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The Honey Oak Dilemma...

During our initial consultation my client voiced how much she would love to have built-in cabinets flanking the fireplace. She wasn't sure what it should look like or how to make it happen but it was at the top of her list.

There were a couple of challenges. First was the limited depth for the cabinets. Because of the window location we only had about 20 inches to work with. Second was the existing honey oak trim and paneling. She made it clear that painting over all of it was not really an option and that her husband is not the biggest fan of painted wood. She had been contemplating building cabinets and staining them to match the existing wood color.

This home has white painted trim and doors in the front half of the home and stained honey oak in back half. Knowing that painting every inch of the trim in back half of home was a closed door, at least for now, I had to sell them on the fact that adding new, updated cabinetry in a dated color would not be the best choice. This is truly the hardest part of my job. It's a delicate thing but it goes with the territory.

It took some convincing; mostly with Mr. Client but we got er done. I know a lot of wood purists who cannot fathom why you would paint over quality woodwork and I totally get that but when the color is dated it leaves you with few options: ugh, live with it (not great for resale), re-stain it, paint it or pull it out and replace.

In this case we did a combo of painting over and building new. We worked with a cabinet maker to bring my designs to life and into their new home. We painted them, along with the existing crown molding and mantle surround, in White Dove. We also painted the walls, which were a pale yellow, in Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray. Painting the walls gray toned down some of the warm tones coming from the honey oak.

I love how it turned out but more importantly, both Mrs. and Mr. Client love it. What do you think?

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