Sayonara Forest Green Tile {Kitchen Refresh Reveal}

I had a friend recently tell me she thought I was crazy to undergo two kitchen renovations in two years. She may be right. 
In truth, I wasn't sure I wanted to tackle another big project like a kitchen update, after having just moved our whole family across country. But, John pushed for it, and I am so glad he did because we really couldn't be happier with the results. 

We tossed around a lot of ideas (like this and this), but ultimately chose to have the existing cabinets lacquered by a local finishing company. (You can check them out here, we found them to be very reasonable and flexible with our ever changing plans.) Once we realized that the cabinets were solid wood and more than likely custom at the time of their installation, lacquering became the best option to give them a new lease on life. We chose lacquer over paint because it's much more durable and gives a more professional look (less brush strokes, etc). Lacquer requires several thin sprayed layers that dry extremely quickly, allowing for a smoother finish than standard paint. 
Perimeter cabinets: BM Acadia White
Island cabinets: BM Brewster Gray

Sometimes I can't believe they are the same cabinets. Never doubt the transformative powers of paint, as they say. The finishing company did an amazing job. 
To further highlight the island from the perimeter cabinets we opted for two work surfaces. An accent granite on the island and a more subtle soapstone for the perimeter surfaces. Soapstone is its own entity, neither a granite or a marble. It is extremely resilient to heat, cold and staining, but it is soft and can scratch and chip easily. It also required seasoning (mineral oil) often after installation, which helps to minimize the appearance of scratching. But, it's all worth it because it looks so beautiful!
The backsplash is a simple small scale, mosaic white subway tile that we accented with two dotted pencil tiles. I think it offsets the soapstone beautifully.
We also looked at a lot of options for lighting, like these, but ultimately went with a French influenced iron lantern from here. I think the oversize scale fills the space well while the iron tones help to ground the area.

The kitchen desk nook: an unsung hero. 
Honestly, I didn't think I'd use this space as much as I have been, but I love it and find it so convenient - my new blogging home!
 In this area, I chose to remove the cabinet doors for a lighter look, easier access to cookbooks, and also to contrast all the closed cabinet storage throughout the rest of the kitchen. You know how I feel about everything being all matchy, matchy! I love open shelving, and this was the only place to make it happen. No one agreed with this change, including the finishers, John, the contractor and my Mom, but I went for it and am loving it! Sometimes you just have to trust your instincts...

A little peak into the breakfast room which is coming together nicely (more on that later). And the den, where the walls are painted in BM Brewster Gray, like the island. 
As you can see, the zigzag island still exists (you can read more about that here), but we rounded out the angle on the sink side of the island and did away with the angle all together on the other side. Less lightening bolt and more counter space - double win!
I mean, can you ever have too much counter space? I think not.

Of course, I couldn't write this post without including a good ol' fashioned before photo. I still walk in sometimes, stop in my tracks, and just stare. How far we've come!
Sayonara forest green tile! You are not missed.

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until next time,