Another yes or no vote! Lots of pictures!

jterrilynnJanuary 25, 2014

Note: cross post with kitchen forum.

Hi all, we are in the process of remodeling a new home. I want to change the two tier counter to one counter height level. Due to budget I have to keep the perimeter granite counters. I need some ideas on a countertop for the lowered counter height island that will go with the perimeter counter granite. Also, I do not want to paint or stain the cabinets as I have furnishings to jive with the vibrancy. I am removing the center wall cabinet between the windows and using the oddly placed shelves above windows as open shelving in that center area (thank you decorating forum). I have provided two pictures as it is now and two pictures of the granite in different lighting. From a distance in high light the counter reads a sort of Dijon with dark brown bits. The bottom picture is the island with Antique Brown granite but I'm not a hundred percent sure about it.

KITCHEN AS IT IS NOW! IN this picture the counters show a bit brighter as it was played with by realty photographer.

This is a picture I took that gives a another idea on how the counter reads in different light.

GRANITE IN LIGHT!

GRANITE IN SHADE!

ISLAND with ANTIQUE BROWN GRANITE???

What would you do if you were on a budget and could not replace all the counters and needed something for island that would go with the mix and perimeter granite?

Antique Brown Yes or NO? Or, hey Terri I have a better idea...

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tibbrix

Yes, I'd do the island with a dark chocolate brown, very dark. Or wood, which goes with everything.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 3:08PM
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jjam

I know you said you didn't want to paint the cabinets. But would you consider painting just the island? If you did, then I would use a butcher block/wooden top.

Without seeing everything else it's hard to judge. But lots of islands are done with wood tops. If you do a different shade of granite it might look like an add-on, or that there wasn't enough of the granite used for the counters to finish the kitchen.

The reason I would suggest painting the island is that I think the wooden counters look better on a painted surface.

It will be a great kitchen when you are finished!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:18PM
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bbstx

Antique brown - yes (provided it is a small patterned or no patterned granite).

Or, can you find someone who would try to carefully remove the upper slab of granite, then carefully seam the two pieces together after the island is cut down?

Because the island is being cut down, perhaps it could be cut off with the granite still attached. Then cut the wood down until it is nearly gone. The last little bit may have to be sanded flat in order to re-use the granite. REMEMBER this suggestion is being made by someone who doesn't know jack about handling granite, so be prepared for serious scoffing (maybe outright guffawing) when you suggest this to the granite folks.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:37PM
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joaniepoanie

Agree that whatever you pick should have little to no pattern so it doesn't compete with other granite. Maybe a plain quartz?

I like the idea of using the shelves between the windows...it opens that area up. However, what do you think of putting the cabinets you take down to the left of the sink where that open cabinet is now...I think it will look more balanced visually and give you more closed storage. Also, it might be interesting to offset those shelves instead of lining them up.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 4:54PM
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bbstx

Antique brown - yes (provided it is a small patterned or no patterned granite).

Or, can you find someone who would try to carefully remove the upper slab of granite, then carefully seam the two pieces together after the island is cut down?

Because the island is being cut down, perhaps it could be cut off with the granite still attached. Then cut the wood down until it is nearly gone. The last little bit may have to be sanded flat in order to re-use the granite. REMEMBER this suggestion is being made by someone who doesn't know jack about handling granite, so be prepared for serious scoffing (maybe outright guffawing) when you suggest this to the granite folks.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 5:27PM
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DLM2000

If you're keeping the overhang and intend to use the island seating regularly, my suggestions is to find something other than stone. I'll NEVER do stone again at an eating or desk area - it's just too flippin' cold!!!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:56PM
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littlebug5

I'm with the "no, I think mixing the granites will look like you couldn't find enough to do the whole kitchen so you made do with what you could find" team.

If I wasn't absolutely sure it will look OK, I wouldn't waste the money. I'd wait until I could do it ALL to suit me.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 6:58PM
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mtnrdredux_gw

I vote to paint the island and put butcher block on it.

Of course, I also wanted to keep the bookshelves!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:07PM
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Oakley

What if I don't want you to level the island? :) I don't have one like it, but I've always been partial to two tiered islands, especially that size. I think they're more functional in an odd sort of way for both use and to decorate. Since your stovetop is on the island, setting a vase of flowers or something in the middle of the island wouldn't look quite right because the stovetop would add clutter. Can you tell accessorizing is my thing? LOL.

I also like the look of one type of granite in the kitchen.

Nice kitchen and I'm jealous of your windows!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:11PM
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outsideplaying_gw

I was going to suggest what bbstx suggested...see if a good fabricator can seam the two pieces together to make one large slab the height you need (and re-polish and re-seal it if needed). Would seem to be a lot cheaper too. It would be a very long seam, but as long as your countertop is supported for the overhanging seating area, you should be fine.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:18PM
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may_flowers

That island is such a focal point that I'd give it a facelift with paint, new doors, and end panels. Or I'd do nothing now and replace it when budget allows with a bigger island.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:44PM
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jterrilynn

Well this is a pickle!

If I paint the island cabinets that might muggle things up even more as that would be yet another color. Unless, I painted it in a same tone? Then there would not be wood disparities touching with a wood top. However, do I want a wood top on an island with an island range?Am I responsible enough lol? I could do another surface just on the newly lowered bit and join it to the existing granite, maybe stainless? But, there are two little seams on the backend of the slide-in range where a narrow piece was fitted in. ItâÂÂs not very noticeable so IâÂÂm not sure how much that might bug me but it probably would. And yet another problem is that if I had the bullnose removed on the upper tier to seam it into the existing I would lose another inch on an eleven inch overhang.

ItâÂÂs looking like I will need to replace the whole Island top with the same granite (I donâÂÂt like) but in one smooth piece. Would anyone know the name of the granite? Maybe I should do a separate post on that. If I got it honed (flat non-shiny) would that make the busyness less noticeable?

Oak, I didnâÂÂt realize how much I didnâÂÂt like the two tier until I removed it in the last house kitchen remodel. ItâÂÂs so much nicer for entertaining with one level; short people cannot comfortably reach things in chafing dishes on a two tier for buffets (open plan). Also, it really opens things up nicely and gives you so much more useable counter room. I also had friends tell me they felt much more comfortable sitting around my new one level as opposed to up high.

This post was edited by jterrilynn on Sat, Jan 25, 14 at 21:54

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:53PM
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springroz

I LIKE the two-tiered island, since you have the cooktop there.

nancy

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 7:59PM
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jterrilynn

Hi Nancy, The two tier island bothers me a lot in this setup. The ceilings are 8âÂÂ, itâÂÂs all open plan and the island is rather large to start with at 96â long and 63â deep. Aesthetically itâÂÂs not right in the scheme with the two tiers on top of the size.
By going one level the seating will be close to the height in the living area that is located near. I want something the eye will pass over easier.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2014 at 9:50PM
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may_flowers

Have you had a carpenter look at the island to see what's involved in cutting it down? I think you'll need to replace the six doors along the back, so you are looking at some expense beyond the granite.

I hope I don't offend anyone's sensitivities if this sounds a bit frank. That side door looks odd, as do the extra deep cabinets behind the cooktop for the seating. It accentuates the look of two boxes shoved together to make an island, especially since there are no end panels to meld it together. I'm afraid that cutting the cabinet down could end up looking like a hack job. I'd hate topping it with gorgeous, expensive granite, and I do think you need a full piece so it doesn't look hacked. Also, are the cooktop cabinets shorter than the perimeter cabs? It looks like the photos are taken straight on, and the perimeter is taller.

I would live with it until your budget recovers from the move. If you can replace the island, you'll have a beautiful focal point, and you'll be one step ahead if you ever decide to replace the perimeter. Otherwise, I'd find out if it's possible to work with the existing island and add end panels, new doors, and possibly legs. You might be able to add deep drawers for cookware in place of the cabinets. I don't see any deep drawers in your kitchen. Then you can top it with the granite of your choice.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:16AM
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jterrilynn

Hi May, yes I have had a contractor look at the island and it can be cut down. The doors are flat panel so they can be cut down as well. All the base cabinets (sink run area and down) have drawer type pullouts within. Although I loved my drawers in the last house this kitchen is very livable for me (with a few tweaks) I donâÂÂt mind your frankness at all, thatâÂÂs what IâÂÂm asking for. However, once this is cut down and counter chairs are added the doors on the seating side will not be noticeable much. That area of storage will only be used for things not often used. To be honest I do not think I will ever fill all the cabinets this kitchen has. The lower tier cooking side of the island is the same height as the peninsular I think it may look different due to the angle of the photo. My husband is thinking of putting a wine cooler in that side door section.

IâÂÂm welcoming thoughts on the name of the granite!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 11:53AM
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Olychick

I think if you dislike the granite, I'd try to use what you have until you can replace it all, instead of either matching it or choosing a darker granite to coordinate. I don't think the two granites, without a different color cabinet in the island, look like a deliberate (good) design choice.

What about utilizing the larger piece of granite and doing something like this out of wood for the eating bar?

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:04PM
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teacats

A vote to replace the current granite with basic honed "absolute black" granite. IF possible -- paint the center island in black too. Would work well with the out perimeter countertops and balance the strong color of the cabinets ....

Honestly -- I do like the double tier island -- although I would change the handles on the cabinets under the upper tier so the handles would not knock into guests' knees as they sat at the island .... LOL! :)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:17PM
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crl_

I'm not a fan of two different stone countertops. Reusing the existing granite would be great if that is feasible. Otherwise, I like the idea to paint the island and out a butcher block top on it. Alternatively, you could keep the island the stained wood and use a stainless steel counter top.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:23PM
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jterrilynn

This is where IâÂÂm at with this kitchenâ¦Holly on the kitchen forum brought up some very good points on the cut down vs cost along with a suggestion of just taking those cabinets out on the seating side and starting over with the one level on that end. I think she is right. I do not really need those shallow cabinets on the seating side. About the granite, no I donâÂÂt love it but there are many things I donâÂÂt love about this house. However, there are few things that I just canâÂÂt live with and if I must prioritize my biggest dislikes that would be the honking two tier island. The thing about this kitchen is that when people come in they either hate it or love it. There are no in-betweens. Most of the hate is with the color of the cabinets. I think by having that open shelving on the perimeter wall it really softens things up. I also think that eliminating the cabinets on the seating side will do a lot to make it more aesthetically pleasing. Perhaps that underneath part could just be painted the wall color (or other) after it's made counter height or maybe a deeper slightly darker match in a same tone. IâÂÂm suspecting that the cabinet doors are Lyptus but have no confirmation on that. I could be wrong but I donâÂÂt think IâÂÂll be able to match up overhang legs and such so this will all need much more thought. I can live with the granite if I have too.

Oly, I love the wood counter suggestions and think it would look best. IâÂÂm afraid IâÂÂm not responsible enough to have wood counters in a kitchen though. I do have a lovely 30 X 30 BooâÂÂs meat block on wheels from my last kitchen that I do not think IâÂÂll be able to use here. I will just have to make do with a portable wood cutting board.

Painting the whole islandâ¦still not sure about that but will try a few mockups and get back if I like any.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2014 at 1:47PM
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