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Kitchen Reno Lighting & Counter Update – Week 8

Welllll, this is Week Eight – my final week – as a guest participant of the Spring 2022 One Room Challenge!  Unfortunately, I will not make the deadline and won’t have a finished space to share with you on Wednesday.  I knew this was a likely possibility, especially because my counter stone slab hadn’t yet shipped – and I had no ETA for it – when I entered the challenge, but I tried my best anyway!  It was good motivation (and good fun) to chronicle weekly updates here on the blog (and near daily updates in my Instagram stories).  Even as the One Room Challenge wraps up this week, I’ll continue with my regular updates so you can feel how this renovation is progressing in real time.

modern kitchen renovation in progress

We’re actually really close to having a completed space.  All that’s missing are the counters, faucet, backsplash, two cabinet handles, and one cabinet door.  Then the fun part: accessorizing!  Even if I don’t have a completed space to show you – yet! – I DO have some updates for this week!

Here’s what you missed for kitchen renovation progress so far, if you’re just tuning in:

And here’s what got done this past week:

Dishwasher Installed – Check!

We bought a fabulous integrated dishwasher, which is hidden behind a panel that matches the lower walnut cabinetry.  We recently installed it – and just ran it for the first time!  It’s soooo nice!  It’s really, really quiet – even without counter-tops installed.  We’ve never had a new dishwasher, so this is a real treat.  This house came with a dishwasher that was already broken, but we used it for years before a friend renovated and gave us his old dishwasher.  By the end, it barely cleaned anything and all of the little spikes to hold plates kept breaking off, one by one.  So we have been so excited for this new dishwasher and, after washing dishes in the laundry tub for weeks, I’m so thrilled to have a working dishwasher again!

walnut cabinets

Toe Kick Installed – Check!

Since installing the Luxury Vinyl Tile, we’ve made a little bit more progress.  The toe kick was installed by the cabinet installers, and that really finished off the space nicely.

black luxury vinyl tile floor

I asked them to run the toe kick in one piece along the sink and dishwasher wall, so it really disguises the integrated dishwasher even more.  They originally stopped it before the dishwasher, because the dishwasher has it’s own black toe kick, but it was more recessed and really drew the eye to it.  Now the toe kick is one continuous piece and, once the hardware is on the dishwasher door and the counters are installed, I think it will be very difficult to detect where the dishwasher is located.

walnut toe kick

We had moved the appliances out when we installed the Luxury Vinyl Tile and kept them in the dining room until the toe kick was installed.  So over the weekend we were finally able to push the stove back into place.  We just have one little thing to do before the fridge can finally be put back as well.  I’m grateful we no longer have to rely on bagged salads and microwave meals – although it was kind of fun to have an excuse not to cook!  I’ll have no excuse once this pretty new kitchen is completed, haha.

Range Hood Trim Installed – Check!

I’ll share photos later, but the range hood is a very thin slide out system and the trim piece hiding it needed touch up so it has been looking very exposed in my other photos.  It’s been painted and installed, and now the range hood is all but invisible.  We will get that hooked up soon, so I can show you exactly how it works.

walnut kitchen renovation

Gorgeous New Light Installed – Check!

The new light I splurged on was installed (see my terrible mock up here) and it’s nothing short of absolutely gorgeous!  I really love it.  It won’t compete with the bold counter and tiled backsplash, but it does still make a statement, with a generous size and beautiful, sculptural glass shades.  Even when it’s turned off, the glass just gleams and reflects so much light.

Artemide Logico Mini Triple Nested Ceiling Light Max 3X100WArtemide Logico Mini Triple Nested Ceiling Light

And this is a BRIGHT light fixture!  We are using three 60 watt bulbs (it can take up to 100 watt bulbs), and it illuminates the entire kitchen so brightly.  We almost don’t need the pot lights, to be honest, because this is so much brighter than our old IKEA light flush mount light.

Artemide Logico Triple Nested Ceiling Light

Stone Slab Delivered – Check!

The long awaited stone slab was finally shipped.  When I got the email that it had arrived in town, I was still in my jim-jams, and Hubby and I were fussing with the dishwasher.  I dropped everything, threw on some jeans and was ready to go in 60 seconds flat, lol.  I was loitering by the door, pleading with hubby to hurry up (I’m never ready first, lol).  After the mishap with the last slab I ordered (wrong one was shipped, “right” one looked nothing like photo), I was very nervous.  But this slab I chose looks even more beautiful than the photos.  I absolutely love it!

Portomare Quartzite

The only downside is that we have to wait until June 23rd for it to get installed.  The wait is a bummer because it means we won’t have a functioning sink until then either – and the kitchen is a little less than practical without counters.  But that’s okay, I’m just grateful it arrived in one piece, and that I love it, so I can be a little patient.  Photos don’t do it justice, but I did try to snap a few with my phone.  In photos the stone is flatter and more dull.  In real life the colors are more saturated and it really SPARKLES – it has so many deposits of sparkly quartz and just so much depth.  I cannot wait to show it to you installed – there are little brown areas that will tie in the walnut cabinets and little black flecks that pull in the dark floor tile color.  Plus the movement of the stone is picked up in the subtle waves of the flooring, the undulating shape of the light, and the hammered sink finish.  It’s going to be so perfect and really pull the design together – which is a happy accident, because this is NOT the original stone slab I chose when I picked out all of the other finishes.

Teal Quartzite

I love it so much that I’m actually thinking that, if there’s a nice chunk leftover, I might replace the walnut counter in the powder room with the same stone.  Seems like a wasteful little indulgence, I know (because the walnut counter is still perfectly good), but I think I’ll hate leaving any of this stone slab behind, lol.

Turquoise Powder Room

What do you think?

Tile Backsplash Choice – On Hold!

I’m not going to choose a backsplash until the stone counter is installed because the samples looked totally different in the stone yard, in bright sunlight, compared to in my kitchen.  So I think it’s best we wait to see the stone slab in my lighting before settling on a color for the backsplash.  I am, however, really leaning toward Sea Mist (second to last sample on the right) because it looks really close to the veining.  But Lake Superior is a bit more toned down (middle sample) and because it’s much more subdued and moody, it might let the countertops be the true focal point.

Blue Quartzite

This is my update for week 8 of this kitchen renovation.  Last night I gave the cabinets a good clean and soon I’ll start putting things away.  I dread hauling up all of those boxes from the basement, ugh, there’s so many, lol – but I am very excited to do some organizing in here.  I’m also planning on buying some gadgets and gizmos to help me organize cans and plates.  I’ll definitely share a peek into my cabinets when they’re all organized and functional.

My cabinets have some storage secrets I can’t wait to show you!



  1. Erika
    May 24, 2022 / 1:19 pm

    That countertop is stunning! My unsolicited two cents on the backsplash is that you should add some neutrals to your options. Maybe a pale gray pottery or a milky white glass like the overhead light, which adds beautiful texture without competing so much. (Then again, I can’t see the space in person- whatever you pick will be amazing!)

    • May 24, 2022 / 2:48 pm

      I have honestly considered a neutral with it, but the background has a lot of pink tint. I added a more pulled back photo to the blog post and I’ll share a video this week too. I think a white or grey tile might emphasize the pink. But I will wait to see what it looks like installed, you might be right – it might be a lot of color, lol. But I’m also not sure how much of the veining will be lost during the cutting process. They come to measure a few days before install and then I will go map it all out with tape.

  2. Brigitte
    May 24, 2022 / 3:43 pm

    You did the right thing in splurging for your light fixture! It reminds me so much of Ittalla glass from the 70’s, which I know you’re also a fan of. It’s going to be a stunning room once everything is in place. Thanks for posting your progress.

    • May 24, 2022 / 4:16 pm

      That’s exactly what it reminds me of too! I’ve enjoyed posting the progress – it’s been fun to share it in real time. I’m glad you’ve enjoyed it as well 🙂

  3. SH
    May 24, 2022 / 5:01 pm

    Your selections in everything are beautiful!! It looks like the middle Lake Superior for the backsplash would sort of frame that most amazing countertop. But June 23rd can not get here soon enough.

    • May 24, 2022 / 8:20 pm

      Thank you 🙂 This has been such a test of patience, lol! In my kitchen, Lake Superior looks more muted/inky which I think would really be almost a neutral – in a good way! I’m really curious to see what works when the stone is installed.

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