Thursday, November 17, 2011

Kitchen Reno [ Part 2 of MANY !! ] ;o)

Yesterday I started to fill you in on the second stage of our kitchen renovation, and today you get to see the tiles and worktops.

The existing worktops when we moved into the house were PINK !! and not just a pinky tone mixed into something else.. no full out Dusty Rose PINK !

Here's a photo of the original kitchen in all it's orange, pink and green glory. Yuck !

See !! I said it was pink.
This photo also shows the original kitchen island.. you can just see it in the bottom left hand corner.
It had a tiled counter, which believe it or not also had a pink undertone to it. Another of the reasons why we chose to switch it out for Bill's beloved Teak jobbie.

You can also see clearly the way they typically finish counters in this part of Canada .. which is to wrap the counter surface up the wall about 3 inches..
Once the Quartz goes in though it will look like traditional British counter with no extra back bit.

You can see that there are NO tiles between the worktops and the underside of the cupboards either... and of course that will change now too.
Butternut Rum laminate.

So obviously the first thing that had to go was the pink and as I mentioned yesterday I replaced it with a laminate called Butternut Rum..

I have to say it has been incredibly servicable, and was a great colour for hiding the dirt.. which as my sister will tell you is an impt factor in many design choices. Just kidding..  ;o)

Being a laminate it was also inexpensive, and since we chose a shiny finish.. which was newly available back then, several people who've been to the house even thought it was granite... 'Til they got up close.. ;o)

We used a local company called Colonial, who specialise just in worktops.  They have 5 or 6 branches on the Island and the BC Interior, and their service was super so I'm going there again.
All the local builders use them, and I remember when I was looking the first time I went to a local Kitchen company to see what they had to offer and the chap said to me.. 'you might as well go to Colonial direct, because if you order counters from me I'll just go to them to buy them'. What a nice man ;o)

I've picked a Quartz rather than a Granite because; it's harder wearing, I liked the colour choices better AND it's cheaper... so result !!
Cambria, the company that makes the range we chose from, call all their options after British place names.. but I didn't let that sway me.. Honest !!

Cardiff Cream... too yellow !!

We looked at several options, and brought 3 samples home. [ To see photos of all the samples I looked at, click on this link ]

The first choice 'Cardiff Cream' we dismissed straight away because it was too yellow.

The original idea being to use white subway tiles with a stripe of glass mosaic tiles through it.. so the tiles made the 'Cardiff Cream' look dirty.

One the pieces called Brecon Brown, was very similar to the Butternut Rum..  and in fact both Bill my hubby..  and Bill my builder..  liked this one best.
Of course they are both colour blind.. but that really didn't affect my decision. ;o)
I was tempted to go this route because the floor and the teak island naturally have the same warm brown tones, because the laminate was chosen to compliment them.. so it would have been the sensible safe option.

The final choice, Newcastle, has an off white base with flecks of chocolate, smoke, black, cream and mocha colours in it.
It was my favourite sample almost from the start.. but I was still drawn to the safer Brecon Brown, if only because we already knew that the colours and tones in it worked with the kitchen..

So what did I choose ??

Drum roll please ;o)

Yes.. no surprise really I picked the New Castle.. actually this photo makes it look more yellow than it is.. hang on I'll get a better one..

There that's better...

I went for this in the end because: 
1. the contrast between the Brecon Brown and the white subway tiles was a bit too sharp for my liking, and
2. because our kitchen faces north west and is surrounded by 100 ft pine trees so it can be quite dark.
I think the lighter counters will help to lift the light level in the room.. Hope it does anyway.

So having picked this we took the other samples back and set about trying to find a glass mosaic for the stripe through the subway tiles.

Lots of tiles sheets were bought.. and lots were returned.  Sigh !!
Some worked beautifully with the tile..
Some worked beautifully with the worktop.. but nothing worked with both.
We did have a stand out favourite.. but it didn't work with the subway tile..
Mostly because in some places.. like behind the sink for instance.. there is so little backsplash ['cos of the window] that there wasn't enough room to fit a stripe.

Then hubby had a brainwave.. Yes !! it does happen !!
Scrap the subway tile and have all glass.. so that's exactly what we're going to do..
and here's the tile..

It's got a mix of watery blue and green glass tiles, and a tumbled marble that matches the tone of the base colour in the counter exactly..

The light from the undercabinet halogen spots make them glitter like jewellery.

I LOVE them !!!

So I've ordered the counters, which will be about 6 weeks, what with Christmas etc... and that suits me 'cos Bill the contractor's tied up 'til Jan anyway.
The tiles are a stock item at Home Depot so I'm going to wait to buy them because about once every 3 months HD has a tile sale.. and I might get a bargain..

I've hired a painter [ a guy Bill Larson uses ] to repaint the walls in the kitchen and breakfast nook, plus the ceiling in the kitchen, nook and family room.
I normally do all my own painting but the idea of 'cutting in' the walls to the ceiling above the cabinets was more than I could stand, so I'm going to pay a pro to do it.. and then if it's no good I have someone to shout at.
He's coming in the morning actually..
At least that way the walls will be tidy for the Christmas House Tour which is rushing towards me.. more on that tomorrow.

And there you have it.. still not fully decided on the sink.. but I'll decide over the weekend.

Have to go take all the breakables off the shelves before the painter comes..
See you all tomorrow

Jo xx


  1. The painter has made a good start. Hope he finishes tomorrow, I don't want to live under this plastic all weekend.. ;0)

  2. I'm sure he will.. he doesn't have that much left to do.

  3. Geat Jo! Love the worktop choice and the glass tiles! Can't wait to see it all in and the walls painted.

    We're doing up the kiddies rooms in Jan, I'm hoping to get the painter to do our kitchen at the same time. I'm with you, the though of painting all around the cabinets, etc just doesn't do it for me.


Thanks for letting me know I'm not talking to myself..