Okay, I'll say it, golden oak is out of date and needs to go away quickly and quietly! In the 1980s and 1990s, the building industry used golden oak pervasively - flooring, millwork, cabinetry, etc. It was everywhere! As an interior designer, golden oak is one of those elements that can be the most difficult to work with.

These elements can be overwhelming for home owners to consider changing out or altering. Baseboards and door/window trim goes throughout the entire home, cabinetry can be expensive (plus when you throw in redoing counters, backsplash, etc.). So, the question we're faced with is what to do the golden oak?

There are three options - keep it, paint/refinish it, replace it.  

Keep It. Obviously this is the most cost effective option. If you want to keep the oak, but minimize it's impact, the key is to bring in colors that tone down the "golden-ness." JBi worked on a project a couple of years ago in which we were not going to replace the trim in the house. We brought in a terra cotta paint color as an analogous color. The trick is to choose a color to play the dominant role while the trim color takes a back seat - work with the color not against it.

Design by JASON BALL  interiors

Design by JASON BALL interiors

Paint/Refinish It. Some homes built in this particular era are custom homes with beautiful trim and mill work. The JBi team is beginning to work on a home like this - wonderful architectural features, elegant mill work throughout. The only issue is the color of the trim - traditional golden oak. Our clients love the home, but are unsure what to do with the trim color. Part of our responsibility is to propose a solution based on their desires. The husband loves the wood and doesn't want to cover it all up or replace it. Our solution is to refinish part of the millwork and paint part of it. Below is the "before" picture of the actual space. The second picture is our inspiration picture.

Golden oak staircase (the before picture)

Golden oak staircase (the before picture)

Design by 1 plus 1 design

Design by 1 plus 1 design

Replace It. This last option gives you a full range of opportunities to change the look of a space. If the millwork is dated or in poor condition, use the chance to really update your look. The sky's the limit in this scenario!

Do you have golden oak in your home? If so, what do you want to do about it? Can't wait to hear all about it.