Wednesday, November 6, 2013

ramblings on the reno...countertops revisited

Of all the posts I've ever done
the most popular one has been
my ramblings on the reno
or all about my research into 
for our kitchen renovation.
This morning Mary Ellen left this comment:

"Ugh! Going through the same issues choosing a counter top. 
I really, really wanted marble, but have come to my senses. 
I thought I was going to commit to Silestone Lyra, 
but when I saw a slab, the amount of squiggles looked too busy. 
I didn't hate it, but I also didn't love it. 
Yesterday I came across a sample of Caesarstone London Grey 
and thought it looked most like natural marble. 
Plus, I believe London Grey comes in a honed finish. 
I would appreciate hearing your comments 
and possibly seeing a photo of the counters installed. 
Help! I have to make a decision in the coming days. "

And because I'm technically challenged
and can't quite figure out how to respond to her
in a timely manner
I thought I'd do it with this post...

always in a southern state of mind

You might remember that  
we used Caesarstone London Grey
in our kitchen remodel.
We've had them since August and
quite honestly I LOVE LOVE LOVE our Caesarstone.
If you can love a counter top that is.
The only thing that I would change about them,
the thing I'm kicking myself over,
is the edge we chose.
Mary Ann suggested,
and every bit of research I did on my own said,
to use a mitered edge.
I even told the fabricator that I wanted the mitered edge.
He said it would be a couple of hundred dollars extra.
No problem I said.
But he hemmed and hawed about it.
And that scared me.
As if they had never really done a mitered edge cut.
He said it just depended on where you wanted to see the seam
because there would definitely be a seam showing.
Crap. Really?
I promise I said to him
"I really want a mitered edge
{why did I have to say but?}
I said
you do this every day for a living
what do you think will look better?
Lesson learned.
But other than that...
and if you mention it to my husband I will deny it...
that's the only thing I would do differently.
Is get a mitered edge.
Durability wise its a dream.
It doesn't stain...
because I've had my kids use sharpies to color
{why do they do that?}
and it bled through.
I about had a heart attack.
But I grabbed a cloth and some counter spray
and it came right up.
I've put hot pots right on it...
this after a commenter asked me if I had
and I hadn't
so for her I tried it out...
and it was fine
although I admit I usually just set
hot pots back on the stove out of habit.
 You can read more about its advantages here.
Just fyi...I don't use expensive cleaners on it,
just whatever I have about
and it cleans up easy peasy
and always looks great. these are not the best pictures
and this is not the final "reveal" if you will
its where we are now
which is awaiting the roman shade
{the green café curtains are gone}
and the island color is still TBD and painted...

always in a southern state of mind

always in a southern state of mind

always in a southern state of mind

 I took these with my iphone so they're not the best

always in a southern state of mind

always in a southern state of mind

just wanted to try to show in these pics
 that, to me, there are beige/tan undertones
in addition to the gray and white marble look.
but I like that :)
this is with all the lights out...

always in a southern state of mind

think of how much better this will look once its painted :)

always in a southern state of mind

always in a southern state of mind

I'm hoping the roman shade will be here and up
before Thanksgiving :)

always in a southern state of mind

Until then I am working on a sources post...
stay tuned
 and feel free to ask questions in the comments section
and I'll try to answer them if I can.

UPDATE: I've since painted the island ;)

To see more pictures  click here.

always in a southern state of mindv


  1. I just love this kitchen so much. My fabricator acted weird too about a mitered edge so I choice one where the seam would be on the edge of an angle...but they can definitely do it. My new fabricator does and you can't see any seam. oh well. It's beautiful. Love the London Grey.

  2. Your kitchen is fantastic! I will have to go back and look through your posts but on a whim I thought I'd ask here first. Would you mind sharing your cabinet/trim and wall colors (including ceiling). I have about 500 shades of white paint chips all over my house and its driving me insane. We plan to go with London Grey as well. I love that it can read grey but also warm.

    1. Hi Leslie,

      Hi Leslie, You are very kind. Thanks for your comment. The wall color is BM White Dove. Mary Ann from classic casual home recommend it and has used it in her home too (check her blog out for sure). Also look at this pin:
      and my paint colors board where I started pinning pictures where they mention specific paint colors. The cabinet/trim color is a custom blend the builder used but if I can find the formula I will post it for you. :) Do you have a blog?

  3. I'm so happy to have found this blog! My husband and I just bought our first house and are remodeling the kitchen. I kept going back and forth between London Grey and Misty Carrera...and have finally chosen to go with the London Grey :) Thanks!!!

  4. I went with London grey, too! Love it. Love it love it…….Feels like it's been here always. It definitely has beige undertones and my slab is just the slightest bit warmer than the sample I carried around with me for months. Not huge at all but definitely a difference. I would love to know what subway tile and grout color you went with because I'm stuck on that! ( Probably I'm just too chicken to commit.) I, too, have White Dove but on my cabinets.

    1. Hi Millicent! Beautiful name by the way. We went with Delorean Gray for the grout...debated between that and Oyster Gray (very nice too) can see it in this pin: We went with Daltile 3 x 6 white subway tile from home's a pin link to "arctic white" ours was "white" though just fyi...
      thanks again for your comment...would love to see pictures of your project when you're done :)
      this reminds me I have never done a full source list post :) will work on that :)

  5. Hi Nancy,

    Your kitchen reveal absolutley stunning! Great work :)

    I have a question for you regarding your countertops. We just built our new home and chose a quartz countertop through the builder, due to our incredibly good experience with Caesarstone quartz (a pebbled grey and white finish) in our last home of 5 years. Verrrry long story short, the quartz was not Caesarstone and is staining quite terribly. The supplier has agreed to replace the countertops because they appear to be defective. For the replacement countertops, we are planning on going with Caesarstone London Grey. Just wondering how you're liking them still and how well they've stood up in terms of stain resistance and durability. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    Thanks so much!


  6. can you tell me the name of your faucet? I love it - thanks - great kitchen - we are debating between the London Grey and the Frosty Carrina as well - but you might have sold me on the London Grey - thanks!

    1. Hi Sydney,

      Thanks for stopping by :) I love our choice of London Grey. Hopefully you can find a place that carries big slabs of both so you can compare in person. If you're in Houston let me know and I'll send you the name of the place where I found ours. The faucet is rowe and perrin by Rohl... here's the link:
      Its been about 8 months since the install and its pretty but it does build up water stains and that drives me nuts. Just our old kitchen we had one by price pfister (marielle faucet) that was a tenth of the price and never had that problem with it but with the reno I had my heart set on a bridge faucet and PF didn't have one I liked. let me know if you have any other questions and i'd be happy to answer them :)

  7. Guess I'm in luck! I live in The Woodlands (Houston area) and would love the name and phone number of your Caesarstone fabricator, and if you don't mind my asking, the ballpark price you paid (per foot, or other) for their work, whether you'd use them again, etc. I'm considering London Grey or the darker Honed Pebble (4030H) over white cabinets as part of a big kitchen remodel, and would love any input/comments you'd care to share. I'm also looking for some sort of stone backsplash material, and can't find what I'm looking for, even at Walker Zanger, Thorntree and others. We're also considering doing the island in the dark Piatra Grey (5003) because we love the "marblized" look.

    Also, what do you mean by mitred edge? Love your kitchen!

    1. Re: the mitred edge.
      If you didn't go with mitred, what DID you go with?

    2. Hi Karen...this place ROCKS:
      they have a huge warehouse where you can check out slabs of everything and compare them in person. very helpful. and believe me I went EVERYWHERE in Houston looking at materials. this is the best place in my opinion. price I cant remember. let me look for my paperwork. can you email me to remind me if I don't respond promptly?
      alwaysinasouthernstateofmind {at} gmail {dot} com I have to write it that way because of spammers :(

      as far as mitered edge this gives a good explanation:
      its where they cut it at a 45 degree angle to help hide the joint line...its a bit harder for them to cut so they charge a bit more but honestly its worth it. my sub was going to charge an extra $400...but in the end I got scared because he said you'd still see the seam and I told him to pick which one he thought he could do better since he was the expert. kicking. my. self. anyway the edge we chose is like the "sandwich" one seen here on this page: so basically you have the slab itself which is either 20 or 30 mm thick depending on the slab then they cut a piece to "laminate" to that to make it look like a big thick chunky slab. hope that makes mine went from a 20 or 30 mm slab to looking like the slab is 2 inches thick.
      ok...will write myself a note to find you the names/numbers/prices but email me :)

  8. omg, so helpful. BTW , I choose Behr Marquee Ultra Pure White and love it, it has no tint. Sequestered while they are doing it now. Gorgeous Kitchen and thinking London Grey might be a good option with our dark wood floors. Carerra is beautiful but real cooks don't recommend at all (my hubby a chef)

    1. two years later and i'm still loving the London grey. as a matter of fact about to use it in our laundry room reno. good luck with your project. let me know how it turns out :) do you have a blog?

  9. Your kitchen looks amazing! I loved it before you painted the island but afterwards it really draws the gorgeous lights out more. It's all so pretty! I know picking those counters was a bugger but it turned out perfect.

    1. Thanks Stacey! Sorry it took me so long to see this comment. You're very kind. I still love it two years later :)

  10. Hi Nancy,

    I picked London Gray too! Also a white kitchen with a black island! I'm in the middle of picking a backsplash for my kitchen - debating between white subway tile, or a marble tile in herringbone pattern, then I came across your backsplash! Brilliant - best of both worlds :) Do you mind telling me what size you got your backsplash tile in? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Gladys,

      The tile I used is Daltile's 3 x 6 from Home Depot. You might search for my recent fireplace reno where I used a beautiful herringbone tile for my fireplace surround. Its from Lowes. I think you cant go wrong with either choice :) Hope that helps...send me pictures of your kitchen!

  11. Hi Nancy,

    I am considering London Grey and cam across your blog. Love your countertops! Did you do a honed or polish finish? I'm wondering if there are any disadvantages to honed (I get different answers).


    1. Hi Wendy,

      So sorry i just saw your question. We did a polished finish. i'm sure this is too late to help :(

  12. This is a wonderful post and a wonderful blog. Question, what do you mean there was a concern over the metered edge? Do you mean mitered edging with different edge shapes, or the mitered edge where the fold and seam it together so the countertop appears fatter? I am considering both and will be using London gray!

  13. hi cynthia...i meant the mitered edge so that the countertop appears fatter :) our fabricator hadnt done one before and didnt want to start with me :) click on the last photo in the post and you can clearly see the seam in the middle of the front edge. its not a big deal in the scheme of life but still... i see it and i have horrible eyes ;) google "mitered edge caesarstone" and you'll see good pics to show your fabricator if that's what you choose. hope this helps.

  14. I love your backsplash! In a response above, you mentioned you got it at Home Depot. When I looked online, they have a ton of 3x6 choices. Do you remember which one you used? And was it available in store or did you have to order? Thanks!

    1. I'm almost certain it was this tile but I will find the leftover box in our garage to confirm:
      It was in stock at our local Home Depot store :) Hope this helps.

  15. Hi there, love your kitchen! Was wondering if your cabinets are a cool or warm white. I have cool white thermofoil (came with the house). And trying to find a wall color, countertops, and backsplash to coordinate.

    1. i dont have the specific name of our cabinet paint color bc the previous owners painted them but they have a very slightly warm {yellow} undertone although in some pictures its hard to tell. I'm on the verge of having them refaced and painted...stay tuned for that. our wall color is BM's White Dove if that helps at all. if we repaint them white I'll most likely use White Dove on them as well. hope this helps :)

  16. Hi! I am doing White Dove on my cabinets, do you feel London Grey would match? I LOVE your kitchen!!!

    1. Hi Kristen,

      Thanks for your kind comment about my kitchen. Still loving it years later. Funny...I'm about to repaint our cabinets (simply for maintenance...we didn't paint them during the reno) guess what color? Yep...white dove. Our kitchen walls are already white dove and I love the color. I think its a great combo personally...but I always tell my clients to do samples so try to find a stone supplier where you can get a large sample of the London Grey to see how you like it in your kitchen alongside your newly painted cabinets. Hope that helps.


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