Gray but never boring – Viscount White granite in a traditionally stylish corner kitchen
We’re visiting Peter and Elsa to talk about interior design and stone worktops. The young couple chose Viscount White granite for their kitchen worktops already a few years back and now the renovation has reached the bathroom, where they chose a relatively new material – the beige gray quartz Breeze Ashen Light.
Usually people stay true to their first choices of material and once the kitchen is finished they will bring the same stone to other spaces in their homes as well. How did you end up picking completely different kind of materials for your kitchen and bathroom?
Well I don’t think the two stones are all that different. They were both picked according to the same principle – home is a place for rest. Gray and beige tones are plain and naturally create a calm environment. The patterns of these stones aren’t busy either, which makes them exactly the kind of materials we were looking for. Neither of us has very extravagant taste, so we don’t run into quarrels when making these decisions. Functionality first – that’s how you get a cozy and comfortable atmosphere.
Professionals in the stone business might approach the topic a little differently, but for the regular consumer stone is always stone, no matter if it’s granite, marble or quartz. Colour and price are the most important factors when making decisions, and of course different practical aspects play a big role. Bathroom is the room with the most moisture and different chemicals – toothpaste, cosmetics and make-up, fragrances and nail polish remover… All kinds of substances that might stain the surface. That’s why we picked the polished quartz stone worktop for our bathroom, it’s the most durable and hygienic option.
Viscount White granite we found from an older Granitop news-story. The picture had polished granite along white kitchen cabinets and stainless steel appliances but we were sure it’d go just as well with gray furniture. And here we should probably mention that you recommend us the polished finish too, but when looking at the samples we were most drawn to the honed Viscount White granite that we now have in our kitchen. It’s quite unassuming and not pretentious at all, with just enough stronger white and black lines to stand out from the more boring gray granites (Grigio Aveiro, Bianco Sardo, Bohus Grey) that look more speckled. It’s simply so beautiful! A larger pattern in our corner kitchen would’ve started screaming for attention, so we’re very happy with the harmonious finish of our kitchen.
How did you go about the process of choosing the material for your worktops? How long has the renovation taken?
Granitop was a pretty random find. We were googling different stone worktops, and your webpage stood out among the results as the page that seemed the most trustworthy. We like how you have a lot of pictures from many very different kitchens and the option to calculate an estimation for the prices.
We considered other options too, but in the end an oak worktop wouldn’t have been much cheaper than stone which made the final decision easy. With a minimal price difference it would be sin to not to choose stone!
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We also chose stone for the backsplash to achieve as seamless finish as possible – matte furniture, matte black fixtures and and worktops from honed granite instead of polished. Tiles or a shiny polished worktop would’ve almost seemed foreign objects here, seamless and minimalistic is a much better look.
The ability to use a stone slab for the backsplash to tie together the lower and upper cabinets for a finished look was probably also one of the deciding factors, actually. Although to be honest, not much in our home is finished or ready yet. These power sockets are a temporary solution and we’re still missing this and that.
For the sink you have Blanco Subline? With a Silgranit -finish, fixed to the worktop from below? The cabinet seems rather narrow, did the sink and tap fit in well?
The cabinet isn’t narrow, it’s a standard 60cm width. The installers were also happy there wasn’t a need to cut into the furniture, everything fit very well. We wanted to take the sink further back on the worktop than usual to have as much stone visible at the front of the sink. That’s why the sink is 8cm from the back edge of the worktop instead of the usual 10cm. And then the slab for backsplash was installed on top of the worktop, which means the tap is really close to the back wall.
You’ve been using this kitchen for a couple of years now. How have you maintained the materials?
We’ve actually been using the kitchen for three years already. The stone worktop hasn’t needed any special maintenance, we simply keep it clean. They did tell us that Viscount White is more porous than the harder granites and the honed finish will also make it more sensitive when compared to polished stone. Grease from frying food and everything was supposed to absorb into the worktop…
But that hasn’t happened at all, the stone worktop still looks brand new. I believe with regular cleaning granite will stay in good condition for a long time.
Your kitchen is missing one of the trendiest kitchen features of the moment. Did you ever consider a kitchen island or did you always know you’d want this traditional setting with a dining table?
Our apartment isn’t very big and the kitchen island might’ve made the space feel too cramped. Our corner kitchen is in its own niche already and the transition to the living room is smooth as it is. It’s already good and right, there’s simply no need for an island.
Sometimes simple and traditional solutions are the best and most universal. There’s less planning and hassle, you can go straight to the furniture makers and the stone company, tell them what you want and you’re guaranteed to have great results!
What are your recommendations for other people looking to decorate their homes and buy stone worktops? How to create a harmonious and finished home like yours?
Maybe the most important thing is to first figure out your requirements and resources. On the rest we recommend you put your trust in professionals. For example, we were worried about getting the furniture and worktops of our L-shaped kitchen into the apartment through the narrow stairwell since our building has no elevator. But everything turned out well. There’s a seam here next to the stovetop but you can barely see it if you look.
Some decisions were also made with future ease in mind. Take our stovetop for example, it’s installed on the worktop, not fitted into the stone. In these kinds of things you should listen to the more experienced people. The silicone seams of fitted stovetops will tire out and loosen sooner and the stovetop is more susceptible to breaking if you accidentally drop something heavy on it – these problems can be avoided. Stovetops installed on the worktop are also the standard fare. If you’d ever need to replace a fitted stovetop you’d need to find one the exact same shape and size and that might be impossible. Then you’d need to redo the whole worktop.
The spotlights were also recommended to us by the people from the furniture company. We ourselves wouldn’t probably have thought to install so many but now that we have them we really like sitting on the sofa in half light, admiring our beautifully lit kitchen and granite worktop.
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