Thank you all SO much for your input/suggestions on the kitchen sink! Between your comments on Facebook, emails, and comments here, I was able to really get some good feedback and advice. And, you gave me things to think about that I hadn't thought of at all. SO, THANK YOU! I'm still mulling over it, but very close to a decision.
Next up: The countertops.
This is probably the biggest decision we'll make because it's the most costly. And, because it really will significantly change the way our kitchen looks overall.
We have decided on granite. We researched every single type of countertop, and after looking at all of them, decided that we liked granite the best. We just love the look of the natural stone, the way it shines and reflects the light, and we're aware of and prepared to do the upkeep needed to keep it looking beautiful for years to come!
In terms of color/style, we've narrowed all the choices (and OH MY, are there choices!) down to essentially three different colors/styles. Each is very different from the next, and each (again!) has its pros and cons. SO, I'm going to do what we'll do when we sit in the showroom here shortly and make our choice, and show you each one we like next to one of our cabinet fronts. This cabinet was the closest match, but ours might be just a tad bit darker. It's close, though. Very close.
Again, here is our kitchen. Currently, it has white laminate countertops and black appliances. The black appliances are staying.
*Updated to add: Here is the other side of our kitchen - if you are standing at the island looking out. (The green accent walls stop at the end of the cabinets.) The natural light, primarily, comes from the bay windows and the doors to the deck. We are, however, also having recessed lighting installed throughout the main work area in the kitchen.
Countertop #1: Brown/Black
I really like how classy this one is. It's earthy and natural and I think it also pairs well with the lighter ceramic tile on the floor. And, I like the way it looks with the cabinets. To me, this is the most traditional. I can't decide what I think of that. I like traditional, but I also like something a little edgy and something a little different, too. Make sense?
Countertop #2: Gold/Beige
Originally, I wasn't considering anything from the gold/beige family. But, when I saw it next to our cabinets, it seemed to really make them pop and give this light and airy feeling to the kitchen. I love that. BIG plus on this one: It will hide black, brown, and white crumbs. We create LOTS of each and sometimes, crumbs sit on my counters for
hours a while. Concern: Is is too light with the lighter tiled floor or a good complement to it?
Countertop #3: Black
I had black granite countertops in my last house, and I LOVED them. I love the modern edge they bring to a kitchen, and I like the sleek look of black granite. When it's clean! Downside: It shows EVERYTHING! A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is its worst nightmare. I think the black would be a great contrast to the tiled floor, and add that modern edge to a more otherwise traditional kitchen. But, is it practical with four children? Do I choose based on practical?
One of the MAIN things I've learned while researching granite countertops is NOT to pick based solely on what I like in a showroom or magazine, but what goes with my particular kitchen. I may like cayman blue countertops at the Florida beach house in Coastal Living magazine, but if they don't "fit" with the style of my house, then installing them in my kitchen is a big mistake.
SO, I'm open to any color/style of granite that will work in this space - which is why the three choices above are all so different. I'm really just not sure and I'm not leaning towards one over another at this point.
Three different choices. Each one creates a different feel in the kitchen.
What do you think? What's your favorite? Any other pros/cons you can think of that I haven't listed for any of these?
Again, I'd LOVE your thoughts!