a little overwhelming for some homeowners though.
12. Kitchen Centerpiece
No matter how stylishly finished, oak cabinets can overpower your kitchen if you don’t manage to distract attention away from them. It’s a good idea to use a kitchen centerpiece that balances the visual weight of the cabinets. You can use whatever element makes a distinctive statement or simply stands out. A good example is a geometric tile backsplash or a certain grand-looking appliance.