Aside from our kitchen cabinet color (we both quickly agreed on white for uppers and lowers), there was one other big decision that would help the rest of the aesthetics fall into place – countertops!
We know that almost all of the finishes in the kitchen will be neutral (think: black + white), and for such a large investment in our home, we’re leaning classic overall. We’ve often said, isn’t it funny how this house is now the one making decisions for us? This hundred-year-old beast of a home speaks softly, but we’re listening – and putting a little twist on it where we can.
With that said, we 100% agreed that our kitchen renovation will get the upgrade to stone countertops that’ll last for the long haul, but we’ll need to remain mindful of budget at the same time. Because we’re not working with a one-stop-shop design center, our process will be a bit more organic – and because we’ve never shopped for countertops before, we had a lot of questions! In a nutshell, our process has looked / will look like this:
- Choose our favorite stone(s), note the variety, and ask for samples if offered.
- Find a trusted fabricator, and let him/her know what we’ve chosen. He/she will provide us with a job estimate based on the different stones.
- Based on the job estimate, what we’re able to afford and what might be worth the splurge, these figures should help us to narrow down our #1 choice. At that point, we’ll be free to go back to the warehouse and choose our slab.
- Once our lower cabinets are in place (fingers crossed, this will be happening by February) and we have our sink and faucet picked out, the fabricator will measure, cut and install our countertops!
We spent all day Saturday driving around to a handful of recommended granite supply warehouses, all without too many preconceived notions of what we may or may not want. An open mind, if you will. The options were different with every stop, and we instantly found ourselves waffling between cool black countertops or shades of white, which, of course, couldn’t be more opposite! At our first stop, we were handed a clipboard to track our favorites, which would then be used by our fabricator for pricing.
We fell hard and fast for all of the marble, but not only is it out of the question due to cost, but we don’t want anything that feels too precious.
Below, we found a granite option that kind-of-sort-of had a mix of white and gray veining to mimic marble (again, I say, kinda-sorta), but up close, there were so many varied flecks of color. We were a little underwhelmed to start, and I’ll admit that a couple hours into our hunt, I began to feel defeated, as there wasn’t one stone variation that we loved …
… That is, until we made our way to Marble & Granite Supply, a place that continually popped up in our online searches for nearby warehouses, and you guys! It’s awesome! The front half is a well displayed showroom, the staff was incredibly friendly, and the selection boasted variations that we hadn’t seen at any of the places prior – including quartzite, which was hard to track down.
By the time we left, we narrowed down 3 choices that we did love! I’ll order this from least-love to most-love, but it’s also in order by lowest to highest price point, too. We have:
ONE. Himalaya White (granite): This was one of the cleanest white granite slabs we came across. There is slight veining throughout, which we liked.
TWO. Black Orion (granite): We didn’t think we’d leave wishing for a black countertop, but my goodness, this was a beauty! It’s a step up from an absolute black, and you can see that there is a subtle hint of veining running throughout. It’s just as gorgeous honed as it is polished. (Decisions, decisions!)
THREE. Brazilian Calacata (quartzite): This slab was stunning! This is a lot higher on the pricing scale than granite, but much, much lower than marble – not to mention, crazy durable.
And so, we find ourselves waffling. Black? White? We’ve been spending more time than usual on Pinterest (Scott especially!), and some days, we say, yes, absolutely. Black! Other days? Oh, well, come to think of it, we should definitely go white. And then… No, black. For sure. There’s number crunching on the daily around here, and our countertop decision will allow us to spend – or not spend – in other areas.
We’ve been pinning away for inspiration (see here), and we’ll continue to stare and sigh and wish and dream until the new year. A decision will be made soon enough, but I can’t remember the last time we were so excited about a renovation project (perhaps the week of DRYWALL?), but we are losing it, you guys. In the very best possible way.