Granite vs Cabinet

Okay, I mentioned the other day the that the Hubby and I purchased the “Ivory Fantasy” granite. See below.

Ivory Fantasy Granite

And I really do love it! Check out these pics of the granite fully installed…

From Cole Brothers Marble and Granite

This is the version of the slab that we bought (or so I think). You can see it has a greyer look to it than the pic above, with hints of beige and reddiish-brown speckles throughout.

From Cole Brothers Marble and Granite

A little closer view of the same kitchen countertop.

From Granite World

But this version looks browner…

From Granite A-Z Designs

And this version…

From Master Granite

And especially this version…. It looks like the granite can be greyer or browner depending on how the light hits it. Or perhaps, there’s just that much variation in the granite slabs? I just hope we really do get the version from the first picture.

That said, I’m now debating whether I should paint the cabinets grey or keep the cherry wood color original to the cabinets. And how will that affect my tile options? Oh, I’m getting confused. So much to think about! What do you guys think? Go grey or not?


Granite Counter and Backsplash Tiles! We’re On Our Way To An Updated Kitchen

As you may recall, Hubby and I are in the process of re-doing our kitchen this year. We want to lighten up the space…and update our appliances…you know, that sort of thing. And what better time to go shopping for granite and backsplash tiles than when a hurricane is about to hit! Yep, hardly anyone was in the stores and so we got great attention and good deals. So good, in fact, that we went ahead and purchased our granite. Yay! This is our first major home re-do, so we’re (well, I am) a little nervous about it.

I definitely am not following the process here. Shouldn’t one have a contractor first before buying granite?? Yeah, I haven’t quite secured one yet. (If anyone in the DC area has suggestions of a great tile person, cabinetmaker, electrician, and painter, PLEASE EMAIL ME).

Well, I just loved the people at M&T Granite (a resource to those of you in the DC area). We received such great customer service from Koray (granite/marble expert) and Kathy (designer/artist). I know this must be crazy, but I’m a fairly intuitive person and can tell someone’s shooting the sit and or if they’re genuinely interested in helping you…and Koray and Kathy were the latter. Yes, of course, they wanna sell ya something. But I wanted to buy something, so perfect combo. I didn’t know the first thing about granite. But I liked it, so I got it.

Kathy certainly doesn’t run around in circles trying to sell you something. As a designer, she’s too the point about what granite/marble options would work well for what you’re looking for. And Koray, well, he’s just a sweet businessman. So far so good. I certainly hope they do a good job with the installation and the rest of the job. Koray and Kathy, please don’t disappoint!

At first, since I am thinking of painting our cabinets grey, I thought about getting the Kashmir White granite. See below.

Kashmir White

It is definitely greyer than the picture here depicts, with speckles of reddish-brown. It was about $30-something per square feet, which was very reasonable for budget. But then, Kathy, with her designer eye suggested the Ivory Fantasy granite as an alternative. We had just been to Mosaic Tileand selected a few options to work with (see below). And as you’ll see, they have a bit more of a golden pop to them. So, we decided on the Ivory Fantasy.

Ivory Fantasy

Ta da! It’s not as beige as it seems on this pic. It actually has beautiful silver speckles throughout, and the movement on the granite was just beautiful. Movement, according to my expert designer/realtor friend Sarah Schifano, is important to look for when selecting granite. The more movement (or the variation in color and striation within the same slab) on the granite, the higher the quality. For just a little more bump in the price (around $40-something per square feet) we got our movement with the Ivory Fantasy.

So now, onto our backsplash tile dilemma. Since we’ve now made our purchase, we found three potential tile options. We weren’t so impressed with our person at Mosaic Tile, so we didn’t buy. I mean — who chews gum with an open mouth and answers the phone and leaves you to help another customer who JUST walked in — while she’s supposed to be helping you?? We really liked the selection at the tile store, so hopefully we can work with another person in if we decide to go there. But! That said, here are the tile options we selected. I’d LOVE your thoughts on what you think would go well with our new countertops. Keep in mind my “grey” concept…. Take look!

Option A: Bianco

Should we go with Option A?

Option B: Butter Cream Mosaic

Or Option B?

Option C: Gold and Silver Foil

Or Option C?

I know SOMEONE out there is reading this post. I’d love to hear from you. =)

This is the Year…

…for a kitchen re-do!  We’ve certainly been dreaming, waiting, saving over the past year to finally give a little TLC to our functional, yet outdated kitchen.  I’m thinking of turning this….

Our Peach's Kitchen

…into this

Designed by Leslie Ezelle, Season 6 Design Star Contestant

Good idea? Tell me what you think!

Home List of To Dos

A lot on my mind today.  So much to do on our Peach, including:

1. Put up new back patio fence.
2. Renovate kitchen.
3. Paint a mural or place pretty decal on staircase wall.
4. Update living room decor.
5. Clean up and organize home office.
6. Organize all closets.
7. Replace light fixtures in entry and over staircase (kitchen too?)

Almost four years into our Peach, and this list is just the beginning….Other life necessities took precedence to updating our Peach.  And certainly #2 and #4 are going to take some time for more saving.  #2 in particular is a little bit of a dilemma.  It’s quite possible that in 2 years, the Hubby and I will transition to a different home.  While we’d love to stay in our Peach for a long time, it just doesn’t have the space for us to grow.  So what to do?  Do we shell out the dough and do the full redo shabang (i.e., new layout, new cabinets, new countertops, new appliances)?  Or do we take the minimal approach and simply upgrade countertops and appliances, keeping the cabinets and layout?  Where can we get the most bang for our buck?  Anyone out there with ideas?

For those also planning home renovations out there, I came across this thought-piece that may be of interest from MintLife.

The Kitchen Cure

I’ve just signed up on a for kitchen-clean-up one-month boot camp…”The Kitchen Cure.” Hubby and I want to eat healthier, so I figure, if we organize our small kitchen in a way that makes healthier ingredients and foods accessible, we might just eat better. So—

What is the Kitchen Cure?

The site says, “The Kitchen Cure is a four-week program designed to help you get your kitchen in tip-top shape: Clean, healthy and organized. Naturally, your cooking will improve by becoming more nourishing and satisfying. There’s something to learn here for every cook.”

“The Kitchen Cure has four main assignments. Each is designed to motivate you to de-clutter, clean, and make your kitchen a more fun and healthy place to cook. You follow along at home, and [] will give you tips, encouragement, and community support.”

“This Kitchen Cure [kicked] off on Friday, February 26th, with [the] first assignment. Each Friday there will be an assignment and you’ll have the weekend to get it started. During the week [] will have tips, tricks, good ideas, and other pieces of inspiration to help you work on that week’s Cure assignment.”

Alright, I’m a little behind.  The first assignment for last weekend was to clean out the fridge and pantry.  As you know, I’m hoping to renovate our kitchen this year (hopefully)…so de-cluttering is definitely a good first step.  I intend on catching up this weekend!  Wish me luck!

Design Notebook: “Home Style” Kitchens

The Hubby and I have been dreaming of renovating our kitchen since we adopted Our Peach three years ago. As you may know, Our Peach is quite old — built in 1890 and the most recent renovation was in the early 90s. So we’re talking about almost 20 years old set of appliances and kitchen decor. It’s not so bad, as you see.

The Heart and Soul of Our Peach

Everything is functioning as they should. But we are just counting down the months/days we have left on the life expectancy of our microwave, stove, refrigerator, etc. Add to the fact that the Hubby loves to cook, and we really need more counter space to accommodate all that he wants to be able to do in the kitchen. Three years into our slow updating of our home (we’ve done a great deal of minor renovations like painting, re-caulking, spackling, etc), I think this year might just be the time for us to take on a larger renovation — that is our kitchen and really the heart and soul of our home. It’s the place where we spend the most time together after work…catching up on the day’s events, sharing a couple of glasses of wine, dancing while simmering, and just helping each other make a great meal for us to share. So, it’s a special part of our home, and it needs a little more TLC.

And Sometimes, Our Dance Floor

I’m doing some research on different ways for us to add more counter space, storage, and improve the overall aesthetics of our kitchen. I’m just at the beginning stages, so if you have any ideas for re-organizing appliances or the kitchen space generally…I’d greatly appreciate it. For those who are just starting off like me, I found this excellent resource for matching your kitchen to your home’s architectural style. It’s not necessary, of course. But may be helpful to you in brainstorming different looks to consider.


Do you have a Federal style home? Queen Anne, perhaps? Or Art Deco, Modern? Cape Cod? Arts and Crafts? If you’re interested in bringing the outside in, then check out this resource from