How To Make Oak Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern? (10 Tips For Update)

Oak kitchen cabinets are warm, welcoming, and never considered old-fashioned. They have been one of the most popular choices for decades.

Their timeless and evergreen appeal compliments the kitchen and gives it a modernized look. And it is a fact that oak’s durability gets even better with time. 

If you wish to modernize your oak kitchen, then begin by removing old-creaky woody cabinetry. Firstly, think of bettering the aesthetics.

But what do you do when your wood cabinets are still usable and in good condition? 

The challenging task is creating a modern oak kitchen out of existing woody cabinets.

Do not worry; here in this article, we will give you our best ten ideas that can help you modernize your oak kitchen cabinet. 

Top Ten Ideas To Make Your Oak Kitchen Cabinets Look Modern

Here are the top ten ideas that can uplift the look of your oak kitchen:

1. Replace Old Hardware

The first step towards modernizing your oak kitchen is replacing all of that old hardware in the kitchen. 

Yes, replacing a few pieces of hardware, especially the handles of the cabinets, would uplift the look of your cabinets. Choose hardware colors for your oak cabinets based on their contrast.

Fixing the handles won’t be a good idea because they’ll deteriorate after a certain period. Hence replacing them in the first go is worth it.

2. Add A New Backsplash 

You’re free to add an extra touch to alter your kitchen’s look. An additional piece of hardware with lighter tones can provide an uplifting experience. You can also modernize the oak kitchen using lighter countertops and stainless steel appliances. 

Yes, you add a new backsplash to your oak kitchen with bright and appealing colors. You can find some excellent glass-tile backsplash in the market. All you need to do is choose the right cabinetry backsplash that matches your kitchen’s undertones. 

3. Install New Lighting Options 

The right choice of lights can elevate the appearance of your oak kitchen. You can use conventional kitchen lights and invest in under-cabinet LED lights. 

Installing an LED strip under the wood cabinetry can give you some benefits:

  • Brightens the countertops with clean lighting
  • It comes in several lighting shades; you can choose the shade according to your preference. 
  • Provides an advanced appeal to the room
  • Warm lighting makes you comfortable, and it looks very pleasant as well. 

4. Update Fixtures

When you are ready to transform your oak kitchen into a modern kitchen, there are several changes that you have to make. 

Like painting the walls, adding theme-specific, etc., updating the fixtures is equally important. Yes, check and repair everything that appears faulty. Yes, fix the plumbing issues, sinks, etc. 

Again, if you expect the fixtures to go off anytime soon, the best idea is to replace them.

5. Modernize Your Countertops

Searching for the right countertop is quite a challenge. But, modernizing the countertops can elevate the feel of your oak kitchens. Yes, there are several types of countertops available in the market. 

Regarding what color countertops go with an oak kitchen, several shades such as veined white, beige, classic white, gray, and even black look superb. 

The real beauty of the countertops depends on certain conditions as well, such as:

  • Trend options
  • The look and feel of the countertops depends on the elements in the kitchen
  • Lighting options (lighting changes the way things appear, artificial light and natural light can create a day and night difference)

6. Update Your Appliances (Fridge Etc)

To rework your oak kitchen, you must consider adding or updating the kitchen appliances. Modernizing the kitchen would certainly require modern appliances. 

Add or update kitchen appliances like refrigerators, microwave ovens, kitchen chimneys, toasters, grillers, etc. These appliances play a crucial role in enhancing and uplifting the look and ambiance of your kitchen. 

Due to the shiny surfaces, stainless-steel appliances go well with oak kitchens with white-ish or grayish accents. 

7. Add Glass To Some Of The Doors

Cabinets with some fine glass doors are a pure show-stealer, and they never go out of style. They give your kitchen a classic, elegant, and neat look.

Shiny glass surfaces, textured glass, and frosted glass are not only popular but also highly admired among home geeks.

Again, these act as good reflectors for artificial and natural lights propelling an aesthetic ambiance in your kitchen. 

So, install glass doors if you wish to give your old oak cabinets a modern touch. 

8. Paint Your Cabinets

You can give your kitchen cabinets a brand-new look by using chalk paint. Or you can paint them with some beautiful and eye-catching shades.

You can use neutral colors like cream, taupe, black, white, and even gray considered the best shades for kitchen cabinets.

Painting your kitchen cabinets with the right type of paint will help you preserve their integrity and give you a fresh look!

9. Wax Your Cabinets 

If your oak cabinets in the kitchen are still in usable condition, then you can just wax them using Briwax.

Briwax Wax Polish

Suppose you don’t want to change your cabinets; then, there are plenty of alternatives to restore the appealing appearance of your oak cabinets. 

You must take some Briwax using a soft-bristled brush or a microfiber cloth. Make sure that you apply a very thin layer to the cabinets. Using too much wax would take much more to buff it out.

You can read more about how to lighten dark wood kitchen cabinets using stain or bleach in our other article.

10. Add Decorative Elements 

To get a perfect homely feel rather than an industrial feel, you should invest in decorating your kitchen with art-like wall prints and plants to uplift the aesthetics. 

Some tall cupboards, under-lightings, traditional lights, flowers, and other accessories uplift any room’s look. 

Keep Your Cabinets Clean And Shiny

One more tip: To keep your oak cabinets at their best, you must do some maintenance.

Kitchen cabinets collect grease, making dirty cabinets look dull over time. Fortunately, cleaning wood kitchen cabinets and removing a sticky layer of grease is relatively easy.

But cleaning them is not a one-time task, so make it a routine. You can plan to clean lightly every week and the entire kitchen every six months. 

The Bottom Line

So, how do you plan on implementing your ideas to elevate the look and feel of your oak kitchen? It is quite a task, isn’t it? There is not much to worry about; all you have to do is decide and implement that. 

You can opt for your personal preference, but the 10 ideas can guide you along the way!

Again, it is worth noting that each accessory and equipment like fridges, countertops, and lights work together to give you a pleasant and modern look! So, choose accordingly!

The color of the walls dramatically influences the mood of your kitchen and how your oak cabinets look. Therefore, you can choose wall shades that harmonize with the honey oak’s golden tones and complement them.

We will discuss what paint color goes with honey oak cabinets in another piece of article and offer suggestions and guidance for choosing the right tone.

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