Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Part I

I have mentioned several times in past posts that we were working on making over our kitchen, and I am finally getting around to sharing the process with you. This was a year in the making. I am very impatient, but I am so glad that we took our time until we found exactly what we wanted. If we would have "pulled the trigger" a year ago, we would have a completely different kitchen and it would not be near as beautiful as it is now. (Sorry in advance if this post gets a little wordy.)



I’m lucky that I have such a laid back husband that pretty much gives me the creative reigns of our home projects; I have learned very quickly to send examples of ideas in pictures before suggesting ideas ;) He probably received more pictures of kitchens, tile, countertops, etc than he ever wanted to see.


Although granite is a very beautiful, durable stone, it is not for me. I like veining rather than speckles. I searched for a while trying to find a different material to use for our countertops. I noticed that all the inspiration pictures that stood out to me had white marble countertops; most of them being Carrara marble. Carrara marble is white marble with grey and sometimes blue-grey veining. It is a beautiful material, but I didn't think it would work for our house since our floors have a warm gold/cream tone. I continued my search even checking white granite, which by the way is not “white” like marble despite what the fabricators tell you. I even drove to San Antonio to check out a “white” granite slab just to be disappointed. It was a cloudy, grey-white slab and had speckles all over it….so, it was back to square one.






Here are some of my inspiration pictures:


Then  I came across Calacutta Gold marble and fell in love instantly. I never knew I could get so excited about a natural stone. It is white marble with grey and gold veining (Perfect!) I searched continuously for information on this material and how to get my hands on a few slabs. Little did I know at that point that a slab of this marble is ridiculously expensive. Multiple times we received a bid from fabricators for the Calacutta that lied told us they had access to some in our price range, only to be disappointed that a) “I quoted you for Carrara not Calacutta.” or b) the slabs did not look quite like the Calacutta gold slabs I was interested in. After the millionth fifth let down with the Calacutta, we realized in order to get the desired countertops we would have to pay the ridiculously expensive slab price. Since this house is not our forever home, we decided it was not financially smart to go with Calacutta countertops and go to plan B (kind of difficult when there is not a plan B).

Here are some pictures of Calacutta Gold marble:






I then stumbled upon a kitchen makeover in California done by the talented Caitlin Wilson, which used marble as the backsplash and a Caesarstone quartz countertop that sort of replicated the grey veining of Carrara marble. I e-mailed Caitlin instantly, which was one of the best decisions I made! We went back in forth discussing the kitchen from CA and the concerns and issues that we were experiencing with our kitchen. She gave me the confidence that our floors were warm enough to paint our cabinets white and suggested Dove White by Benjamin Moore. I expressed my concern of a lookalike product like the Carrara inspired quartz, and she suggested using an all white quartz if we were able to get the Calacutta gold marble as subway tiles for our backsplash. I showed her some of my inspiration pictures including lighting and she found us the perfect pendants at Restoration Hardware.
This is the picture I sent her for light inspiration:


 So here they are, the before pictures (with the updated travertine floors):


 Notice the big ugly light box on the ceiling?


Once the white quartz countertop was selected, and we ordered Calacutta Gold subway tiles for the backsplash (Caitlin suggested honed marble for the tiles since the quartz would be shiny), Caitlin helped us come up with a paint color for the entire kitchen and connecting family room. She suggested a neutral, which is exactly what we needed after an avocado threw up in our kitchen. We chose Benjamin Moore Gray Owl (this paint job created 20 wall samplings alone). 

 Here is the kitchen after the paint job and new lighting:

 Notice the ceiling? No big, ugly box light! The Restoration Hardware Harmon pendants are one of my favorite additions to the kitchen. If you have one of those box lights, I recommend removing it. Just that alone made a huge difference in the space and updated it tremendously. 


The next step was to remove the old tile backsplash, which resulted in needing all new sheetrock and have the countertops installed:



Here is a sneak peak at the Calacutta Gold marble subway tile backsplash before it was grouted:

 

Check back Friday for the full reveal of the complete makeover! 

14 comments:

Julie said...

Your kitchen is beautiful! Love the update you did. I know you used BM Dove White (or was is White Dove:) but do you know what kind of paint you used? Was is rolled or sprayed? Looks very professional.

Julie

Samara {The Dressing Room} said...

Julie - The paint was oil-based enamel semi-gloss, and it was painted by hand. I hope this helps :)

Mom of 2 Cuties @ Sprinkles of Joy and Laughter said...

The backsplash is fabulous! I'm in the infancy stage of giving our kitchen a makeover. I have the Benson Pendants from RH. Love!! Can't wait to be on the home stretch like you. Thanks for sharing
Maureen

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