Honey oak was once one of the most popular colors for cabinets, wooden furniture, and flooring.
Houses decorated in the 90s and early 00s are often full of this yellow and amber toned wood that can seem pretty glaring to the modern eye.
While at one time honey oak was the biggest thing in flooring and cabinets, it’s now fallen out of fashion.
Trends nowadays lean towards the natural, with the obvious staining of honey oak indicating a perhaps slightly old-fashioned mindset.
But if your honey oak flooring is in good condition, you want to avoid ripping it out and starting again.
In this guide, I’ve taken a look at the ways to soften your honey oak floor, and update it with modern styling.
These furniture choices will ensure you can continue enjoying your honey oak flooring until it comes back in fashion!
If you’re looking for an easy way to make your honey oak flooring feel more contemporary, then warm neutrals are the answer.
These embrace the yellow and orange undertones of honey oak, while softening the overall appearance. Think creamy colors rather than golden beige.
A pale neutral can give the room a fresh feel, and allow for some pops of color elsewhere in the decor.
Mushroom colors also work in this category. They have a natural appeal that won’t seem too stark against the honey oak wood.
Warm neutrals are the perfect choice if you want a welcoming space that will tone down the bold honey color without creating a statement.
Mixing woods can be a tricky task, but it might be worth it on a honey oak floor.
In the 90s, the top furniture choice to complement honey oak was… more honey oak. You probably want to avoid this.
Instead, use simple and dark woods to form a strong contrast with the orange hues of the floor, and bring a simple style to the room.
Be careful with the undertones of the wood, and make sure they play nicely with the overtones of honey oak.
Gray has been one of the biggest things in interior design for the past few years, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere quickly.
Gray walls, gray floors, gray cabinets, gray furniture — it’s a massive trend, and one that many of us have embraced.
When it comes to the honey oak floor, gray can be a little tricky to deal with.
Cool grays can look dull next to the honey floors, and they have a tendency to bring out the worst in each other.
Warm gray furniture, on the other hand, can look exceptional. Think of greige shades, which will tone down the yellow while embracing the warmer aspects.
Another advantage of gray with honey oak is that gray is so popular, you’re likely to find something that you like to go with your floors.
Cool Blues And Greens
While cool grays can often be an unappealing contrast with honey oak flooring, blues and greens are a surprisingly good option.
While a cold gray will turn dull next to a warm honey oak floor, a strong blue-green creates a bolder contrast that causes both colors to pop.
I would recommend sticking to the lighter end of the spectrum, soft green is a fun way to experiment, but that doesn’t mean a good navy can’t work wonders next to a honey oak floor.
These colors are just such a juxtaposition to the honey warmth that rather than seeming mismatched, they work to even the hues out.
You can either use this furniture with a light wall color, to create a better balance. Or, go all in with darker shades for an intense design statement.
Black Or White
White and black next to honey oak tends to work best for furniture that might otherwise have been natural wood.
Because mixing woods is a tricky design prospect to get right, it can be easier to create an obvious design contrast using black or white.
Because these shades are so simple, you don’t have to worry about cool or warm tones. Instead, you reduce the color palette for an easier time decorating.
If you’ve decorated with white walls or a white trim, white furniture might be your best match.
Honey Oak Leather
Leather furniture can be difficult on honey oak floors, because you risk the same contrasting shades as different woods.
But while honey oak leather might not be the most modern of design choices, it can lend the room a vibe that’s a little more vintage, and a little less out of date.
If using a matching leather, go for sleek and simple styles, rather than large leather couches.
But avoid honey oak wood furniture. This will just emphasize the glaring orange tones of the floor, and take the house right back to the 90s.
Style Rather Than Color
Honey oak may no longer be the most popular choice for home decor, but it does have the advantage of being reasonably adaptable to other coloring, especially when used on the floor rather than the cabinets.
If you have a honey oak floor, rather than focusing on color, you may find it easier to think about style.
Contemporary styled furniture can lift honey oak, and add a modern twist to this old-fashioned floor color.
Avoid overly fussy furniture styles that will drag the floor straight back to the 90s.
Instead, sleek designs will allow you more room to experiment with color, as you won’t have to worry about a noticeable mismatch with the floor.
Decorating around a honey oak floor isn’t as difficult as it first seems!
This once popular floor color might not be seen as the most stylish choice anymore, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be given a contemporary update with smart styling choices.
Use colors that will bring out the natural honey warmth, and tone down the brassy orange shades that date the flooring.
And if you’re struggling to find a color match, few things work better than black and white.