We updated our kitchen! All your questions about our kitchen update will be answered here in this post...
A message: Let me preface this post by saying that I am over-the-top thankful for my collaboration with Cambria USA. They went above and beyond to make this partnership happen, and to provide a stunning kitchen. As many of you know, we are leaving our beloved home (and thus our beautiful kitchen) behind in Dallas due to a job relocation to Washington, DC. The relocation opportunity was presented to us mid-kitchen renovation. This makes me sad for many reasons. Namely because of the craftsmanship that Cambria and I put into this project to make my kitchen dream a reality, however, through the process I am thankful to have been introduced to such a phenomenal brand and I cannot recommend Cambria USA enough.
Countertops: Cambria USA (company), design is called Brittanicca
Backsplash: Cambria USA (company), design is called Brittanicca Block
Fabricator/Installer: Granite + Marble Design Co. (214)356-7018
Farmhouse Sink: Sinkology
Pendant Lights: Goodman Pendants
Why did you update your kitchen?
We bought our home in August 2018. The home was brand new construction, but also known as a spec home. What is a spec home? A spec home is a home that a builder builds more than once in an area. It usually has the same exterior, floor plan, fixtures and finishes with maybe a few minor tweaks from house to house. Builders keep things the same to save on time and money, which differs from a custom build (also new construction), where the buyer is able to custom pick everything in the house - from countertops to flooring to floor plan. Everything.
The great thing about a spec home is that you can (usually) get a better price on the home than you can on a custom build. The bad thing is that certain design choices have already been selected for you. This was the case for our home. We found the house after the builder had finished. Thus, he was in control of the design elements. Not us.
While choosing a spec home takes away the headache of having to choose and deliberate over every last detail, it also means that you might end up with design elements that aren’t your favorite. That was the case for our kitchen. As much as I loved and appreciated our home, I wasn’t head over heels about the kitchen. Was this the end of the world that I didn’t love the speckled gray granite countertops? Not at all. But! Did I always wonder about switching them out? You bet.
I gave myself two years of living in the house to make up my mind about the countertops/kitchen update. At the two year mark, I decided I’d start understanding costs, and began reaching out to countertop experts in the area for bids to see if I wanted to move forward.
After having met with several granite and marble install companies, I had a pretty good understanding about cost. I knew that the countertop and backsplash install would be an investment, but I felt confident that if I used the right products that it would add value to our home in the long run, AND I would LOVE it while living in our home. The kitchen is the heart of the home, is it not?
I didn’t want to use just any material, I needed to understand the cost-benefit analysis between marble verses quartz verses granite, etc. I easily narrowed my choice down to quartz. Quartz is a manmade material. This means it is not porous, like most natural stone products, and doesn’t absorb residue. Quartz is also kid-proof and essentially indestructible. With three boys who like to eat, color and generally make messes, I needed something that looked nice, but could withstand wear and tear.
After I narrowed down the material, I needed to choose a quartz manufacturer. I quickly learned that some quartz products are better than others. What does this mean? Well, it means the “look” and construction of the stone is different in terms of quality depending on who you choose. After doing my research, I learned that Cambria USA was top of the line.
Cambria is the only company that begins with all white and clear quartz. This guarantees that the final product will be consistent with what you see in a showroom. Cambria also uses up to 93% quartz in every slab ensuring a more natural look than most other quartz products. In learning more about the workmanship of their particular product, I was drawn to this excerpt from their website, which eludes to why I chose this particular product. It says, "From cutting to polishing, the stone is slowly transformed. Nowhere is that more evident as when a slab moves through the polishing stage. Like artisans perfecting gemstones, Cambria’s craftspeople soften the grit of the stone with each successive polish, coaxing out the natural luster of the quartz. With every pass, its innate brilliance shines more deeply, revealing a beauty that is not only pleasing to the eye but also—because quartz is one of the hardest minerals on earth—incredibly durable, suited to everyday wear and tear."
Not only that, y'all know that I feel strongly about supporting family-owned businesses and American made products. The company's mission statement was a huge draw for me personally. It states: "Cambria® is American-made by a family-owned company in Minnesota where legendary craftsmanship, hard work, and a relentless commitment to the highest quality are the cornerstones for everything we do. There is no second best. No exception. If it isn’t perfect, it will never carry our name." As such, I felt that Cambria USA hit all the marks.
Choosing a Cambria USA Design
Now that I chose to use Cambria USA quartz, I needed to select a design. I worked with Laura Wendling, a Cambria rep, who has impeccable taste, to help select a design that would compliment my existing kitchen. I had dreamt of a predominantly white kitchen and hoped for a design with some pronounced, yet natural veining that exuded both elegance and style. I wanted to achieve the look of marble without all of the baggage and heartache that goes along with it.
This is when Laura introduced me to a Cambria USA best-seller called Brittanicca. Brittanica offers a creamy marbled background of neutral white that provides a stage on which gray islands and peninsulas meander among intertwining ashen veins dotted with veiled charcoal speckles. Needless to say, I was sold the instant I locked eyes with it in the Cambria showroom.
While I wasn’t considering updating my grey subway tile backsplash, Laura mentioned that Cambria had recently launched a new design called Brittanicca Block that complimented Brittanica. I went back and forth about whether or not I wanted to also update the backsplash (since my subway tile was in perfectly good condition), but ultimately decided to update it, as well, to complete the look. Ultimately, this was a GREAT decision. The use of both Brittanica with the complimentary Brittanica Block transformed my kitchen entirely.
Fabrication + Install
Laura put me in touch with one of the most talented fabricators in the DFW area, Isidro. His company is called Granite and Marble Design Company. Not only is Isidro the nicest and most pleasant man to work with, his craftsmanship is incredible. Why is this important? Well, I decided to do things like include a 2 inch mitered edge, which meant that they’d make the countertop look thicker by adding a border to the existing edge to thicken it by two inches. In doing so, the fabricator must match up the seams of veining or it won’t look right. Izzy is a master at this!
In addition to the mitered edge, Isidro went above and beyond to ensure that the job was done right, including a farmhouse sink install. Everything from demolition to install and caulking to cleanup, I give Granite and Marble Design Company an A+.
Additional Design Elements + Final Thoughts
In addition to the countertops, I decided to add new pendant lights, a farmhouse sink and a new faucet.
The pendant lights you can find here.
The farmhouse sink you can find here.
And the faucet, you can find here.
Overall, I am beyond grateful for this beautiful kitchen. I really do think a kitchen update/renovation is TOTALLY worth it. It not only adds financial value, but also adds emotional value! For me , the kitchen has always been and will always be the heart of the home and creating a space that evokes joy and comfort is what Cambria USA provided. As a family, our kitchen brings family together together in a way that no other part of the home does. It is the space where we congregate in most often, and needs to be an inviting, open, enjoyable, happy place. We created this with Cambria USA.
And for those asking, here is a before and after shot...
This content has been sponsored by Cambria USA.