I met today with the good folks at Semihandmade. This company makes door fronts that fit IKEA cabinets — they even drill holes for the hinges. So brilliant! Now I can go with affordable IKEA cabinet boxes, with their cleverly designed interior fittings that I love, but I have a better option when it comes to the door fronts. I can even get real wood shaker fronts, so I’m not locked into ultra modern slab fronts if I want to use IKEA. After seeing the Semihandmade doors, I think I’ve made my decision.
I cherry picked what I liked from the period (marble, subway tile, console sink), then added modern elements that I wanted, like the Heath half hex floor that’s such an inspired riff on the original, plus chrome medicine cabinets, Kohler Purist fixtures, and sparkling white beveled wall tile. I want to achieve that same magical blend of modern and vintage in our kitchen. And the latest combo that has me enthused is white shaker and marble — with sleek “hidden” pulls. Like this, my main inspo photo:
I’m an admirer of marble waterfall islands as a strong focal point, but that’s out for us, sadly, given we’re retaining the original 1946 raised platform and have aisle constraints. So how else can I use marble to its best advantage?
I had been pretty much set on subway tile for the backsplash, but what about marble there? Marble on the perimeter counter and backsplash would provide a big bang, visually, and would be a dramatic focal point. That will be important, given I won’t be designing around an ornate cooktop hood.
Using the same stone on both countertop and backsplash has a nice cohesion. In my last kitchen renovation, I used slate on both the countertop and the backsplash, and the effect was dramatic.
And, news flash, marble is actually one of the more affordable countertop materials, compared to, say, natural quartzite or man-made Quartz, which have grown in popularity, as they’re more forgiving of stains. While there had been a spate of marble kitchens on sites like Remodelista a few years back, I’m now seeing a backlash against marble kitchens. If you peruse Houzz advice discussions, which I scan regularly, folks just can’t deal with the stains and the etching of water spots sets off their OCD, to hear them tell it.
Well, I’m not that OCD. As I explained when I told you about my honed marble bathroom two years later, I love the marble in museums, old courthouse buildings, and restaurants and bars. Even marble that’s 100 or more years old and has seen millions of footsteps, water damage, cleaning damage, weather damage, and spills is beautiful to my eye.
Marble that has seen LIFE will not remain perfect, but it will always be beautiful.
I’m thinking I’ll use marble on both the backsplash and the back countertop and go with Ceaserstone Pure White from IKEA for the island top. Because, though I’m not OCD about marble etching, it’s nice and carefree to have somewhere safe to chop tomatoes and lemons and leave wine glasses overnight without worrying about rings. And I think the two materials will look harmonious side by side.
I won’t have an overhang for barstools, as in my inspiration photo, what with our raised platform. And I’ll definitely choose mid-century style pendants over the island. Something like this:
Most exciting? I can use remnants from the marble slab to replace the windowsills of both the kitchen window and the living area window. It will be an elegant touch that, along with original hardwood floors throughout, will pull both rooms together.