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05.25.12 / Countertops Are In!

**Let’s hear it for five posts in one week!!!!**

Kitchen ‘afters’ today as promised! But first a little detail about installing the walnut island top that I wasn’t clear on.

The corbels we used to support the overhang came with two predrilled holes in the back and hardware to ‘hang’ the corbels on a vertical surface. HH used them to install the corbels onto the back of the island’s base cabinets {as seen above}. To secure the corbels even more, HH added two screws.

He predrilled the holes for these additional screws. One screw was added to the bottom of each corbel and screwed into the island cabinetry. A second screw was added to the top of each corbel and screwed into the walnut slab. If you’re thinking of using these same corbels but are a little leery of their hanging hardware, you can add more screws for increased stability. Make sense? Sorry I didn’t address that earlier.

Now onto the real reason for today’s post – countertops!

I left off with the walnut slab installation.

We’re more than pleased with it. In fact, we ate our first dinner – takeout pizza! – at the island last night in an effort to get a few small projects out of the way before the big cleaning spree this weekend. Side note: those small projects weren’t as small as we thought. What’s new?!

{Don’t mind the globe-less pendants. We plan on adding the glass globes after we get our things moved in. Our thought is that they might get bumped while large, tall items are being carried in so we’re trying to avoid broken glass.}

Eating at the island felt comfortable and I think it’s because we went with a 15″-16″ overhang as opposed to the standard 12″. When deciding on the size of our walnut slab, HH did some googling around for island countertop overhang. Many forums suggested going with a deeper overhang of 15″-18″ if the counter would be used for meals on a regular basis. It seems the added depth allows for more comfortable seating with adequate leg room. We sure didn’t feel cramped eating dinner at our island last night, so we’re glad we went with a deeper overhang.

Like I mentioned yesterday, HH finished installing the walnut butcher block on the island late Monday night. The very next morning, granite countertops were installed along the kitchen’s perimeter. Wanna see?

We chose kashmir white granite. We had granite in our previous home’s kitchen and were really happy with it so chose to stick with it for this kitchen too. I knew I wanted something light on top of the black base cabinets for contrast. {That big empty shelf is for the microwave. We finally bought one but we haven’t installed it yet.}

The kashmir white is a great light granite. From a distance, it resembles marble. I love the white, cream, gray and gold striations that run throughout the stone. The natural light streaming in through the skylights makes them seem even brighter.

We had Stone Design do the install. {For locals, they are in Fairfield, Ohio near Jungle Jim’s.} They did the installation at our previous house as well and we were happy with their work and prices so it was an easy decision. We like the idea of using small businesses vs. big box stores for larger home improvement projects because many of them will give you a discount for paying cash. Just don’t mention you’re paying cash until after you’ve received a quote.

The total cost of the granite install was $2,752 and that includes $250 for the sink cutout and installation. Stone Design was offering a free vanity top with the purchase of any kitchen install but since we didn’t need a vanity top, they happily discounted our project $250. We were also given a discount for paying cash. So, if you do the math…$2,752 – $250 for sink cutout = $2,502 for the granite countertops alone. Our kitchen required 52 sq ft of granite for the perimeter and if you do some more math…$2,502/52 sq ft = $48 per sq ft of granite. In our area, that price for kashmir white is great!

The stove is pushed back here but the installers called me the next day saying they needed to come back and install a 3″ strip of granite behind the stove so that it would sit flush with the cabinets. We hadn’t even noticed until they mentioned it! They were thorough. {I’ll have to snap a few pics of the added strip to show you.}

My new desk area!

Someday I’ll be blogging from the very spot where that huge bag of garbage is sitting. The installers left strips of masking tape on the drawers so we can open them. With the granite’s 1″ overhang and without hardware yet, the drawers are difficult to open. Of note: HH started installing the cabinet hardware! We’re doing something a little different. More on that in another post.

Wanna see what the granite looks like alongside the walnut? The bigger picture?, if you will.

I love the mix of the rich, warm walnut with the light stone!!!

And to think this is what we started out with…

Aren’t before and afters so fun! HH and I think it’s pretty cool to see our original IKEA design come to life.

 

There are some differences: the window on the right went to doors, the ceiling got vaulted and skylights were added. Still, it’s pretty cool to see how similar our real kitchen is to the IKEA mock up. Fun stuff, people!

We’re gearing up for a whirlwind weekend of cleaning, organizing…and more cleaning…for the big move next week. No holiday picnics for us!

Have a good one!

FYI – Check to see who won this week’s Noah and Lilah giveaway!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

58 Comments

25.May.2012

I think that slab of walnut might be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Period.

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25.May.2012

It looks fantastic! The colors and textures all compliment each other so nicely, and the look is modern but not cold. Love it.

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replied on May 25th, 2012

I think the walnut is the key element that keeps it from looking cold. I also liked the bright white solid surface options for the perimeter but felt they might be too one dimensional and sterile for the aesthetic we prefer. Glad we went with the granite since the skylights brighten things up tremendously!

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25.May.2012

I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and especially enjoy all of the updates this week. We are remodeling our awful hunk-of-junk home so it’s nice to see what you’ve done to yours. We are even thinking about selling ours when we are done to buy something smaller like you did! good luck with your move.

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25.May.2012

**Let’s hear it for five posts in one week!!!!**

Hear, hear! Love the way it is all coming together!

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25.May.2012

Love the detail in the granite…fab! It really compliments the rich wood tones in the slab of walnut. It is coming together :)

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25.May.2012

Absolutely gorgeous! It’s so exciting to see all the changes – and it’s not even my house! I can’t imagine how thrilled you all must be! :)

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25.May.2012

It’s looks sooo pretty! I love how you mixed surfaces and colors to really add some dimension and variety. Everything is coming together so nicely – I bet you can’t wait to finally move in! :-)

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25.May.2012

Your kitchen is looking great, Dana! And I’m impressed with how light it looks even with the dark cabinetry. Very nice!

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25.May.2012

I love seeing updates of your home. This is so inspiring and it will be a great home for your family. Great job on everything. I hope your move goes well.

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Oh I love it! I’m sure you do too! All you need is a faucet and you can cook!

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25.May.2012

I love it!!

I just found your site. : )

Your island looks just like mine only i have a cream base cabinet.

Where did you get the walnut wood countertop? I got mine at http://store.craft-art.com and it seriously looks the same!

I will be super excited if I randomly went to your same source because your project is soo beautiful. Excited to start officially following.

Best,
Beth

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replied on May 25th, 2012

Linked to the walnut source in the last post…Hardwood Lumber Company. I’ll have a complete source list once the room is ‘finished’.

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25.May.2012

Your kitchen looks gorgeous and reinforces my decision to use black cabinets on the bottom and white on top (different door style, though).
Love the walnut island top. So beautiful!

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25.May.2012

Looks wonderful! I’ve been dying to get white marble in my kitchen but the granite you have is beautiful. Have you decided if you’ll tile up a backsplash and if so what were you considering?

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replied on May 25th, 2012

Yes, a backsplash is in our kitchen’s future. Currently, we’re thinking of one that extends all the way to the ceiling at the hood but is only several inches high around the rest of the countertop. No backsplash for the desk area though and we haven’t committed to a material yet.

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25.May.2012

You and your husband did an awesome job with this kitchen!!! i love it :)

i know it is hardwork to DIY big projects such as kitchens but still you were able to pull it off so far..

smart momma

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Wow, it’s looking fantastic! I love the mix of colors and materials!

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Yay, it looks great! New countertops are so exciting and really make a room feel complete.

My only advice – you probably won’t be using the island with a laptop since you have the desk space nearby, but any prolonged heat can cause the wood grains to raise or in some cases separate (this happened with our IKEA dining room table so we try to keep the laptop off the island!).

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replied on May 25th, 2012

Thanks for the tip, Lauren! I’ll try to keep my blogging and blog surfing at the desk…or on the sofa ;)

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replied on May 29th, 2012

Wow great to know! So wood desks are off limits for me since I never turn my laptop off! Thanks for the tip!

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25.May.2012

Wow! Your kitchen is looking fantastic. I am loving how you are making a “small – underdog” home truly yours. I also really appreciate the large island top without a sink or stove on it. I want to use a similar layout in my kitchen and think it would be perfect space to use for baking, arts and crafts, and meals. Until now, most of the layouts I have seen always stick a sink or stove onto the island, but that makes me worry about burning small fingers or taking away from the big solid surface aspect.

Thanks for sharing!

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25.May.2012

Everything looks amazing! I love the mix between the whites, black, and browns in your kitchen. The island is huge, but looks very cozy.

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Thank you for the details on installing the brackets – this will be super helpful when I get around to putting our new countertops. I absolutely love everything about this remodel, esp the kitchen! thanks for sharing :-)

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25.May.2012

Thanks for all the updates! It looks amazing! I can’t believe you’ve been able to take photos and post with your little ones in toe. I had my first baby a couple of week after you had Mabrey and with only one I can’t get ANYTHING done during the day! Kudos to you!

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25.May.2012

I just love that walnut. The color is just so warm and rich. I can’t believe the difference between after you sanded it and after you sealed it. AMAZING! Everything is coming together so fabulously. I can’t wait to see all your furniture moved in and I’m sure you guys can’t wait either. Are your boys excited to move into the house and have a yard to play in everyday?

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replied on May 25th, 2012

Our boys are super excited about having a neighborhood to ride their bikes in and other kids nearby to play with. They’re also stoked about their bunk beds.

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25.May.2012

WOW! Everything you are doing is so beautiful! I could so see my family living in this house. I’ve always preferred smaller houses and your vision for this ranch is just fantastic! ENJOY :)

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25.May.2012

It looks amazing! That slab of walnut really makes the kitchen. Good luck with all the packing/moving. :)

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25.May.2012

AHH it looks sooo good! What an amazing transformation! I have loved seeing how far y’all have come on the underdog this week with all those posts! I’m getting spoiled haha. Good luck with the move! I can’t wait to see this place with some furniture in it. Its going to be gorgeous!

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25.May.2012

Wow! Your kitchen looks awesome!! I love the walnut butcher block mixed with the lighter granite. So gorgeous!

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25.May.2012

HEAR HEAR for all the posts! Love it. It’s looking so great. Everything is gorgeous!

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25.May.2012

I don’t think I could love your island more. The black cabinets with the walnut is just beautiful.

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It looks SO GOOD!! I always thought I was an all-white kitchen cabinet type girl, but I’m loving your mix of the dark and light cabinets! And the butcher block looks awesome! Also jealous of your awesome desk area! So pretty!

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I am sooo flippin’ excited for y’all!! It has been incredibly inspiring and exciting to follow along with all of the progress and your HH is a darn workhorse. I get tired just reading about it all! You’re both awesome. :o) One day when we’re not moving every few years (my Mr. is in the military) I look forward to settling down into one place, not renting, and making it our own, so being able to follow along with your adventure is great fun for me.

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25.May.2012

The before and after photos are just stunning. It’s an amazing transformation! I love the mix of materials and neutral colors.

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25.May.2012

What a transformation!! Your kitchen looks amazing!!! I love what you have done….Love your blog! Happy Moving =)

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That’s the exact color granite we’re looking at so it’s great to see it in action. Looks awesome!

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25.May.2012

It looks absolutely beautiful! We have the same kitchen cabinets in our current home (1966 Ranch) and I can’t wait to rip them out and put something equally as beautiful in our kitchen. Thank you for the inspiration! :)

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Wow, I love how your kitchen is turning out! The mix of walnut with the dark cabinets and lighter granite is bang on, great mix of finishes!

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26.May.2012

WOW!!!! it looks sooooooo awesome!!!! i’m sure you will be thrilled to finally move in! :) we got granite in a similar color a year ago, and next on our agenda is painting the cabinets…which we will be doing in black and white also! great to get a picture of how it may look!!!! :) good luck with the move!

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I’ll repeat what other have said, that walnut island top is gorgeous! I would love to do my entire kitchen in that someday…yum! We almost bought an underdog but chickened out and every time I look at your blog I kick myself for not going for it…maybe we will sell our builder home and follow suit someday.

And Hooray for all the posts indeed!…so fun to read and look at! I used to get annoyed (I know, the nerve of me!) at my favorite blogs when they didn’t post often, until I started my own blog, and realized how much effort/time it can take to get it all together, which is why I haven’t posted in like a month (well that and I’m newly preggers and dealing with morning sickness).

So happy for you and your family Dana! Congratulations on so many new changes and adventures, it looks like you guys are crafting a life and home to live it in that you will enjoy so much! Simply beautiful!

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26.May.2012

So excited to see it all come to life from your original plan!!! It’s been so fun to follow along on the progress – thanks for sharing it all!

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I am seriously so thrilled for you guys. It looks beautiful!

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26.May.2012

The kitchen looks really awesome. I love the walnut island top and how it works with the cabinets & granite. We have a similar look in our kitchen except for the walnut. We chose green subway tiles for our backsplash and were really pleased with how it turned out. Can’t wait to see the rest of your project.

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26.May.2012

The kitchen looks incredible. I love the granite and wood together. Great job!

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27.May.2012

Love the counters and cabinets. I’ve always wanted see-through cabinetry!

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27.May.2012

This looks so great! I really think the depth of texture makes the space feel so much bigger. I bet you’re already so glad you guys downsized, this is looking incredible and you probably won’t even miss the space!

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29.May.2012

I seriously try and check in everyday, but I was very busy this past weekend. I feel like I missed so much. I got to the end where you said, ” No holiday picnics for us!” and had to scroll to the top to check the date. You can’t imagine my delight when I realized that you guys were moving this very week! I can’t wait for some in home organizing! It’s like my favorite T.V. show only I pretend like it’s better for me because I have to read! ;) Thanks so much for the tips (and motivation) and good luck!

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29.May.2012

Would you be willing to tell us what paint colors are closest to your black lowers and white uppers? Or just a good black/white kitchen cabinet color combo?

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replied on May 31st, 2012

I’ll work on it!

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31.May.2012

I love the way the kitchen is coming along. I am looking forward to seeing how the whole home will look once you move in – oh, wait, that’s today – YAY! :-)

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31.May.2012

Happy Moving Day!

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Ooh! Counters look great! That walnut top especially looks sexy. Bet y’all are relieved to have one more thing checked off the list. :-)

Erin

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01.June.2012

wow…this kitchen is going to look awesome when its complete! can’t wait to see!

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06.June.2012

I’ve recently installed a granite countertop in my bathroom and now its time to seal it. I’m wondering if there is a specific sealer you recommend? Your house looks amazing btw, LOVE your blog. Thanks in advance.

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replied on June 6th, 2012

In our previous home I used Stone Care International sealer {Lowe’s, I think?} once a year on our granite. It seemed to work well. No stains or water spots penetrated the stone.

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