Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Counter Revolution!

New countertops, installed.
I was actually a little nervous about installing a lighter-coloured granite when we have dark cabinets, but I needn't have been. They are in, and they are gorgeous.

My final selection of the "vanilla cream" granite was based on how well it went with the ceramic tile floor. Candice Olsen, a Canadian designer whose work I absolutely adore, once mentioned that when she designs kitchens she always makes the counters match the flooring.

I'm sure she breaks that rule all the time, but I took her guidance in earnest, and it really worked. The cabinets almost look like they're floating in the room, and the whole space feels very cohesive, which is very important in a relatively small space like ours.

The overhang will actually cover a small shelf unit.
The small shelf unit will house these jars of bulk dry goods, which currently reside in our dining room.

I was disappointed when I learned that we would have to have a joint in the long section of countertop, but, as you can see below, it actually turned out quite well.

Here's a little help.

It really is barely visible, though there is a switch in grain from one piece to another. If they had rotated the short piece 180 degrees, it would have been even less noticeable, but they didn't, and it's fine. (I had actually intended to stop in and inspect the slab to talk with the contractor about where to do the joint. I didn't. I'm not sure that I would have been able to envision this anyway.)

Here's another look at the seam.

The joint is parallel to my blog-ID strip.
While we're looking at this corner, I want to point out a couple of things.

1. I really like the wide radius on the inside curve. It's filler space under there anyway, so it kind of suits.

2. The bevel on the edge is called (if I recall correctly) "crescent moon." It's not a full half-circle, but it's not square either.

It's subtle, but I do like it.


We have arrived at the stage in this project where it is easy to run out of steam. The space is functional and attractive. But there is still a long list of things to be done. Not least of them is the backsplash. Every time the water splashes onto the counter, I wince.

I'm still happy with the "snakeskin" tile we've selected (but haven't ordered) and I've chosen a paint colour to put on the walls once Steve has finished drywalling and before I install the tile.

The paint is part of Benjamin Moore's "Off White Collection" and is called Baby Fawn, and here's what it looks like with the floor tile.

Ignore my dirty, hairy floor. (Cue the "Dirty Harry" jokes.) We have a dog.
When you look at the paint strip, you can really tell how NOT white that floor tile is.

By having the floor, countertop, walls, and backsplash in a monochromatic scheme, I hope to help the space feel larger than it is.

Here's our current to-do list:

  • Drywall arch, and patch walls
  • Paint (dining room as well)
  • Patch tile and hardwood in floor
  • Backsplash
  • Move hot-air duct to underneath cabinet (rather than in the middle of the arch)
  • Level stove and dishwasher
  • Configure inside pantry
  • Install organization extras (paper-towel holder, under-sink drawers)
  • Build and install custom shelf units (one beside stove, the other by the coffee station)
  • Install baseboards
  • Finish all exposed edges
  • Fine-tune the faucet installation (it's not as tight as it could be, and the pull-out doesn't retract properly)
I'm tired and dinner's ready. Stay tuned for more (less exciting) updates.

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