Changing counter tops in kitchen with white cabinets

salilsurendranSeptember 4, 2012


I recently bought a new home with white cabinets. The kitchen countertops need to be upgraded. I was thinking of going for black granite. Here is a picture of my kitchen. I was also wondering if the lighting could be made better? As you can see in the picture the appliances are all white. I am also planning to install a stainless steel microwave and stainless steel sink in the kitchen. Right now the electric stove and fridge are white.

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You could do Anything!!!! That is just a great space. Are you puuting The MW over the range? I think the white appliances look good. I think I would stick with it. I would go kinda wild with the countertops, myself. Change the hardware, and you are done!

Very cute!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:07AM
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take a door to a granite yard and see what catches your eye. I think black would be nice also. Do look at honed black slabs too. I agree with springroz, change the hardware.

As far as the lighting, a lot of people miss this: check the bulbs, they all are not the same. Huge difference if you get the right bulb. My electrician automatically puts bulbs in that hang out of the fixture. But we climbed up there, read the label, off to the store and bought the right bulbs. Once they are inside the housing the lights will look a lot better. Look for Short Neck bulbs in the size the label says you can use. The long necks are the ones that stick out. It's a small change, but it does make a difference.

Also, see if you can add any under cabinet lighting.

Cute space.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:29AM
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Wow! How nice that it's not dark in there.
I agree with the countertops, but I"m not so sure I'd change the appliances! It's a small kitchen and right now (other than the counters) your eye doesn't move/stop/move/stop on different colors such as appliances. If it's totally white like this, it's calm.

You don't have a cab over the sink. You might consider an open shelf or something for interest. Can you back up and do another photo!

Nice kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:30AM
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I'd steer away from a black and white color scheme. This is a modest kitchen, so I'd go with a bright and cheerful Corian or laminate counter and just have a lot of fun with it.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:21AM
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I agree ... white microwave. Change the hardware. Granite and backsplash. Something over the sink - cool pendant light ?

Warning on black granite ... we have Black Pearl. It's gorgeous, but it shows EVERY bit of dust and smears. Like trying to keep a black car clean. I think it would look fabulous in your space, but take a door to the granite yard and see if anything else catches your fancy. Also, search here on GW and the Finished Kitchens Blog for white kitchens for ideas on what you can do with white.

What colors do you decorate with in the rest of your house ? What is this kitchen next to ?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 9:44AM
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Black looks great with white cabinets! I have black pearl with white in my laundry room and it looks really nice.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:14AM
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Cute Kitchen! Black granite would look nice and a simple subway tile back splash. I would want stainless appliances if it where me also. But the white appliances do work.

Some open shelving like the pictures below over the sink area would be awesome and continue the back splash to the ceiling behind the shelves. Stainless or brushed nickel cabinet hardware.

Contemporary Kitchen design by San Francisco Interior Designer Justrich Design

Traditional Kitchen design

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:36AM
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Nice, bright space. Love the lightness. I want to second a dark counter. I also have white cabs and a red oak (or so yours looks to me) floor and my dark counters help anchor and balance the kitchen. I have dark gray mottled quartz (Caesarstone Smoky Ash) and they show nothing, almost to a fault. I have to run my hands along the surface to know if they need to be wiped or cleaned. If I were doing it again--and I'm not anytime soon!--I'd still go gray, but not quite so dark.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Cute kitchen! I agree that you could really go with just about anything for countertops. Does your refrigerator open ok? I noticed that it's a side by side and looks to be set against a wall. (My side by side probably wouldn't open properly placed against a wall. I probably wouldn't be able to open the drawers.) If you do not intend to change out the other appliances, personally I would stick with a white microwave. I agree that before you settle on exactly what color of granite, you should peruse one or more stone yards and see what you like.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:12AM
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I am not sure what is beyond your kitchen, I assume it is eating space. I saw this picture where they extended the counter top on to the wall area and wrapped it around the wall a bit and made a cute counter bar space. If you extend your new counters on to the half walls making that space part of the counter it would open up the space and make it feel larger. Just a thought : )

Traditional Kitchen design by San Francisco Interior Designer Amoroso Design

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:42AM
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do you feel like evaluating the fridge for a replacement?
Can see the benefit of investing in the shallow depth liebherr,which would not protrude so much,then get a panel on the side [or place a panel on any shallow depth fridge.] You'd get the benefit of a better fridge visually and in the "using" sense. Can certainly leave the dishwasher/range and even have a white mwave.If you went ahead with a more up to date fridge,swapping the narrow pantry door for an upscale look-divide the column up-under the counter is a third with matching door to the rest of cabs...then the top 2 doors in etched or reeded glass-then the direct view in the space would be improved.I think the backsplash might actually be as critical as whatever counter you pick...I'd spend some time on that.The cabinets are transitional enough in style so you can really take this space any direction you wish. fair number of upper cabs-I'd think about the look you wish with new hardware...with the height they are,to me, it seems a slightly bigger knob [or handle] might be proportionately better. Between counter/backsplash/new knobs and a different pantry door look [if you desire],you can improve and personalize the look. It looks like only 12 or 15 inches of backsplash height on the right-probably can live with it,but does require some consideration.If you're leaving those uppers,that's a case for say a light colored subway tile as you don't want that dark small line of something across there[altho you could if you want the eye to always be landing at that spot]. anyway, with a lighter backsplash, maybe a medium toned charcoal counter rather than stark black would be better[less contrast-y].
sometimes in such small spaces,tonal shifts in colors rather than light/dark can be a little easier when you're actually living with it day to day. If you can look over the deep single bowl sinks,you'll gain some counter on the left between sink/fridge-that would be nice. Nice little kitchen-have fun with your choices-it'll be wonderful...beautiful floor by the way.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 11:48AM
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    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 12:19PM
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It would be a good time to re-arrange existing cabinets if you think you might want to. Placing your fridge at the outside edge of the kitchen will keep grazers out of your cooking and clean-up zones, and now would be the time to box it in if you are so inclined.

You could scoot your range farther down to offset it from the dw, so you can have one cook cooking, and another cleaning up at the same time. It doesn't look as if you have a vent hood right now, and you have an electric range, so it should be no problem.

A stainless sink is fine, but I wonder why you are buying a stainless microwave if you're not planning to change the rest of the appliances?

Finally, have you priced out black corian? While granite is less expensive than some solid surfaces, black corian is in the A price group, requires no maintenance, and might be right for you. Good luck!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:33PM
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Love those 2 ideas rtwilliams

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:29PM
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I went to the contractor to look at the granite she has in store and I really liked 'Black Galaxy'(it had black with tinges of copper in it). But my realtor mentioned that black on white is not a modern look so when I sell my house no one will know that it has been updated. Another related question, while upgrading my counter tops, the contractor will mount the undermount sink for me but will not re attach back the water supply and hoses and tells me that I will have to get a plumber to do that. Was wondering is reattaching the hoses and faucets something that I should try by myself?

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 3:48PM
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I think you need to do what you like. I think black is more universally liked because if you get a busy granite of another color it is personal taste. Black is black and goes with everything.

It depends on how handy you are. I would watch a few youtube videos and get a bid from a plumber and decide if it is worth the headache of DIY.
For our remodels plumbing I begged DH to at least get a plumbers bid. Thank fully we did and the plumber really was not that expensive. My DH is handy but after seeing him place paper towels under every sink he has worked on and checking for leaks constantly and finding leaks. I would hire it is I where you.

Excited to see you new counters, I have black pearl granite and love it.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 4:12PM
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Have you thought about going with something like quartz or recycled glass in a lighter or medium color?

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Its already done. I went with black galaxy. I am happy but not super pleased. I Guess I was expecting a look like the ones I saw in designer magazines

    Bookmark   September 19, 2012 at 11:55PM
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Can you post some pics? Maybe we can help you get the feeling you were going for.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:12AM
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Here are the pics

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:04AM
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First Pic. This site doesn't let me upload multiple pics

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:14AM
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Second pic. Plus I have enter some message else it doesn't let me upload.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:18AM
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Whole kitchen. Should I change the color of the cabinets to wooden color

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:19AM
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I say, disregard your realtor. Seriously, anyone can see it's not a "modern' kitchen anyway. Black and white is CLASSIC as in, you can't really go wrong with neutral colors. If you choose to sell soon, then a new buyer can use any accent she wants. If you had gone with, say Blue Pearl granite, then you're stuck accessorizing around the blue.

It's a good choice.

So what colors are you planning to accent with? I can't wait to see it!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:27AM
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It looks very nice! Can you show us a photo of the kind of kitchen you had in mind, so we can help you know whether your kitchen can look like that too? Bear in mind that real-life kitchens pretty much never look like the ones in magazines, because those have professional photographers doing magic with lighting and lenses and filters; also they are usually staged, also they are often in big rooms with high ceilings and wide trim molding so our cute little cottage kitchens will never look like them anyway.

Refacing your cabinets with wood doors and edging would be pretty expensive, and the ones I've seen in real life don't look all that great (probably proportional to the amount of money spent).

The way to insert more than one photo is to first put them somewhere online (like Photobucket), then paste the HTML code directly into the body of your post. I will link a recent thread about it below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Posting pictures thread

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:41AM
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No, I don't think going darker would be a good idea in your is suffering from lack of good lighting. Have you thought about undercounter lighting?

I would just accessorize the rest of the kitchen with any color that makes your heart sing! Find some nice cannisters to set out, get a couple of colorful towels, and maybe a small rug in front of the sink.

I don't know what is on this side of those pony walls, but do you have room to make the one of those a breakfast bar? You could get a small remnant of your slab and see if they could attach it to the top of the pony wall. It's hard to tell from the pics, but it might work to give you more space.

Enjoy it! It is a great little kitchen!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 11:57AM
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I would re-paint the walls, not the cabinets. As PPs said, black-and-white is a classic combo but this particular yellow walls do nothing for the kitchen, IMHO.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 12:42PM
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I wanted to add granite wall caps to the kitchen. The contractor is asking for an extra $565. Most of the cost is going for line fabrication and $100 for installation. Can I ask them to give me the extra material that I paid for and just get it cut and glued myself thereby saving the money.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 4:02AM
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I think it just depends on how they sold you your granite. If they sold you the whole slab, then yes, you should get all the leftovers, I would think. I'm not a granite expert, so you may want to start another thread asking that question.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 8:13AM
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I agree with Angel411, she has some great suggestions, it looks nice, just missing accessories to pull it all together. Paint the wall next to the refrigerator a lighter neutral color and add a good sized basket on top of the refrigerator.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:49AM
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I think the granite looks great: very classic and a big improvement over the tile! I'd definitely look into undercabinet lights. Before, the white counters reflected the ceiling light back up under the cabinets. The dark granite holds onto the light and makes the undercabinet areas a little cave-like. Lighting will make a big difference.

I think the previous suggestions are excellent: painting the wall in the kitchen, along with finding some colorful accessories. I had a small galley kitchen similar to this one, and I was amazed at the difference a bright blue rag rug and a few blue dishtowels over the stove handle made.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 9:57AM
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Just do painted wood caps. That's what we had before our remodel.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 10:46AM
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I would like to go with granite caps. I was wondering if I can ask for the material to be given to me and then just go to a shop and cut it to specification. Then glue it on. The contractors have reduced their price to $200 but they wouldn't be doing the flat edge lamination.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 1:05PM
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I I think it looks great! Maybe change out the pulls and knobs to something darker and accessorize like a pp said. Pointing the walls or installing a backsplash can totally change the look and feel of a space.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2012 at 7:49PM
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So I was wondering as to what is the difference between flat polished edge cap and flat laminated cap. The contractor is charging $365 extra in order to do the flat laminated cap as compared to the polished edge cap. Here is an image he has provided. The top edge is polished edge vs the bottom counter top is flat laminated. But I can't understand the difference?

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 2:34PM
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I love your black granite and white cabinets - perfect for you galley kitchen. Take a look at Palladian blue - I'm attaching a link to Houzz showing this color. I recently saw a picture of a small galley kitchen similar to yours with this color and it looked great - just can't find it now.

Look at the accessories in the first picture - just a few "pops" of color (perhaps yellow, blue, soft green), some under-cabinet lighting, and a colorful runner would really brighten things up. You just need some finishing touches.

Here is a link that might be useful: Palladian Blue pictures

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 5:23PM
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Ouch! I once painted a bathroom in Palladian blue, painted it another color in less than a week. Waaay more intense IRL.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 6:50PM
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