leathered Negresco granite, honed Negresco Granite

Progress on our Kitchen Upgrades

Well, we had a nice long break in home renovation projects from Thanksgiving until now! There’s just so much going on during that time that we just got the kitchen to a passable state and left it that way until we were ready to get back into the swing of things.

I last left you with a picture of an in progress kitchen make-over and since then really all that has been done is the new marble and granite countertops have been installed, but what a difference they have made to the feel of the kitchen.

So this was the original listing photo of the kitchen area.

kitchen BEFORE

We took out the upper cabinets and backsplash and added cabinets to the end of the cabinet row. The new cabinets are the same as the original cabinets, but the finish is different which is ok because I will be painting them Benjamin Moore’s Black Iron which is the same color we painted the island in our last home, obviously we love that color!

Kitchen renovations removing upper cabinets

Our installers came in before Christmas and removed the old granite (which I sold on Nextdoor to a neighbor a win-win for us both) and installed the new marble and granite.

This is leathered & honed Negresco granite, which has a fabulous soft feel and look. It’s not too black, nor too grey, we LOVE it! To me it looks similar to unsealed soapstone.

leathered Negresco granite, honed Negresco Granite

The installers were super tidy and didn’t seem to mind me taking pictures as they worked, but the process was pretty interesting to watch.

We chose leathered Covelano Fantastico marble and I totally run my hand over the surface of the bar top every time I walk by it as it is butter soft! I looked at a TON of options, including a lot of Quartzite, but this marble just drew me in! Even though I know the marble will need a little more TLC (i.e sealing frequently) I am willing to do that to get the look I wanted.

Leathered Covelano Fantastico Marble

The marble has a soft matte feel and sheen to it with some variations in the surface texture, but not as dramatic as the Negresco.

Leathered Covelano Fantastico Marble

We temporarily mounted the range hood before Thanksgiving so that we could vent our cooking, so we still have to make and install a surround for it. We also installed our articulating arm pedant lights which add so much needed light to the cooking area. I also installed the new cabinet hardware on all of the kitchen cabinets, matte brass on the stove area and matte black on the rest of the cabinets.

kitchen focal wall articulating pendants full tile wall

I laid the tile out to ensure we don’t have any small cuts on either end or the top. The layout works perfectly as I only need to remove about 1.5″ of each end tile. We will take the tile from each end of the granite all the way up the wall to the bottom of the crown molding.

kitchen focal wall full tile wall

We bought bullnose tile that will frame out and finish both sides.

kitchen focal wall full tile wall soft industrial

We actually did one small project after Christmas, we wrapped the peninsula with shiplap and painted it in Benjamin Moore’s Black Iron in a new finish that they have in the Advance paint line “Matte”. I love the matte finish as I think it compliments the honed countertop surfaces, but I will have to see how it holds up to scuffing etc.

kitchen focal wall full tile wall soft industrial Black Iron ship lap peninsula

We considered other tile options of course and these 2 were the runner up options, both I loved but especially the blue!

tile selections texture and color

All three final options had texture and interest as we quickly nixed the standard white subway tile (which I love), but we wanted a little something more interesting, but still with a classic look. The tile on the right was our final choice.

tile selections texture and color

We will have a ton of light reflecting off of this wall and the subtle handmade look will give the wall a unique reflection.

Final wall tile selection white textured over sized subway tile

So I have a little wall prep work to do this week and hopefully we will tile this weekend! I also have to decide the grout color, I’m leaning towards a mid-grey but we haven’t made the final decision yet on that.

The overall look for the kitchen will be sort of a soft industrial with beachy blue pops of color. I love the idea of leaving most of the cabinets natural wood, while accenting the stove area with the black lower cabinets. We will also be installing 4 wood shelves on the wall that are supported by hand forged black iron brackets, I’m really going to enjoy having some open shelving again!

FYI, we are also replacing the flooring, but we have just started the hunt for an installer and the materials as well… I’m thinking that’s going to be a pain in the butt!

Wish me luck this weekend, tiling can be such a pain but I can’t wait to start…

Thanks as always for stopping by!


PS… All of the tile samples were from the Tile Bar


  1. Curious how the negresco is working out for you? I am in love with it but so deathly afraid of using black counter tops from all the articles I have read about stains, finger prints, crums and the never ending wiping down of counters. My husband and I are neat freaks. Please please let me know your opinion!! The kitchen looks beautiful. Nice job!


    1. Hey Susie, first off I adore the Negresco, I just love running my hands over it. Mine is leathered and honed so I never see any fingerprints, but of course I see crumbs when they are there which I like better than not seeing them so I clean the counters. We use these counters for food prep and serving so they do get wiped down every night. As you can see we only used these countertops as an accent top, but if I could’ve I would have installed them everywhere. I would think as a self proclaimed neat freak you’d want them clean everyday anyway, I’m sure there are other products that are easier to care for so it really is a personal preference. Hope that helps and good luck with your choice!


      1. Very very helpful Susan thank you so much again. Yes I clean countertops multiple times a day it seems so I’m ok with the daily cleaning. I also would opt for the leathered/honed but have read so many conflicting articles however seems most of them were referring to “black granite tops” in general so having your thoughts specific to the Negresco was priceless.



      2. I will also say that it also seems like the granite continues to show more of the beautiful quartz veining every week, but it may just be me not noticing it. Hands down it is my favorite granite so far, to me it’s like soapstone but MUCH prettier if that is even possible.


  2. The Negresco granite actually looks like Diamond Black quartzite. There have been many companies that mix the two up.


    1. Well that might be possible, but not probable as I chose this stone directly from the stone yard and it was pretty inexpensive, especially in comparison to the marble I chose… but your right it seems like names for stones are suggestions vs consistent through the industry.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s