One Room Challenge {Cottage Kitchen} Week 4

I’m laughing at myself because I was up late last night manically culling marble tiles for my kitchen.  I sorted through box after box pulling too-gray tiles into reject pile.  I am literally THAT client.  No doubt my dad is rolling his eyes (and hopefully smiling) while reading this .

It’s week 4 of the One Room Challenge and I am soooo ready to get my kitchen back.  My entire first floor is a construction zone complete with tools, drop cloths, boxed up belongings and dust.  Lots of dust.   And NO functional place to live.  It has me a little on edge. The good news is there’s been a lot of activity and progress and its all very encouraging.  I may get my sink back today!  Fingers crossed.

I’ve talked about my cabinets in week 2 and appliances in week 3, so this week I’m covering the other essential kitchen materials.


I usually choose countertops and wall backsplashes at the same time because they are closely visually related.  Since I now have black base cabinets, I knew I wanted white tops and white walls.  White with a bit of gray and caramel was definitely welcome.  I narrowed my combinations to the following:

Option 1- Carrara Marble Countertops (Honed) with gloss Ceramic White Subway Tile

Option 2- Arctic White Quartz (Polished) with Venatino White Marble Subway Tile

Cottage Kitchen cabinet countertop backsplash options

DESIGNER TIP // Take a look at your kitchen and evaluate if your horizontal surfaces (countertops) or vertical surfaces (walls) will make a bigger impact.  Focus on the stronger element when choosing your focal point.

I decided the walls should be more visually stunning, so I chose Option 2.  We will do marble tile on the wall and keep the countertop very simple and clean. I selected Arctic White Quartz which is a man-made product that is very durable, practical and neutral with just the faintest of pattern to give it a little depth.  I would describe it as a warm white.  I upgraded to a double thick top so it’s a bit chunkier and substantial.  It was installed yesterday at 6pm and I’m still pinching myself.

design manifest arctic white quartz double laminated mitred edge

They mitred the edge so there is no seam between the slabs.  It was an expense that added NO function to my space whatsoever, but it makes me pretty giddy.  The perk of a small kitchen is that it’s easy to splurge on things like countertop treatments, which are charged by the lineal foot.

lowes marble subway tile

When shopping for tile, I popped into Lowe’s to check out some budget friendly marble tiles.  I debated between the Allen + Roth Venatino marble in a 2×4 tile and Anatolia Tile Venatino Marble in a 3×6.  I chose the 3×6 because the size is more classic and I thought the variation would be less busy.  Also I liked that the majority of the Anatolia tiles are a creamy white base with caramels with grays.  Since my countertop is a warm white, I wouldn’t have like that paired with a cooler white/gray marble tile.  Thus why I’m sleep deprived for removing those few pesky gray marble tiles.  (Note: It’s marble and I welcome the variation, I just wanted to make sure the overall feel was warm instead of cool.  I’m hoping it pays off and/ or I’m not crazy.)


My challenge when sink shopping was that I needed to find the biggest sink possible to fit into a 24″ sink cabinet.  I gave up inches in the sink cabinet in order to fit a trash pull out, so it was important I maximize every inch.  Again, I turned to our generous ORC Sponsor, Lowe’s, to pick out my sink.  I selected a 23″ x 20″ stainless steel undermount sink from Vigo.  I really liked it’s clean lines, inexpensive price and most importantly, its dimensions.  With a little finagling we could fit this nice-sized sink into my small cabinet.  I am so excited to test it out!

delta trinsic champagne bronze faucet with vigo stainless steel sink

I have a Delta Trinsic faucet that is only a year old, so I knew I wanted to re-use that.  It is in their “Champagne Bronze” finish which should coordinate nicely with my brass accents.

To me the most important thing about the faucet re-installation is that it had to go centered behind the sink.  I have a side faucet mount in my condo and I really prefer the look of it being centered.  Since I chose a really deep sink (front to back) this posed a problem for a 24″ deep cabinets.  The solution was to pull them off the wall a couple of inches to allow the faucet to fit behind the sink.  The extra bonus of doing this is that my non-counter depth refrigerator now appears less deep and more “built-in.”  Win-Win-Win.

vigo undermount sink in a 24 sink cabinet- design manifest

This generous sink just barely fits into my small cabinet.  It’s fabulous.




I looked at all different kinds of cabinet hardware; modern, traditional, polished, matte, knobs, pulls, bin pulls.  I’ve been walking this fine line between modern and cottage and I knew this selection could tip me over an edge.  The countertop reads pretty modern, so I wanted more traditional hardware to balance it out. Traditional with a side of Glam, please.  Instead of matching, I’m creating coordinating vignettes.  I have glass knobs, brass knobs,  brass pulls AND lucite pulls.  Sound a little crazy?  I think it’s gonna work out great.

backsplash tile and brass cabinet hardware glass knobs

My lucite pulls haven’t arrived yet and I’m still debating between the large and small knob.

Yesterday the large knob was a big hit on instagram, but part of me still wants the small.


I love my pendant lights, so I had no desire to swap them out.  I did however think it was time to upgrade the chandelier in the dining room.  These two rooms are open to each other so it was important to me that the chandelier reflect the aesthetic of the kitchen, yet also not be too matchy.  Since I’m doing brass in the kitchen, I purposely chose a dining chandelier in another finish.  After looking around, I fell in love with the Calypso Chandelier our ORC sponsor, Crystorama.

calypso chandelier crystorama

I love that it feels modern, yet vintage and I really like it in this bronze finish.  I have two lights in my living room in a similar finish so this chandelier ties in nicely.  It’s been mounted, but we have yet to hang the crystals.  I’m so impatient to see it, but I probably wont hang them until all of the work is done.  Just don’t want to risk it.  Murphy’s Law is serious and unforgiving when it comes to construction.


2 weeks until you (and I!) get to see it come together.

Next Week:  COLOR joins the party!  I’ll be talking about some the finishing decorative touches- bar stools, rug, art, window treatments plus a very special wall treatment.  This is just too much darn fun 😉


See week 4 One Room Challenge for the rest of the participants…

Media Partner House Beautiful | TM by CIH

Catch Up on My One Room Challenge Kitchen Renovation

Week 1 / Week 2 / Week 3

Week 4 / Week 5 / Week 6


  1. Pingback: One Room Challenge {Cottage Kitchen} Week 1 - Design ManifestDesign Manifest

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  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE the selections. Cant wait to see the final product!! Makes me want to redo my kitchen 🙂

  4. Tricia

    I LOVE everything you picked and that double thick is amazing!!! This is going to be one gorgeous kitchen!

  5. sherry

    Love reading your thoughts on this kitchen….I too am debating on backsplashes with a quartz countertop…and it ain’t easy…..decisions just freeze me up! Can’t wait to see the reveal!

  6. The thicker countertop and mitred edge are so worth it! It’s stunning!! It’s going to be beautiful, especially with that chandelier in the dining room! And can’t wait to see your decor choices!

  7. Your aesthetic is beautiful! I’m definitely a fan of anything marble so I love your backsplash choice. Excited for next week!

    Cheers! xo Anna Lynn with Waiting on Martha

  8. Leah

    I am so excited to see this reveal and am loving all your design choices! I also really appreciate that you share the technical side of the renovation and I was wondering if you might answer a technical question:

    You said you used double thick countertops for the chunkier look and went with mitred edges. I thought mitred edges were generally used to give the chunkier look while still using a normal thickness countertop material. Is this incorrect, and if not, what is the benefit (or the difference in aesthetic) in using double thick countertops with a mitred edge? Just curious, since I always thought mitred was essentially a more cost-effective way to get the double thick look, but that the result, appearance-wise, was about the same.

    Thanks so much!! -L

    • Naomi

      Mitre means two corners meet, avoiding a visible seam.

      I’ve never heard of a mitred edge for single width tops. My tops are single width, just double thick at edges. So perhaps we are actually talking about the same thing!

  9. I just did black base cabinets and a similar situation to option 1…love what you’ve chosen and can’t wait to see it all come together!

  10. Yes, your posts are always my favourite as they are full of info. I love everything you have chosen and I think I must have black base cabinets in my next house. Can’t wait to see this!

  11. Laura

    Looks great! I can’t wait to see how you use all the different cabinet hardware! (I also vote small as it seems the right scale with the other ones pictured)

  12. You always make me smile with your posts. Your love for the ORC always comes through. Wish we could peruse them together, but you would be working and I am drinking a glass of wine.

  13. Not only beautiful choice but practical info in your post. Thank you!

  14. Vel

    Love it all! Thank you for the tips!

  15. I love it all! I’m in the middle of a kitchen reno doing the dark lowers and white uppers. I am pulling for the small knobs – they seem more timeless to me. Can’t wait to see next week’s update!!

  16. Peggi

    I’m so enjoying your info-packed posts. So many smart and beautiful choices. I can’t wait to see the colors next week! I love my Vigo square sink & and I’d prefer the small glass knobs too. Als0, being selective is not crazy!

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