Golden Oak

The Eighties was a great time in life! Shoulder pads, big hair, and Reeboks were a part of everyday fashion. Magnum P.I., The Golden Girls, and Seinfeld were some of the best television shows written and unmatched to this day. Anyone who was anyone in high school had a Honda CRX, Pontiac Fierro, or Chevy Iroc-z. I was not anyone because I was given my father’s old cutlass supreme with a broken driver’s side door. I had to slide across the seat or jump out of the window like a NASCAR driver… so not cool. I am sure that by now you are wondering, “What did the eighties give us in the world or design that seemed to hang on until the late nineties?” Golden Oak, the eighties gave us Golden Oak everything; from trim work, to stair railings to kitchen cabinetry and complete dining room sets all of golden oak. When we look back at the eighties the lens will be framed in Golden Oak. Are you wondering if Golden Oak is gone? Yes it is gone as it should be especially as kitchen cabinets. Let’s take a peek into a Boca Grande model to see how the golden oak cabinets turned into a bright updated and timeless kitchen in white somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Soffit no moreUpdated Boca Grande model - in the Villages of Florida.
Soffits are another wonderful thing that the eighties gave us and it was a good idea back in the day. The idea of a soffit is to create a filler space so that stock size cabinetry would work in the kitchen. If the soffit was not there the cabinets would have to be much higher and the cabinets would have to be custom. Installing a soffit was much cheaper than custom oak cabinets. We did not want the major construction of tearing out the soffit so we decided to make the soffit blend into the cabinets. We added molding to the soffit and painted the molding the same white as the cabinets so that everything blended. The additional white creates the illusion that the cabinets are larger at first glance.

• Re-face don’t replace
The kitchen cabinet boxes were in great shape and did not need to be replaced so we refaced the kitchen. The old golden oak doors were removed and the existing boxes were painted white. New doors were purchased in white and these new doors where hung to replace the old doors. The new doors are larger and meet in the middle so that the painted box behind the door is barely seen.

• Replace one cabinet
Re-facers can build a new cabinet when needed. To the right of the stove the cabinet was a double cabinet and left unused and wasted wall space to the window. The homeowner wanted a longer set of cabinets with drawers. We added a long cabinet with six drawers that extended to the window, which improved function and storage space for the homeowner.

• The island
The island was wrapped in a wainscot of bead board. The application of the wainscot treatment creates visual cohesion with the rest of the cabinets and makes the island look connected to the kitchen.

• Molding on all sides
Any side of a cabinet that had previously been oak photo board was covered in molding and painted white. Finished cabinet sides always look great in an upgraded kitchen.

• Granite upgrade
The old kitchen had a Formica countertop but since we were redoing things the homeowner decided to get new countertops. She wanted light but warm too.
We chose granite that is light but had some of the browns, crèmes, and whites that are in the kitchen floor tile. This granite has a fifteen year seal that keeps the granite safe from stains.

• Full granite backsplash
The homeowner chose a full granite backsplash because she did not want any grout. The full granite backsplash often is in the same price range as a tile backsplash so why not upgrade to granite! I promote full granite backsplashes for that financial reason and a few more. I like that a full granite backsplash is a one day install and can be sealed as well. I like using all the granite that is purchased. Often when you just get the counter tops done there will be remnants left over and often they are large remnants. Those remnants go back to the yard to be sold again so try to use your whole slab because you are paying for the whole slab square footage whether you use it or not. Finally, when the under cabinet lighting is on, the granite looks so rich and shiny.

• Pull out trash
Here is a hot tip if you are having your kitchen redone and do not have a pullout trash can. When you get granite or quartz you will need a new sink. We chose a large sink with the drain on one side. Having the drain on one side will allow the garbage disposal to be moved to the drain side. That simple movement will free up one whole side of the under sink cabinet allowing you to have a pull out trash installed. If you are upgrading and you don’t have a hidden garbage can then you should consider this as an upgrade option.

• Quick note
Though golden oak will never come back, other colors of oak are still in fashion. Such as a dark oak stain or a rich brown oak stain. Also, many engineered hardwoods are oak and they have various stains that are very appealing.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below