golden oak floors

by | Oct 13, 2022 | 1970 home renovation, All Things Home, My House | 38 comments

Let’s talk about the cause of the upheaval in our house and the reason Jeff and I are still living out of suitcases – the wood floors.  We knew that we would get the floors installed ASAP so when we do finally settle in the house, we can completely settle.  We won’t have hardwood floor installation and refinishing looming overhead.  As I shared before, that is a decision that I know we won’t regret, but we’ve been in the house for a month and still have stuff stacked everywhere.  It’s prolonging one of the uncomfortable parts of moving into a house.  It’ll all be over soon, though, because the golden oak stain went on the floors yesterday and we’re now in the finishing stage of the project.

Let’s talk about the golden oak stain we’re using on the floors since a few people have asked about that choice as I’ve shared on Instagram.

After going through the painful process of refinishing old oak floors and staining them in a trendy (at the time) dark walnut stain, I’ve learned that the tone of wood floors is something that waxes and wanes with the prevailing decorating look.  When the walnut stain started feeling dark and heavy, we sanded the floors down (again) and left them raw.  I felt paralyzed at picking out a finish, so I did what people have done for hundreds of years and lived with raw wood floors.  (You can read about living with raw wood floors HERE.)

When we installed hardwood floors in our MN house, we had existing hardwood floors to match, so the decision was already made for us.  I just went with what was there.  With our new 1970 rancher, I decided to do the same thing.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

The wood floors that are in most of the home are traditional 2 1/4″ oak with a golden oak stain.  Of course, the floors have been aging for 50 years, which has caused the original oil-based finish to amber over time.

When I look at the decorating trends of the past 10-15 years, there has definitely been a push to de-orange floors and furniture.  There is nothing wrong with that and I’ve even felt exasperated at times with how orange-toned floors look in photographs, but we need to acknowledge that it’s a trend.  There is nothing wrong with following trends either, but we need to be aware, so we can make timeless, classic choices where it matters and follow trends in things that are easy to change and update.

I also realized in my MN home that some of my favorite pieces were old wood that has ambered over time.

antique pine cabinet | miss mustard seed

I know many people were cringing during the painted furniture trend, but I find myself cringing at the furniture stripping trend that is dominant online.  So much lovely patina is being stripped away.  But, I’ve always been a champion for making things your own, so if stripping a piece makes it work with your aesthetic, then do it and don’t worry about it.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

If I had seen these floors 10 years ago, I probably would’ve immediately wanted to refinish and de-orange them along with installing new hardwoods.  But when I saw these floors when we looked at the house the first time this summer, they felt right.  They are warm and fit the age and style of the home and, more importantly, I can make choices that work with them.  And, lucky for me that blue and orange are complimentary colors!

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

So, I didn’t even think of refinishing them, even with their imperfections and wear.  I also didn’t think seriously about going with anything different in the three rooms where we’re having new hardwoods installed.  We did look at some prefinished options just because it makes the installation process so much quicker, but we really wanted floors that felt like they belonged in this house and matched the other hardwoods in the home.  Our 1940s cape cod had three different hardwoods in the house and it felt disjointed.  I didn’t want that for this house, especially since it’s all on one floor.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

One of the floor installers said to me, “I have to keep reminding myself that I am installing raw wood floors instead of prefinished.  We install raw wood so rarely these days.”

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

It’s a longer process, but know it’s the right decision for the house.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

Now, I have to admit as I looked at the raw wood floors, I was questioning my stain choice.  They were just so beautiful raw and would look amazing with a clear coat of finish.  But, it would create that disjointed look I was striving to avoid.  The new would clearly be new and the old clearly old.   It would push me into a position where I would feel the need to refinish all of the other floors at some point for the sake of cohesion and I really didn’t want to do that.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

So, yesterday, the golden oak stain went on the floors and it really is lovely.  It’s not going to be as amber-colored as the old hardwoods, but none of the new floors touch the old, so we can get away with it.  When you see the new and old floors in one view, they look and feel very cohesive.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

They are being finely sanded and finished today and I can’t wait to see how they look with a little bit of gloss.  The finish always elevates wood and I know these will look great.

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

golden oak floors | miss mustard seed

Sigh…almost done.  Hopefully, we’ll get to move into these rooms over the weekend and start to truly unpack.  It will feel so good!

Tomorrow, my mom and I are heading to the Lucketts Fall Market in a cargo van (which I can now drive by myself) and I hope to have lots of goodies to share!  I will be sharing about the event on my Instagram Stories, so you can follow along if you’d like!


  1. Susan

    As always, your choices are made after careful consideration, and I think this one is spot on. No, not trendy, but certainly classic and beautiful!

  2. Babs

    The floors will look wonderful! Trends last 6-8 years but classic is forever.

  3. Monica from Littlestown

    I always thought the finish had to cure for several days before putting furniture on top or walking on it. The floors are beautiful – the installer did a beautiful job.

  4. Lorie Pirtle

    We recently sold our home and moved back in to a 60’s rancher we have owned since 2006.
    We decided to keep it for a rental when we built our house in 2013 and I am so glad we did. We are now
    pretty much empty nesters with our youngest in college. The floors in the home are 1″ golden oak that have ambered over the last 60 years and they are one of my absolute favorite part of the home. Well aside from my new kitchen and oil rubbed bronze windows. I’m sure that is why I am loving watching you renovate this home especially.

  5. Ramona

    Absolutely gorgeous! Your furnishings will be the icing on the cake!

  6. Colleen T

    I love how the new floors look with the beams and the mantle. I think the orange ? shows up more in pictures than the actual rooms. In each of of my 3 sons house they all have different color floors new trendy golden sanded and dark stain which shows dust and dirt more and was so expensive ?.. I’m going to try and talk my son and daughter in love to stick with golden oak.

  7. Connie

    We moved from a beautiful home we owned for over 33 years, a large 1960’s rancher, with lovely original hardwood floors in all the rooms on the main level, except bathrooms & kitchen. When we took the kitchen down to the studs & remodeled we had matching hardwood floors installed, and just like yours the old floors had ambered to a orangey color.; the new floors blended in just fine! We now have a new home with new, more trendy hardwoods which are lovely too but nothing compares with mellowed old hardwoods! Your new floors are gorgeous & the small difference in color will be unnoticeable when you have furniture & are fully settled!

  8. Rita

    I had just had a kitchen remodel done. Unfortunately I had someone talk me into a totally different flooring rather than the hard wood oak I wanted. It has changed my whole kitchen. I’m thankful to have a nice kitchen, but floors are the foundation you build on. Glad you went with your choice. No explanation needed.

  9. Catherine

    Also living with ambered oak floors in my 1940s bungalow. I never even noticed until someone asked if we planned to redo them. Yikes and no! They are crazy solid and true to the home. Yours are lovely too!

  10. Sarah

    We have golden oak floors throughout our entire house – which match the window trim and the pine covering 2 of the ceilings. The thought of redoing ALL of that wood to match makes me hyperventilate (not to mention the cost). So golden oak it is! It’s classic.

  11. Deborah Raney

    Maybe I’m showing my age, but the finish you chose is the one that always makes me give a happy sigh. I do think it’s a classic, and no doubt that very color/finish will be the “trend” in just a few years. I’m so excited to see those rooms all moved into and given your talented touches!

  12. Betsy

    Lovely! I’m glad you followed your heart and I think it was the perfect choice! I’m sure you’ll appreciate the era of your home even more as you live in it. I’m so happy for you and your family!

  13. Sarah

    We just bought a home that was built in the 50’s and pulled up the carpet to refinish the hardwood floors underneath and… we chose golden oak as the stain! I asked my husband to bring home a few sample stains to try on the floor and when I saw the golden oak in the can I thought it would be too orange but after putting a few choices on the floor the golden oak was the clear winner! We moved in last week and I’m so happy with how they turned out. I wanted a classic color and I think that’s what we got. We refinished them ourselves, it was so much work but I felt courage to tackle them in part because I knew you had done it before!

  14. Kidron

    Your floors look great!

  15. Kristine

    I have no doubt that the floors will be classically beautiful, and will serve as the ’12th’ man when you start bringing in furniture and finishing the rooms. I am totally on team classic and timeless, and unique. I know that is what makes your blog so popular. It is sweet relief to see the originality and creativity in any of your homes.


    How nice to see those beautiful hardwood floors almost finished! They look so nice! When you get back from Luckett’s, you will be able to unpack your suitcases and finally get settled in your master bedroom — and get your furniture placed in the other areas. This will be so exciting for you, Marian, to be able to get everything done.

    Hope you and your Mom have a great time together at Luckett;s! Hope you find a lot of items on your list. Glad you are taking the cargo van! I know it will be full of all your treasures!

  17. Karen K from Buffalo

    You are the designer of your own domain. And I love your color choice for your beautiful new floors. I think the trending choices today of some, are foolish (dark gray walls). People are selling their oak furniture for a dime because of the orange tinge. They are giving away strength & durability. Same with oak cabinets in the kitchen. There is warmth & a natural feeling in the coloring to the wood. I’ll take it anyday

  18. BeverlyO

    It is so nice to see and read your thoughts behind the choice of floor coloring. Our house is a 1980s rancher and has golden oak flooring. I wasn’t crazy about it at first but there were so many other things that needed attention at the time – like fruit wallpaper all over the kitchen – and funds were tight. So, the floors were left. I have grown quite happy with that decision over the years and have found that antique walnut and oak wood family pieces stand out on it and my love of blue and turquoise also work well with it. I don’t know if it is my taste maturing or trends evolving and it doesn’t matter. Having a nice haven is a blessing and I always tell people I feel lucky to be where I am because I generally do! We recently looked into updating our kitchen cabinetry because it is quite worn and is rather 80s. We were told that it would be less expensive to replace than to revamp and got an estimate. First, we couldn’t get anybody to respond to our requests for an estimate and when we finally did get a quote, it was far above what we had budgeted – like almost twice as much. After thinking, we decided to wait. We don’t want to take on a debt for replacing something that is working alright. So, we will either tackle another project or just keep saving. I think sometimes we see all the pretties in photos and don’t really appreciate what is nice enough and already in place. I cannot wait to see how your new home evolves and you adapt it to your aesthetic!

  19. Lola

    You have inspired me to always go with your gut! I’ve never been one to follow everyone else in anything but I think it’s hard not to get caught up in the “trends”. My husband and I will be renovating our kitchen this winter and will be going with classic style all the way. We live in an 1863 stone farmhouse. It would be a shame to just go trendy! Your new floors are just beautiful!

  20. Kim

    Looks like your new floors have much more woodgrain showing than the older flooring, which will give it a slightly different feel. It will all look wonderful!

  21. Michele M.

    Makes perfect sense to me and they are truly stunning.

    Have fun with Mom tomorrow. Know you will and can’t wait to see your new treasures b/c you know darned well
    you won’t be driving home with an empty cargo van going to Luckett’s!

  22. Nancy F Lambert

    Your Floors are Beautiful.

  23. Bea

    I feel certain you will love your new floors! They will be beautiful! I had prefinished floors in one house and they took a beating when I rented the house and I was most unhappy about that. I wouldn’t want prefinished floors again.

  24. Margo

    A little off-topic, but I just want to say how lucky you are to have your mom working side by side with you, cherish every moment!

  25. Sandy

    The floors are the most beautiful color. Was such a good choice y’all made. Have a wonderful time with your mom tomorrow. Will be fun to see the goodies you find to place on top of those gorgeous floors!

  26. Antiquechase

    100% yay for embracing the Amber and style of your home!! I got one love the tone and am ready to see it be the new trend again!! Bravo!

  27. Diane P.

    Beautiful, timeless and warm. I saw the hallway and did a little happy dance for you with all that wall space to decorate! Speaking of trends, a friend bought a house with curved walls in every room and you can only hang tiny 5×7 frames! What was someone thinking?

    • donna williams

      I chose oak floors with a similar color stain when we built our home 24 yrs ago. We didnt have the money to do hw in all the rooms but knew we would eventually take the carpet up and add hardwood to those other rooms.We recently took up the carpet in those rooms and we also matched the orig color too. Yes, its not the most trendy color but I feel at 57yrs old, Ive seen the trends come and go. I do like some trendy decor but I like to mix it with my timeless vintage pieces. I dont want to have to feel regret over my choices 10 yrs later so the orangey tone floors are perfect. I also actually like to mix wood tones with a mix of painted furniture. I prefer to spend my money on higher end fabrics to add texture to a room. I love your style and can not wait to see your new home tranform.

  28. Cheryl


  29. Gina

    Last fall, we refinished the oak floors on our first floor. Our Cape was also built in the 70’s and the floors were stained honey amber/orange. I really wanted a change but was so overwhelmed by the many choices! In the end, I had them brought back to their natural color – no stain at all. Just a protective finish. It made a huge difference in our house. It opened up the rooms and made everything brighter. I love them!

  30. Sandi from Wisconsin

    Your oak floors are coming along so beautifully! When we built our house twenty years ago, both my husband and I decided on oak floors and no carpet in any room. We love our floors and have never regretted our decision. Ours are 2 1/4 inch oak in a chestnut stain. We did purchase the pre=finished wood, but my husband installed the floors himself. We have this flooring in five rooms, the other rooms are tiled.
    I am going to love your studio, and am so jealous of all that beautiful space! You are going to work magic in there, and I can’t wait to see the finished room.
    Really enjoy your blog and posts!

  31. Cheri

    Sigh. I feel like I should be with you and your mom, and that you should be asking me “what’s on your list?”
    Then I would say “a perpetual calendar” ☺️ And you would find one! Seriously, enjoy your time with your mom!

  32. Vicki

    I love your floors. I have to admit that the raw wood was absolutely gorgeous but I admired your decision to match the existing floors. They are classic. I understand about the “de-oranging” of floors, cabinets and furniture… I have an oak jelly cupboard and oak dining room chairs. They don’t always photograph well, but they are warm and beautiful in person and I would not change them because of a trend. Yours photograph beautifully. Great choice.

  33. Lynda

    The floors look gorgeous! I still love my oak hardwoods from the 1980s and my oak dining room furniture and I still have my oak kitchen cabinets. HaHa! I love the warmth of the wood. I can’t wait to see what you do with this house. 🙂

  34. Deb Landy

    Good for you for going timeless and classic!

  35. Marcie

    While I don’t disagree with your decision to stain, I think it’s very possible that your floors were once simply varnished (with no stain) and what you perceive as “golden oak” is the oxidation that occurs over time. In any case, staining is absolutely necessary to achieve that same orange tone on your new wood. It will be beautiful!

  36. Betty M Bashaw

    The floors look lovely already! I completely agree with you about trends. Do what suits you and your home, and allow others to make different choices. Trends come and go. Some I love, others aren’t for me. It actually takes me a while to warm up to trends. This is a good thing. When I continue to lean in one direction, I feel more confident that this is a look that I will like for a while, regardless of the next trend.

    Hope you have a fun weekend getting settled. I, too, am a neat person. Living in disorder is difficult. I admire your stamina!!

  37. Stephanie

    Your new floors look gorgeous, Marian!!

    We are building a home and will be choosing flooring in a few months so I am researching different options. My heart is set on wood floors, but I don’t know if we can afford them. Your post turned a light on: are unfinished planks cheaper than pre-finished wood planks?? I know that’s not why you chose them, but it could be a factor in my decision. White oak floors would be my dream. Any tips?!

    Thank you for sharing your process and design inspiration!


Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…

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