Countertops and Flooring and Cabinets, Oh My! 

So we finally made two big design decisions for the kitchen this weekend! It is always much harder to design for yourself than it is for someone else because you tend to overthink it and get transfixed on every single little detail because you are going to have to look at it every single day!

Gary is a little indecisive in general... so the kitchen was tough. The kitchen is also special because it is his terrain. He's this gifted chef and baker so I really wanted him to have his dream kitchen. I hate cooking. I can make fried green tomatoes (don't ask) and paper bag grilled cheese and that is about it. My only requests for the space were a dishwasher that wouldn't leave spots on glasses (good luck with that one, Jesus) and a farm sink that was big enough to wash our big pots in.  

The big-ticket items in our budget are the appliances so we had to make sure the flooring, cabinets, and countertops stayed on budget. I hate budgets. I don't like to prioritize how pretty my selections are based on price because it always seems that if I pick out three options; it never fails that the prettiest is also the most expensive because the universe hates me. 

I know what you are thinking: OH how terribly original, ANOTHER ALL WHITE KITCHEN! I promise I’ll find some way to whore it up. We both agreed from the beginning that the kitchen needed to be white. Classic, light and airy. I actually feel like white kitchens are on their way out (or they probably are already out since everyone on Pinterest has a gray or kelly green kitchen right now) but white kitchens are also classic and clean.  A home should just be full of things you love and you shouldn't care what is trendy or not. You might still love your gray cabinets and Joanna Gaines-inspired barn wood/pallet walls in 20 years or you might hate them in six months. I just knew we didn't want something that would look terribly new/trendy or out of place in a house this old. It needed to feel timeless and elegant. Two terms I don't usually decorate with. 

We also don't have much natural light in the kitchen so I was afraid wood cabinets would be too dark and overwhelm the space. We love Dover White from Sherwin-Williams. It is this really beautiful warm white color—basically magic in a paint can. It immediately makes anything look more expensive because of the way that it reflects light. We used it on all of the trim on our old house and it looked stunning. The cabinets and ceiling beams in our new kitchen will all be Dover White. We have collected 112 paint chips that are still in the running for a wall color so I'll get to that debacle later.

The countertops were a pretty easy decision because we love quartz so much. Quartz is nearly indestructible and it comes in every color from white purple. And because it isn't porous like granite you don't have to worry as much about staining or germs. So go ahead and chop your chicken guts up on it! 

We really wanted something that looked like marble but that wasn't as much of a pain in the ass to maintain (or as pricey) as marble. We found two options for countertops that we both loved—one classic and one more on the whorey side. I, of course, kind of fell in love with the sparkle of the Summerhill pattern from Cambria, but we decided it wasn't right for the space or the feel that we are going for. Summerhill also comes off a bit “beach house” since it has a sandy pattern to it. And it kind of looks like an ant farm when you get a giant slab of it but that is also kind of charming. I loved that it had so much glitter in it so we may use it in the bathroom or another space. I'm a sucker for countertops with bling in them!

The Most Beautiful

Ant Farm Ever!

Summerhill Quartz Cambria

Anyway, we decided on HanStone quartz in the Montauk pattern for the countertops because it looks a little more classic. It has a lot of white, gray, and brown tones so it can go with pretty much any color. It also has a really beautiful streak of pearlescent gaudiness (perfect for me!) that runs through it. It looks like marble but better. Plus, it is called Montauk so it makes me feel like I should be doing something pretentious like playing croquet and yelling at my staff while wearing a cable knit sweater. Like the person who modeled for the sample below... 

Why is there a sweater and a necklace on the countertop? #ibethernameisMuffyKensington

Why is there a sweater and a necklace on the countertop? #ibethernameisMuffyKensington

I am obsessed with flooring. The formal dining room flows into the kitchen so we put a lot of thought into how you transition between the two spaces. The dining room has this beautiful greek key border that is a bit darker than the oak on the remainder of the first floor. My first instinct was to put oak in the kitchen to try and keep the first floor continuous but the brand new kitchen is clearly not original so I figured we might as well embrace the newness and just get what we like for the floor.

Old Flooring

New Floor


Picking flooring is always a nightmare! I suggest you bring home as many samples as possible and then stand on them, put dirt on them, jump up and down on them and see how they clean-up. Test them out. Look at them at different times of day in the space that you are going to use them in. Have your kids vomit on them. Whatever you need to do to make your decision! We only brought home eight different samples and our kids are old so nobody needed to vomit on them for us to make our decision. We sampled everything from linoleum (it's back!) to hardwood and we ended up going with engineered hardwood flooring from Mannington in Cider Mill Hickory which is sort of middle-dark(ish). The color is called Vine. We swore up and down that we would never have dark floors again after our the last house. They never look clean. You can see footprints, dust, Cheerios, and anything that touches them. You spend all of your time cleaning them or contemplating cleaning them. But dark floors are so pretty. Especially in a white kitchen! So, shocker, we are getting dark floors again!

Cider Mill Hickory in VIne

This floor already looks dirty


I fell in love with the Cider Mill Hickory floors because they are more of a matte finish. I'm not a fan of glossy wood floors. They also come in 3.25", 5", 6.5" wide planks of varying widths so it blends a little better with the original flooring. I think it is a nice balance between the old flooring in the dining room and the new kitchen space. Fingers crossed! 

So three decisions down, 4,299 more to go!