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oak: how to embrace it

You know how our mothers used to say they wished they had kept their bell bottom pants because they will come back in style. Well that is how we feel about oak. Oak has been widely used in so many applications but for a span of time a few years ago, everyone had a large dislike to the product for three main reasons:

· It has too much grain

· Its orange/yellow/red

· It looked too country

But then the trend changed from oak to a smooth wood grain. You couldn’t find a cabinet line that carried a painted oak cabinet. All painted finishes were done in a smooth wood grain like pine, poplar, MDF or maple. Java or blonde tones became the hottest new thing and then gray was born and BAM…now we have a new found appreciation for oak again…just like those dang bell bottoms!

Now oak is seen to be one of the most versatile wood species. Its texture takes on different tones very well. It can take on everything fromsuper dark Java to beachy white-washed and anything in between. Grays on a natural oak tone or even a weathered worn piece offer up the perfect blend between modern and farmhouse…hence the new trend. Farmhouse for those who appreciate character, warmth and charm that is relaxed but adding other modern elements to contrast that such as blacks, metals and clean accessories balance the two beautifully. Its one of our most popular and requested design styles from clients. From wall panels to accessories, oak is found in many tones, styles and applications.

A common request is to update or incorporate all the existing oak trim in their home with their kitchen. While you can paint it, which is labor intense and costly, you can learn to embrace it by keeping it as is and complimenting it with other design aspects that provide a bigger return on its investment. Often a client has oak cabinets in their kitchen and together with all that trim, it just feels like a sea of oak. Here are a few inspirational design elements that tie oak in with a new kitchen or how to put some lipstick on that big oak pig (cabinets) with a DIY to add years to their life without a full kitchen remodel.

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