Last updated on May 13th, 2018
Dear Diary: I’ve decided that 24 hours is long enough, thank you, to be without a full, working kitchen. The worst part is not having a sink. Or a counter top. The sink can’t be installed until the counter top is in place. And the counter top can’t be ordered until all cabinetry is installed. But there’s hope on the horizon, my friends. Most of the cabinets were installed today!
First there was one (upper) cabinet.
Then there were two.
And finally, I spied a whole collection of upper cabinets!
Then came the lower bank of cabinets, plus doors for the upper subjects. Please note the yellow leveling device in the photo above.
It’s a digital leveler that, according to Mark Wagner, is infinitely more accurate than a standard “bubble” leveler. Mark Wagner is the construction crew’s head honcho. I trust him.
More Tuesday work: the refrigerator was moved from west wall to east wall. The 19th-century oak cabinets on the east wall are original to this house. I refuse to part with them. The lower cabinets are in fine condition, so I am keeping them, too, but I shall paint them white. The green laminate counter is being lifted and replaced with new, to match the south and west wall counters.
And speaking of counter tops! For the new kitchen, I selected (quartz) “Alpina White” from Silestone. Now I’m thinking the gray-ish color is not much to my liking. I have until this weekend to change my mind.
Mind telling me what you think of “Alpina White”? And more importantly, what color would you use for the backsplash when you have white cabinets and the aforementioned counter top?
I’m all ears, baby.
Thanks for reading. Another update — with door pulls and double walls ovens, I hope — will magically appear tomorrow
Mary Ellen says
When I replaced my solid-color countertops with granite-patterned, I found out too late that it is difficult to see crumbs, and things that I thought were wiped up were sometimes missed. But of course I’m older than you are…..
I like the Aplina White, but then I’m a huge fan of white. And my personal preference for colors are those that go with gray as opposed to beige. If you stick with the gray and white, you can use almost any color on the backsplash. I’d stay with white, because I’m boring, but a vivid red would be stunning.
Patricia Cremens says
I’d go with white. So clean looking.
What about white marble….there is a fake stone marble now. I like subway tiles in background…maybe a gray greenish glass tile?
Cathy Quimby says
I think the Alpine white will look really good with your white cabinets. I love white subway tile. We inset small squares of neutral colors to add some pop to ours and love it. P.S. I went almost two months without a kitchen sink during our remodel. I feel your pain.
Lizee A. says
Was Alphina White you’re choise or a decorators ? I accomplished the same task of remodeling our kitchen that was over forty years old. I still love all of my choices and truly like the Alpina White you have selected and it will be the stunning star of your new kitchen . Looks much like my granite but easier to care for. Your going to love your new, brighter, more efficient and beautiful living space. After all isn’t the kitchen the heart of a home? Keep calm, the silver lining will be when you move back in and decide where to put all of your essential equipment into place.
Lori S. says
I like your choice of countertop because, the color is light enough that it won’t absorb any natural sunlight and it’s a neutral color. So there won’t be any competition with the floor or walls. Also, whatever curtains or dishes you decide on will look good.
I agree with Mary Ellen. You want to see if your counter is clean. I made the mistake of getting dark gray with white specks. I hate when I think I have wiped up everything and then feel a sticky spot.
If you stick with whites or neutrals for your back splash, you will be able to use any color with it and change it out if you get tired of it.
I also have new white kitchen cabinets and still have a temporary painted plywood countertop, hoping to get soapstone installed this summer. Your renovation is happening much faster than mine! I feel backsplashes are overrated and will paint mine the same color as my walls, white with a hint of gray. I have subway tiles behind my stove and love it. Best of luck, so many decisions, eh?!!!
Kevin Lee Jacobs says
Hi Pineapple – Yes, so many decisions, and one is fearful of making the wrong choices because…$$$. Your temporary plywood counter top sounds infinitely better than no counter top at all!
Ha Ha…I actually love the granite that came with my house because it hides the crumbs. I had a black granite top in a former kitchen. It showed everything! I’m not really a fan of backsplashes. I’m really impressed with the fan system. I’ve had so many renovations and just a big dusty mess everywhere.
I updated my kitchen last fall and used Cambria Weybourne for my countertops. I LOVE it! Cabinets are white, island is blue, and backsplash is marble mosaic. Came out very pretty.
The quartz hides everything and is not busy.
Julia Owings says
sage green….eggplant…. black with silver or gold running through it… My contractor who is doing my kitchen (nothing there but walls) showed me some of those options for black splashes.
1. I think backsplashes immediately date a kitchen and are so hard on the budget! I have had pale gray paint now for 5 yrs; still haven’t needed to even touch it up. Makes the kitchen blend with the rest of the house (we have an open floor plan). To me, a backsplash screams “THIS IS THE KITCHEN!!!!”
2. A somewhat lighter top will show you where to wipe up and you will feel cleaner!
3. Can’t wait to hear about the upcoming “twirls” as you head to the fridge and then realize it is now on the opposite wall!!
I agree with Lorie about backsplashes. I don’t see the need for them, especially in an older home. You can always add them later if you decide they are needed.
I forgot to mention that either tile or something is needed behind the cooktop for heat protection. I used a stainless backsplash only behind the cooktop and paint everywhere else.
How about a lovely teal on the walls?
Kevin, everything is coming along so beautifully!
Paint color is such a personal choice. You spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so choose a color that makes you feel happy and comfortable. My kitchen backsplash is painted with a light color (washable paint), and has held up perfectly for almost 20 years – even behind the well-used stove!
I redid an island top in 3cm quartz – Cambria Torquay – which is mostly white with a little gray marbling. I like Cambria because it’s made in the USA. I’ve been thrilled with the practical qualities of quartz!
The rest of my countertops are the old laminate, and I don’t plan to replace them. I recently replaced a double sink with a single sink that has a very narrow, flat lip and square corners. It’s HUGE, and I’m so happy that I can fit big pans in there. I use a separate large bowl or an over-the-sink colander to wash greens, etc.
There’s nothing as exciting as redoing kitchens. Enjoy!
Nancy N says
All the comments about patterned counter tops ring true with us. We moved from a home with vanilla Corian to a condo with pepper white Corian. We hate it! You can’t see anything on it, and it never seems clean.
Helene Reid says
I like a counter with the look af marble with grey lines running through. So classic. There are beveled subway tiles…less industrial than standard subway and a great look with the marble counter
Have counter color compatible with floor color.
When in doubt I tend go with white neutral/ color . You can always add some colorful accents to liven things up. Ultimately comes down to personal taste and preference.
I would suggest getting an under the counter sink. Probably costs a few $$$ more but will make cleaning the counter much easier.
Nifty before/after progress photos!
I love a light colored countertop – let the food be the star! Just be careful; if you choose a white background make sure it will be compatible with your beautiful white cabinets. you are fortunate to have the cabinets installed so that you can see countertop choices in their actual lighting against the cabinet color.
Mary W says
Really like your chosen choice. I would use that as a backsplash, also. I made the mistake of not getting a backsplash 12 years ago when I had gorgeous black granite countertops installed. I have loved them ever since every day and every day kick myself for not getting the matching backsplash. TOO HARD TO KEEP THE WALLS CLEAN! Another huge mistake getting a regular vent over the stove. My upper wall and 14′ ceiling over the stove have a great layer of grease now. So high up it is very hard to clean but I didn’t notice how bad it was until I had cataracts removed and WOW what a mess in that one little area over the stove. Backsplash behind sink and stove and a powerful sucking fan over the stove – two vital things to make life easier and cleaner. Remember you will always find some mistakes later after living in it, but you can cut down the number by asking around and you really do a great job of that! Congrats on your new kitchen.
Addie in Florida says
We chose quartz for our new countertops as well, but we picked a “quieter” pattern; it’s beige with little sparkles, so everywhere I look I see bling! Our kitchen walls are a terra cotta color and the cabinets are honey maple – the overall effect is quite stunning despite the angst of getting it all done. At least your crew spared you the dust and mess from the construction, which ours didn’t; that alone is worth whatever price you paid.
And all your readers will be looking forward to more fabulous recipes inspired by your shiny new kitchen!
Martey Costello says
I had a tile backsplash installed behind the stove. It’s glass subway tile in light grey, the same color as the walls, so practical and lovely. The cabinets are very similar to yours, but I used my old nickel knobs and got cup pulls to match. The countertop is a dark grey Silestone that looks a lot like soapstone. It’s easy to care for and to see messes. I do like your countertop choice because it has some brownish flecks that relate to the color of your old cabinets. What fun!
In my opinion the quartz looks too grey and is too busy. I’d stay neutral but less movement. Black is so pretty with white cabinets.
I love your original choice. My daughter’s kitchen has quartz with a green running it through it and I was doubtful when she selected it. But it looks beautiful and easy to take care of. I think if you go with classic choices and NOT what is trendy for you beautiful home it will look great! I agree, backsplashes are over rated. Like someone else mentioned if you stay with your white/gray color it will be timeless. Please don’t go with tans!