Another month has passed and I wanted to give you guys an update on the kitchen renovation as well as some of my feedback on my new goodies like the countertops, backsplash, appliances and lighting. And **spoiler alert** the kitchen still isn’t done. Shocker.

Our Countertops

Our countertops were finally installed and we couldn’t be happier with the end result. We chose a black man-made quartz for the perimeter  of the kitchen and a (marble look-a-like) natural stone, Aria Quartzite, for the oversized island.

If you’re shopping around for a stone that looks like marble, but won’t etch or stain, read this post here. It will save you a lot of time and energy!!

After about one week of having them installed, we did notice some water rings appear in the Aria quartzite, which dried up about 4 hours later. This was a perfect test to see if we needed a second coat of sealer because water will dry up after a few hours.

Although I did have my “freak out” moment when I saw them, it turns out all we needed to do was have the fabricator do another coat of sealer. They came out shortly after to put down the 2nd coat of sealer (they used a product called Akemi “Nano-Effect” Sealer) and we haven’t had any issues since. We’ll most likely get our island sealed again in another year, but this sealer is actually supposed to last about 2 years. This sealer also got a ton of great reviews on Amazon. The installer even said we could seal it ourselves when we decide to do it again.

The Backsplash

Now that the countertops are installed, we’re finally starting to think about the backsplash. I’m wanting to do a floor-to-ceiling white ceramic 2×8 tile with a dark grout throughout the kitchen areas. Since we have such tall ceilings, I feel like this will make the space feel even bigger. I also can’t wait to see the dark grout installed! I think it’s going to really bring out the black accents like the black kitchen island, black window trim and black countertops.

Here are a few examples of the look we’re going for:

(image credit: Liz Marie Blog)

And here are two another examples of the white ceramic with dark grout:

(image credit left: My Domain  |   image credit right: Better Homes & Gardens)

Our Appliances

It’s been so great to actually COOK every night. We used to be a go-out-to-eat-every-night kind of family, but now that we have our kitchen nearly completed and our new appliances installed, we really have no desire to leave the kitchen. Wow… I never thought I’d hear myself say those words together in one sentence! Here are a few new things I’ve noticed over the last month:

The Range

This has been hands-down one of my favorite appliances in my kitchen thus far. In fact, I wrote an entire post about it earlier this week that you need to check out. Read the full post here to get a super detailed review of my 30” Frigidaire Professional Freestanding Gas Range.

The Dishwasher

I use to be the person with dirty dishes in the sink… pretty often. Especially since having a baby, I assumed it would be nearly impossible to break such a bad habit. All of my previous dishwashers never really cleaned my dishes, so hand washing plus a machine wash was always a must, which is probably why I hated doing the dishes so much.

Well I now have a NEW habit of doing the dishes every day. We have a CLEAN sink every day. Yes. I work full time. I’m 7 months pregnant. And I have a 9 month old. And my sink is clean every day. The only way this is possible is because my Frigidaire Professional dishwasher actually cleans the dishes FOR ME. I’ve been testing exactly how much food and residue I can leave on my dishes and it’s rather impressive. It cleans everything off without me having to worry about a thing. It’s amazing.

The Island Pendant Light

I searched for a very long time for an affordable island pendant that would be large enough for our massive kitchen island. Just about everything I found was either too expensive or too small. I eventually came across this industrial-style island pendant from Amazon and couldn’t pass it up. It’s from China, and the box came completely mangled, but the price was right.

After putting the light together and hanging it, I have to admit it’s not my favorite light. The light actually drooped on the sides when it was first hung, and my dad and I had to bend some of the metal to make the three pendants look even with each other. You can’t tell anything is off, but it’s still annoying that we had to alter the light to make it look right. The reason it drooped on the sides is because the bar (that appears to connect all three pendant lights) actually isn’t one single bar. It’s four separate bars. So instead of an even support all the way across, the pendant by default wants to droop on the sides due to the weight of the outer two pendants. Pretty disappointing, but I shouldn’t be surprised. The cost of this pendant (for its large size) was significantly cheaper than any other I had found. Lesson learned.

The Unfinished Details

The big things are now out of the way, but it’s all those little things that seem to linger. All those annoying little things that you keep telling yourself you need to get done, but never get around to it. Well, we still have a lot of those. We still have to finish our cabinetry lighting, the paint still isn’t completely done in the kitchen, and we still have a lot of holes everywhere from woodwork that never got done. There are a few baseboards that aren’t done and we still have a hole in the ceiling that we’ve got to patch up and paint.

Yup. Just when you feel like you’re reaching the finish line, it’s all those pesky little things that just can’t seem to get completed! I guess that’s what happens when you’re renovating a 90-year-old house, raising a 9 month old, having a baby in two months and working full time. Maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself!

And for some additional updates on things like our refrigerator, beverage cooler and floors, you can check out my last progress report here.

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The Blissful Bee

Thank you for stopping by The Blissful Bee! I'm Amy and I'm the writer and designer behind the blog. I have a passion for interior design, fashion and simply living a stylish life. I hope you enjoy your "stay"!


  1. Where did you find the brass cabinet hardware? We are currently building and these are what I am looking for. Thank you so much! Looks great!

  2. What are the dimensions of your island? I’m just about to start a major kitchen reno! Thanks for the helpful tips!

  3. Wow! These are looking really attractive. Kitchen is one of the most important rooms of our home. So it should be in the proper condition always and look good. If you’re having an old kitchen with a dull look, then home buyers will not be interested in it. Apart from that, it keeps your home lively if you remodel it and give it a makeover. As most of the homeowners are not aware much about the kitchen remodeling process, I would suggest them to hire home remodeling contractor who have years of experience and can handle all your responsibilities.

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