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One Change for Elegant Old World Cottage Charm in the Kitchen

Last week,
  something amazing happened in the kitchen.

And it wasn't a new recipe. 
It was something like putting on new makeup, new clothes and that sassy tie up pair of heels 
  whole new you amazing.
Have you ever noticed how sometimes just one thing can make all the difference?
Like those sassy tie up shoes.
You can wear heels with that little black dress...
or you can wear HEELS. 
Heels that make you feel amazing and that turn heads
 and have people talking.

And I say 
Let them talk.

This recent pop of pretty in the kitchen...
well, it is kind of like 
those heels and is definitely a game changer over here.
It gave the kitchen a whole new look.

And can you believe that it was just one little change?
But first, let's talk about our kitchen Cinderella story
and how that amazing Fairy Godmother waltzed in and waved her magic wand 
and the kitchen went from this:

to this...

Yeah, right. 

Let's get real. 
 A magic wand in renovating a kitchen?
It looks more like a hammer, reciprocating saw, a lot of paintbrushes, caulk, 
possibly a bit of colorful language
a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

Most renovation projects are that way.
They don't just have a Fairy Godmother with a magic wand that comes along one day 
and says 'Bippity Boppity Boo' and hands you a brand new look on a silver platter.

That would be pretty awesome if it happened that way- 
but this change was kind of like a Fairy Godmother change...

It was that pair of amazing heels that had people talking.
The ones that stopped that 
handsome Prince in his tracks and had him talking marriage after 5 minutes.

But these shoes weren't made of glass...
Any ideas what changed yet?

let's talk about that farmhouse style island.
Did you know that when we first bought the house that there was no island in
the kitchen? 
It was just a galley style, walk through kitchen.
Originally where the range is - the hallway was- and you would walk smack dab through the kitchen to go to the back of the house.
That all changed when we closed it off and created a new hallway through a large extra room.
And it gave us the opportunity to bring in an island because
one of the things old galley style kitchens can lack 
is counter space.
Though we have 25' long of counter space on one side- that was it.
The other side was the refrigerator and doorways.
It wasn't ideal.

But adding an island was a charming fix
and this farmhouse style island was near perfect. 
It was rectangular in shape and not too wide and the only thing I didn't instantly love about it-
 was the faux butcher block top. Regular butcher block would have been much better because
though it is wood- this wasn't as forgiving as butcher block with stains 
and and it didn't get that great old character that butcher block has.
Those dings and stains? 
Well, they just looked like dings and stains rather than patina.
And we have sanded it down several times to get it looking pretty again
 and reconditioned with a food safe rub and enjoyed it
but it always felt like it needed a little something different... 
a darker color or finish maybe?  Or maybe something else.
And when we changed the kitchen counters to a gorgeous marble slab recently
I knew exactly what that island needed...

A delicious chunky marble top.

Oh I cannot tell you how much I love this marble.
It is the same marble we used on the countertops- a gorgeous 
  Vermont Imperial Danby honed from Arizona Tile 

This type of marble has long veining that I absolutely love- and it is crisp and white 
with subtle brown and black veins that create a delightful pattern that does not overwhelm.
Did I mention that I love it?
 Love it. Love it. Love it.

I knew that the marble would be amazing on the island... 
but I have to admit that I was surprised at just how much that one thing changed the feeling.

It was almost like the day the first chandelier went up in the kitchen years ago.
Just that one change and the kitchen was instantly a different room.
It was that cottage kitchen - with all the old wonky cupboards, charm and character...
but it was instantly filled with this amazing feeling 
of serene old world elegance and beauty.

It is a Cinderella story all over again.
And since marble is such a warm and patina rich stone that
 takes something simple and makes it exquisite
it truly is an absolute perfect fit.

I am in love.

Between this gorgeous new island and refinished floors
prepare for kitchen photo overload coming your way.
And for those of you who are interested in changing your counters or island tops to marble or any other stone or tile-
I highly recommend  Arizona Tile. 
Between hand holding and steering me in the right direction stone and finish wise
to the amazing amount of choices in slabs and tiles 
to the best prices around-
 you cannot go wrong.

And stay tuned because I will have more details on putting this piece in the kitchen 
(it was super super simple)
 How we got it ready and all about sealing it to make sure it stays pretty.
I will also have another update on how our marble counters are holding up. 
So if you have any questions- 
send them to me and I will try to answer them.

And for more info about our marble counters- 

Happy Monday everyone.

I have worked with Arizona Tile on various projects in our home
but all opinions and my crazy love of marble and Arizona Tile are my own.

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  1. Hi Courtney,
    The new island countertop is beautiful. I liked the old one too, but completely understand the chips not looking so great. That kind of stuff drives me crazy too. Some things just don't wear well. It's only sad when there isn't a more desirable replacement or means to repair it. It's a good thing you're in love with marble. I love it too. I'm keeping my eyes on the countertops that resemble marble. Sometimes I like them and other times I'm fond of wood countertops.

    I'm actually curious about your limes. Did you pick those yourself? Our limes from the supermarket do not look like yours at all. Up here they are super a freakish way that makes them look almost fake. The ones I've been buying are super small and round like golf balls. It has been so long since I've seen a fresh picked lime or lemon that I may have forgotten what they even look like.

    I just noticed something else, your chandelier looks identical to the one my grandmother had over her dining table. I should have taken that when I had a chance. I could have bought a cheapy one to replace it. Her chandie was probably at least 30 years old, if not older.

    But then again it would probably be sitting down in California in my moms or friends garage along with the giant syroco candle votives that I inherited. I'm the annoying friend that finds something and asks if my friends and family can store it for me until I make a trip back and squeeze it into a suitcase.

    My blog should be called The Trials & Tribulations of Decorating French Country in Alaska. "A journey of how I scheme and plot to get antiques and vintage home decor back to Narnia without maxing out credit cards for shipping." Ha ha.

    Have a wonderful week. :-)


    1. Hilarious!! I can imagine it must be expensive to ship to Alaska- but I love the blog title proposition! ;) I liked the wood to- I just wanted something more refined and better for baking, etc. Plus the wood was just not like a butcher block- and it definitely did not wear like one. So, it makes a difference after awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I packed light and sent my LG box by mail, but only a state away. My sister has a few friends in Alaska and mailing up there is expensive. I'm not surprised that your island has a marble counter, very beautiful. Love the chippy cabinet hutch you bought for your kitchen, perfect fit.
    Kathleen in Az

    1. Thank you- I am in love with the marble island and the hutch. It really does feel like it was meant to be in this house. Thanks for stopping by Kathleen!

  3. As both a native Vermonter and a French cottage style lover I must say I approve! Love it! Though I was also fond of the contrast BTW the previous wood top and the marble counters too. Basically, I just like your kitchen:-)

    1. Thank you!! I did enjoy the wood and the mix as well but am super in love with the marble. :) Thanks for stopping by!!

  4. We have a butchers block style freestanding unit next door to the range cooker here in France. It had a wooden top and last winter my husband replaced the wooden top with marble. I love it so much, it is the perfect place for rolling pastry, cooking, pretty much doing anything, it is always cool, even in the heat of the summer, I love love love it too!

    1. It is such a simple change but it makes such a difference right? Enjoy!

  5. A beautiful change, I love white in the kitchen. We chose white counter tops and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. I cannot wait to see all of the pictures.

  6. Love the new top to your island, it definitely gives the kitchen a new feel. Looks great.
    Hope your have a great start to your week.

  7. Oh that island and the stunning marble countertop is one of the stars of your kitchen!...Now I am looking forward to your kitchen photos overload!

  8. While I love the look of wood on countertops I have heard that they are terribly difficult to keep up. I saw this beautiful Christopher Peacock kitchen with a beautiful beautiful wood top but the lady in the store said it is a nightmare to try to fend off water spots and glass rings! I just love all of the marble in your kitchen, love the veins in the marble on your island!

  9. It is gorgeous. I like the new paint color on the island too.

  10. LOVE your new island Courtney! It looks wonderful and just perfect for your kitchen.

  11. The counters are exquisite...As is your whole kitchen...and decorating! Just remodeled my kitchen with a white I believe Quartz Absolutely Love it! Always look forward to your beautiful cozy posts.

  12. Absolutely Beautiful! As is your whole kitchen and style! Always look forward to your posts!I just put white quartz In my kitchen and Love it!