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Design Dilemma
Design Dilemma

New look for 9 foot center island

sjc1001February 14, 2013
I am in the process of updating kitchen and plan to put in large 9 foot center island that will utilize cupboard below existing island and take the place of the table. Our preference is to keep the corian on the surrounding counters. We still like it and it still in very good condition. It has a bit of a pink undertone with flecks of black and white. My challenge has been finding something that complements the corian. Ideas for new island? We have three boys so need something practical. I have been leaning toward a dramatic look and I like the look of a center island that complements but is not the same as the remaining countertop. I have looked at many types of granite (typhoon bordeaux, bianco antico, black marinace) - so far what I've liked the best that may complement pending the slab is titanium. We are considering replacing all the countertop if we can't find something that complements. We will also be updating the lighting over the center island to be transitional/contemporary fixtures.
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Quartzite stone comes in a variety of whites and has open elongated shadows the run through it. You might also look at cast concrete.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 6:30PM
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Copper may be an option I would consider because of its pinkish hue.
A pure white quartz would coordinate with your appliances and bring the whites together. Quartz is actually very hard. The only stones harder is topaz, diamond and saphire, so it would hold up well.
    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 8:27PM
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I like the idea of black as it will pick up the fleck of black in the corian. But go for something with as little pattern so you don't have competing patterns.

I would point out that having a black island counter will visually "anchor" your kitchen in the center. This may be what you want - but bear in mind it will be pretty indelible once in place so be sure you want it.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 2:33AM
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I agree, black granite island would provide a focal point while updating the kitchen a bit.

Kraftmaid Briarwood - Beem · More Info
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 6:02AM
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Anybody think we should just replace it all? That it will look too forced? It doesn't sound that way but thought I'd check.
    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Your appliances are white so maybe Kashmir white granite. I have it and love it! It has flecks of a cherry/burgundy, white and grey tones in it. If you can afford it, change it all :)
1 Like    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Jeffrey Brooks Interior Design
Hi, If you choose a material that compliments the current surfaces you'll end up with a well-planned, more integrated result. Black will certainly work but will, I fear, have a negative effect on the original counters by making them look pale and dated by comparison. I'd still vote for a stone that has a bit of the tones you described, but has more movement and interest. I suggested a white background to better marry your white appliances with the total picture. Bigger sweeps of color or well defined veining.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:41AM
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Hammer Head Builders Inc.
you can do multiple colors in the kitchen as you can see from our 9' island also being a different color than the main counter tops, we used Cambria a great product.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 8:56AM
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Dwellings LLC
Hi, I'd love to see a black granite but perhaps with a brushed or leather finish. It tones down the black but still gives you the depth of color that would anchor the room.
    Bookmark   February 16, 2013 at 9:00AM
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I've done a little more investigating on pricing. Replacing all the countertop is about 2.5-3 times just doing the island. The dilemma is that just doing the island is enough cost that I really am nervous about what feels like "settling" and still not being content with the whole picture (we would likely do black or dark gray with very subtle movements in it as my husband isn't fond of various white granites or other materials like concrete or copper). The photo below is one of the first granites we saw (black marinace) that had the drama and uniqueness that we were looking for and the color scheme and stone/pebble look complemented our current corian but I worry that it might get tiresome and/or look like something from an earlier decade (the 70s?). Remember when people use to put landscapes on a full wall? Let me know thumbs up or down.

If I had to start from scratch, which I am seriously considering, I would do a dramatic titanium (dark gray, black, cream) for the island with the side counters in a different but complementary granite (likely in a gray). The question is whether we are willing to pay 2.5-3 times and I have other areas in home that I want to update although our kitchen is highly prized area for us.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Oops looks like photo didn't attach with my last post. I'll try again
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 8:54PM
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I think the Corian dates the kitchen..if you can justify it, I vote for full counter replacement. There is definite bargaining room with the granite fabricators. I have found that I much more leverage with a smaller company opposed to a big chain that doesn't have such tight margins.
1 Like    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:15PM
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ps: LOVE the black marinace Maybe you can find a remnant of that to help offset the price..Is that an exotic?
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 9:18PM
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Jeffrey Brooks, Dytecture (with the pic) and Dwellings all make excellent points. The key here is whether you are trying to update the whole look (i.e., replace white appliances with stainless and all new counters) or focus on the island/new top without making the existing cabinets and counters look dated especially as Corian has gone out of fashion, first with granite and now with quartz counters. If you're focusing on just the new island, the secret is going to be getting that done in new finishes that don't immediately outdate the cabinets and counters. Dytectures example of a shiny black island top with wood cabinets/neutral counters is an excellent example although the honed solid black granite is also a great idea as the matte finish of the granite would not look too new next to the Corian. What might also work is a painted island (white with a glaze that works with the white appliances) and a butcher block or wood countertop stained to match the cabinets. That would work with later upgrades of stainless appliances or all new counters down the road when inclination and budget allow. (Also, if the current ieland is Corian, you might be able to have a specialist use it to update the edging of the existing counters since Corian can melded together seamlessly.
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:16PM
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I agree if you choose black, to go with a honed finish, to cut down on the contrast with the Corian. Also, my decorator friend put black granite in her kitchen and said the only way she'd do black again, was if it was honed, as the shiny finish showed every smudge and fingerprint and required constant attention--something you probably don't want with those three boys!
    Bookmark   February 18, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Thanks everyone! Yes I believe the black marinace is considered an exotic. I can do that I believe in relatively similar price point as black granite and leave the remaining corian. I like the honed black granite look better than shiny but my granite guy says that it tends to show oil from fingerprints etc so the folks he says that have gotten haven't been happy so he is recommending polished. Anybody strongly disagree or is this just a downside? As far as justifying replacing all, this is tough...we put in corian thinking we would keep forever. So my husband is also sensitive to getting something that will better stand the test of time. Maybe that's just not realistic and you just do the best you can given what you know at the time?
    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 5:58AM
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Dwellings LLC
If the budget allows, I would like to see you replace the Corian w/ Absolute Black with a honed or the brushed/ leather finish as previously discussed. The black marinace on the island only will give you the punch you're looking for in the kitchen without being overwhelming. Painting the walls a cream color will also help highlight the island. If you replace the surrounding countertops, don't put in the edge at the back. Paint the back splash for now and then you can install a tile back splash to really give the kitchen updated look. Good Luck
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 6:54AM
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oh these poor husbands..functionally, corian stands the test of time...unfortunately, it doesn't aesthetically... You spend so much time in that part of your home, it should be a pleasure to be in there...it is so much easier to do the dishes etc in a pretty surrounding! ;) As for the granite finish..it is 6 of 1 or 1/2 dozen of the other ..shiny shows fingerprints and smudges and honed will show oily smudges..that being said, it is gorgeous and that's what granite cleaners are for! Dwellings comment about the black marinace for the island is dead on! A total wow and as an added bonus, the marinace will mask fingerprints, smudges etc...
1 Like    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 8:16AM
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I think I have him talked into replacing all. That really opens up my options for a dramatic center island. The black marinace is still an option for the center island but will relook at others again as I was always trying to complement existing corian when I've been looking. I like the black honed granite option for the side counters if go black marinace. Point well taken that if I go extreme dramatic on the center..the other counters have to be subdued. Thanks again everyone. New to this website but loving it already. A big investment that I've been wavering on and feel like I'm finally settling on a direction!
2 Likes    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:45PM
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YAY!! post pics when you finish! Good luck and have fun :)
    Bookmark   February 20, 2013 at 8:48PM
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Replacing all countertops...I have found quartzite for center island. I am trying to decide whether to do perimeter in a very subtle quartz (caeserstone called grey expo) or to do everything in the quartzite. I am a little nervous on the quartzite on all countertops....two things holding me back....seeing conflicting info on staining, durability from acidic products for quartzite and I truly do like the look of center island in different but complementary material. Not able to get sample of quartzite from supplier. Opinions?
    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 1:49PM
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