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?

Source list:
Countertops  |  Backsplash  |  Wall Color  |  Lighting (similar)  |  Cabinet Pulls (similar)  |  Faucet  |  Teapot (similar)

7 thoughts on “Oak Kitchen Transformation”

  1. I’m not a fan of golden oak cabinets either, but I can’t believe how much better they look with all of the updates. What a bright, beautiful kitchen space!

  2. We did the same thing. We are in the middle of Reno but have already replaced countertops and added farm sink and subway backsplash. We will raise cabinets and add drawers to the bottom of them and then crown modding. We have also redone our ceiling and put in pit lights. So far, I’m loving my oak cabinets again.

  3. Elizabeth Hardt

    Beautiful! Love the backsplash. When I click on the link the tile is named Willow and is described as green… but you describe it as a grey backsplash…

    1. Paige @ The Room Kit

      Thanks for the heads up! This post is kind of old and it looks like that company doesn’t sell this exact tile anymore. I’ll try to find something similar to share.

  4. Very pretty but I could never reach that microwave. I recently lowered my microwave and put in a wood hood with my oak cabinets.

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