Before and After: Kitchen

October 31, 2019
last modified: October 31, 2019

This is a seasonal home we bought a few years ago. The kitchen isn't big, but it was made a lot smaller by that peninsula.

Waiting on chairs, will paint the outlet covers to help diminish them.....oh I would love to get rid of that coffin of a fridge....

It's much brighter than the pictures show, but you can get the idea.

Thank you all for the suggestions along the way the last couple months.

This looks dark on my monitor, but it's not dark at all. Moved the sink and stove.

Cupboard wall replaced with serving counter (Cristallo countertop underlit/backlit) in addition to under cabinet lights.

My favorite improvement is the extension of the countertop into the previously unused eating area for wine/beverage bar.

Not enough room for an island, but this galley layout serves our needs very well.

Comments (94)

  • aprilneverends

    Beautiful. The stone..I'm in love with iit. Could be staring at it for hours. I'm sure even more stunning in reality. Wishing you and yours many happy times there

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  • chicagoans

    Gorgeous! Hard to believe it's just a seasonal home... are you tempted to make it your full time home? I would be, for the kitchen alone! Those counters are stunning!

    frostyfootball thanked chicagoans
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  • ljptwt7

    Gorgeous! Specially love the dark "rivers" in the backsplash.

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  • frostyfootball

    @eam44 thank you for your wishes.

    @Kelly and @mcoledesign thank you!

    @niccidhg and @handmethathammer thank you, I appreciate that!! I can't get over the transformation - updated materials but getting rid of that peninsula was huge.

    @traci_from_seattle The Cristallo (i.e., crystals) does sparkle ever so slightly under the cabinet lighting and hadn't thought of that.....not too feminine. I'm very excited about that extension - in the nearly 7 years we've owned the place, we have not taken one meal in that eating area. I think that will change now that it's so open. At least my coffee!! Thanks for your nice comments.

    @Kendrah thank you, on the note of functionality, my initial layout posted on Houzz was met with strong suggestions to swap the sink and stove, so I did. I love the sink so close to the fridge and it couldn't be easier to work in there. Kudos to the Houzzers!

    @RedRyder I will thank my friend forever! You're right! I love that you didn't realize it was the same kitchen at first. That makes me so happy! I will indeed smile with my coffee - particularly because it's done! haha

    @lucky998877 don't laugh but I was bummed to give up that ugly old stove. That stove was the best!! I keep hearing from my friends these glasstop stoves are a pain to keep clean, so it will be a transition.

    @aprilneverends it literally made me gasp when I saw it. God's work of art for sure. I only wish I could get a better picture of it. Thank you!!

    @chicagoans Hello fellow Chicagoan! Splitting time between Florida and Nashville now, and not sure where we will wind up full time, but having the kitchen and baths updated this past year surely makes a total difference in how it feels here. The stone is the star as they say. :-)

    @ljptwt7 The installer made an error and the fabricator said they'd fix it but with risk of cracking that piece over the wine bar with the river. If it cracked, they offered to replace about 12 ft of backsplash with an entirely new replacement slab if needed (can't ask for more than that, right?). I told them NO and I'd keep the error. Could not justify ripping out something that's a billion years old over a small mistake and I'd be heartbroken not to have that river. They showed up unannounced and said they'd fix it. I insisted NO because I was afraid they'd crack the piece I love with the river. These Brazilian guys were insistent that they'd be careful and that I should leave the room...haha. They fixed it without cracking. I love the rivers, too. Thank you so much for commenting on them.

  • PRO
    DIY Decor Store

    Love the color choice for the cabinets!

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  • mxk3

    Looks absolutely terrific!!

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  • K R

    Beautiful! And I absolutely love the cristallo!

  • PRO

    I have seen the kitchen in person and the photos don't do it justice. Really stunning in person.

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  • Destiny

    Could you tell me how you are liking the line of cabinets that are the same depth for uppers and lowers? I was also thinking of doing this in my kitchen to serve as pantry space with the counter top serving as a space for coffee maker, microwave, etc, but was worried that it might not work well if both uppers and lowers are the same depth. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  • Grey Owl

    Wow it looks amazing

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  • frostyfootball

    @DIY Decor Store @mxk3 and KR, thank you all very much.

    @BeverlyFLADeziner thank you my friend. And thank you for pushing me to expand the hardwood beyond the kitchen. What a difference. Couldn't be happier we did that.

    @Destiny This config required the shallower cabinet 'uppers' to be used for both the uppers and lowers. They are at 12" or so with a bit deeper countertop (the lip extends out). Then, the lowers needed to have the base built up so the countertop height was the same as the other countertop in the kitchen. So, that said, if 'uppers' are used, you won't have enough depth for a microwave. You can see the large blender sitting there for relativity. Sounds like your functionality would need custom depth cabinets or lowers for both upper and lower. As for both being the same depth for uppers and lowers, no issues at all with them both being the same. Not sure why that'd be any different if you used the deeper lowers for both. Sounds like a good post to make. Feel free to use my picture as an example.

    One thing I should mention is that I had all uppers hung higher than normal. I had the soffits removed and had more room. They are almost at 20" vs standard 18 1/2. I love this as taller pieces like the vitamix and that blender on the serving counter fit great now. Also, I got a little more eyeballs on the backsplash.

    I hope this helps.

  • frostyfootball

    Thanks so much @Grey Owl

  • skmom

    My upper cabinetry is hung at 20” as well and I like it a lot that way!

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  • PRO
    Studio NOO Design

    Great remodel, congrats !

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  • Fsal

    So gorgeous. I love Cristallo! Enjoy your stunning kitchen

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  • Jora

    Your kitchen looks stunning!

    Like yourself, I absolutely fell in love with the Cristallo (our dealer called it Moscovita Oro) when I saw it. We had already picked, and purchased, Labradorite Blue for counters, and on our last check on our slabs, as we were leaving the store, I saw the Cristallo and couldn't go back. Hubby was (and still is) bummed!

    I would have LOVED to use it for back splash as well, but the combo of $$$ and the fact they only had the two slabs left, made it impossible. How many slabs did you use for your complete project?

    GORGEOUS transformation!

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  • megs1030

    Your countertops! ::swooning:: Great job renovating your kitchen!!

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  • kriii

    OOOlalala!!!! That kitchen is fabulous! Congratulations!

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  • frostyfootball

    @Jora Oh my gosh. I had an almost similar experience as noted above. I was going with Taj Mahal and saw the Cristallo and couldn't stop thinking of it. I was torn and a Houzzer said, "Go with the Cristallo since you can't stop thinking of it or you'll regret it." I was so close to doing the same thing that happened to you. I bet yours is gorgeous and I'd love to see a picture.

    Our job took two slabs. Do you remember what your company was going to charge for a slab or footage? I'm just curious because I wasn't able to shop it for price because there was no one else in the area selling it.

    At 3cm those backsplash pieces were so heavy and they had 5 guys set up the longer pieces. I couldn't even look. As noted above, the installer made an error on the backsplash and they offered to replace a large portion which would have gone into a 3rd slab at their expense, but I just couldn't do it. The guy said, "Why not?" I said, "I can't believe you'd go to a third slab at that expense (he said let them worry about that), and I think it would be a sin to just toss something so beautiful and old because someone made a small mistake on it." They were able to do a repair that was satisfactory so phew on that!

  • frostyfootball

    @kriii OOOOlala haaa, thank you!!

  • mmwhalen1999

    Oh! That stone is stunning. Pretty, pretty kitchen. Did you agonize over socket placement?

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  • frostyfootball

    @mmwhalen1999 Thank you. Since the sockets went in before the backsplash template, I agonized on templating to ensure the sockets didn't land inside a river. As we live and learn in these things, I wish oh I wish I had put the sockets at the bottom of the cabinets. As it is, I will paint them to quiet them down.

  • Dormelles

    @frostyfootball How would you have put outlets at the bottom of the cabinetry? Just curious since I have a similar situation of needing to put outlets either in cabinetry or have holes cut in my stone, but the only examples of cabinetry outlets I've seen have them at the top in a false front or as plugmold running right underneath the lip of the countertop.

  • frostyfootball

    @Dormelles Talk to your electrician and google 'under cabinet outlets'

  • Dormelles

    @frostyfootball Oh, I think you meant under the wall cabinetry here, not the base, of course. My situation involves base cabinetry only. Sorry for the confusion.

  • frostyfootball

    Ah, I see. Yes, cutting the can also cut the counter instead of the backsplash for installing those popups.

  • PRO
    CAGE Design Build

    Looks great! The backsplash works well.

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  • frostyfootball

    Thanks, @CAGE Design Build - after exhaustive search for backsplash that went nicely with Cristallo, I just opted to use the Cristallo slab in the backsplash. Big reason was no island and you can't get a sense of the stone on the countertop alone.

  • krista623

    did you use the exact same size cabinet pulls on all doors and drawers? Do you have a link to where you got them from?

  • frostyfootball

    Hi @krista623 yes! I researched a lot about the pulls and learned it's totally personal preference (about different sizes). I didn't want knobs so my only personal preference is the upper pulls shouldn't be longer than the lowers (would look top heavy). After ordering a zillion samples, I loved the champagne gold ones as they weren't in your face gold and had a simple line. Some looked really cheesy (even much more expensive ones at $10+ each). I needed 50 (5" on center holes so I can easily replace down the road). If you have super wide drawers, you may need doubles on those but I didn't. I found these at Amazon for $hundreds less than others like them that I didn't even like as well ....and the quality is excellent.

  • Jora

    frostyfootball - Sorry I didn't see your reply until now.

    I think the reason you fell in love with Cristallo is because it's so similar to Taj Mahal, but SO SO much more Gorgeous in every way.

    With us, it was day and night. Going from the galaxy, dark blue of Labradorite to Cristallo...but I was in love, and hubby knows better than to say 'no'.

    I'm ashamed to say that I didn't even bother looking for the Cristallo at other shops for pricing, rather just jumped in head first and said YES. I think main reason was out of all their Cristallo slabs only two were up for sale (remainder were all sold), and since I hadn't seen any stone close to the depth and beauty of Cristallo...I didn't want to hesitate.

    I'm ashamed to say that ours was $100 sq.ft. JUST for the slab - we used 2. I don't even want to think about the cost of fabrication.

    It was due to the high price that I just couldn't see purchasing a third one for the backsplash + fabrication, otherwise it would have been a no brainer.

    May I ask how much you paid for yours?

    I think it was incredibly generous of your fabricator to offer a third piece, and like yourself, I most likely would have opted out of not using the piece that was already in place. Would have been such a waste of a stunning stone!

    I'll post a pix of before and after of our kitchen soon and will send you a link to the thread.

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  • frostyfootball

    Thanks, @Vanguard development NYC :-)

    @Jora - I had to go back and re-read your original post. When you said you'd picked out the granite but saw the Cristallo and couldn't go back, I thought you meant it was too late to change your mind. You got the Cristallo!!! Can't wait to see your pictures! Ya, very different than that dark granite. I noted the similarity of colors to Taj but what I loved was the lack of any kind of repeat/pattern in the stone. It made the backsplash difficult to match up for the seam but I didn't care.

    I've read as much as I can find about this stone and there simply isn't much available. I was told it's a rare exotic and I believe it. We had our neighbors over the other night along with their out of town guests. Their one guest is a geologist!!! He couldn't stop touching it. I knew it was a metamorphic rock like a marble (though marble from limestone/dolomite and Cristallo from sandstone) but I had the opportunity to ask more questions. I knew the formation came from verrrry deep under the earth's surface, instead of a mountain. He said the Cristallo was likely deep beneath a beach and the black (I call them rivers) was likely volcanic movement from so long ago. Can you even comprehend some bitchy person making them rip out the 1-2 billion years old stone because of a little installation error? The fabricator was awesome and they said they truly appreciated our love of the Cristallo and desire to understand it.

  • Jora

    Thank you for passing on the info. from your guests. Fascinating!

    To be honest, every 'natural' stone we looked at was amazing in their own way, but some were more mesmerizing than others.

    How much did your stone set you back (with/without fabrication)? Just curious.

    BTW: We are in Northern California, not sure where you are located.

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  • Dormelles

    @Jora The OP's house shown is her seasonal home in Florida. The 2 slabs of quartzite she needed plus fabrication would have probably landed her around the $15,000 range for the countertops and backsplash. Just by way of example, in the Midwestern USA where I live, 2 cm Cristallo slabs run around $5,000 each for a standard 114" x 75" size. Northern California where you are may run slightly higher depending on the quality of the stone, and slab yards in smaller towns probably wouldn't stock Cristallo, so you might need them shipped in if you are in a rural area.

    [Update: OP clarified in 2 comments below that she required square footage from 3 slabs total in a 3 cm in thickness which would normally put an application like this over the $20,000 mark including fabrication and installation, but by dealing directly with a company that owns a Cristallo quarry as she did, and given the volume she required, she probably got a good value for the final product. Buying by the square foot of the finished installation as she did rather than the full slab may sound like a better deal when trying to compare suppliers, but in reality this may not be the best way to compare the overall cost if you have a choice of suppliers in your area -- particularly if you might be able to use scrap from a full slab purchase in other parts of the house since it is typical for suppliers to mark up the square footage price when selling via that method versus the cost per square foot of a full slab.]

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  • PRO
    Norwood Architects

    Great transformation!

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  • frostyfootball

    @Jora I think I have construction dust on my brain. I made an error above when I said two slabs because that was what I had selected initially (took pictures and serial numbers on). But, actually when they came out and templated, I added the backsplashes, and when I arrived for the layout appointment, the updated square footage required a 3rd slab with my actual template including counters, sidesplashes, the backsplashes, and because I raised my upper cabinets for more backsplash to show.

    In thinking further, the fabricator actually offered to go to a 4th slab at their expense! (for what I explained earlier that I declined) . The job was bundled for total cost including fabrication since the company owned the quarry in Brazil and did the fabricating (so I was able to deal direct). When I was asking you about the rate you saw, I was under the impression that you meant you couldn't get the Cristallo because it was too late to change from the granite you chose. You'd have been passing along a quote for Cristallo you saw but didn't get (I thought). I hadn't been able to price it elsewhere because it was unavailable. As the dust has settled, literally and figuratively, I realized my errors. Sorry about that. The slabs were 3 cm and I'd have to check on the size and cost of slabs without fabricating because I don't know, but yes, very pricey.

  • Jora

    Norwood and frosty...thank you both! :)

    I wasn't very knowledgable about Cristallo....just followed my heart. I didn't want to sit on purchasing the stone as the store we purchased it from is always, over the top, busy and blinking could potentially mean losing! :). This is why we didn't consider price shopping/etc.

    The store also ONLY sells slabs, and etc. and doesn't do any fabrication. Because of this we had to seek out an independent fabricator...hence the reason I remember the price/sq. ft.

    Frosty - I was thinking how fabulous your fabricator must be to do all that work with only two slabs! :) :). You were def. smart to put that stunning piece of work as backsplash as well. :)

    Even smarter still to not toss the one slab, in exchange for perfection. :)

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  • frostyfootball

    @Jora I know exactly what you mean when the urgency compels you to do it NOW or you know you’ll lose it. And you would have. In this case because these stones are unique, rare, and in demand, it’s justified. If money were the most important issue, you’d have many other lovely options so I know you are so glad you did it!

    What did you wind up choosing for the backsplash? That was a hard pick! I never thought I’d do a slab backsplash and love tiles, but I was having trouble choosing. Nothing was working. Another person on Houzz has a lengthy board about choosing the backsplash for cristallo. I knew it wasn’t just me. I finally just bit the bullet on that and did the slab backsplash.

    I’m so lucky to have had a fabricator that was also the quarry owner. It would have been out of the ballpark to do the counter and backsplash otherwise. Without an island in my kitchen, the stone features wouldn’t have been appreciated only on the countertop surface cut up by the appliances.

    I only started researching the stone after I committed to it because I knew nothing about it. I find it fascinating and want to learn more. If you ever come across anything on that, please share with me!

  • frostyfootball

    Not able to change the original images. Update shows brightness better.... outlet covers painted, too. Much better.

  • PRO
    Plazza Natural Stone

    Gorgeous transformation. Cristallo is truly a beautiful stone.

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  • frostyfootball

    Thank you @Plazza Natural Stone I appreciate your expert comments. :-)

  • PRO
    frostyfootball thanked Vanguard Development SF
  • PRO
    123 Remodeling Inc.

    Amazing kitchen transformation! Your new kitchen looks way better than the old one. Great job!

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  • PRO
    Purewal Contractors, Inc

    Beautiful Love the Design

    Now is the Time to Sit back and Relax, What your Next Project?


    Purewal Contractors Inc

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  • frostyfootball

    @Purewal Contractors, Inc Thank you so much. After remodeling the kitchen and two baths in the last 10 months, I’m ready for no projects. :-)

  • happyleg

    You earned it

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