New Life for Our Kitchen


Several months ago, we finally got to a project we had wanted to do for years.  Changing out our laminate kitchen countertops for new natural stone.  We chose Diano Reale honed marble.  It is more of a natural creamy color and complements the honey-toned maple cabinetry well.  Don’t judge my photography.  I can’t seem to get the lighting right.

2015-01-31 09.23.22

First of all we cut down the raised bar that divided the room.  Notice my husband over there? In addition to the sage green laminate, you can see our white cast-iron enameled Kohler drop-in sink.  I loved it so much I wanted to keep it but was advised to use an undermount with the natural stone. You will also notice my old pendant lights here with the more foo-foo chain assemblies.

2015-06-05 08.44.28

I love how this simple change opened up the room!  You can see the veining in the marble and also the new Kohler Smart-Divide undermount sink.  It’s beauty is equal to the old sink and I love the low divide to accomodate large platters and baking sheets.  The only thing I didn’t consider was how low the bottom of it is because it is a couple of inches lower than the old sink.  It does make your back tired if you have a lot of dishes to hand wash.  I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a really tall person.

Sugar Grove Marble installed our countertops.  Chris and Megan were great to work with.  Megan helped me work through the look we were going for and decide on the Diano Reale.  It is traditionally used in a polished finish in bathrooms.  I loved the natural colored granites but wanted something with a little less pattern.  I loved the Carrera but the white and gray works better with white cabinets.

Marble will show rings and etching from acidic foods so we chose a honed finish which is duller to distract from that. Over time, it will develop a natural sheen and patina.  I’m excited about a product that gets better with age.

2015-01-31 09.23.54

You will also notice from the Before photo that we changed out our over-the-range microwave for a wall-vented range hood.  The vent fan on the microwave was so loud it nearly drove me crazy!  I love the sleeker look of the new hood as well as it’s functionality.

2015-06-05 08.45.44

Here is a close-up of the white subway-tile backsplash that my husband installed.  He even figured out the herringbone inset behind the stove with the picture-frame trim pieces.  I’m so grateful to have such a handy dandy around.

Wonder what happened to the microwave? We added an electrical outlet in our pantry and put a small microwave there as well as the toaster oven that used to clutter the countertops.

2015-06-05 08.47.12

I’m so glad our daughter talked me into changing light fixtures at the same time!  After much searching for a lower-priced option, I finally splurged on this Orb Chandelier from Ballard Designs and haven’t regretted it for a second. My photo isn’t clear so this is one I lifted from Houzz.

Orb Chandelier

For the pendants over the peninsula, we chose these seeded glass ones with a sleeker mount from Amazon.


This is the finished product.  We have so enjoyed the fresh new look as well as the improvements in function this project has gained for us.  If you are planning some updates, I hope this helps!

2015-06-05 08.44.44

Source List:

Diano Reale Honed Marble – Sugar Grove Marble

Kohler Under-Mount Sink – Smart-Divide Enamel Sink

Lighting –
Ballard Designs Orb Chandelier

Feiss Pendant Lights

This post will be shared in Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch.