countertops & sink help, pleeeez!!

madeleine2003May 21, 2013

I have been going around & around and have spent countless hours reading the wonderful and informative posts here but I still canâÂÂt come to a decision about a LOT of things so IâÂÂm hoping for some help from all of you.

IâÂÂm refurbishing my kitchen because itâÂÂs so old and IâÂÂve always wanted a BlueStar range thanks to all of you! =) IâÂÂm leaving the current cabinetry to save some money but will be cutting out a cabinet to make room for the range and updating the pull-outs and drawers to that nice soft close stuff.

My problems are with the countertops and sink. I need help choosing the material, is a "busy" granite ok or not and should I go with a white fireclay Franke sink or a copper Rachiele sink?

Countertop: Should I get granite, quartzite or soapstone. I know the pros and cons of each material but I canâÂÂt make a decision. I donâÂÂt abuse my counters, I donâÂÂt cut on them or drop things on them. I donâÂÂt have kids, itâÂÂs just 2 of us and an occasional large party. I like granite because itâÂÂs shiny & reflects light. I donâÂÂt like the speckled effect of some granites. I found a nice granite but am wondering if itâÂÂs too busy. ItâÂÂs called Gazon from Brazil. You can find a photo of it at I like quartzite but itâÂÂs so expensive! I thought Princess white was absolutely gorgeous, especially with all the little tiny blue & green âÂÂgemsâÂÂ. I found a really cool soapstone called Green Iron but IâÂÂm concerned about the patina over time. Will it be too dark in my dark kitchen in the future.

Countertop color: this is also a big issue⦠should I get white, grey, yellow/gold, black, greenâ¦. What?? I have no clue.

Sink: Should I get a Franke fireclay farmhouse in white or a Rachiele farmhouse copper sink? What color countertop would it go best with in my dark kitchen to match?

Here are the âÂÂfactsâÂÂ:
My kitchen is dark. It doesnâÂÂt have a window because itâÂÂs in the center of the house.
We always turn the lights on when we go in the kitchen �" day & night, summer & winter.
There are 3 transom window about 20 feet up that receives light from the north.
There are 3 large movie set type of canned lights up there, too and lots of recessed lighting but it still seems dark with the lights on.
The cabinets are a medium brown with lots of grain.
All the appliances are stainless steel.

Here is a picture of the southeast facing wall. Oddly enough it looks like there is plenty of light but all the lights are on & there is the flash from the camera. This photo has been photoshopped just so I could see what the kitchen may look like so the sink & SS dishwasher really arenâÂÂt there or the ones IâÂÂm getting. But youâÂÂll get the basic idea what the kitchen looks...

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I'm no expert, but I guess a copper sink would make the place darker and probably will not look good next to an SS DW.

As to counter I wouldn't prefer busy and dark colors.

Meanwhile do you have yellow or white light bulbs in the kitchen? Although yellow ones feel warmer, I am more comfortable with white in my kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:13PM
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Holly- Kay

I love your kitchen! Would you consider a panel for your dw? If not I think a cast iron farm house sink would probably look better with stainless. With that being said I have been kicking myself for choosing the Kohler Whitehaven as early as I did because I fell in love with the Rachiele copper farmhouse sink but I already had the cast iron ordered.

I think a copper sink would look gorgeous in your kitchen but not next to a stainless dw.I would use a light granite with a lot of movement with some bordeaux or coppery colors in it to go with your Rachiele sink (If you chose that).

So if the kitchen were mine I would:

1. Go with the Rachiele sink
2. Do a custom panel for the dw (so I could go with the copper sink).
3. Use a light color granite to brighten the kitchen.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 3:26PM
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I'll try to help, but I'm not a kitchen guru although I've been hanging around here for almost 4 years now (haven't done my own reno yet). Have you considered painting your cabs to lighten things up? Are you keeping the cabs above the sink? Taking them out would allow light from the LR or FR into the kitchen and go a long way to opening up the space. You probably need to plan on doing a new lighting layout to help rid your kitchen of the shadows.

I think what sink is not a priority until you figure out some of the other issues. As far as what countertop, it's a very personal choice and you need to figure out what would work best for you and how you use your kitchen. Personally, I'm staying away from speckly granite/quartz or stones with a lot of movement because they bother my eyes. When I work in my kitchen I need a visually calm place. I also don't want to worry about babying my counters so I'll be using either quartz or soapstone (a hard variety).

If you paint your cabs and use a lighter countertop material, it would go a long way to making your kitchen feel airier. (I'll try to find a few examples from the FKB and post back with some examples.)

What is the floor? Can't really tell from the pic, but it looks like it might be wood. That would work well with painted cabs, even if they're fairly dark (grounding the space). With all this being said, I know I sound like a white TKO person, but I'm really not. I'll probably be going with stained cabs, but I definitely have learned to appreciate how white/light cabs help open up a space in my years on GW.

I don't think I've helped with all your questions, but hopefully the pros will chime in soon.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Here's a photo of the granite that "we're" thinking of going with but I'm worried it may be too busy. Cool thing about this granite is it has some quartz in it & it doesn't really have that much "speckled" stuff....or does it? thoughts???

Lighting - I'm not sure if it's yellow or white but I'm thinking they're white. I'll have to double check on that.

If I go with the Rachiele sink, should I do farmhouse or undermount? And if I do this, would a black dishwasher work or would I still need to panel it? I suppose this would also determine the color of the microwave drawer since it will be in the lower cabinets but on the opposite side?

I'm afraid I can't change the color of the cabinets because the rest of the house has the same stain. It all flows and there's no real "stop" point. That would have been a great idea but unfortunately, I don't think it's going to work in this kitchen. :( Or would it look funny if I painted the upper cabinets white and left the lower cabinets medium brown???

thanks, everyone!! I love your thoughts!

The floor is wood, medium brown, too.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:56PM
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Holly- Kay

The granite is gorgeous. The colors would really go great with the copper sink. I actually like your dark cabs.

I am by no means a designer but I think the apron front if you go copper will really look great. OTOH if you go with a traditional mount the stainless dw would be fine. I just think that if you go with copper it would be a shame to not show a lot of it.

Poohpup has a beautiful Rachiele apron front with cabs that are on the darker side. Maybe you could look at her kitchen for ideas.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 10:41PM
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If it were my space I'd do an undermount sink-look at stainless and silgranit both.... higher arc bridge mount faucet with nice traditional style/stainless dishwasher and probably lighter counter .Look at some colored or custom tiles with some interesting design/color for the narrow strip around sink and then mimic that above cooktop..... a wonderful chance to play off the glass doors and really "shine" with your good lighting and make the space a little more dynamic since there are no windows...all kinds of tiles with floral/leaves/botanical/or geometric/arabesque??.....the counter you show is a little muddy-it works but doesn't provide that something extra that a beautiful color or pattern on the backsplash and above cooktop would....stay with simpler counters. good luck and do look at all the beautiful custom tiles.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2013 at 5:43AM
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Speaking of faucets, would you go with a waterstone faucet? Are they really worth the price?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Hi folks! I've decided not to go with the granite, above. Found these 2 slabs. What do you think? Which one would you go with?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Here's the 2nd slab.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:25PM
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Those are both beautiful! I think that I would choose #2 for your cabinets -- but, with your concerns about darkness overall in the space, are they really what you want? If you used either of these, I would stick with a white sink and be sure to have a light backsplash and walls. There are some lovely light colors in #2 that you could pull from. WIth busy granite and busy glass in the cabinets, I would keep everything else simple.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:37PM
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I know. Darkness was a concern but that labradorite blue extra (photo #1) was just SOOOO beautiful! I figured we're putting in extra under cabinet lighting so maybe that would help. I was just concerned if it would "go" with the cabinets. Now I'm leaning towards photo #2, like you said.

Backsplash: yup. light, off-white and very plain & simple for sure!


    Bookmark   June 17, 2013 at 3:58PM
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