This post is in partnership with Lowe’s. We’re overhauling our kitchen and mudroom with Lowe’s and sharing our experience with you! Here’s our initial design meeting, and this is how we pieced together panels + fillers.
Our Tree House kitchen countertops are in! If you’ve been following along on our Stories (we’ve been saving updates in our tree house highlights), you know that we had to make some game time decisions on counter fitting day. Which, by the way, we all had a good laugh when my inbox flooded with thoughts of, Kim, did you say counterfeiting day?! (More on ‘fitting day’ in a minute.) Now that they’re installed, we are so, so happy with the overall look, color and edges.
We’ve been eager to share how a project of this size will unfold, especially when it comes to a gut kitchen renovation with the help of Lowe’s. It’s more than a before and after; our overall goal has always been to alleviate some of the worries that any of us may have, and we have always enjoyed having you alongside us for the ride, sharing your own helpful experiences, too. Leading up to this point in our renovation, we have learned so much about shopping for and choosing and our countertops, and our Lowe’s experience has been different than past renovations. Dare I say, easier?
Our Lowe’s Countertop Shopping Experience
We’ve taken you through our initial design meeting with a Lowe’s Design Specialist, and it was during this meeting that we solidified our countertop choice. We browsed their massive wall of samples. We ran our hands over the options, noted the movement in some materials versus others and asked questions about the durability of granite versus quartz. In the end, we chose Silestone quartz countertops in Eternal Statuario, which is a neutral off-white base with very subtle gray veining throughout. Because our Silestone quartz is a man-made engineered stone, we didn’t need to go to a stone yard to choose our slab. Essentially, the pattern and movement would be consistent throughout!
A few weeks after that design meeting, we scheduled the delivery of our cabinets, and soon after, we received a call from the stone fabricator. At that point, we chose two dates on the calendar that would happen after the cabinet were in place: the first was for the fitting/measuring, and the second was for the install.
Our Lowe’s countertop shopping experience was, in a nutshell, as straightforward as it gets. But of course, how do you know if you’re choosing the right countertop for you? Which countertop is your countertop soulmate? Here’s what helped us feel great about our decision from start to finish!
Go back to what inspires you.
We went into that design meeting not knowing which direction we wanted to take, but we did have inspiration images from around the web at the ready. Our designer suggested we begin by choosing countertops, followed by cabinets, and we asked if we could do the reverse – cabinets and then counters. For us, we wanted to nail the style and finish of our cabinets, because it felt like the biggest question in our renovation. Once it was decided we would use white cabinets, we scrolled back through our bookmarked photos and really honed in on the cabinet/counter combinations. Not surprisingly, the majority of the images were mostly tone-on-tone.
Consider your lifestyle.
Tree House is a place where we see our families and friends gathering for big pasta dinners, chili around a campfire and long conversations over a great bottle of wine. Do you sense a theme of all the things that can stain, splatter and spill? We need this home to be tough. We don’t want to lay in bed at night, wondering if we wiped up the wine spill or if someone left a lemon wedge on the countertops. Although marble is our dream stone, we knew it wouldn’t be practical in this space, and quartz easily won out as our top choice material not only for its durability, but also for its ability to mimic the look of marble! If quartz is also your top choice but you fear it may not be in the budget, it’s worth asking the specialist at your store. The countertop selection at Lowe’s is categorized into pricing tiers, which was helpful.
Don’t forget your samples!
After deciding on white cabinets, we thought we might maybe go with matte black stone, but when we considered the tile we’d be using for the backsplash, we switched gears and fell hard for Eternal Statuario. From afar, the counters looks mostly white, but up close, the movement of the veining is so subtle. Peaceful. The hardest part about designing our Tree House is that we need to keep reminding each other to pull back. Keep it simple. With our darker tile (this allen + roth subway tile in pearl), we knew that the white and gray stone would contrast nicely.
Choose the finish and edge that suits your style.
Speaking of pulling back, we chose a basic eased edge – but consider your personal style here! The edge style is a chance to incorporate an unexpected design element. Our countertop choice also had two finish options: Glossy or Suede. Suede has a very low sheen, and we were immediately drawn to that. For our casual little Tree House, it felt like a great complement to the matte black and leather touches we’ll have throughout.
Be present during the measure and fit.
On counter fitting day, there were a few things to consider that I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise, and I’m so glad I was present to address them on the spot! The measuring took almost no time at all, and before the Lowe’s representative left, he went over a 2D rendering of how our countertops would look. On our island, he incorporated a rounded edge, and on the inside corner of the L-shape row of cabinets, he added an equally rounded edge. In my mind, I was envisioning an almost-90 degree turn in both cases, and that was my opportunity to speak up! In our area, he mentioned that it was more common for a much more rounded edge, but he was able to easily update his renderings and address my request on the spot. In addition, he explained that a 1.5″ overhang was typical, but I scaled that back to 1.25″; it’s the little things, and this was our chance to make everything just so.
When in doubt …
Remember that a countertop can be a big – and worthwhile! – investment, which can be just as costly to change. If you’re looking to make a bold statement, consider putting your stamp on other areas that can be switched up easily, such as wall color and accessories. You can never go wrong with sticking to the classics for the foundation pieces.
There’s an effortless feel about the white, wood and subtle-y veined counters, and now that they’re in, we’re reminded that we’re thisclose to the finish line. Up next? Tile. Floating Shelves. Stocking the cabinets!
We’d love to hear of any other tips or first-hand experiences you’d like to share when it comes to choosing, shopping or installing countertops!