kitchen counters reveal

Marian ParsonsAll Things Home, Decorating, Kitchen, My House, Popular, Room Makeovers72 Comments

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by HanStone Quartz.  As always, all opinions expressed are honest and my own.

I am so excited to finally share my new kitchen counters!

More than one person thought I was a little crazy for replacing granite counters, but they weren’t my taste and we hope to live in this house for a long time.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and we want it to be “us”.

And, I have to say, I am completely over the moon with how it turned out.  I have wanted white marble counters for as long as I can remember and now I have beautiful quartz counters (HanStone Quartz in Monterey) that give me the exact look I want without the concern about etching and staining.  They are perfect.

Before I gush, here is how the kitchen looked when we first moved in…


What a difference, right?  It’s not that the “before” was bad at all.   I want to be clear about that.  The cabinets are solid wood and in great shape, the counters were an upgrade, the configuration is practical and has a good flow.  There is a lot of good stuff going on.  As I said earlier, it just wasn’t my style.

Now?  It’s my style.

It is light and bright and is the perfect balance between my aesthetic and the traditional style of the home.  It looks gourmet and high-end with just a few splurges (like the stove and the counters) and a lot of DIY (buckets of paint, changing the hardware, swapping the fixtures).

So, let’s talk about these counters!  You can read about my selection HERE and the installation HERE.

They are absolutely beautiful.  Even the guy who installed our marble backsplash was impressed with how realistic the veining is.  HanStone really addressed the biggest beef I had (and others had) with quartz counters – the repetitive pattern that looks unnatural.  I’m sure if you have enough counter, you’ll eventually notice a repeat, but I can’t see one in all of my 60 sq. ft. of counter.

It also has white flecks and graining in addition to the gray, for more depth and realism.

I really can’t say enough about what a beautiful job they did capturing the soul of marble in a man-made material.  I love the way HanStone puts it on their website…

“We’ve successfully simulated marble’s beauty.  As for its fragility, we completely failed.”

I had the counters fabricated and installed by a local company, The Pinske Edge.  There were several choices for a edge and I picked a traditional ogee.  I like that it’s a soft edge and it looks very custom, even though it was a standard edge.

The area around the sink is one of my favorite spots…

They were able to move the sink a little closer to the edge, so that we don’t have to lean over so far when washing dishes.  It’s a small change, but it makes a big difference in the functionality of that area.

And the new sink looks so pretty as well!  I’ll share more about that in another post, but it looks perfect with the new counters.

It’s hard to talk about the counters without talking about the backsplash, but I’ll share all about those in a separate post.

    Now that all of the big stuff is done, I’ll focus on finishing details.  I need to live with the wall color a little while, but it might be a touch warm in comparison to the cool grays in the tile and counter.  I can’t decide if I like the warm white or if it looks like I picked the paint color before I picked the counters and tile, which I did!  Paint is cheap and easy to change, though, so I can if and when I decide to.  I’m thinking a cooler off white might flow a little nicer.

The second bit of finessing I’m going to do is add some color.  I painted the island Stonington Gray last summer, so it wouldn’t fight with the dark granite counters.  I had no idea when we would be able to replace the counters, so I wanted to keep it light and neutral.  I love the color and have it in the adjoining living room, on the kitchen doors, and in the back stairway, but because all of the light on the island, it just looks white.  Now that I have white counters, I think it’s time for a dramatic paint color on the island.  I’m pretty sure I know what color I’m going to paint it, so I’ll work on that when I’m painting out the butler’s pantry.

Many people have asked about the cost of the counters and how they compare to natural stone, like marble and granite.  I priced it out and the HanStone Quartz in Monterey was $77/sq. ft. (not including removal of the old counters, fabrication and installation).  I did a Google search to find the average costs of other counter materials and here is what I found…

  • Marble – $60-100/sq ft
  • Granite – $45-200/st ft
  • Quartz – $75/sq ft

These are just based on Google searches, so I’m not sure how accurate they are and how a comparable marble would stack up dollar for dollar with the HanStone we selected, but that gives you a sense.  Based on the ranges, they can all be in the same neighborhood, with granite and marble being more or less expensive depending on the rarity of the stone.

I’ll share all about the tile backsplash as well as some follow-up posts on the kitchen, including details on the sink, the island makeover, a cost breakdown, etc…

kitchen counters reveal

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72 Comments on “kitchen counters reveal”

  1. Truly beautiful. When I saw the first photo on this post, I just said wow. You took a nice kitchen and made it gorgeous.

  2. As you gather in the heart of your home, may your gratitude for the beauty bring you and yours joy.

  3. Wow-it’s beautiful,
    Marian ~ You have done lots of leg work for me……..
    Hope you don’t mind if I use all of your choices in redoing
    my kitchen ! I hear copying ~ is the best form of flattery 🙂
    Enjoy all that you have done ~

  4. Beautiful! Love the quartz and that is what I have wanted for some time. I have never been a fan of granite unless it was honed.

    1. I agree about honed granite. I think our counters would’ve looked much nicer (for my tastes) if they weren’t glossy.

  5. My heart, pitter patters. I too, ordered and am having white quartz installed. Your kitchen is beautiful.

  6. Love them so much more than granite. Exactly what I want in my next house. Beautiful and definitely more you.

    1. It is a lot of white, but in person, it doesn’t look cold or blinding. It looks bright and fresh. 🙂

      1. AND ISN’T IT GORGEOUS? I adore a white kitchen, I just think it looks so much bigger, brighter, and *cleaner* than any other color. Once when house sitting with a friend in a *very* pricey ocean-front Malibu beach-house, I could not stop wiping down the kitchen counters. They were a multi-hued granite and to me they just looked dirty all the time — they did “hide” crumbs and spills, but not in the good way.

        Depending on the kitchen’s size, I do think having lower cabinets and/or the island cabinets a different color can nicely break up all the white if the kitchen is a larger space like yours, Marian,, but you’ve already done that a bit with your backsplash which does add some color. Can’t wait to see what color you paint the island cabinets (Aviary?) – they’re going to be lovely, and make the kitchen even more gorgeous if possible! I do think the wall color is warm compared to the cool tones of the cabinets, counters, and backsplash, but that’s an easy fix.

  7. Beautiful. I am looking forward to what color you are going to paint the island…bluish grey with a little green pigment??

  8. It’s gorgeous as well as practical! Plus, if you ever do need to sell and move one day, it’ll be timeless and better resale value to your investment. Well done, all around.

    1. Yes, I agree! I was trying to make choices on the big, “permanent” things that would be timeless.

  9. It looks just beautiful! I do think the wall color is too warm though with the counters and backsplash, even though it’s a pretty color. Can’t wait to see your island!!

    1. Yeah, that’s how I feel about it, so it will probably be repainted before it’s officially “done”. 🙂

  10. Your hard work has paid off with a complete transformation of the kitchen. Of course, it looks like it was totally effortless, the mark of a true professional. Can’t wait to see what color you paint the isand.

  11. Oh, man….that’s gorgeous! I do agree with your assessment of making the island a little darker…..but even if you never touched another thing in this room, it is stunning!

    Well done… usual….

  12. Gorgeous! Love the color on the door too. Maybe something like that for the walls will make the cabinets and counter pop.

    1. Yes, that is Stonington Gray, which is the color I have in the living room. I’m thinking about just painting the room a pale version of that color. I think it’ll work much better with everything else.

  13. They are stunning in deed, do you set in your kitchen with a big smile on your face, i know i would. Thanks for all the information and enjoy.

  14. I LOVE IT! When we finally do our counter tops, this might be my choice, I was always a marble girl, but you might have pushed me to quartz….And I think I’m going to love the island with a little more color. There is a new Miss Mustard Seed Milk paint color that would be lovely. 😉

  15. I have a question about sponsorship. When you want something, for example new counters, do you have to ask them for a sponsorship discount because of your blog numbers or do they discover who you are and offer?

    Sigh! 60 feet of counters! Swoon!

    1. It works both ways. Some companies approach me and others I ask. With HanStone, they sent me an e-mail inviting me to an event (that I wasn’t able to attend), but I researched their counters, loved them, and asked if they would work with me as a sponsor for my blog. They said yes! You just never know unless you ask.

  16. Marion, your kitchen is just timeless, classy!!! I love all the white. One of the first things I noticed, was that your wall color was fighting all the beauty. I pictured more of a gray tone. I would love to have your kitchen…you are well deserving of the beautiful room!

  17. Your kitchen is gorgeous! I recently redid my kitchen with quartz, subway tile and new white cabinets. I used White dove for my trim and went with Olympus white for the walls (pale blueish white) and I love it! My floors look like yours also. I used your backsplash tile in my master bathroom shower and love it also. Your New kitchen is amazing!!! Change the wall color and the island and it will be perfect! I did my island in kind of a gray wash look (Morning fog with a whitish dry brush over it) and I love it too! I’m thinking your feeling a smoky blue or navy. Love your style Marian, and felt I had you in my back pocket as I was redoing my house! Please keep inspiring all of us who need help in our decorating.

  18. Looking forward to that island color! I’m hoping for some drama. I really like that the kitchen is a mix of new materials and making what you have work for you. it looks great! And quite a transformation from the original. And very Marian.

  19. Great choices!!!! I love my quartz and like you, I picked one that looks just like marble. It pays to shop around and really look at the slabs because they do vary. I would pick the same gray color that you did your door to your art room. Looks amazing!

    1. You know? The island actually IS the same color as the door to the art room, but it’s so washed out, because of the light that comes it. It looks like a completely different color!

  20. Your kitchen looks beautiful! Now it looks like a Miss Mustard Seed kitchen. I read somewhere that the kitchen is the heart of the home and the front porch is the soul. You know, when people used to sit out on the front porch and talk and tell stories….and dream.

  21. My brothers fabricate granite and quartz counters HanStone is one of the lines they carry. I think you will be very pleased with it over time. I too, set my sink forward and really appreciate the extra space behind the sink. It’s a little thing that makes a big difference.

  22. Hi Marian, Hope your island will be painted LUCKETTS GREEN!!! Another blue, even navy, would be (yawn) boring, you have so much white and blue. Green goes with the plants, looks FAB with your whites and grays. Gives another depth! 🙂

    I wonder if what you are calling a Butler’s Pantry (which if it is, should be off the kitchen, not the living and dining rooms) is really a bar, from which to serve people in those living and dining rooms? I have one like that too, and that’s what they call it here in Texas. ?? Just a thought. (I store an ice bucket, diff barware glasses, liquor, table linens, extra serving dishes, and the house files in mine).


  23. Navy for the island, well at least I have been obsessed with navy lately, in my blue period right now! Love what you have done!

  24. I love your idea of painting the island to pop against all the white..something like Hale Navy, perhaps? Or a blue pulled from some of your transfer ware?

  25. Are you going to paint the island Aviary? I haven’t seen the color live, just on my screen, but it seems like it might be perfect!

  26. I just recently painted my kitchen cabinets a creamy white, and my kitchen island a dark gray……..I love it! I have decided to go with butcher block on my cabinets and Hanstone countertop for the island and I’m so excited! I have been reading your posts and because I have been so confused on what type of counter material to go with, you have made my decision so much easier! I figure if it’s good enough for Miss Mustard Seed, it’s good enough for me! Hopefully I will be ordering my HanStone this week! It’s such a hard decision, so thank you for your posts!

  27. Hey there! Looks beautiful! Love following you. Would you ever consider taking down the bulky hanging pot rack and putting up lanterns or some sort of beautiful hanging lighting??

    1. No, no! I know it’s not everyone’s thing, but I love my pot rack and it’s where I actually store most of my pots and pans. It’s staying. 🙂

      1. I love my pot rack too! In our last home there was no good place for mine…so it was stored away. Forced me to get creative in our busy household of 7. I changed our back splash out to a silvery tin tile & hung my pots right over… they hid in plain site & it enhanced the beauty of the arrangement. Btw, yours is so very beautiful, I’d never hide any of it away.!

  28. So lovely!

    Absolutely concur with your plans to change the wall color, while adding a deeper color on the island will perfectly balance the new darker backsplash.

    I think a new runner that incorporates the updated wall, tile and island colors would be a great finishing touch – maybe one of your own designs!

  29. I must say that the first thing that caught my eye wasn’t the new countertops but the beautiful new backsplash! It really brings out your new countertops and painting the island a darker color will add so much contrast to all the white. Not that you are going to be selling your home anytime soon but for re-sell I think quartz was a much smarter choice over marble. Many people just don’t want the maintenance issues that come with marble.

    One suggestion for anyone wanting to upgrade countertops in a small area such as a bathroom on a budget, go to your local stone yard and look for remnants that can be heavily discounted and save you big money.

  30. Your kitchen looks lovely.

    I’m glad to hear you are planning to add a little punch to the colour of your island – I’m a colour/contrast kind of gal and I thought right from the beginning there wasn’t really enough contrast there but I completely understand waiting until other elements have fallen into place before making a change.

  31. I would be very tempted to do an experiment on about a 36″ section of the molding on top of the cabinets…….sanding or distressing it to reveal some of the blonde wood underneath to tie in with the color of the floor…… you do for MMS furniture. If you didn’t like it, a small section is easy to repaint. and I might be tempted to do that to the island as well…..whether white or another color.

  32. I’m so glad to see these photos! I have 5 or 6 paint color samples painted on the end of my kitchen cabinets right now, trying to decide whether to go all white or a combo of white uppers and gray lowers (cabinets are barn red now, so a BIG change!). I also have quartz countertops that I love, and they will work well with the white and/or gray palette. The all white is so fresh and airy – I think you helped me make a decision!! As always, thanks for your inspiration.

  33. I finally ordered my countertop for our kitchen island and they come to measure this Thursday. I don’t know how much time it takes after they get it measured but I’m getting so excited after seeing yours, and can hardly stand it! I went with the HanStone Montauk. I can’t wait to see what color you’ve chosen for your kitchen island.

  34. Your kitchen looks simply sensational. This vintage style is insane in this performance in these pictures. The idea with a hanger for kitchen utensils above the top is great, I used it myself at home. Vintage has it to himself that it is hard to break the interior using it, following this path. I really like it very much, best regards!

  35. Hey Marion! Can you give me some information about your kitchen sink? I’ve been following you since forever! ❤️ Thank you!

  36. Pingback: kitchen counters reveal | Slice Deli and Espresso Slice Deli and Espresso

  37. Beautiful – I’m leaning toward Montauk myself. Your sink – the slight flat lip before the countertop – what do you call that – I love that look as well as the sink itself.

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