The DETAILS on our warm gray cabinets, quartz countertop & 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 has several fatal flaws…
- The cabinets are cheap and are a ‘good from far but far from good’ scenario.
- The hardware is 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 don’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 is Santa Cecilia granite and I could certainly work with that, but the pink undertones in the backsplash clash with the counter and make me want to twitch and cry in a corner.
- The previous owners had two large dogs and the floor is BEAT and isn’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 a kitchen, short of the actual layout itself (which we couldn’t adjust too much), the countertop is usually the place to start. Why? Well, whereas there were HUNDREDS of paint colours to choose from, there are only a handful of countertops you might actually fall in love with.
BTW, check out the artwork above by Linsey Hopkins Art on Etsy. She notes the 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.
You see, I have a weakness for wine, cheese rice crackers, Ryan Reynolds and green undertones. I don’t like green undertones in yellow, these 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 this, 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 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 25% darker sample, 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 the cabinets turned out somewhere in between (they had to be colour matched into the cabinet company’s paint).
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 everyday 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 is the PERFECT choice being a dark greige with a green undertone. And not only this, I chose it BEFORE it was Sherwin Williams Colour of the Year (2021).
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 chose a gorgeous glazed subway tile in Ames’ Manhattan series called Mang412 – a 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 love that the tiles blend with my cabinets, creating a low-contrast look, which I HIGHLIGHTED with dark grout (Truffle, I believe). I love contrast, but only in specific places/doses and didn’t want my backsplash poppin’ hard with my cabinets.
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 its 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 should have a tactile element so that when you grab it, it feels solid and quality (just like a good husband).
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 isn’t super light OR super dark, giving it a bit more longevity and flexibility.
We actually used this SAME floor in the ‘natural’ look in my sister-in-law’s home…
See more of this project HERE
This is 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.
THE PENDANT LIGHTS
While I didn’t want frosted shades or fabric-covered ones, I also don’t love seeing a bare bulb. With their unique textured glass, the shades I chose hide the bulb a bit more than clear shades (no longer available on Wayfair – insert sad face HERE).
The above photo also gives you a peek into our living room.
So, there you have it, all the dirty details and THEN some!
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