...because home doesn't happen overnight.
06.04.10 / They’re Here!

If you’ve been following the adventures of House*Tweaking, you already know that we painted our builder grade oak cabinets white and added modern hardware in an effort to shake off the builder blahs.

You may also know that we’ve been saving to switch out our laminate countertops for something more durable and appealing.  Well, after months of saving up the cash and even more months of making up my mind, we have new granite countertops!

They’re Absolute Black, polished.  I went back and forth so many times between getting honed or polished.  In the end, I decided on polished.  I really don’t know what the big deal was now!  I love the polished finish.  I love to run my palms across the smooth, cool stone.  I love the way our plates and glasses clink when you set them down.  I love the natural variations within the stone…more of that imperfect perfection that makes me breathe easy.  I love how easy it is to clean.  I have 2 lil’ boys and a Handy Hubby who’s messy in the kitchen (at least, he’s in the kitchen, right?)…it is sooooo easy to wipe up at the end of the day.  Especially with an undermount sink to catch all the crumbs. 

That’s right, folks.  We upgraded our sink and faucet too.  They’re both by Kraus and we purchased them from Overstock.  They weren’t cheap but since we gave our kitchen cabinets a facelift for less than $400, we had more money to spend on the plumbing fixtures.  We decided it would be money well spent.  We seldom eat out and instead cook nearly all of our meals at home (even though I detest cooking). 

The depth of that sink is RIDICULOUS.  I could take a bath in it.  I especially like that it hides a tall pile of dirty dishes.

My nightly routine is to clean up the dishes, run the dishwasher and wipe down the countertops before going to bed.  This new faucet makes all that easier…and more fun!  It’s a single lever with a pull-out sprayer. 

Kraus Chrome Single Lever Pull-out Kitchen Faucet

Obviously, that’s not our kitchen.  But the picture demonstrates how the sprayer pulls out.  When you hit the black button on the sprayer’s head, the water sprays instead of flowing in a dense stream.  There’s a learning curve involved after having used only standard faucets and sprayers all my life.  Sometimes, I found myself looking for the sprayer and wondering where the heck it went.  “Oh!  Duh!  There you are, right on the faucet!”  It may take me a while.

We still have a little work to do in the kitchen before it’s “done”.  For one, we need a backsplash. 

We’ve got a few samples up but I’m not crazy about them no matter how far I tilt my head and look at them.  I need more time.  Handy Hubby must be itching to do a tiling project because he’s been hounding me all week to pick something.  Here’s what I’m looking at…  (The plastic wrapper is still on them; they actually have a matte finish.)

I kinda like the one in the middle but I’m afraid it may look too brown once it’s sealed.

Besides the backsplash, our island requires some TLC.  Handy Hubby has already made a 9-inch extension that needs primed, painted and installed.  Once that’s complete, we can grab up our new butcher block countertop to slap on.  OH.  And the glass front cabinet still needs addressed. 

It just needs some primer and paint inside but somehow I find a daily excuse for putting it off ’til tomorrow.  If only there were more hours in my day.




It looks amazing!! Excellent job!


Job well done, it looks great! Love your extra deep sink, too. We just moved into a new house with a shallow sink, and I never realized how important sink depth is in the kitchen.
P.S. Could you share with us where you got the rug in front of the sink, such a nice touch!


Holy crap is this awesome! It is so close to exactly what I want to do in our kitchen that it is really helpful to see it in photos. We have the same builder oak cabinets but the previous owners pickled them, plus there are awful beige laminate countertops. We have had to replace the sink and faucet already and my husband made some great suggestions: gooseneck faucet with pull-out sprayer (like you have) and an undivided sink in place of our double. While the sink is not deeper, the lack of division makes it seem like it is because the workspace is so much larger. My plan is to get a new set of floor cabinets with better utility in the same footprint, paint the whole shebang white, add hardware like you have, get a black or dark gray counter (maybe Paperstone or the stuff used for lab benchtops), and install a B&W mosaic backsplash. I love the look of a rug in there too — I’m thinking of trying FLOR tiles.



Also meant to weigh in with my opinion on the backsplash options — I like the middle one too, but the one with the smallest tiles also seems nice (from what I can tell). I don’t like the one with the largest tiles at all in that space.


Oh, I just love it!! Looks great.


Love the granite! I also like the tile you picked out! It all looks great!


It looks FABULOUS! I am jealous!

I agree, where did you find the rug? Love it!


Erin & Miranda – The rug is from Ballard Designs. It is made of recycled plastic but feels totally squishy under foot. The back side is reversed: a white background with brown print. It’s super EASY to clean…I just take it outside and hose it off once in a while!

[…] I shared the most recent progress in our kitchen last Friday, I received several inquiries about my kitchen […]


Oooh, lovely counters! You must be thrilled!

I prefer the smaller tile in the middle, too, but I’m sure any of the ones you’ve chosen would be lovely.

[…] my lil’ guys (and big guy, Handy Hubby) to harmful chemicals on a daily basis.  With the addition of granite countertops recently, I had to come up with a good cleaning product for natural stone.  I settled on Mrs. […]


So i know its been awhile since you posted the backsplash options (7months now???) but I really like the middle one for MY kitchen (I know you’ve already got yours, i’m not voting :) but cant find it online anywhere… somewhere else you posted something about everything was from Home Depot – but were these samples also, do you remember?? I need to get my kitchen moving and those are exactly what i’m looking for – i’d really appreciate it!! thanks in advance! LOVE your blog – and your boys are adorable :)


AMI V – All of the backsplash options were from either Lowe’s or Home Depot. Sorry, I don’t remember specifically where the middle sample was from!


So I’m going through all your posts starting at the beginning (loving them so far), but I just thought I’d let you know that this post doesn’t come up in your archive. I found it after clicking on your first post for June 2010 “You Asked for It.” Just thought I’d let you know in case someone else wants to see your old brand new kitchen counters.