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Am I being a coward with the granite?

Posted by lotsofkids (My Page) on
Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 13:07

When we bought this house, one of the big selling points was the custom concrete counters and floors. We loved them! Unfortunately the counters are falling apart. He did the overlay kind, and it is coming apart around the sink, water has gotten in, and it is leaking into the basement. It's also scratched, discolored and warped. So we have to do counters now, and with everything I have going, my brain might explode. Picking granite might be the last straw. We had granite in our last house, and we loved it, so we are going back to what we know and love. I have a gigantic island 5.5'x10.5', another strip along the wall the same length where the range is, and a 4' strip on a built in hutch. The cabinets along the wall are a very red cherry (I don't love the red), the island and hutch are a creamy French white. Our current counter tops are a stormy gray with black and white flecks. The granite that most closely resembles that is New Caledonia, but after reading around, it makes me feel like I'm chickening out in the granite and going with something lame/safe. I've been going to slab yards, and today I saw blue flower, and really loved it: http://www.stonegalleryno.com/color/blue-flower-granite.html#. I've done my house in a variety of blues with some apple green, stormy gray (so the counter color really was perfect) and an occasional splash of red. We are going for a combo craftsman/French cottage look. We don't do super trendy. I was raised that the permanent and expensive pieces like furniture, counters and floors you go neutral and get your color in paint, decor. We are not the kind to continually remodel. We want to get it in and love it for quite a while. I don't want to hate my counters in 5 years. They are going to be expensive, and they are going to stay for a LONG TIME. My favorite color has always been blue, but will I not want it on my counter tops in 5 years? My MIL is still stuck on the hunter green/burgundy/navy trend of the early 90s. Would blue flower granite be like hunter green counter tops forever dating my house? Is new caledonia boring? I also want to make sure I don't get pink undertones in my kitchen with the new caledonia. It can have pink in it. Will the blue flower be too much/too busy on such a big island? I am so tired of making decisions (we've been adding things to the house since we moved in a year and a half ago and we landscaped our almost acre of a yard last summer and we are trying to finalize the basement plan). I just want someone to tell me what to do. I want someone to show me a picture of the completed project in several different ways so I can pick that way. So, am I being a coward by choosing New Caledonia?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Just curious, if you don't love the cabinet color are you planning to change that too? Are you trying to coordinate a new countertop with a cabinet color you don't like? Can you post a couple of pictures of your kitchen?

This post was edited by island on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 13:38


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Your links didn,t work for the blue flower granite. Unless its a absolutly in your face blue I think it would work. I was at someone home a few weeks ago and she had a grey counter with flecks of blue in it that was stunning. It had been so long since I had seen blue used inside a bathroom I forgot how pretty it is. I went home and added a blue shower curtain to mine.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Here's your link Blue flower granite

It reads more gray than blue to me.


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I love that granite! That is soooo pretty and I love how it has so much light in it too. I don't see that going out of style (the blue flower that is). I see why you are looking at New Caledonia but the Blue Flower is so much more unique and has variation in it that makes it special.

I had thought immediately of the Typhoon Bordeaux with your color of cabinets but if you don't want any pinks, reds in the stone that would not be for you and that stone can vary like crazy. Some of it is ugly while some of it is drop dead gorgeous. Sienna Bordeaux as well.

So far, I am voting for the Blue Flower, it's beautiful and you love blue. Would those be your slabs? I'd love to see a photo of your cabinets to see for sure but sounds like a winner to me.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I like the blue flower a lot and I'm not even a blue person ... I also think it reads more gray than blue, it's beautiful.

Second the request for pics of your kitchen. Perhaps it's possible to do the blue flower on your island, and something different and less expensive, maybe a plainer black toned counter, on the perimeter that you wouldn't kick yourself over if you wanted to change out the perimeter cabs some years from now. Hard to say without some pics of your space though.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Blue flower is gorgeous. Go with what you love. Don't worry about going out of style.


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I will post pics of my kitchen tonight after we clean up dinner. The red cabinets are very nice, and we definitely won't be ripping them out. My husband has a thing about wood and expensive things. He won't let me paint them. We have a huge, beautiful solid wood front door and a big thick rustic beam mantle stained that same red cherry color. He doesn't love the color either, but they are expensive, so they are off limits to my paint brush and sander (because what if I ruin them?). I can go all pinterest on cheap stuff, but the expensive things, no. So while I don't want to decorate around them, they aren't going anywhere anytime soon, so I do want to get along with them, if that makes sense. The blue flower is more gray, but there is definitely blue in there, no getting away from it. It is even more beautiful in person. It has shiny pyrite looking pieces scattered throughout. A little sparkle can only make things better :). I'm getting more and more convinced. I'm going back to look at it tomorrow morning.

I want to stick to one counter color bc I already have 2 cabinet colors and don't want to get too busy.

In the last year I've designed our built ins, these antique doors we put on the living room (changed the color and a few things), chosen wall paint colors, designed and put in our whole yard (and it is all intricate as well), designing and figuring out every last detail of this basement, and I'm 7 months pregnant on partial bed rest with 5 kids 6 and under. Design doesn't come naturally to me. I agonize over every choice, but ultimately love what I get. I might give myself a stroke over it, but at least I'm getting what I want. I also love to have unique things. There is a fine line between unique/distinctive and tacky :) Around here everyone decorates the same. I call it Utah contemporary (I'm from the South), and I don't want my house to be the same as everyone else's. I love being an individual, and that is hard to do here.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Ok, I took some pictures of my kitchen. I forgot about the pantry cabinets flanking the fridge that are cherry. I also took a picture of the New Caledonia samples on the counters we are replacing.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Other side of the kitchen


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

The granite samples against my existing countertops.

This post was edited by lotsofkids on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 19:24


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Wow, your kitchen is really gorgeous. I totally see your husband's point about not wanting to touch those lovely cherry cabs. :-)

I think the blue flower will look fabulous!!


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

That blue flower wolud be beautiful. Very unique!


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Yes I too can see why your husband wouldn't want to mess with those cabinets, very nice! I've never seen blue flower granite. It's beautiful and looks very similar in color to the concrete only much better and you love blue so seems like a no brainer.I say go for it and be done with it cuz it sounds like you've got your hands full! Best wishes regarding your pregnancy.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I was thinking maybe I wouldn't like the blue with very red cabinets, but once I saw the granite, and also saw that you have blue walls near, which looks good, so now I think that the blue flower granite will look great! It is not all that blue but will pick up the shade nicely yet could stand alone if you ever repaint.
Your cabinets are beautiful, such a rich tone!


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

The granite is so pretty, but keep in mind. It is probably a forever item. You may tire of blue. I did. I loved my backsplash when we put it in, so 2 years later we got granite that would look ice with our blue backsplash. Now I am so over the backsplash and also,wish I'd gotten different granite. Actually, the backsplash is where you could pop the blue if you want.

For that reason i would go more neutral. You can always add paint or other decor to add a color splash. There are a ton of neutrals that would go with your cabinets, which i also love. You can go with what you have or go more beige with tones that match the cabinets. Probably something more warm and rich than the cement colors. Because your floor isn't grey either.

It can make you nuts can't it?


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I'd so some soapstone or that kind of darker distinct look[honed granite?] on the perimeter,and a pearly effect on the island..or vice versa--yes-2 finishes. the gray is dating and underplaying the look of the kitchen. with the sharp stain on the cherry and white I think you need a "crisper" look..the gray is too dull, in that amount,for the space..


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Its so sutle the blue is not going to really pop unless you play it up. It would also be very easy to play down if you get tired of blue. I say go for it. I have black galaxy with cobber flex and had the same fear( I loved the copper but didn,t want to be tied to it, but I don,t even notice the copper since I changed wall the wall color to green.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I love your blue flower, and I don't think it is too much. I have a granite with blue, but in many lights, it reads almost black. (Mine is called Dynamic Blue.) See if you have the kind of cabinet doors that easily come off with a couple of clicks. If so, take one to the stone yard and see it with the whole expanse of granite.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dynamic blue with sample cabinet doors.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Cowardice has nothing to do with it. Are you being conservative? Yep - the stone you are thinking of installing is so similar in look to the surface you already have I don't think you could possibly go wrong if you love your current look. It seems to incorporate some red to pull in those very, very red cabinets as well.

The question is, can you pick a stone you actually like better than the look you've currently got? I think you can. Have you considered the Labradorite stones? Either Blue or Bianco would look beautiful in your space. They are stones with much more movement and depth than the surface you have now.

Blue Labradorite

also known as Lemurian Blue

Larbradorite Bianca

There are two things that date your kitchen, the 4" backsplash strip and the red stained cabinets (no way that's natural cherry). I would pull those cabinet doors down and stain them a shade of walnut in a heartbeat. Since we're talking about granite here, consider doing a 2" bs strip instead of the 4", or skip the whole "strip" idea and install an actual backsplash.

Good luck!


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I hope you aren't now going to agonize about the stain being dated and walnut being "current!" As soon as you turn them to walnut, light maple will be the style, or stained cherry. I would embrace them.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I know it's impossible to stay current at all times, but those red cabinets have never been my style. Just personal preference. I've ALWAYS loved blue, even as a kid it was my favorite. That blue labradorite makes my heart skip a beat. But it looks super pricey. We have to get 2 slabs for the kitchen and I'm guessing it's not in the $30-40 range. It looks like $80 granite. Am I right? I'm going back today to look at the blue flowers again this afternoon and take pictures with my good camera (not my phone). I like that if seems to marry the warm and cool tones I've got going. I think you're right that the all gray is too much cool and I need to find something that offers both. One of the contractors was at my house today and was telling me that granite is on its way out. What? And what will take its place? Laminate? I think stones in general are sticking around. Am I wrong?


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Repeat

This post was edited by lotsofkids on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 19:59


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Your kitchen is beautiful and I think the Blue Flower would be awesome. Do I think you would tire of the blue in 5 years? Nope. I had Blue Pearl for 15 years and loved it every day. We gutted the kitchen and put in Volga Blue, which I also loved but if I had it to do again, I would have done Blue Pearl again. Everyone told me to change up the granite. We sold the house and the granite was one of the stars that helped sell it (so was the whole remodel, of course).

I agree with others and would not change your cabinet color.

Can’t wait to see pix of the completed counters when you decide.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Repeat

This post was edited by lotsofkids on Mon, Mar 25, 13 at 20:00


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I know it's impossible to stay current at all times, but those red cabinets have never been my style. Just personal preference. I've ALWAYS loved blue, even as a kid it was my favorite. That blue labradorite makes my heart skip a beat. But it looks super pricey. We have to get 2 slabs for the kitchen and I'm guessing it's not in the $30-40 range. It looks like $80 granite. Am I right? I'm going back today to look at the blue flowers again this afternoon and take pictures with my good camera (not my phone). I like that if seems to marry the warm and cool tones I've got going. I think you're right that the all gray is too much cool and I need to find something that offers both. One of the contractors was at my house today and was telling me that granite is on its way out. What? And what will take its place? Laminate? I think stones in general are sticking around. Am I wrong?


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I guess I should have clarified that those samples are the New Caledonia, not the blue flower

That labradorite is GORGEOUS! EAM44 The red is a stain, and it's on my front door and my mantle. I desperately wish they were walnut. I had no idea the 4" backsplash was dating. Backsplash is another difficult choice. I have no idea what to put back there. We were waiting until we picked the granite to even start contemplating colors. It's on the list though. The never. ending. list.

One thing that has bothered me is that the previous owners really mixed the warms and cools so much in my kitchen, and the contrast is so stark. I love the floors, but they are definitely warm. The cabinets are one warm one cool. The counters are very cool. And I like to decorate in cool colors. I've always preferred them. So this blue flower combines those colors and elements.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Oops I misunderstood and thought it was blue flower. Oh well, looking forward to seeing a sample of that, but the New Caledonia looks nice. Yes Labradorite is on the high end and it's cool, but it's been common for a few years now and if it's not installed just right regarding the orientation to the light source those iridescent areas barely show.

Agree with chinchette, don't worry about what's in. In today, gone tomorrow and back again. Espresso, walnut, been around. Now it's grey or reclaimed wood or weathered tones and the latter is not for me. Who cares.

You already said the cabs and the color are not your favorite, but aren't going anywhere either so don't even waste any time thinking about that. If your layout works you can think about changing the color in the future if you want. On the positive, they look like they're well made, in great shape and traditional rather than trendy. So just work with colors that don't play up the cab color.

I thought this was interesting, especially in your case since the colors are similar to yours. http://www.lindaholtinteriors.com/2012/04/when-not-to-use-complementary-colors/


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Thanks for the link. That is an interesting article and goes right along with my problem. There is a link in one of the comments above to see the blue flower. I went back and saw it again today and it is more neutral than I remember, while still having some special and unique aspects to it. It also combines the warms and cools, as I mentioned before, and would hopefully bring some harmony. When we do the backsplash I will take the advice from the article and pull from one of those neutrals in the granite. Something simple.

The cabinets are very nice, very traditional and well made. The color is my only complaint, but it could definitely be worse. Maybe the right granite will tone it down and I won't be bothered by them. That article really brought focus to the problem and the solution. I also don't plan to paint those walls, which could make it worse since I love the colors on the opposite side of the color wheel. I'm going to leave them that neutral creamy color. I've only painted the dining area that china blue color (which I LOVE as does everyone who comes over), and one wall in the family room another shade of blue. That cool gray countertop might be accentuating the red. I'm going to see if I can do what someone suggested and take a cabinet door with me and put it against the granite slab. the only trouble is the lighting in those warehouses is always so awful. It's hard to see anything.

As much as the labradorite makes my heart sing to look at, it is probably too much and I doubt I would do something that bold on a countertop I plan to keep for a long time. Especially an island that big. But it is gorgeous!

This thread has been super helpful. Thank you so much for all the comments and advice. It has given me a lot to think about and I feel like I have direction now. I certainly welcome any other pearls of wisdom.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I'm glad you like the Labradorite. I'm a fan myself, and a blue person as well. Depending on your location and your fabricator's resources it goes for around $50/sf uninstalled. If it won't work with the budget there are other options. Blue flower is fine - always has looked grey to me, but of course, color can vary from slab to slab.

My philosophy is that you should buy a stone you love over one you like but think goes better with the elements in your kitchen you dislike (i.e. choosing New Caledonia because it goes better with the red cabinets you dislike). Crowd out the offending elements by choosing a paint color that will "brown" down your red cabs, and a cool bs that will compliment your stone, and again, buy a stone you love. It's a pretty kitchen even with the red cabs. It'll be lovely when you're done.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Thank you. I'm having my granite guy see if anyone has it locally "just to see" how much it is. The new caledonia is $10/sf, the blue flower is $35/sf, and this would likely be another big jump :/ I did take some pictures of the blue flower slab I saw and will post those after I clean up breakfast.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I agree with herbflavor. As much as I like grays in general (and your samples read grayish to me), if you are keeping the cabinets their current color, I think a charcoal-to-black counter surface would be a better foil for them. The red completely dominates the gray.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I'm a blue person too -- I put in a 10 foot tall wall of blue cabinets -- with white and cherry cabinets. Yes, your cherry is a stain that has an exaggerated amount of red in it, but red tones woods and blues compliment each other very well. I have them in my kitchen, dining room and master bedroom.

I think you can do either of the counters you are looking at -- the blue flower appears to have a larger pattern and be less grainy. I find the larger color areas to be more interesting, and you like the blue tint to them. The other seems to be grainy and not generally a favorite for me, but it can be neutral. If you want something that neutral, I agree that a darker, more charcoal or black would look really good with your cabinets. I have a black on top of my cherry island and hutch.

Assuming you go with one of those granites, I would look at a couple of other things you might do. First -- I see no light fixtures so I am assuming you have recessed cans. Are they standard incandescent bulbs? Try changing them to LED. You can get EcoSmart Cree bulb kits at Home Depot. Prices vary, but I got them for $24 at one store here while the next one over sells them for about twice that. Not only do you reduce the energy use dramatically, they have a clean, bright white color where your incandescent have a warm amber color that probably makes the red seem redder.

Second thing I would do is paint those walls. Warm up the walls and reduce the contrast. You don't want a yellowy beige, but more of a taupey grey or "greige" color that works well with blues. I have BM Wish in my bedroom with dark redish toned woods, blue and white and another one we had to remix in our powder room. Love them both. You can also go to soft greens to compliment red toned woods, and green can go well with blue, set off your white nicely.

Looking at your hutch -- did you paint the back of the lowest shelf area? If so, carry it on up behind the other shelves. And I would lose the square art piece. The size is not good by itself and the orange is even hotter than the red -- going the wrong direction if you want to cool things down -- at least as you have things now. It does look like it might look great against that blue if the breakfast area has a wall space large enough for it, and then you would be bringing the warmer tones over into that area.

You could post photos on the home decorating forum as well. You can get ideas from people with a lot more decorating experience and you'll probably like at least some of them (Bound to get some saying paint the cabinets white or do things you said you wouldn't do, so be prepared to weed through for the ones that work for you.)

This post was edited by lascatx on Tue, Mar 26, 13 at 12:46


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Just wondering if the photos of your cabinets are accurate. I have natural mahogany, and its fantastic in person, but I don't think it translates in a photo well. Anyway, now you know I am prejudiced towards red. I agree with Lascatx. But I do understand that walnut love also.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

We do have canned lighting and a very vaulted ceiling that slants up. I did switch to LEDs but they are very warm. I don't like the lights that go too cool bc it reminds me of being at work. That piece above the hutch is there bc the hutch and wall are the same color, and the hutch just disappeared into the wall. I don't want to paint that one random wall, so I found this antique ceiling tile to set up there. I'm still looking for 4 smaller ones to flank it on either side and make it more of a display. So far I haven't found any small ones I like. The orange is actually rust. It wasn't artificially antiqued. It was in some storage unit for 40 years and that is how it is. I think my camera does make it look a little more red than it is, but it is still red.

I took some pictures of the slab I would buy with my cabinet door next to it. I also took some close ups to show the warms and cools in the granite. Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse. The input is helping me a ton.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Here is the slab with my cabinet. I took it off set to diminish the glare of the flash and hopefully give a more accurate color. Of course the lighting there is completely different than my kitchen.


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The last one didn't post the picture. Trying again.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I forgot to answer the question about the hutch. I did paint that lower portion, but it is the wall. I didn't do the upper parts bc it is actually the cabinet. I did think about getting some cool contact paper to put up there since that would (in theory) be easy to remove.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

In my opinion, it would be easier to paint over paint than to remove contact paper, clean off the goo and probably have to repaint.

That last granite brings out the red in both your cabinets and the granite. Doesn't sound like that is the way you want to go.

My LED's are not the icy blue white light that LEDS began as, nor are they warm and orangey. They are what I would consider a clean white light. A different LED bulb might still be worth looking into.

I'm getting confused -- you say you don't like the red in the cabinets, but it looks like all your choices are accentuating the red and bringing in more warm tones -- not the blues and greens you say you want.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

That is why I'm asking for help. I don't see those tones very well until it is up in my face as big as life and too late to fix. Like those little paint chips, the color looks just right to me until I get a whole wall painted and dried and then I can see the tones and my heart sinks. My neighbor painted all of her walls gray, but they're really purple. On the card it looks gray, on the walls it's purple. I would do something like that. Some people really pick up those undertones easily, and others don't.

I've never used contact paper, so that is good to know. I don't want to de-goo something later. The LEDs we have as of two days ago are definitely more warm, and to my eyes (which we know are somewhat faulty), the cabinets now look less red. I asked my husband what he thought and got the obligatory, "Sure." Can women be color blind? I admire those who are just naturally good at this stuff. I wish I were.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

I have another project I need to get to first thing this morning, but first advise is to slow down, breathe and take some time to smell the roses and look at the paint ships. You can see undertones on a paint ship -- but they can change as you see them in different light and with different colors present and reflected. Grays are really good (or bad) at pulling either purple or green.

Without even thinking about picking colors for your room, either go to a paint store or go online to a paint website. Just look at one color selection -- blue, green, grey, red, etc. and look at them all there together. I know it would be faster for me in a paint store, but your experience may vary. Pull two and compare them. What is different? And oranger red is warmer, one that goes berry to wine has more purple or blue, so it is cooler. Isolating choices helps sometimes, but with paint ships, you can put them next to colors that are similar but different, a known different color (say orange) and seeif you can then tell the color is pulling that way (or does it clash? why?) or looking at two to compare.

If you still don't see the differences, your color perception may not be typical (they say we all see colors differently. They also say some people are super tasters, so there are probably variations is depth of color perceptions as well as hue). If that's the case, or you are going to lose sleep over it either way, I'd consider a color consultant. Not a full decorator, but someone who just helps you pick colors to get the look and feel you want. They may also be able to help you learn whether you don't see or haven't thought about color undertones and such. I haven't used one, but I think some folks here have mentioned it being as little as $100 or $150 to pick all your colors and have a good direction. I know your project is a smaler budget one, but maybe you can work that in and find someone who can help you get through this with less stress. If you don't buy the wrong paint, that can save you at least $50-100.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

That sounds awesome. I'm going to start asking around. I've never heard of a color consultant. Thanks.

The paint can wait. I was using it more as an example of my difficulty in seeing tones. My immediate concern is not choosing a granite that makes my cabinets pull red. Hopefully I can find someone to help me with that. Thanks for the suggestion.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

That is a very pretty granite. Sometimes when you can't change something you just have to go with it. I don't see that bringing out the red. If you put greens with it it will. Why? Because it is the opposite of red on the color wheel and will pull that color because it compliments it therefore making it more prominent but the thing is, those are pretty cabinets so my advice would be not to worry about it and just go with it. No matter what you do, they will still be the color they are but they are really nice quality and do look nice. What I am wondering is if you put a glaze over them in a gray color if it would cool it down? Now that is something I don't know but would love to. That way you wouldn't be painting them but just glazing them. But I realize that is probably not going to be easy or desirable. Good luck with your project, I like what you are picking out so far! : )) That granite is very pretty and looks nice with the door.


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RE: Am I being a coward with the granite?

Thanks SaraKat. It drives my husband crazy that I agonize over every last choice and detail, but in the end, I get something I love (and so does he), so the agony is worth it ...long term. I'm starting to settle more and more on the blue flower. I've been looking at the pictures of my kitchen and envisioning it in there, and I "see" more harmony instead of that kapow! of gray countertop. And I just think it's really pretty. I do love the kitchen overall. It was one of the things that sold me on the house. Thank you to everyone who has commented. This has helped me tremendously. I will post pics after it's done.


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