Friday, May 8, 2015

Freestanding Kitchen Island Part Two: Granite Stone Top

When we built our house a few years ago, I hadn't thought much about how I wanted the kitchen to work.  I was all about making sure the paint color glowed when the sun went down (it does) and taking advantage of every possible opportunity to add windows (mission accomplished).  About the only thing I was sure of for a new kitchen was that I wanted a walk in pantry and a long counter to use as a buffet.  I also knew I didn't want an island.

Alas, it's four years later and I wish I'd considered a built in island.  Maybe someday I'll master woodworking and put together a true do it yourself, but for now, a free standing island from is a perfect solution.  I introduced this piece of furniture to you }here{ and it's been a great work horse already, except for one problem:  the wood scratches easily.  I was expecting that issue, thanks to honest reviews on Amazon, and there was a plan to deal with it before I clicked confirm on the order.

Occasionally, daydreams about upgrading our countertops pop in my head, but for now, we'll settle with a stone top for the freestanding kitchen island.  I like that the island is black, but as a whole it's a bit dark.  I wanted an easy to clean, scratch resistant stone surface that would coordinate with the existing counters and cabinets.  You know how it is when something is on its way to you and you can see the dots connecting way before it was even on your radar?  I noticed the Jubilee Company showroom in Princeton, Texas, on the way into town months before we were even shopping for an island.  When we decided we would definitely want to resurface the island with a stone top, I knew right where to go.

The Jubilee Company showroom will have you dreaming of beautiful kitchen and bathroom projects the minute you step in the door. I explained to Dan, our customer service representative, what we were looking for and he walked me through the display area full of   b e a u t i f u l  stone slabs in every color and pattern your heart could desire.

I wanted something to brighten up the surface of the island and blend with the color of the cabinets.  When I first walked by the stone I ultimately chose, I said, "That's really pretty, but it's not what I'm looking for." Of course,when I went back one more time to admire it, I couldn't deny it was the one. I guess this is how it will be when it comes to the kitchen:  I think I know what I don't want, then it turns out to be what I want :o)

Dan let me take a small sample with me, which I was so happy to have, since I'm pretty sure I would have second guessed my choice once I got home.  I chose "Revolutions" - a natural slab granite, and also opted for a beveled edge to complement the island's bevel.

Our gorgeous 24x42 custom slab was ready in about two weeks.  Delivery was an option, but since it's a manageable size, we were able to go by the showroom and pick it up.  It's a solid 120+ pounds, and definitely required two very strong young men to carry it (thank you Nathan and Caleb!).  All they had to do was carry it into the house, lay it down on the the island, and we had instant kitchen bling!

Ordering a smallish piece of granite gave me some budgetary freedom to choose what appealed to me the most; if I'd been looking for countertops for the whole kitchen, this choice would have stretched the budget.  I did learn that stone is graded in levels, and the more spread out a pattern is, the higher the level (and more expensive) it is.  Jubilee Company has levels 1 to 7 on site in their showroom and can custom order up to level 10.  The piece I chose is a level 7.  I'm glad there were no level 10's anywhere close.

Having been without a kitchen island, we now appreciate how great it is to have a dedicated work surface right in the middle, especially when there's lots going on.  And having lived for a while with a work surface that scratched easily, we now appreciate how great it is to have a resilient granite top that is so, so pretty.

Here's our journey from no island at all, to freestanding wood top, to granite:

I have a new love for gorgeous stone and everywhere I look I'm wondering if I could add a stone top. It might have been more budget friendly just to go ahead and do those kitchen countertops ....

If you're considering a project that involves natural stone, 
check out the Jubilee Company website }here{ ... it's full of information and beautiful ideas!

I'm linking up with Thrifty Decor Chick's May Before and After Party 
click }here{ to see lots of fabulous transformations!

TDC Before and After

Shared joy is doubled joy ... let's double the joy for both of us - what are you most grateful for today? Click below to leave your comment. I'll go first :

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