1920s kitchen: Need help with counter top colors!!
laurie_k
April 2, 2013 in Design Dilemma
We are remodeling our 1920s kitchen. We need HELP deciding what color to use for counter tops and like the idea of granite. Any ideas??

We have settled on white mission style painted cabinets. The floors are oak. We have just added a white refrigerator and gas range. Leaning towards a stainless apron-style sink. White subway tile back splash. The hanging light fixtures over sink and nook are antique brass, and the Tiffany-style ceiling light fixture includes colors of browns, blues, golds and creams. We want to paint the kitchen walls white. Although our range is 'modern' we LOVE the idea of keeping the kitchen more 'period' style.

Please see photos below for room layout. Start with the kitchen sink and move clock-wise around the room. Nook is at the end of the counter. Then back door entry and gas range. To the right of the portable dishwasher is the refrigerator. Next to frig is the opening to dining room and you are back to sink counter!

We plan to add upper and lower cabinets to the right and left of the range and install built-in dishwasher to the right of the sink. Both pieces of furniture by the back door will be gone and the floor will be redone in oak. I hope this helps! Thanks for any comments.
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laurie_k
One last photo! It is our refrigerator. This gives you a 'full circle' tour of our kitchen.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 10:13PM
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libradesigneye
Lk, wonderful! What a gem! Look for granite with an undertone like butter to highlight the best of your oak floors . . . dark flecks, and a beautiful uniform pattern - as a mid-tone the stone will provide enough contrast but echo the tone of the flooring - always a good strategy.
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 10:29PM
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laurie_k
I want to be careful and go with an overall look that is more 1920s and less 'now' (although I will have a stainless sink and stainless and white range). My family likes black granite with flecks of white. What do you think?
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 10:48PM
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PRO
Andrea Prasch
If you like black have you looked into black honed granite? It is less modern then the shiny granite and more traditional but will keep with the period of your home :)
3 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 10:53PM
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studio10001
Hey, I know this room!! I'll second that suggestion (creamy undertone) and add that the less active options will look better.
I've grown rather found of yellow in this kitchen......
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 10:59PM
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Debra Gunstanson
I like summer Indian counter with black cabinets using tin tile for back splash stylish and sharp
0 Likes   April 2, 2013 at 11:47PM
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0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 2:34AM
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rinqreation
Fun fact: Dutch kitchens from before 1960 had terrazzo countertops (we call it 'granito', because it was mainly granite). In the 20s and 30s they came with tiled sinks, after that stainless or ceramic. They made a huge comeback after stainless tops, marble and granite, because of their charm and ease of use (and of course 'historical correctness').
2 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 2:43AM
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Debra Gunstanson
I thought I would send some pics I'm using
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 3:06AM
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PRO
Stamps Design Services
I have seen many kitchens redone with white cabinets and white tiles and I always wonder why they didn't opt to add some color? The images I am posting are showing subtle (and not subtle at all) colored tiles, something to consider....
1 Like   April 3, 2013 at 3:11AM
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sixteen fourteen
I like the photo with honed black granite that Andrea posted. I have polished Absolute Black granite which I think looks nice with white cabinets and wood floors (below):
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 3:22AM
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sixteen fourteen
Photo:
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 3:23AM
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Debra Gunstanson
In the kit I'm doing now using the absolute black supreme with the cabinet white on bottom on the island but using Indian summer granite with open shelving in flat black and for back splash tin ceiling tiles just a diff thought
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 3:32AM
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terdesign
Ok my thought is I like the idea of the less modern black granite. But please pop some warm color on the walls. Rid the yellow,.. But a soft turquoise and vintage glass lighting would be awesome. Look ESP great with the period of your home. Keep it simple is my suggestion. ;).
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 4:07AM
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MG Mack
For a 1920s kitchen, it's all about the cabinets. If you choose the right knobs and cabinet style you can choose from a wide array of countertops and sink styles. Your finishing touches will bring it all together. Update window treatments for a "modern twist".
2 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 5:02AM
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MG Mack
A few more pics to use for reference. :D
1 Like   April 3, 2013 at 5:05AM
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studio10001
Top right looks closest to the style, in the 2nd collecton. (MgMack's) Respectfully, I don't think the photos are making much of case for using any top in a period kitchen. In a small space, a little color goes a very long way, and countertop can easily upstage the rest of the room. Black seems especially harsh and non-integrative here. Having seen some photos, though, I'd suggest you ask for some actual samples from your local dealer, and see what you think up close and personal.
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 5:37AM
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feeny
We too have a small kitchen from 1920 that we wanted to match the period of the house. We chose soapstone with our ivory Shaker cabinetry and white oak floor, but black honed granite would have a similarly simple matte finish and effect.

4 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 5:46AM
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studio10001
Matte helps, agreed.
0 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 5:53AM
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MG Mack
@studio10001, the photos were not intended to "make a case for any style". They were submitted to address the homeowner's statement about having modern tastes but keeping the kitchen more toward "period style". (providing examples for Laurie's perusal/evaluation) She does have a wide array of options. She mentioned that she likes granite. I did not mean to imply that she should just throw "any old countertop" in her kitchen.
2 Likes   April 3, 2013 at 6:22AM
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MG Mack
My personal preference for this project is the marble. (sans dark backslash of course)
2 Likes   April 4, 2013 at 1:18AM
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MG Mack
Window treatment?
0 Likes   April 4, 2013 at 1:20AM
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Debra Gunstanson
Chiming in have u thought of a beautiful stain glass framed in a old frame instead of window treatment?
0 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 11:10AM
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Buckner Construction Inc.
Hi, Here is a kitchen that we did with a very dark green/black soap stone.I think this is a great option for adding some contrast.
3 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 3:11PM
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laurie_k
Thanks for all your comments! I *love* the look of marble. However, the price point and my obsessing about red stains (berries, wine) will most likely rule that out. Honed granite seems best. What about a baking area? Would butcher block or wood be a better option than granite? So many great photos!
1 Like   April 5, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Susan Jacobs
Nobody has mentioned tiles for the counter. Is that just not being done anymore? In our neighborhood, the homes were built in the 20's and had tile counters - lots of the homes are spanish, though, so maybe that's why.... I know tile is difficult to clean for some, but to me, that says 20's, particularly the octagonal type.
1 Like   April 5, 2013 at 8:12PM
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Cindy Quinton
I have seen some tile that LOOKS nice enough, and it is a DIY dream, since almost anyone can do it. And it may be the only hard surface that works out fairly cheap. But I have to say I worry about the grout lines trapping debris and germs. Also, every buyer I've ever worked with seems to dislike them immensely...probably for the same reasons I stated. I've seen DIY shows where they used a particular type that were as wide as countertops and they just laid in side by side, but I've never seen them available to purchase.
0 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 8:25PM
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Staged for Perfection
Why do you want granite and not silestone, quartz or something similar?
0 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 8:43PM
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laurie_k
We looked at many products and ended up choosing granite because of its natural beauty. It just looks timeless to me. Its patterns are all so unique. I honestly am not as familiar with silestone.
0 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 11:43PM
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laurie_k
Susan, I really like the look of octagonal tiles but not for countertops. That is what is on our countertop now, and they have not been kept up. I don't even want to imagine how many germs are trapped around and underneath the tiles. However, if we end up remodeling our bathroom in the next year or two, I would definitely pick octagonal tiles for the floor.
0 Likes   April 5, 2013 at 11:48PM
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Susan Jacobs
laurie, I hear ya! Check out this link for materials that resemble marble (quartz, silestone, etc.) : http://roomology.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/countertops-that-look-like-white-marble-round-2/
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 12:46AM
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Susan Jacobs
Also, check out these kitchens for ideas, this designer really has a way with a 1920's kitchen
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 12:49AM
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rinqreation
Just as many germs in/on tile than granite, in a regular household. I would not pick granite, because it needs a (chemical) finish. I would not pick marble, because it stains easily and/or needs a (chemical) finish. But that's just my opinion.
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 8:39AM
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MG Mack
I have never had a problem with marble stains but I know that has been said about it. It needs to be sealed twice before installation and you can't leave something like berries or wine sitting on it or it will definitely stain. Here is more on that: http://www.marble-institute.com/consumers/index.cfm I love granite too...honed and not. I like to use a butcher block cutting surface. I can't really tell if you have room for a small island? Perhaps an island on wheels for prep with a butcher block top??? In terms of staining and germs butcher blocks and wood are porous. I think most surfaces have a couple of drawbacks. Etching, porosity, staining...have you thought about stainless steel for your countertop?
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Susan Jacobs
MG Mack, is it the grout, perhaps, that makes people concerned about tile?
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 1:50PM
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MG Mack
I would think that is the main problem Susan...but in my humble opinion, I keep a rather clean kitchen so wiping up a spill here and there isn't an enormous hassle for me. I like tile. If it's professionally laid tile the grout lines can be almost non-existent. I like the link you provided as well...I'm not very knowledgeable when if comes to engineered stone. I am more on the "eco-friendly/natural" side of the fence but I don't preach. ;) I think for all surfaces there are product specific ways of caring for, cleaning and maintaining them. It then becomes a personal preference issue. I do agree that tiles were featured in many 1920s kitchens too. (one of the photos I posted has them I think)
0 Likes   April 6, 2013 at 2:38PM
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Ann
I like your idea of black granite (or better yet, deep charcoal) with flecks of white. I think a leathered or honed surface would be perfect. I just had leathered quartzite installed and I simply love the leathered surface. Soapstone would be a very good choice too for a similar look to a leathered granite.
1 Like   April 6, 2013 at 3:22PM
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