I recently did a local design consultation with a homeowner who had a large kitchen that they wanted to update. They had just moved into their home and had a lot to do to furnish and make this home their own.
I really appreciate the homeowner letting me feature this consultation on my blog, as I think a lot of people find themselves in this situation.
They had this granite, Santa Cecilia, which is soooooo spotty, and it was everywhere in their kitchen, the perimeter cabinets, the backsplash, and the island.
Even if it was luxurious white marble, I think it would have been too much of one type material.
They wanted a fresh look but were curious as to what kind of updates would make the most impact without having to do too much in the remodel since they had other projects to do around the house.
I often see this with homeowners who have a house that was built 10-20 years ago, it's not old enough to have the wear and tear built up to rip out, but it is dated looking.
Styles have changed a lot in the last years and spotty granite in a polished finish is something that really will never be popular again. Most of it is a warm toned look too, and homeowners generally are looking for cooler toned spaces these days.
When you are looking at partially redoing a kitchen, and the spotty granite is dominating the room, I typically look for where it can be replaced strategically, to give the most impact.
Usually, that is the island.
In this kitchen, I recommended pulling out the granite on the island (especially those weird corner wings :-) and the granite backsplash. If we could change out that countertop, the perimeter granite would diminish in visibility and the look of the dated spotty granite would dissipate.
Not only that, they could extend the top on the end so a couple of counterstools could be used there. They had plenty of room. We did that on this job adding some brackets on two sides and a larger countertop.
Redo the granite backsplash at the perimeter
The homeowner had already selected some white ceramic tiles.
I wholeheartedly approved of that since they had white cabinets where the uppers felt a little short to me. By going with the same color on the splash, it would visually heighten the upper cabinets and really not divide up the room or call attention to the splash. The white outlets would disappear into the splash too, so it was an easy win/win there.
I felt the real feature in this kitchen was the brick floor and the fabulous range, so then the cabinetry walls or envelope, just needed to be the backdrop. Bringing some white to the island in a new countertop would brighten up the center of the room and make it feel new and fresh.
for the kitchen island's new countertop, I recommended a solid quartz material.
The reason I suggested a man-made product, is that if they decide to go back later and redo the perimeter cabinets, then they could add in with something that matched the island without worrying about trying to match a natural stone product.
I have been on the hunt for natural stone so many times in my career for projects that need just the right color or shading or texture, that I am OVER trying to match anything these days. It is honestly like trying to find a doppelganger of a person, as each piece of natural stone is so unique. It's like a fingerprint, never repeated exactly as is, ESPECIALLY two years or so later.
These quartz products are getting to be so beautiful and available in just about any color and finish, with super durability, that there is almost no reason to do natural stone unless a homeowner just wants it.
Another option for the perimeter kitchen countertops
The other option I suggested is that they use a soapstone or a honed or brushed finish black granite for perimeter cabinets, later on down the road.
Then they wouldn't be "matching" the island and that choice would serve to break up the all perimeter cabinetry with something contrasting.
A honed or brushed black granite is one of the least expensive natural stone products out there and it is pretty timeless. It's also very durable since it is granite, as I noted in this very complete overview of natural stone materials.
One last detail to update this kitchen....
Lastly, we discussed some larger, more open lantern type fixtures for over the island. Two larger ones, centered on the window over the island, would give the kitchen some personality, relate to the charm of the brick floor look and would scale better with the size of the room. Here are some great options, linked below.
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I can't wait to see what new products are coming out this year when I attend KBIS 2018 in January. Here are some of the fabulous solid quartz products I found last year.
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