a renovation story: phase 3

Eddie Lee gives us the scoop on designing kitchen countertops and bathroom walls!

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by Eddie Lee

Welcome to the third installment of my renovation blog. We’ve talked overall design and plumbing – now onto kitchen countertops and bathroom walls!

Living in what was originally a garage, I’m going for a modern industrial look. My favorite counters for an industrial style are concrete – but I’ve used them for clients and I’ve learned the hard way that unless you’re meticulous with wiping up messes and don’t mind regular cleaning and sealing, concrete counters can soak up every spill. I love cooking and entertaining so more often than not my counters are covered with pasta and olive oil or margarita mix and cut limes – stains waiting to happen!

I looked for alternates and was about to settle for my “go to” granite – honed black absolute – but then I discovered the new concretes from Caesarstone and was blown away. There are three color ways – Fresh Concrete, Sleek Concrete, and Raw Concrete. They all look like real poured concrete, with a warm honed finish to them. Not too slick and with great depth and variation. And best of all – they’re Caesarstone so they’re pretty much indestructible! Perfect for people like me who really use their kitchen counters and don’t want to have to chase every spill.

My kitchen cabinets are a mix of high gloss white and stainless doors, and drawers with oak plank backing on the island, so I chose the Sleek Concrete for its warm grey/taupe tones.  It’s a softer version of honed black absolute granite, which can be a little stark in some schemes. All three options are fabulous and because they’re so neutral and warm they’re a perfect complement to modern or traditional schemes.

Since I was on a Caesarstone high from my kitchen I decided to use it in my bathroom too.  My bathroom is small – so I used slabs of Blizzard, a light Caesarstone that still has a lot of depth, as the wainscot. Above the wainscot I used 4” wide strips of slab to band box the perimeter of each wall – including the shower walls – and filled them with mirror. A big advantage of Caesarstone over other stones is that the slabs are 56” x 120” so I could make all my strips seamless.

Walls of mirror are a great way to open up a small space and give it instant appeal, and the band boxing gives it a classic look. Here are elevations of the bath – can’t wait for it to be installed and take pictures!