With my millwork and appliances selected came time to choose the hard finishes for the kitchen: the countertops and backsplash. I briefly debated adding a hit of black to the palette with honed nero assoluto counters, but instead decided to keep it warm, bright and white.
I had the beautiful golden veining of Calacatta Oro etched into my brain as the perfect choice for a feature stone and I was pleased to discover that Antica Tile and Stone made subway tile out of it, which looks amazing alongside the brass accents in the range hood. Having the marble subway tiles instead of using a modern solid marble slab gives the kitchen more of a bistro vibe, which I love.
Calacatta, while gorgeous, is not exactly hardy, so I wanted something tougher for my perimeter counters that would also be easy to maintain. Having worked with Caesarstone before on past projects, I automatically thought of their quartz, which comes in an array of colours and looks, from solids to patterns that make for extremely convincing natural stone-substitutes. For this particular project, I wanted a fresh solid white colour that wouldn’t fight with the veining in the backsplash, so I chose the crisp and clean 1141 Pure White.
Once you select a slab of Caesarstone, it is sent to your fabricator to be cut and finished like any other slab of natural stone. With a variety of edges available, I chose a simple straight edge that was clean and timeless. I debated a more decorative ogee edge, but decided against it considering how much easier it is to clean a straight edged surface (I hate when crumbs get caught on the outer edge of the ogee reveal)
To make the island a feature, I wanted a polished natural stone slab that would pick up on the backsplash with dramatic warm-toned veining. Natural stone varies from slab to slab, so it’s always a good idea to pick out your slab in person to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. I had originally sourced slabs of Calacatta Manhattan Marble from Olympia Tile’s Slab Division, which was a budget-friendly alternative to regular Calacatta, but when it came time to select the slabs, the lot they had in the warehouse had pale green undertones, which would not work with my palette. This unfortunately meant upping the budget last minute to go for a premium Calacatta slab. Thankfully there was a very small slab available there with some beautiful golden highlights, which meant there would be little waste, and I could get the look I wanted after all without blowing the whole budget.
For the breakfast table, I knew I wanted something that I wouldn’t have to fuss over and that coordinated with the white and brass theme. I loved the idea of white painted wood with gilded details, but wood would be too easily damaged from hot plates and scratches, not to mention super pricey, so I kept on searching. Luckily I found an amazing mid-century vintage brass cage table base at Patina Antiques so now I just needed to pick the perfect tabletop. A glass tabletop would mean endless hours of windexing off sticky fingerprints, plus the extra cost for starfire-glass which would avoid the green edges that I’m not fond of, so I kept looking. A fabulous and practical solution was to have another slab of the pure white Caesarstone fashioned into the top. This way I could template the table base so it would be the perfect proportion, and size it exactly to the banquette. It turned out perfectly!
up next: the sink