Houzz Logo Print

Need help working around our 80’s honey oak cabinets and black counter

Sunshine Anderson
2 years ago
last modified: 2 years ago


We recently purchased a new townhome and our 1983 original kitchen needs updating. We dont have the budget for a full remodel and everything is solid and well-built. What would you do?

Here’s our kitchen:

So far, we’ve removed the backsplash, marble floor, and pendent light. We’ve installed new porcelain floors, closed the wall nook, and purchased new stainless-steel appliances (to be delivered soon). Here are the new floors:


Now that the floor is down (albeit still dirty and unfinished) I am panicking. The orange toned, oak, bead-board cabinets, along with the black granite countertop feels unsettling and outdated.

Here is an upclose photo of our cabinets:

Here is a link to our counter:


I need backsplash, wall paint, and new lighting that will work cohesively with the fixed elements of the kitchen for a more transitional, Architectural Digestesque design style. The new flooring is neutral and looks great with light woods, grays, beiges and especially medium/dark wood. The rest of our home has varying wood and marble elements and the dinning room (off the kitchen) backs into a wooded area. How do I finish this off?


Option 1

Dramatic minimalism - Paint the walls Sherwin Williams Assessable Beige. This color seems to work with the floors, black counters and tones down the orange in the cabinets. Look for a plain Greige backsplash that closely matches Sherwin Williams Assessable Beige paint color so that the backsplash blend into the walls almost seamlessly. Tie in the black countertop with a black post-modern pendent light and consider painting the kitchen ceiling dark.

Link for possible paint colors:

Option 2

Earthy - Install a pistachio (tan/green) colored backsplash and a dark wood pendent light that has some movement. Paint color TBD.

(Side note: I have two subway tile samples (3X12 and 3X6) that are slightly different shades of pistachio. I loved them in the store but it felt too retro once I got them home and next to the cabinets. The large white flush mount light (which I am open to replacing or keeping) currently has florescent bulbs which we are replacing with LEDs. The backsplash colors and and bead-board cabinets may will look different once the bulbs are replaced.

Here is an inspiration photo:

I am open to any thoughts, suggestions, options, new ideas, renderings, feedback, etc. I am afraid I’ve gone down a rabbit hole. Thank you all so much!

Comments (37)