Revere Pewter, Urbane Bronze, Cambria Quartz and a WHOLE LOT MORE!
It seems every time I post a photo on Instagram about our kitchen, I get the same questions, ‘What colour are your cabinets? Which countertop is that? Is that your real hair colour?‘ So, I figured it was time for a blog post with all the dirty details.
Before, our kitchen (actually, our WHOLE HOME) was heavy and dark…
While many of the finishes were very liveable, they were worn out and just weren’t us – TIME FOR A MAKEOVER!
And no, the floor isn’t actually faded in front of the stairs, it’s just a lil’ trick the photographer did to make the surrounding areas pop a little more.
Now, it’s not often that I let you guys into my wicked little brain, and let me tell you, it’s a scary place if you don’t know your way around (I get lost ALL the time). But I don’t just want to tell you WHAT I chose for our kitchen remodel, I want to explain WHY I chose it.
But first, let’s take a gander at the before, which wasn’t bad, but had several fatal flaws…
- The cabinets were cheap and it was a ‘good from far but far from good’ scenario
- The hardware was dumb. That’s right, dumb. Look at the way they put the handles on the doors? Sure, great for a more modern style home, but for a more traditional or even transitional approach, they wouldn’t work. Plus, I couldn’t just put in standard knobs/handles without seeing two big gaping holes in the front of the doors #firstworldproblem, but moving on…
- The countertop was Santa Cecilia granite and I could certainly work with that, but the pink undertones in the backsplash clashed with the counter and made me want to twitch and cry in a corner
- The previous owners had two large dogs and the floor was BEAT and wasn’t quality enough to be refinished
OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW (my motto with husbands too…just joking Tim).
Let’s start with the countertop.
CAMBRIA BRITTANICA WARM QUARTZ COUNTERTOPS
When designing the kitchen, short of the actual layout itself (which we couldn’t adjust too much), the countertop was the place to start. Why? Well, whereas there were HUNDREDS of paint colours I could’ve chosen from, there were only a handful of countertops I’d love enough to prep food on (opening a bag of Mr. Noodles is food-prep, right?).
BTW, check out the artwork above. That’s a personalized portrait by Linsey Hopkins Art on Etsy. She notes heights of family members, hair colour – all that jazz. She even takes a sample of your handwriting and uses that for the script. LOVE IT! Thanks to my sis-in-law for having it done for us.
Now, back to the countertop.
The second I saw Brittanica Warm, I fell desperately in love. It was new on the market, following in the footsteps of the well-known Brittanica and followed by Brittanica GOLD, both of which weren’t quite right for us as I didn’t like the base colours and veining as much.
You see, I have a weakness for wine, cheese rice crackers, Ryan Reynolds and green undertones. I don’t like green undertones in yellow, those make me nauseous, but give me a green tucked in a warm gray or greige and I’m one happy lil’ Ginger.
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Brittanica Warm has a soft, OFF-WHITE base, so it’s not as white as some of the more popular quartz countertops and also has a warmer look because of this. Along with that, it has that glooorious warm gray-greige with the most MUTED green undertone as well as a muted taupe. Strange combo but it works. The variety gives me colours to play with in the future should I want to change something else in the room (which you KNOW I will).
Read more: The Three Undertones of Gray
BENJAMIN MOORE REVERE PEWTER CABINETS…KIND OF
I knew I wanted to tap into that passive green undertone in the countertops and knew Revere Pewter would do that – it just wasn’t dark enough. Why? Well, because cabinets are most often a satin finish, this finish can make a paint colour look LIGHTER than expected when light shines on it. I wanted a colour with a bit more junk in its trunk but couldn’t find it. So, instead, I did what I ALWAYS do – I experimented!
I can’t seem to find my photo of the 50% darker samples, but this one will give you the idea…
I had samples of Revere Pewter lightened by both 25% and 50% (and clearly, 40% as well because I’m slightly OCD) and it was the darker version that hit my happy place. Oh, and I’m sure Tim liked it too.
I LOVE how it turned out. The green undertone is still passive and MOST people think I have gray cabinets, when in fact they’re considerably warmer looking. Look at the colour in this next photo compared to Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray, a more traditional gray with an LRV of 59. If they were both regular strength, you’d see only a four-point difference in LRV, however, this photo helps show the shift with RP being darkened.
The tricky thing is that when you get a PROFESSIONAL photographer (hallelujah) to take the photos, the colour can look a bit different than in person…(she obviously didn’t take this fugly before photo…
But she definitely took this one…
But it’s the EVERY DAY living that makes our kitchen look its most beautiful…
And yes, I always leave cupboard doors open, one of my many bad habits.
THE ISLAND OF GLORY (URBANE BRONZE)
No, it’s not an island with waterfalls over-flowing with wine, free Starbucks and Ryan Reynolds in a Speedo, it’s my island painted in Sherwin Williams Urbane Bronze. I LOVE contrast and wanted to hit the island hard with a killer dark paint colour, but didn’t want black or navy blue.
Urbane Bronze was the PERFECT choice being a dark greige with a green undertone. And not only that, I chose it two years ago – TWO YEARS AHEAD OF THE TRENDS, seeing as it’s SW’s 2021 Colour of the Year!
I LOVE how the green undertone plays with the warmth of our white oak flooring as well as Revere Pewter.
THE SUBWAY TILE BACKSPLASH
I love the timeless look of subway tile, but I’m not really a ‘white tile’ kinda gal. Instead, I went for a gorgeous glazed subway tile in Ames’ Manhattan series called Mang142, super romantic name, I know. The colour is ‘GRAY’, however, we all know that grays have undertones and guess what THIS gray has? Green of course!
Tile installation by BE Tile
I liked that the tiles would blend with my cabinets, creating a low-contrast look, which I could then HIGHLIGHT with dark grout (Truffle, I believe). I love contrast, but only in specific place/doses and didn’t want my backsplash poppin’ with my cabinets.
Read more: 4 Ways to Add Style with Subway Tile
THE CABINET HARDWARE
I went with cabinet hardware supplied by the cabinet maker, making life easier than me ordering two dozen different styles from Wayfair. However, you can get them at Wayfair too.
Look at it’s cute lil’ feet!
The key to picking hardware isn’t just in the finish – it’s in the fit. This means that a handle or pull needs to FEEL good, it needs to have a certain tactile element so when you grab it, it feels solid and quality (just like a good husband). So, aside from the transitional style of the hardware, it FELT good.
If you need hardware ideas for your own kitchen, I’ve got some beauties HERE.
THE WHITE OAK WOOD FLOORING – GOODFELLOW
I’ll say it time and time again, OAK IS TIMELESS, it’s all in the grain and the stain.
This is why, when choosing new flooring for our home, I wouldn’t look at anything BUT oak. I also chose a stain that wasn’t super light OR super dark, giving it a bit more longevity and flexibility re: styles.
We actually used this SAME floor in the ‘natural’ look in my sis-in-law’s home…
See more of this project HERE
This is actually an engineered wood product from Goodfellow. A lot of people confuse engineered and laminate, thinking they’re the same thing – they’re not. Laminate is not real wood, engineered is real wood on the top – just not all the way through. You know what? Let’s have a quick lesson in wood flooring…
LAMINATE FLOORING: No real anywhere, it’s all synthetic/fake.
SOLID WOOD FLOORING: Is solid wood, but only the TOP LAYERS are available to be resanded. A lot of people think that they can sand right down, but there’s only a portion of it that’s ‘useable sandable wood’. Quality wood floors can be sanded many times before you get to the end of the road.
ENGINEERED WOOD FLOORING: Has a solid wood TOP LAYER and depending on the quality, will have 2-3 sand’s worth of wood on that layer. But let’s be honest, how many times are you going to refinish the wood flooring in your home?
It’s the BOTTOM layer of engineered wood flooring that differs from solid wood. Solid wood is solid wood. However, underneath that top layer of engineered wood, you’ll find up to seven different types of wood – that isn’t a good thing, is it? You bet it is! This variation actually allows for more movement (expansion/contraction) as the moisture content of a home changes, making it a great choice for a home near the ocean or lake.
End of lesson.
THE PENDANT LIGHTS
I get comments on these pendant lights ALL the time. With their unique textured glass, they hide the bulb a bit more than clear shades.
The above photo also gives you a peek into our living room. I’ve since changed the colour above the fireplace…and the walls (of course), but you’ll have to wait for THOSE photos!
So, there you have it, all the dirty details and THEN some!
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