White Kitchen: Using White Quartz Countertops in a Kitchen Remodel
In this post: Sometimes you have to do a kitchen remodel in stages. Here’s how we used white quartz countertops to finish our white kitchen makeover.⇒
When you really want something, and you’re willing to wait long enough, often you will get it.
Ok, admittedly, some things are out of our control. But when it comes to things that we just need to save money for, it’s amazing what time and patience will do.
Yes, you may have to give up some other things or do without for a while, but having a long term plan can pay off.
Such was the case with our kitchen.
After a renovation that was done in two separate stages, I finally have the room I’ve wanted.
From the start, it was never in the plans to gut the space and put in all brand new. We live in a townhouse that is relatively new, and ripping out a kitchen that I simply didn’t like aesthetically seemed a tad indulgent.
And yet I’ve always wanted a white kitchen.
This goes as far back as the renovation of our last kitchen, done 25 years ago, when I was told by the contractor that a white kitchen would soon look dated. Twenty years later, I moved into a home with cherry cabinets and black counters and still wanted that white kitchen.
This time I was determined to get it.
White Kitchen Remodel
The first round of remodeling was done a few years back, in fact not long after moving in.
I found the dark kitchen terribly depressing and hubby and I discussed the renovation before buying the house because for me it was a condition of the purchase. We agreed to an update, but one that would maintain the current footprint and work with the existing cabinets.
You can check out the details of that makeover in my earlier post, but I assure you it was transformative.
We replaced the backsplash with white marble, painted the cabinets and added glass fronts, replaced the tile floor with faux wood tile and changed the island counter to white quartz.
The difference was staggering and I loved it!
Almost all of it.
But of all the posts I’ve since done of my kitchen, there was one view I never showed.
The side of the room where the sink is located was always missing from my posts.
I still hated the stainless steel sink, the utilitarian faucet, and most of all, the black granite counters.
When we’d replaced the island counter it had a big impact, but the perimeter counters were still dark. I wouldn’t have minded as much if it wasn’t for the sink and faucet, but as a package, it was truly not my favorite view. Add to that the fact that behind the sink counter we have a bar counter that overlooks the family room and it was way too much black stone.
But I knew all those counters would be a big expense, so I did my remodel, enjoyed what we’d done and tried not to think about the ugly sink area.
And I waited.
Meanwhile I started saving every penny I could.
And then one day, an opportunity presented itself.
For years our oven was threatening to quit. Every time we used it, we had to turn off the circuit breaker to get it to re-set because of an error message. This became part of our cooking routine. We knew it was on borrowed time, and sure enough one day, after we turned off the circuit breaker, it wouldn’t go back on.
Now, some people might view this as a bad thing, and truth be told, it wasn’t even attached to the counters, but I took it as my opening.
Our cooktop, the only other appliance we had not yet replaced, was pretty outdated although still functional. If we replaced the two appliances, it was the perfect time to get new counters, along with a sink and faucet.
I suppose the fact that we weren’t spending on travel this year helped make the final decision!
The Double Oven
I had been thinking about the aesthetic components for a long time, but when it came to the appliances I was pretty clueless.
There are ranges I really love, but our kitchen is set up for a cooktop and double oven, so a separate French range was out of the question. That severely limited my options.
This was also happening in the middle of a pandemic so I wasn’t shopping in person and stock was hard to get.
I was lucky to find a salesperson who completely understood what I was looking for and recommended an Italian brand I had never heard of that had chunky European style knobs and a professional look.
(See resources below.)
The coordinating cooktop from the same brand was exactly what I wanted with sleek lines, an industrial look and brass burners.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to find a cooktop that I liked so much!
Sink and Faucet
With the appliances out of the way, I moved on to the fun part!
Sure, the broken oven was the catalyst for this update, but it had nothing to do with what I really wanted to change.
Step one was to pick a white sink. I did some research of the options for materials and decided on fireclay. I didn’t want to deal with the weight and complicated installation of cast iron but preferred a quality sink, so that pointed to fireclay. I also knew while I’d like a farmhouse sink, I didn’t want to re-do our under sink cabinets and lose storage space at the same time, so I went with an under mount. I absolutely love having a large sink with no divider!
Next came my absolute favorite thing. And I’ll say up front, this was one place I was not going to compromise or skimp on price.
I’m talking about the faucet and I knew, as I’ve known for years, that I wanted a warm-toned brass bridge faucet with lever handles and a side spray. It’s like jewelry for the kitchen and I’m crazy in love with the model I got!
White Quartz Countertops
While the sink and faucet are key accents that give the kitchen character, the biggest change came from the new countertops.
I was pretty sure I wanted marble, no matter how many people told me it wouldn’t wear well. I don’t mind the little imperfections that happen over time, as they mellow into a nice patina, and I’m not always thrilled with the forced look of quartz.
BUT when I went to the marble yard, it turns out the nicest slabs I found were in fact quartz. So quartz it is!
We wound up replacing the island, as well, even though it was already white quartz because it wasn’t the exact same pattern and we wanted it to match. The new piece is SO much nicer for the kitchen. And now I have the extra slab to use in a bathroom down the road. ?
I do not miss those black counters one bit!
Of course, with all the fresh new white counters, some of the accessories needed updating, as well.
The first thing to go was the black coffee maker. Thanks to a reader, I learned our Keurig comes in white, so that was an easy fix. I also replaced the vintage bread box with a newer one, as the chippy patina was looking a bit dingy against the clean white quartz.
My favorite thing about our new counters is that I can actually see and appreciate our decorative pieces. It’s also a wonderful backdrop for little pops of color in the way of flowers and fruit. Even our purple sponge looks pretty in this atmosphere!
This was one project that I derive pleasure from every day, as soon as I walk into my kitchen each morning. It’s so light and bright that even on dreary days I feel uplifted.
It may have taken 25 years, but I finally have an all white kitchen!
And we don’t have to turn the circuit breaker off after cooking, either.
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We installed a Fulford Milano stove/oven a couple of years ago. We love it. Your kitchen is lovely!
Thank you and yes, so far we’re loving the appliances!
Oh silly auto correct. FULGOR stove.
(Yep, I knew what you meant… ;-))
We remodeled our kitchen years ago….pickled oak that turned pinkish as it aged. Out kitchen guy told me the same thing….white kitchens would be dated. Why did I listen when I REALLY wanted a white kitchen. A couple of years ago we had them painted. They were in such good shape replacing would have been a waste. What an improvement it was!
I SO understand!! Yes, painting them is an amazing solution… ?
How fun to have your kitchen ready for the holidays! Hope it was done before Hanukkah started! It looks lovely! And you STILL didn’t show the sink ‘before’ picture, haha! We moved in January and hoped to update our kitchen right away, but with the lockdown we have postponed the project. The brown granite on top of original cabinets from 1973 are in serious need of an update! We’ve had plenty of time for planning and hope to start just after the first of the year.
Thank you and yes, it was done, but no entertaining this year… 😉 And that’s very funny but you’re right! I’m not sure I even have a full-on before pic. I’ll have to take a look and see.
Good luck with your project! It’s such a great feeling to get the work done… 🙂
Lovely kitchen, Lory. All good things come to those who wait…
Our new appliances are in the basement. We’re waiting…
Handle for “temporary” oven broke in two and now sporting packing tape. Very classy.
My daughter mentioned that “packing tape comes in an array of colors, Mom.” Good to know.
Ha! When I was growing up we always laughed about the fact that my dad fixed everything with pink tape! At least it was pink… 😉 Good luck with your project!
Beautiful Lory! I’m so glad you have what you wanted – it’s certainly lovely! Thanks for the nudge on the sink and faucet too – we need to upgrade desperately, and now I’m inspired! 🙂 Hope you’re having a lovely holiday season!
Thank you, Barbara! Isn’t it funny how easy it is to look past things we don’t like? Hope you enjoy your holidays too!!
It’s SO pretty! I love the quartz countertop. I was also happy to see a non-Christmas related post!
Thank you and it’s so funny you said that, because I actually asked several blogger friends if they thought it was ok if I posted something that wasn’t Christmas themed this week! Looks like their advice was on point… 😉
I’m so happy for you! I know you’ve one of those other black granite countertops replaced for quite a long time now. They are gorgeous! I redid my kitchen 22 years ago and I did it all white. Everyone thinks it’s a new kitchen but I just had foresight?
Well done, Ginger!! Yep, I shouldn’t have listened to the pros (although we no longer live there now anyway… ;-)). Thanks for your sweet words!
Lory, your kitchen is so beautiful — everything! I especially love your faucet and all your pretty accessories! Glad that you finally have what you dreamed of! Enjoy!
Thank you so very much, Mary-Ann!!
It is fabulous. I am so happy for you.
Sure wish I could update our kitchen. Don’t see it happening anytime soon, though.
I am sincerely and happily quite jealous of your kitchen. In a good way, hope you know. ♥
Thank you! And I know what you mean because I’ve felt that way many times in the past… 🙂 It’s what drives us forward when the opportunity arises.
I moved into an apartment about a year ago and the one I chose has a white kitchen. So very happy and have added lots of copper pots and pans for a French country look. Of course, I HAD to attend a few estate sales to add to my collection!! I captured some real treasures. I enjoyed reading about your journey to the joy of your white kitchen. I’m excited for you!
Thank you so much!! I’m so glad for you, too! It sounds like you’re really enjoying it… 🙂
I adore this kitchen. What is the black thing on the wall in the 2nd to the last pic? I can’t make it out. A jukebox?
Gorgeous! It’s funny because after hearing you talk about your desire for white countertops, whenever I saw your kitchen in pics, I always saw it the way you wanted it and now it’s reality!
I love my white farmhouse sink, but wish I had purchased the sink grate for protection. I’m regretting I didn’t now. Just a thought.
Enjoy your lovely kitchen!
Thanks, Teresa!! I’m really so happy with the room now… 🙂 My sink did not come with the grate option. Hoping it’s ok.
My husband I recently moved into a lovely community with a mixture of single family homes and patio homes. Our patio home (11 years old) has the same dark kitchen that you described in this article and I am making many of the same changes that you have made which are absolutely beautiful! I am so glad I decided to read your article and read about your journey. I will say in touch and keep you up to date with my progress.
I’m so glad you found the post helpful! Good luck on your progress!!
Just love this kitchen!!! Thank you for sharing the process. I have the antique Tuscan type of kitchen and would love to update the cabinets to white also! The cabinets I have are similar in style to yours so have given me a great guide! Hopefully next spring!! Enjoy!
Thanks so much and I’m glad you feel inspired… :-). That’s always the first step to realizing your plans! Good luck!!
Thanks for sharing your fabulous kitchen. You know, I never thought about renovating in stages, but that makes so much sense. Especially if, like us, don’t have the $ for a total renovation, but would like to change things in our kitchen. You Rick! Thanks for sharing
Thanks for your kind words!! It’s my pleasure to share… 🙂
I just loved this post! We did the same thing over the summer. I have beautiful white marble countertops that I did not want to replace, but like you, however, I was talked out of a white kitchen not once but twice. I finally convinced my husband that our dark wood cabinets needed painting. It was a huge job and we hired a professional. The change is amazing. All of my friends think I got new countertops because the marble never really stood out. New pulls and viola! a beautiful white kitchen. Loved seeing all of your changes and decor choices.
I’m so glad to hear that!! Doesn’t it make coming into the kitchen in the morning so much more cheerful? Enjoy!!
I just love your post; thanks so much for sharing. I am in the middle of a white kitchen remodel myself! I have very similar quartz for my countertop but am struggling to find the perfect tile for the back splash. Is the back splash tile you provided a link for the exact tile you used in your kitchen remodel?
Thank you! I bought my backsplash locally, but it is the same material as the one that’s linked – calacatta gold marble. I love the natural mix of colors in that type of marble. My marble tiles are 2 x 8, so a bit longer than the linked tile.
Hi Lori! You’re kitchen is exactly what I’ve been looking to do to my kitchen.
It is gorgeous!! You did a beautiful job. My problem is that my kitchen faces the fireplace and a built in book shelf. All of my trim, the fireplace and that bookshelf are painted in a cool white. Is all of your trim painted whit dove and if not how does it look together with the other white paint?
In my kitchen, the cabinets are white dove, but the molding trim is all simply white, so I would easily mix the whites together… 🙂
Love the gold with the white cabinets. The added 3 chandeliers vs one large one is such a pretty touch..you get to add more bling:0) A great transformation with the marble.
When you say you found quartz at your marble yard, are you talking about quartzite? We have quartzite counters and I love them!
No, ours are quartz.