Kitchen Planning:: Choosing the Countertop

As the loyal readers of this blog are aware, I am about to undertake a kitchen renovation.  I've been planning/dreaming of this for years, and now it's time to make some decisions.

All along, I knew I wanted maple cabinets with black granite countertops.  I've seen the two together in magazines, on Pinterest, and even in real life!  But once it came time to put the elements of the kitchen together, I couldn't commit to the black countertops.  I just felt it would take my kitchen in a modern direction, and I'm trying for a more transitional look.  The kitchen will now be open to the living space, and while I believe every room needs some black, I couldn't picture the expanse in my own kitchen.

So I was back to the drawing board.  I still love the maple cabinet concept, in a medium stain, and decided to validate my love of French/cottage style .... I am drawn to the marble counters as they seem timeless, but held back because of their upkeep.  At the same time, I feel as though the buzzword these days is "quartz".  It is more durable than granite, and resists chips and staining, while requiring no sealant.  So I started looking at Silestone, which is one of the larger fabricators of quartz in the world.

And that's how I ended up here, at this happy place, where I love my final selection:  Lyra (of the Nebula Series of Silestone).

That's my cabinet sample, above, on the right side of the picture.  I had three different slabs of quartz on the showroom floor, by the window, as I was trying to get the best light.  Also, the new layout sports new/extra windows, so I'm counting on that natural light thing!

Below are the three finalists all clustered together so I can see the differences.  The top two are Silestone, and the bottom is a Cambria quartz product that is similar.  I immediately liked the sample in the upper left.  The upper right sample was beautiful, but seemed too muted and "cloudy".  The lower sample didn't have enough grey in it.

And that is the very long story of how I ended up making the choice for the pairing of countertop and cabinet, in the kitchen of my dreams.
Next up, choosing the hardware!

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