Countertops & 3D Kitchen peek

The newest update on our kitchen reno is here! We’ve selected counter tops, which was surprisingly a very arduous process.  Before I get into it, here they are, in all their vein-y glory!

carrera marble // brittanyMakes

Making the decision on how we were going to execute our kitchen reno wasn’t a quick one.  I’ll go into more detail in another post about the evolution of our plans, but I want to mention here that prior to engaging with our GC we had gone through a ton of research on marble counter tops and suppliers in our area, including cost of installation and fabrication.  It was good that we did all that research before settling on a contract with our GC, mostly for the fact that we were now educated on how far we could stretch our dollars.  The cool part of the research was getting to see and touch some gorgeous marble slabs.  The down side was falling in love with some slabs that were waaay over budget.  If money wasn’t an issue, I’d smother our kitchen in statuary marble, which is bright white with intense grey veining.  My second favorite marble is Calacatta Oro, which is also white marble with grey and gold veining.  My husband dislikes Calacatta Oro, he thinks the gold veins looked like rust (luls! right?).  Both marble options were double, or triple the cost of Carrera, which as one showroom explained, is considered the “economy” grade of marbles.  Whatever, Carrera is still super beautiful.

The above slab is Carrera marble.  I tend to like the more vein-y Carreras, over the more spotted Carreras.  These slabs happen to be a nice mix of both.

So why was this process so arduous? Well, we (as in me and the baby) had to drive all around the Bay Area to find these slabs, which is stupid to begin with because the majority of granite/marble suppliers are located in the East Bay and should be easy to access from our house.  If you haven’t worked with a General Contractor before, something to keep in mind, they tend to want to work with their preferred suppliers, companies and businesses they have a relationship with, over ones they don’t.  This may or may not get you the best deal out there.  We originally fell in love with some remnant slabs at a local shop, but our GC wouldn’t consider working with him.  Poop.

We were sent to the first of our GCs suppliers which was located about 30 mins from our house.  I get there and see all their inventory is of pre-fab counter tops with bullnose edging.  There were two problems with this, the first being we needed a slab for our island, which measures roughly 4′x5′, and pre-fab counters are just that, counter depth, which is just not possible to turn into an island.  The second issue? I want mitered edging.  Bullnose edging is so early 2000′s.  This place was a no go.

Our GC then sent us to his second supplier, which was a super fancy granite showroom 45 mins from our house. They had rows and rows of exquisite granite and stone, I was in awe.

marble & stone // brittanyMakes

marble & stone // brittanyMakes

I was guided to the white marble section and was happy to find 20-30 slabs of Carrera available to choose from.  Or so I thought.  When I went over to the sales counter, I was informed all of the slabs but 4 were just sold.  I had only 4 slabs to choose from, and they were pairs so in reality I only had 2 slabs to choose from.  The first pair happened to be spotty and foggy with little to no veins.  I didn’t like the look so they were off the table.  The other pair was beautiful and vein-y. The sales lady began the process of putting these vein-y slabs on hold for me, and that was when I noticed these huge gashes in the middle of the marble, like claw marks.  I asked her if they would buff the gashes out and she said they don’t to that and I would have to have my fabricator do it, and no they wouldn’t give us a discount for the gashes.  I gave her the stink eye but continued to put them on hold.

I informed our GC of the issues with the marble, so he sent his guys out to the showroom to inspect the slabs. It turns out the slabs were unusable.  Someone would have to cut around the gashes and we didn’t think it was worth the cost.  Off to the third supplier.

Well, third time’s the charm, right?! The third supplier was located about 30 mins from our house.  I took a trip there with the baby in tow, and finally found the slabs you see in the first picture.  Part of me just wanted the slab-hunt to be over, so it was great to finally find a pair that were a perfect fit for our kitchen.

What’s the lesson here? Don’t be afraid to push back, if you’re paying $$$ you better get what you want! Although we couldn’t afford our dream marble, we could afford to say no to the crappy marble that kept coming into view.  Also, make sure you inspect your marble slabs for fissures or cracks, or in our case, gashes!

And now, for the final peek into our kitchen plans, here is the current 3D rendering of our new kitchen!

kitchen plans // brittanyMakes

Only a few tweaks have been made since this rendering.  I just can’t wait to see it come to life!


Friday I’m in Love {My Favorite Links & Things}


Friday Favorites | brittanyMakes

// ONE interesting and beautiful, this custom star ceiling lamp is uh-mazing! // TWO just a really cool cord kit, if you ask me // THREE this lamp is from TARGET!!! // FOUR loving this hex throw blanket for fall // FIVE don’t want to try your hand at himmeli? CB2 makes it easy to get that sculptural piece you’re looking for.

More faves around the web!

// I can’t stop oogling over Emily’s and Jenny’s homes featured on Domino.

// Congratulations Sarah!

// this floor has me contemplating a temporary flooring solution for our house

// I’m heartbroken. I hope they get the recharge they need, this space wouldn’t be the same without them.

We’ve got a little family get-away planned this weekend for my bro’s 30th birthday. And after my first week back at work, I need a little relaxation away from our hectic house reno stuff.  I expect lots and lots of cuddling with sir Zano.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!


5 Most Influencial Kitchens

If it weren’t for bloggers and Pinterest I would have absolutely zero clue what style of kitchen I’d want to design for our house.  You’d probably see me featured on an HGTV episode giving everyone a good laugh with my home design naivete. Luckily, the internet.  Right? Thank you internet for birthing Pinterest, and giving us bloggers a means to share our home interiors and the design processes, start to finish.

I’ve fallen in love with so many (like a ridiculous amount) of kitchens that I feared design paralysis.  Instead of letting my love of every single amazing kitchen fog my visions, I thought of a method to narrow down the features I like most in my favorite kitchens.  With this post I bring to you the 5 kitchens that most influenced the kitchen we’re designing for our house.

Let’s get to it:


5 most influencial kitchens // brittanyMakesI’m a fan of simplicity and the whole idea that ‘less is more’, especially when it comes to a kitchen.  I don’t want to regret my decisions 10 years from now, and as much as I love and admire certain trends like bold colored cabinetry or open shelving, in my kitchen, I need to keep things simple and clean.


5 most influencial kitchens // brittanyMakesI don’t understand why so many people complain about high maintenance counter tops. I need my kitchen to be functional, but there’s no reason I should compromise function over beauty! If I’m going to spend $xx on counter tops, by George I’m going to take great care of those counter tops!  If I have to seal my honed marble counters, I will do so with huge smile on my face because beautiful counters deserve to be taken care of.  In all seriousness, even counter tops that are low maintenance require maintenance.  In my opinion, if you opt for a counter that requires less maintenance, it will show. A well cared for kitchen lasts longer, honed marble or not! So anyway, I’m going for marble counters, I don’t care what they say.


5 most influencial kitchens // brittanyMakesI’ve always dreamed of having an apron front farmhouse sink.  I love everything about it.


5 most influencial kitchens // brittanyMakesWe don’t have a huge dining space in our house. We will be getting rid of our current dining table and downsizing to a table that seats 4 and will also incorporate seating at a kitchen island.


5 most influencial kitchens // brittanyMakesSarah’s kitchen is my dream kitchen.  It’s so well designed and so amazingly executed.  My heart skips a beat every time I see those pendant lights and cabinet pulls, so much so that you just might find them in our kitchen!

Sources: ONE //TWO //  THREE // FOUR // FIVE



On my mind…

I wasn’t sure how to share this, probably because I still can’t figure out how I feel about it all, but I needed to let you know: I’ve gone back to work.

You’re probably wondering “but why?” or “what about when you said this?” or “who’s going to watch your baby?”

I’m so incredibly torn over this decision.  Many of you chimed in that work brings you balance and sanity, while others applauded my desire to be a stay-at-home mom.  I desperately want to be at home with my baby, but I couldn’t help but feel tossing my career out the window wouldn’t be the smartest decision for us right now.  My husband and I can provide so much more for this little man if we both work.  On the other hand, I’ve always felt it’s a luxury to be able to be at home with your children, something that is priceless and could never be outweighed by a day job.

Yesterday was his first day in daycare.  I was told he did well for his first day, but judging by this picture I think he was hurting just as much as me.  On the bright side, it makes me feel just a tiny bit better that he has a little buddy to hang out with all day.

zano daycare

There are so many working moms out there, so many women who have struggled with this same decision.  If any of you are reading, please tell me! How do I feel less guilty for working? I feel like society is saying I’ve chosen work over my baby, which isn’t true! But why do I feel this way?

I love my little man with all my heart.  If I could be at home with him all day, I would.


Demo Update – The Kitchen

There’s a LOT going on at our house right now, and I want to keep you as updated as possible so be prepared for a lot of demo type posts. I hope you don’t mind.

We’ve officially been without a kitchen and living room for a week.  I’ve been camping out at my brother’s house during the day, then returning to our construction zone of a house for the night.  It’s been interesting, that’s for sure.  So, you remember when our kitchen looked like this?



This is what it looked like when we bought the house.  A few months ago I posted about our kitchen dream plans thinking it would take a couple years before we would be able to tackle the reno.  Well, our general contractor gave us an unbeatable deal on the load bearing wall + kitchen combo that we just couldn’t pass up.  I plan to talk more about our experience working with general contractor, from the bid process all the way through to the end.  I think I’ll tackle that topic once all is said and done. Anyway, for reference, above is what our kitchen looked like as of last tuesday, and below is what it looks like today.

kitchen gone | brittanyMakes


Completely. Gutted. Oh, and that wall on the right in the image below has been taken down since I took this photo.

house remodel | brittanyMakes


We are that much closer to our open concept home! We just approved the kitchen layout today. I can’t wait to share!


DIY Black & White Chevron Pillow

DIY Chevron pillow from Striped Fabric | brittanyMakes for 6th Street Design School

I love mixing things up with fun pillows, don’t you? Today I’m sharing a pretty cool tutorial over at 6th Street Design School on how to make this chevron pillow from your favorite black and white striped fabric! My bets you have a stash somewhere at home, pull it out and let’s go!



© Copyright brittanyMakes - Designed by Pexeto