Honey is a golden orange color that is mostly seen in home decor as a finish for wood. Honey oak was very popular in the 1980s and 1990s, and as a result, many homes which have not been renovated still have honey oak flooring, cabinetry, and trim. Other types of wood might also have a honey-colored finish if they have had a honey oak stain applied.
If you have honey-colored features in your home, then there are a few ways to give them a more modern look by using colors that contrast or harmonize with the honey tones.
If you have honey oak features in your home, then you may have considered various ways to bring the interior style up to date.
Honey-colored wood has a distinctly old-fashioned feel, but it can be a very expensive and disruptive undertaking to replace all of the flooring in a home or replace kitchen cabinets, so instead, one way to deal with the honey tones is to find a way to make them work for you.
There are two key ways to do this, which involve using other colors to alter the way the honey color is perceived.
One way to make your space look more contemporary with honey features is to make them a focal point and embrace the color. This might sound like a strange tactic if you are someone who doesn’t like the honey look, but the results can actually make you change your mind and learn to love the honey oak.
The best way to highlight honey-colored features is to decorate using a color that contrasts with the honey. Since honey is a predominantly orange color with a hint of yellow, the contrasting colors will be blue, which is the opposite shade of orange on the color wheel, and purple, which is the opposite shade of yellow on the color wheel.
Using an opposite and therefore contrasting shade makes the other color stand out more and makes it appear more vivid. Using blue paint on the walls in a kitchen with honey oak cabinets will really make the cabinets pop.
Although drawing attention to the honey oak might seem counter-intuitive, the contrast will ensure a modern look is created, rather than a bland and dowdy look that is associated with the 1990s honey oak style.
You can also use cool shades of gray or green to contrast against the honey oak since the cool tones stand out against the intensely warm tones of the honey color.
As a dark shade of blue, navy blue creates a milder contrast with honey compared to brighter shades of blue. This makes for a space that feels appealing and easy to be in, as opposed to a heavy contrast that can feel overwhelming.
The cool tones in navy blue will make the warm tones in honey seem even more intense and help to make the honey features stand out more.
If you want to achieve a muted contrast while still making the honey features stand out, then a soft cool gray such as dove gray is a good option. This neutral color will balance out the warm tones in honey oak, but be aware of the undertones in gray because the orange tones in honey can make cool undertones stronger.
For example, if you choose a shade of dove gray with blue undertones, then when positioned next to honey oak, this color can actually read as a pastel blue instead of a pale gray. To avoid this, ensure you select a true gray which is free from undertones of blue, green, or purple.
Green provides a subtle contrast to honey because although it is a cool tone against a warm tone, it is not opposite to yellow or orange on the color wheel and therefore isn’t a direct contrasting color to honey. Sage green, in particular, works well with honey because it has gray tones in it.
Another way to make your honey-colored home decor work for you is to use analogous colors that are going to harmonize with the honey oak and, as a result, cause it to blend in and appear less obvious. This tactic for downplaying the honey oak creates a contemporary and casual style that works in any room of the home.
To find colors that are going to harmonize with the honey oak, you need to understand what the main tones in honey are. In most cases, it is a yellow-orange color, so you should therefore opt for paint and accessories in colors from yellow or orange-based palettes.
Off-white shades which have yellow or orange undertones will work well or opt for warm beige shades with orange hues, such as biscuit or tan. For a darker and more dramatic look, orange-brown shades will also work to downplay the prominence of honey oak in a room.
Ivory is a shade that sits somewhere between white and cream. It tends to have warm undertones of yellow-orange, which make ivory color an ideal warm neutral to use with honey oak since it is a yellow-orange color.
In a kitchen with honey-colored cabinets, paint the walls in ivory, and this will create a harmony of warm tones which plays down the prominence of the honey oak. The result will be a kitchen that feels more modern and inviting.
Greige is a warm shade of gray which is made up of both gray and beige. It is a very on-trend color right now because it combines the contemporary feel of gray with the comfort of beige.
Honey is such a stunning color to use with greige because greige serves to neutralize the intense warmth of honey and make it feel more stylish and modern. It is also a color that is easy to be around and easy to accessorize with, making it a popular paint color for any room in the home.