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Formica Argento Romano – Laminate Kitchen Countertops

Do you remember back in July when I asked for your opinions on what laminate kitchen countertops we should go with? If not, here’s the post where I showed three Photoshopped options and asked you to vote for your favorite. The majority of the vote went toward laminate Calcutta marble. I even got a big slab of it and tried it out in the kitchen (see the photos here). Ultimately, I decided to go with Formica Argento Romano laminate countertops.

Why I chose laminate countertops

Well, we got new laminate kitchen countertops, and I didn’t go with any of the options I was considering. Thanks for voting! Heh.

I’m kind of glad I spent 6 months hemming and hawing over what to go with. This gave me ample time to stare at the sample I ultimately chose.

In case you forgot, this is what the countertops looked like before. Plain vanilla countertops– they were here when we bought the house almost 6 years ago.


kitchen cabinets and island 5

white kitchen island

And here’s how the kitchen looks now.

two twenty one kitchen

We went with Formica Argento Romano laminate with an etching finish.

Why laminate and not stone, like granite? Because we don’t live in a granite house. We live in a starter home neighborhood. And while our neighborhood is nice, you wouldn’t expect the houses in it to have stone countertops. If we shelled out the big bucks for stone countertops we wouldn’t see a great return on investment when we eventually sell this house.

Laminate is very cost-effective. Our new laminate kitchen countertops set us back $1,400 (that includes the cost of the countertops, removal of the old, and installation of the new), but keep in mind that we have a lot of countertop space in our kitchen. About 55 square feet of countertop space to be exact. So if you do the math, that comes out to about $26 per square foot. Which is a heck of a lot more economical than $100-$225 per square foot for granite.

 Another reason why we went with laminate? Laminate has come a LONG way, my friends. You can’t really tell it’s laminate until you touch it. Plus, it’s very durable and basically maintenance free, unlike stone countertops.

white kitchen black appliances

I also skipped the rolled backsplash because I think kitchen countertops look better without it. To me, it helps make laminate countertops look more real. We’ll eventually put in a tiled backsplash.

Since we were going from countertops with a rolled backsplash to countertops without, I had to remove the caulking and paint the 4 inches of wall above the new countertops. That process was a lot easier than I thought it would be.

I peeled off the caulk and any large hanging pieces of paint. And then I painted over the tan color. It doesn’t look 100% seamless but it’ll work until we install a backsplash.

countertop rolled backsplash removal

We’re really happy with our choice. Well, it was mostly my choice. Brad was all, “just pick something already”.

formica argento romano 2

We ended up going with the Argento Romano because we thought it had a good balance of light and dark to tie our white cabinets and black appliances together.

formica argento romano 3

We also upgraded our kitchen sink and faucet. My dad was a champ and drove over from St. Louis to help us install the sink, faucet, new garbage disposal (our old one was a hunk of junk), and rework the plumbing (we were going from a double basin to single basin).

The photo I took of the old sink would probably skeeve you guys out because it was stained from the previous owners. Yes, I’m embarrassed to admit that we lived with a nasty looking sink for years.

So here’s a photo where you can see the sink and faucet, back when the cabinets used to be honey oak. The sink was double basin, cream colored, and I have no idea what material it was made of.

honey oak cabinets

And here’s our shiny, new beauty.

stainless steel drop in sink

My friends at Kohler were kind enough to send us a 22″ by 33″ Vault, single basin, top-mounted, 9″ deep sink.

I went with a single basin because I wanted to make washing larger items easier, like my big mama jama baking sheets. I also wanted to be able to bathe Owen in the sink until he’s splashing more water out of the sink than in it. Holy back saver, Batman. Plus, I think single basin sinks look better than double basin.

kohler vault sink

I LOVE this sink. Owen loves it too. He’s had three baths in it already. The kid would sit and play in it for hours if we let him. It probably helps that the stainless steel keeps the water warm.

Here’s a photo I snapped of him after everything was installed. Keep in mind that Owen is a big boy– almost 22 pounds and 27.5 inches. So that gives you an idea of the size of this sink.

o in sink

I know under-mounted sinks are all the rage right now but I’m not a big fan of them. Not gonna lie, they kind of gross me out. Whenever I’ve seen them in people’s homes there always seems to be food particles or residue in the area where the countertop meets the sink. And let’s be honest, I don’t want another thing to clean in my kitchen.

kohler kitchen sink

I love how the lip of this sink has such a low profile. You get an under-mounted kind of look without the gunk in the seam.

vault sink

Kohler also sent me their Bellera faucet. It only took three of us (my dad, Brad, and me) to figure out how to work it. New fancy faucet technology.

kohler bellera faucet

I’m finding out how hard it is to keep stainless steel clean and spotless. I cleaned and polished the sink and faucet for these photos, and then I told Brad he wasn’t allowed to use the sink until I was done taking photos.

The upkeep of the sink and faucet has made me feel better about not splurging for stainless steel appliances back when we were broke, 24 year old first time homeowners. I like how I can get away with cleaning our black appliances every couple weeks because they hide smudges well.

Back to the laminate kitchen countertops, I went with the E2000 edge. It has a slight curve to it on the top and bottom. And, unlike our previous countertops, the laminate wraps under on the bottom, making the countertops look more like real stone and less like laminate.

E2000 laminate edge

Taking photos of the kitchen gave me an excuse to style my tiered tray. Unfortunately, it’s no longer available.

You can find similar trays hereherehere, and here.

What’s funny is that the only real thing on it is the bananas.

ballard hayden 3 tiered stand

ballard hayden tiered stand

So what’s next on the kitchen to-do list?

• lighting … I cannot wait to say peace out to that florescent light and the bathroom fixture over the sink– not my choices.

• backsplash

• flooring … The laminate (again, not my choice) is chipping and separating in some places.

two twenty one kitchen 2

Here’s a condensed source list:

paint color … Mint Condition by Sherwin-Williams

countertops … Formica Argento Romano with etching finish, E2000 edge

sink … Kohler Vault

faucet … Kohler Bellera

You can read more about the kitchen cabinet makeover here.

Want to read more about our kitchen? Check out these posts!

Why I chose laminate kitchen countertops instead of granite.

Similar Posts


  1. I love those countertops but I love the sink even more. I love the tub sinks without the divider! Def a must in my next house!

      1. You did a beautiful job with the entire kitchen. Well done!

    1. Ok……..I’ve had it! I”m going to send you guys (slang for guys and girls if you live in MI) some photo’s of that EXACT same sink with no lip.
      The laminate goes over the top, thus it appears to be an undermount sink.

  2. I’m super jealous of your sink! It’s massive! We have a double basin and most of the time I think what a waste! Just give me a huge sink!

  3. Love the darker countertops! They do a great job bringing out the black appliances. And I am probably the only person in the world who HATES stainless steel appliances! I lived in an apartment with them for 2 years and in the beginning they were beautiful but after living with them a while they were IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean. Ugh. They always looked dirty and smudged and even water splashing on the dishwasher made marks that I couldn’t get rid of. So when my husband and I buy a new house in about 2 years I’m hoping the house we buy has black appliances. We’ll see – with my luck I’ll end up with stainless because everyone else in the world loves them!

    1. Thanks, Jen! I’m glad there’s someone out there who favors black appliances over stainless steel. I’ve had people comment about how our kitchen looks awful with the black appliances. But of course those people aren’t buying us stainless steel appliances and having to clean them all the time. Hah!

      1. JOAN ADDUCCI says:

        I am a Certified Kitchen Designer-Retired and I must say you did a great job on your kitchen. I am
        also a proponent of anything BUT stainless steel appliances. Years ago when they first came out I could not understand their popularity, as I knew how hard it is to keep them looking good …who needs the extra work? In my own kitchen I have…wait for it..lovely BLACK appliances, which still look good after 8 or ten years, and every day, as they do not show messes. Also, I have nice laminate countertops…easy to clean and still looking good after 15 years. Sometimes it does not make sense to buy things just because they are “in”…right? Good job!
        Joan Adducci, retired Kitchen Designer, Arvada Colorado

    2. you’re not the only one who HATES stainless steel!! feel the same about marble and not to keen on granite either.. we have a ‘nice’ neighbor hood and want to keep the house up to a good resale level but cannot justify putting in granite at all.

      seeing how lovely your laminate turned out – i will be re looking at that option THANK YOU.. I too have a large kitchen so the savings would be a big deal!

      i was kind of surprised at your feelings on the sink mounting.. all the above counter sinks i have seen have exactly what you were describing = nasty gunk at the edges.. so we have been looking at undermount.. go figure..

      the kitchen is lovely and good luck with the tile work etc


    3. FebruaryFilly says:

      You’re not the only one! My mom doesn’t like them either, and our (mid grade) home builder in Lexington puts all black appliances in as their standard because their surveys show that it’s the number 1 choice. It may be regional as far as the market goes, but you’re definitely not alone.

  4. We went from a stainless steel refrigerator to a black one and I didn’t even think about how much better it looks because of the stainless steel one needing to be cleaned so often. The countertops and sink and faucet look awesome!!

  5. Jen Hartz says:

    In LOVE with your sink! I like the counter-top pick, too!

  6. I love those countertops. I am amazed at how awesome non-granite countertops have gotten. I have a hard time telling a difference now. And I agree with undermount sinks.

  7. It looks so good! I love the color you chose and how big the sink is. Owen is such a cutie!

  8. it looks fab: contemporary yet warm and ‘real’. Well done!!

  9. These turned out really nice! At first I couldn’t tell they weren’t granite – I think it’s interesting you chose the laminate route. The quality seems sharp and the pattern does fit well with the rest of the decor/cabinets/appliances. And I love the sink! We’ve got a double sink and it’s hard to bathe our 6-month-old on just one side – he’s outgrowing it fast. 🙂

    1. Yeah, laminate was the best decision for our house. In my opinion, not all houses need stone countertops. I’m so glad we went with a singe basin over double basin– it’s so easy to bathe Owen now. Granted he likes to splash water all over the floor. 🙂

      1. MotherMel KingsKid says:

        Chelsea, did you build your island? If so do you have the plans still? I’m kind of hoping you refurbished old cabinets.

        1. No, the people we purchased the house from added it. I’m pretty sure they took a section of cabinets and just added a laminate top. That being said, it’s not up to code because islands are supposed to have an outlet in them, but since we’re on a slab foundation that would be very difficult and costly to add. We didn’t care about that when we bought the house, and I hope potential buyers don’t mind either.

  10. Looks AMAZING! I lo ve the granite-look-alike laminate counters, my parents just had them installed a couple years ago. So smart that they wrap around the bottom which is my biggest pet peeve about laminate. I also think that crevice in under mount sinks is nasty – we have one in our rental and if it was my home I would caulk in the seam to keep dirt out. Yuck. We have black/stainless appliances too… I don’t haaaate the stainless but wouldn’t choose it as my first option. Honestly, I will go with white appliances if/when I have the choice. Our black stove shows every fleck of dirt and dust and only feels clean the second after I finish cleaning it. Our white dog doesn’t help, who knew that his fur could get on the stove… Yuck!!

    1. Thanks, Amanda! I’m glad I’m not the only one who doesn’t care for under-mounted sinks. Jack is a black dog so it helps when his hair happens to stick to appliances. Hah!

  11. It looks sooo good! I cannot wait to see the rest of the updates. I love that you march to the beat of your own drum. I try to pull myself back from the pinterest obsessed world sometimes when I think about house projects. You made a good point about not investing in such things like granite countertops if that’s just not the kind of house you live in. I think its easy to get sucked into stuff like that without having any regard for what kind of house you live in. We have a ton of projects coming up and I hope I can remember things like that, too. How long do you guys plan to stay there? You have invested so much heart into your house its gotta be hard to think about leaving!

    1. Thanks! I’m sure there are people out there who have to have granite countertops so they’re willing to splurge on them if the ROI isn’t going to be there. But I’m not terribly sold on granite anyway– it’s so loud. We see our house as a starter home. We bought it knowing that we’d be here for less than 10 years. Our master plan is to pay off all of Brad’s student loans (undergrad and grad– oof) before we move. We’re busting at the seams here, especially with all the baby stuff. If Brad had it his way, we would’ve upgraded to a bigger house last year. Hah! Good luck on the house projects! Can’t wait to see what you guys do!

  12. DANG, girl! Your kitchen looks amazing!! I didn’t hate the old white countertops, but the new ones make such a difference. And that sink?! Stop it.

  13. LOVE those countertops! And I totally agree on the laminate thing. They have so many options and colors these days, plus I always hear people complain about their granite. We chose laminate and would do it again in a heartbeat. And that sink of yours?? AMAZING. Seriously.

  14. It looks so good!! And I must say, I agree with you on the sink! We just finally renovated our kitchen and put in all new cabinets and counter tops and we got a one basin sink and it is soo much better!!

  15. That sink!!! So in love. The countertops look like stone! And even though it seems like spent a lot of money on them, getting granite would have set you back double that amount! Great choice of color on your countertop!

  16. Your counters look great. The old ones were certainly liveable, but the new ones just add a little something extra to the kitchen.

    We have a very shallow (probably 6″ deep?) double basin sink, and it’s my biggest annoyance in the kitchen. It’s such a waste of space. So envious of your new jumbo sink! I totally agree about the undermount sink. I like the flat lip on yours.

    1. Thanks, Karen! Yeah, the old ones weren’t damaged or anything because laminate is super durable. They were just boring. That stinks about your sink being so shallow. Friends of ours have a super shallow sink and no dishwasher. I have no idea how they survive. Hah!

  17. Love the final look! We’re just wrapping up our kitchen remodel, and I’m with you–I prefer a single basisn sink! We also got a 33″x22″ and it’s SO much better than our old double basin. Avery gets her baths in it, and I can wash all of my huge pots, pans and crock pot inserts in it! We also went with recessed lighting and light countertops. I look forward to seeing your backsplash!

    1. Thanks so much, Kari! Congrats on the kitchen remodel! Doesn’t the 33″x22″ single basin look SO MUCH bigger than the double basin? I can’t wait to tackle the lighting this spring. I want to do recessed lights and pendants over the island.

  18. Kathy Leach says:

    What about water that gets behind the faucet between sink and wall? Will it not become a problem over time?

  19. Your kitchen looks awesome, Chelsea! I love the counters you chose, and love your explanation of why. We don’t live in a granite house either, and we’ll never be able to afford it anyway. I think those look amazing! Our kitchen is a similar color- so pretty and bright!

    1. Thanks, Elizabeth! Yeah, I don’t think every house needs granite countertops. I think HGTV has caused this granite fever, making people thing they have to have it in their kitchens.

      1. I agree! I think unless the rest of the house is equally upgraded, granite can also be out of place. They certainly would be in my house! There are tons of things I’d choose to replace or update in our house before our laminate counters! I think yours look great!

  20. Sarah Kressaty says:

    I REALLY like your sink too!! I have a stainless double that they put in when we built our house and I hate it. It’s shallow and the bottom sides slant down. Can’t wait to get a new one – single!!! Also love your faucet. Thanks for the info. Looking forward to doing mine!! It’s on the To-Do List!!! Sarah

    1. Thanks, Sarah! Yeah, definitely look into a single basin. I seriously love this sink. If our next house doesn’t have one I’ll definitely put one in.

  21. Noél Emswiler says:

    I really like the choice you made on the countertops…it is a good balance of your kitchen colors. Being unsure is a sure sign that you have not found the right choice so don’t feel bad for waiting. It was definitely worth it!

    My hubby and I purchased the same sink about 2 years ago. We love the size and have yet to find anything that won’t fit in it! But beware of the corners as they can tend to catch more things than a traditional sink. A toothbrush works great for more stubborn issues. Personally I avoid all the stainless steel cleaners (we have stainless appliances) because they tend to attract spots and stains. Invisible Glass does a great job and leaves no residue.

    If you haven’t already, I encourage you to run a bead of clear silicone around sink where it meets the laminate. Use the water clean-up type and tape off each side with painters tape, leaving just enough space for the silicone. Pull the tape up immediately but carefully and your laminate will be protected from any wayward water.

    The kitchen looks great and you should both be proud of your work!

    1. Thanks, Noél! When Brad asks where we want to go to dinner I can never decide– he has to give me at least three options. So I’m terrible at making expensive decisions. Hah!

      I’m glad you love the sink! Thanks for the heads up on the corners catching stuff and Invisible Glass.

      Yeah, we’re going to do the clear silicone because I’m afraid of water working it’s way under the lip. Thanks for the painters tape tip!

  22. Love the kitchen . Recently moved into a small farm house that had been rebuilt after a fire in 1998 but not updated since, now was my chance to have the kitchen I’ve always wanted. The cupboards are white, which my husband and I painted. The walls are a beautiful yellow in the eating area and navy blue behind the cupboards. It’s a small kitchen but my husband built a pantry out of 3 unpainted cabinets, a dish hutch out of two old laminate (which we painted) cabinets. Storage space is plentiful now and next will be the counters and new flooring. I plan to make my counters solid surface (

  23. I love this 🙂 It turned out so cute
    Chelsea@ thewilliamsjourney1.blogspot.com

  24. I love your sink. I am very fond of large kitchen sinks. I was able to bathe my children in my own for a very, very long time. Enjoy your updated kitchen!

  25. Love them – they look great! We had new counter tops installed about a year and a half ago and chose laminate as well (mainly because we were not changing our cabinets so I wanted to keep costs down). We went with Formica and are so happy. The edges are so much smoother than even 10 years ago. The best part is that most people who walk in think we have Corian!

  26. carolanne says:

    totally love the counter you chose! we chose Formica also… Calacatta Marble…I see to many cracked stone counters…(I am a designer of livingrooms, dining rooms, bedrooms …not kitchens, exciting and scary for me, I have not designed a kitchen since design school
    we did a Blanco sink too… Top mount Anthracite sink… the whole thing is so exciting, my hubby said “we got a call from the trucking company… our kitchen is on its way its a Kraftmaid black onyx kitchen, we are going to have a goth kitchen, lol…
    we go tomorrow to talk new hardwood looking floors for the whole condo… tiles coming out this coming Wednesday… I am going to love having one floor not 2 different ones, I am not a fan of tile..
    I have a wonderful kitchen designer that found room I did not even think of… we love her, as I tell her she rocks!

    enjoy your new kitchen, wonderful Job !!! x

  27. i’m saving to update my kitchen right now. I want to go with laminate, without the rolled top, just like yours. It’s interesting the opinions others give me about it. But I feel, like you, that it wouldn’t be a good return on investment and frankly, I don’t love granite. I hadn’t thought about the 1 basin sink, so I’m glad to read this. Also, I’m not a fan of stainless appliances either. Thanks for sharing your info!

  28. This looks SO good Chelsea! We’re starting to think about the changes we want to make in our kitchen and your counter-tops looks so good that I think we’ll have to seriously consider laminate. We are being very careful not to over capitalize, and I think that this may be a good approach!
    Also, Owen is the most adorable thing ever!

  29. Looks great! I think this is the first time I’ve visited your blog. Followed a link on Pinterest. 🙂 I enjoyed looking back at your other kitchen progress posts too. We have laminate countertops, and I’ve debated a lot about what to put in when we eventually re-do our kitchen. I love the no-fuss aspects of laminate, and I’ve never lived in a house with anything different. I have a friend with real marble countertops, though, and they are just so lovely. But… our neighborhood is certainly not a marble countertop community. 😉

    Also, when our white dishwasher bit the dust, we replaced it with a stainless one. I was worried about keeping it clean, but we’ve had it for over a year, and I’ve only used the stainless cleaner on it twice. I see smudges on it, but I’m just not that offended by them. Now, the grungy yellowing handle on our white fridge? Eww. Yuck.

    I love your sink! I’m thinking of going with a single basin too. I’m with you on the undermount. They look sleek, but they can get gross around the edges, and that’s not pretty. Oh, one more thought on laminate countertops… I really love the look of butcher block, but with our Keurig leaking nearly every single day (ugh!), I am thankful for my maintenance-free laminate! I’m actually thinking of doing a wood grain laminate when we get new countertops. Anyway, I enjoyed stumbling upon your blog today! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  30. Love your bright new kitchen and the size of your new sink! However, how do you (and others that don’t want a double sink) rinse their dishes? I use one sink with warm soapy water and then the 2nd sink to rinse the dishes? We have a dish washer and use it daily, but also need the double sink daily as well…so I don’t think I could imagine doing dishes and having no where to rinse them…unless you don’t fill the sink and then just rinse the clean dishes over the dirty ones? Thanks for sharing your transformation!

  31. Chelsea! This was the best post I have read in months! I love home decor/DIY blogs. LOVE them! But all of them share projects with the best supplies, expensive high-end decor items. I love that you took into account what works best for your house and neighborhood. You guys are very smart. I just love everything about your truthfulness and honesty. I really feel like it’s a breath of fresh air! I shared on my blog’s Facebook!

  32. That sink is legit-swoon-worthy. That’s a thing. And I’m loving the counters, too. I”m always amazed by the different laminate options. We had laminate in our first house and it was so easy to take care of and clean. It always looked nice. I love that you can do it without the backsplash. Looking like a totally different kitchen.

  33. Beautiful! How do you keep your sink so clean?

  34. Chelsea! I love everything about this! I couldn’t agree more! I have several clients upgrading their kitchens even though they don’t live in “granite neighborhoods” there seems to be an unspoken pressure to go that direction with counters and then it eats up their whole budget. Thank you for setting the tone and making it “okay” to go with what’s best for you. The counters are beyond gorgeous. The upgraded sink and faucet bring it all together just seamlessly beautiful. Love it all!!!

  35. The counter tops turned out great and I LOVE LOVE your new sink!

  36. The counters look beautiful! I am DYING to lighten up my kitchen, but my husband is not excited to! We have probably double the counters, so granite was looking like a lot, but I like this option. The only problem is that most of the homes in our neighborhood are granite, so not sure it would be so great for re-sale. Sink is also GREAT!

  37. Sheila Zike says:

    Looks great! I have a little hint for your sink. Just wipe it out with a dry towel and it won’t water spot.

  38. I love your counter tops! They look gorgeous, as does the rest of your kitchen. When I redid the kitchen in my previous house, the granite counters were going to take up 75% of our budget, so I went with granite on the island and laminate on the rest. When we went to sell our house last year, not a single person remarked on the the laminate counters! Everyone thought they were manufactured stone — ha ha. Like you, I paid a bit more to have the edges cut to look more expensive. Using laminate counters allowed me to install a more expensive back splash, sink, faucet, lighting fixtures, have the hardwood floors redone, etc. I received many, many compliments on my beautiful kitchen, and my house sold within weeks of being on the market. Just goes to show that granite is not the end-all, be-all of counter top materials.

  39. Looks great! BTW, you can have someone put a stainless steel coating on your appliances and sink. It works like a charm, magical! It’s not too bad, price wise.

  40. Love your kitchen, I live in a 1920’s house with solid wood floors, solid wood walls and even the ceiling is solid wood! Granite would not look right in my home either. You rocked the laminate!
    Love that you also have an R.O. on your sink. Very smart.

  41. We just gutted and remodelled our entire house and we went with laminate too! It really has come SUCH a long way. I’m so thrilled with our choice even though i initially wanted stone. We have basically the same layout as you with no back part. We are going to tile the backsplash as well. Your kitchen is BEAUTIFUL and I adore how you styled the Ballard tray.

  42. Laminate HAS come a long way and we, too, chose it (black textured) over granite and haven’t regretted it one bit. I love the durability and also the fact that as a clumsy cook, I don’t have to worry about breaking a dish if I drop it. I went with white appliances for our white cabinets. I like stainless, but didn’t want to deal with the cleaning either!

    I love your kitchen and your little guy is too cute!

  43. Your kitchen is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!!!! You have inspired me to get cracking! I have wanted to re decorate for a while now and this has me ready to make some changes!

  44. Bar Keeper’s Friend! It will make easy clean up of the stainless.

  45. oh this is perfect and gives me a good idea for our kitchen. We are planning just a partial renovation (not doing the cabinets) so I’m thinking laminate countertops might be the best option since I would love to replace the cabinets at some point down the road. – love your kitchen!!

    We are in St. Louis, can I borrow your dad for help 😉

    oh, and we’ve had ss appliances for a few years now, I thought since our kids are basically grown, keeping them clean wouldn’t be as much of an issue, but I was SO wrong!! they drive me crazy every day!

    1. Thanks, Cheryl! Laminate countertops are a great option! The finishes offered these days are awesome. I especially like how our current countertops hide crumbs. My husband complained about that I was all “Are you serious?”

      Hah! I told my dad I wouldn’t call on him for any favors for a while because he ran into a few issues with installing the sink because of our tip out trays.

      I also did a post where I shared photos of real kitchens with laminate countertops (https://www.twotwentyone.net/2015/03/laminate-countertops-in-real-homes/) if you want to check that out.

  46. Love your kitchen re-do. We chose laminate countertops, too — economical and easy to take care of. Also, I recently read that some granite counters give off radon!! Yikes!!

  47. Your kitchen looks great. I admire that you went with what you thought was best for you. I also love the black appliances with the white cabinetry.

  48. Elizabeth says:

    where did the tiered fruit stand tray come from? Looks great!!

  49. Elizabeth says:

    Where did the tiered fruit stand tray come from? Thanks!

  50. Your kitchen looks great!!! What color are your walls? I have been looking for the perfect turquoise but haven’t had any luck!!

  51. Im so glad I saw your photos. I have been driving myself nuts over what to do with my countertops. Everyone wants to sell me the expensive stone and etc. I too live in a nice neighborhood, in a nice house, but its not the type for all the expense. My neighbors recently fell for the resale value “hype” and spent 16,000.00 on their kitchen. All I could think is…how ridiculous it was and how they could have used the money somewhere else. Each to their own I guess. Thanks.

  52. Your kitchen is beautiful! You before pics are very similar to my kitchen but counters are a lovely(NOT) hunters green color. Before I redo my counter top I am trying to decide if I have room for a island. What are the measurements from your island to your dishwasher and island to your oven? Can’t seem to find how far they should be from an island. Thanks!!

  53. Love the kitchen!!! So, when you added the toppers on the cabinets did you have to get new doors?

  54. First of all, your kitchen looks amazing! What a great transformation! And also, I need to say how refreshing it is to see someone be so realistic – I find blogs/pinterest sometimes make me feel like I need things that really make no sense – and one of those things a year or two ago was white marble countertops. HOW could a kitchen be nice without them? I MUST have them. And then I realize how ridiculous that is. We are your average working young couple and we have a cute little house that we just bought and, like you said, it makes no sense to put white marble countertops in there. Who do I think I am? Haha, so I could definitely relate to this and LOVE that the outcome turned out JUST as beautiful!

  55. Chandra Brandel says:

    I love your countertops! I came across your site when looking for photos of the Argento Romano countertop. I needed to see more than just the small sample to make a decision. I have black cabinets and love how the countertops look over your dishwasher. My children are grown, but I am still in my ‘not a granite’ house/subdivision. You are wise beyond your years to stand your ground against granite and stainless steel and invest your time and money on things that matter more..like your family. I am using laminate and black appliances too for the same reasons as you (return on investment and ease of keeping clean). May you have many happy years in your home.

  56. how has the laminate with the ‘etchings’ finish held up? It’s a bit shiny so wondering about how it does with scratching up, my old countertop was a gloss and didn’t hold up at all. Thank you.

    1. I’ve only had the countertops for a few months, and I can’t see any scratches. Laminate is very durable. Plus, I think the pattern I chose hides things really well.

  57. looks fabulous!! I still have my golden oak cabinets all over!! Back in the early ’80’s we all had stainless sinks. I used KleenKing. Worked great and I rarely had to worry. Felt they were easy. For my horrible refrigerator I have that’s the old fashioned stainless that shows marks we use Pledge or Lemon Oil wood cleaner. Since switching to these I have so few problems. I’m surprised at the faucet though. My old Moen still looks new with just a wipe of a towered. No cleaners. I’d ask your faucet manufacturer how to keep it looking great. It’s crazy to have a sink and faucet you don’t dare use! Kind of like my daughter and her choices. For her kitchen makeover. Seems like these products are not as easy to clean as the 15 to 30 year old ones. Hope you find an easy way to keep the shine

  58. Interesting comments and you did a great reno. Just something else to note: the fellow who installed my laminate commented on how much ‘greener’ it was than granite. It’s made with a high paper content and doesn’t literally decimate mountains, not to mention the cost and use of petroleum products to transport the slabs.

  59. WOW you did a great job! The before and after photos are amazing! The sink it beautiful but I have to ask what everyone is thinking. What is the green plastic grassy things by the sink??

  60. Hi! Over from Pinterest. Your kitchen looks beautiful and you were quite wise with your choice of laminate. In my last house I had those same white countertops and replaced them with laminate and would do it again. Our current house is 25 years old and has very outdated looking laminate. However our street is no longer a “laminate” neighborhood so I will be getting stone for that reason, although I seriously considered laminate again. It has come such a long way and your beautiful kitchen is a testament to that!

  61. You have a beautiful kitchen! I love the mint color on the walls!

  62. Valerie m says:

    What a transformation! You did a beautiful job on your kitchen! It’s so light and bright, I would be thrilled with the outcome!

  63. You are right that laminate has come a long way! Your counter tops look great. I’ve never been a granite fan — maybe because I’ve had to purchase a couple of tomb stones in my life and granite reminds me of them. Plus. the mining process of granite is not earth-friendly. I’ll be glad when the granite + stainless trends end!

  64. the comment on the stainless steel was aimed at Jen – sorry for any confusion as it was NOT a put down on your lovely sink – its just stainless is not for me and didnt want the lady to feel she was alone 😉

  65. I’m so happy I found your blog! We live in Indy as well and have decided to remodel our kitchen and are considering having HD reface our cabinets in Annandale Picket Fence. It’s so great to see it actually in a real life kitchen. Since it’s been a few years since you’ve done it can you comment on the durability of the new doors? Have you had any issues with peeling or anything like that? Your kitchen is beautiful, you made great choices!

  66. Love your kitchen. I chose bullnose laminate that looks like marble and the SAME sink with a subway tile back splash. It all looks great. Stone counter tops and too expensive and only the early 21st century fad. Will be interesting to see what comes next after people have invested so much money.

  67. YES!!! I refuse to get granite due to their link to health risks, including radon gas emission. I’m surprised more people don’t look up their options to find fabulous countertop alternatives. 😉

  68. beautiful job! I use a product called Earth Brite to keep my glass top stove and my stainless pots and pans that are as old as my grown children clean and shined. My grown son uses it as well. It not only shines but helps keep it like that. My other secret weapon is microfiber cloths. I wipe my kitchen and bathroom faucets to keep them free of water spots. I somehow get water on the faucets no matter how careful I am. I love the look of your laminate and maintenance free is always high in my list!

  69. We remodeled our kitchen from studs and subfloor up 7 years ago and spent 30k. Such a waste! 9k was labor as I was nursing an infant and another son was having cardiac surgery as this was happening. We got granite and while I love the look, it’s chipped in several places and the piece by the sink is now darker due to constant use despite sealing it often. We also were talked into stainless steel appliances and I HATE them! They are dirty and stained despite my best efforts to keep them clean and the fridge has so many little dents on it. I wished I had thought about how we would be using the kitchen as a large family and made decisions accordingly. At the time, three boys were 5mo, 4years and 6years old. Now we have three boys 13, 11, 7, and an 11 month old daughter. Your kitchen is GORGEOUS!!!

  70. Your countertop looks great! I should have considered laminate. We just got quarts in Silestone’s Calypso and I already have an issue with pans leaving scratches. They do rub out but I can already tell the upkeep is going to be huge. Thankfully I don’t have small kids at home anymore.

  71. love the look you achieved! It is so practical both financially and use wise!!
    My granite has some pitting by the sink (not doing my maintenance enough!) and my undercount sink does gross me out! When I clean it I don’t really know if I have gotten everything because I can’t see it!
    Looking forward to your reveal for the lights and flooring updates!

  72. Absolutely beautiful! I’m planning a kitchen update and plan to go back with laminate countertops for the exact same reaon!

  73. Your new countertops look amazing! I had never had granite countertops before until we moved into our first house. Honestly, I think they should have improved the kitchen layout instead of investing in the counter top (they blocked off cabinets when they made modern updates like the dishwasher). Something I didn’t notice when we bought our house is that there were stains from the previous home owner stuck in the granite and we apparently have to get them out before we can seal them.

    If we remodel our kitchen, I would honestly prefer laminate.

  74. I too love your kitchen and understand your reasoning behind choosing laminate countertops. We recently have completed a kitchen update/redo as well. We too chose laminate. For all the reasons you have mentioned above and I couldn’t be happier. We chose a white drop in cast iron sink for ours and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve had many people ask if it was stone, because it really looks like stone (ours is a dark chocolate color with reflective flakes. One of the things I love the most is that I haven’t broken any dishes on my counters since installing the laminate. Before that we had some old ceramic tile countertops and that was a constant issue.

  75. Very smart choice!!! I did laminate in our old house for the same reasons. We remodeled the kitchen and I loved it! 😀 It irritates me that laminate gets such a dated rap. It realllllly has come a long way. It’s so much less on the wallet. We then went on to sell our house… really fast. 😀 We built our new house and I didn’t like any of the granite options. I was seriously like- fine.. give me laminate. But we juggled a few things on our budget and went with quartz and it balanced out in the end. Unfortunately we went with the cultured marble (builder grade) for the bathrooms (master and guest) and while it looks awesome- it’s absolutely horrible. I wish we HAD gone with laminate on those. Oh well… live and learn I guess.

  76. Stephanie says:

    When making your decision, think you think or research of the ecological ramifications? Laminate counters are full of VOCs and will never decompose. They are horrendous for the future of the planet and are horrendous for the health of everyone living in that house.

    1. Stephanie says:

      Laminate counters also off-gas VOCs – including formaldehyde.

  77. Elisabeth says:

    Thanks for the post!!! We are planning on building and with each little thing adding up we can’t afford to upgrade to stone. And as much as I want stainless steel appliances (peer pressure!) I hate how they have to be cleaned ALL. THE. TIME! You post has encouraged me to go with what is best for us, and not to just go with the trend, because that’s all it is, the trend!

  78. I think your kitchen looks fabulous with laminate! Granted, I think laminate is wonderful and don’t understand what all the fuss is about granite. It costs a fortune and requires meticulous maintenance. I have formica and love it. And I agree that some houses just wouldn’t necessarily look right with granite. Plus, formica/laminate is a great option!

  79. I agree with you we chose laminate also in a marble pattern of grays, black and white. If I want to change someday I can and not feel guilty. Beside I do not like the look of granit and do not want the up keep of stones of any kind. Keeping the stainless ( which I don’t like ) looking decent is enough thank you. You kitchen looks wonderful!

  80. I personally love solid surface. Our counters will be quartz, with an integrated sink. Gets rid of all edges, unlike under mount and regular sinks, and seams!! I hate that dirt around sink also. But solid surface is the way to go, less expense than the stone, maintenance like laminate but MUCH, much more durable. And pricing is great not much difference between the two. But your kitchen is lovely and as long as it’s what you want, that’s what matters.

  81. thanks for your post! We are building a house and given the option to get new stone countertops and I cannot get overly excited about countertops! They are very expensive, and not maintenance free. We like to cut, can, paint, make pizza cookies etc and LIVE in our kitchen. Laminate sounded like it was a much better option for our family. Glad to see I am not alone!

  82. Janine D. says:

    Very well done young lady! I am an interior designer and I truly enjoyed viewing your beautiful kitchen renovation which proves that people can improve their homes dramatically while on budget. I totally agree with the laminate countertops not understanding why so many of us simply “have to have” the granite (radon seeping rock) even in bathrooms. Wishing you all the best! Janine

  83. susan leonard says:

    your kitchen is gorgeous!! I do have to say that your laminate does not look like the laminate of old!! We’ve had granite countertops for 11 years and had zero issues maintaining them with no special products. We have 4 kids and entertain often… no problems!!

  84. YEAH!!!!! Finally someone who is GLAD they didnt go with “stainless? steel” appliances and no marble or granite. In my younger years I had a cleaning service in FL and I was cleaning marble and granite in beach front condos long before it became “the rage” and you could not GIVE me a counter top made of either. I put in high resolution Formica counter-tops 2 yrs ago and love them as much now as when they first went in. I also haven’t bought new appliances yet, but when I do they will be either black or white.

  85. Smart lady! So many homeowners got sucked in to high-end upgrades that require lots of care and upkeep, and the cost will never be recouped to any significant degree.

  86. Hi there. I love how you added in the shelves to the island. Is that custom? Just curious how you did it…? Please advise!

  87. I wanted to let you know that we were in need of new countertops and of course we wanted granite or a solid surface even though those choices weren’t feasible for us they were still what we wanted…until I saw this post and your countertops, they are beautiful and was totally won over to laminate. We went yesterday and order all of our new countertops! Yay, and they should be here by the end of the month! I just wanted to say thank you?. Much love to you!

    1. Awesome! Laminate FTW! I hate that it’s gotten such a bad rap, especially since the boom of stone. Today’s laminate is not the same laminate it was 5-10 years ago. Enjoy your new, virtually maintenance-free countertops!

  88. we picked out the same color for our countertops as well. We can not afford stone countertops so I am very happy with the choice we made. Easy to clean and look after.

  89. We are planning on going with this same countertop but I’m having a hard time figuring out our backsplash! What are you thinking for backsplash options?

  90. Hi! I have been considering Formica 180fx in the marble, but the sample they sent me in the etchings finish has such a weird texture. I see you said you got the etchings finish. Does it look weird and fake under the lights if you look a foot or two away from it? I’m wondering if the sample just doesn’t do it justice. I wanted a more gloss finish but the one I like doesn’t come in gloss. Thanks!!

  91. Love your kitchen! Like, a lot! 🙂 I love the counter tops you picked out! And I love that you have shown me that I don’t need the 4 inch backsplash that I currently have. I never even thought of just taking it off, so a big thank you for that brilliant idea!

  92. Pam Durall says:

    I also am going with laminate, Wilsonart, to be exact. I am remodeling, and wanted to spend my money on wood floors, rather than granite. So, kudos to you. Also, going with a big sink, crushed granite in bisque with a touch faucet.

  93. I love this! I love laminate and I don’t see what the big thing is about granite. Most of don’t live in a granite house or neighborhood. I am glad you posted this.

  94. I really love the look of these specific countertops. I have been debating granite/quartz for some time, but we just can’t afford it right now. We are in our first home, and have tan laminate right now (yuck!). I refaced all of the oak cabinets, so the whole kitchen is white with a gray island. I think we are going to go with these countertops, so thank you for your post! Do you like how they are holding up? Is there anything you would have done differently? I love your faucet too! I know you got the single bowl sink – we hand wash our pots and pans and keep the drying rack on the right side. Would you still recommend the single bowl for us? Thanks!

  95. Where did you get those chairs/counter stools? I LOVE them!

    1. virginia crossback stools

  96. Your kitchen is so pretty! I want to warn you to be very careful of the top of that rolled edge. We don’t live in a granite neighbourhood either and chose a custom laminate that looked like beautiful dark granite. Within 5 years the high-use areas of the kitchen (over the dishwasher and in the meal prep area) all had pattern wear-off on the top of the roll. The underside of laminate is brown so maybe it won’t be as ugly on yours as it is on mine…there is a white layer then many layers of the custom colour on mine so you see a nice ring of white edging all the brown wear areas. We can’t afford to replace our counters again and it just sickens me to think of how much those cost.

  97. Gwen Brown says:

    Thanks for the very informative info on the counter tops. After reading I too will go with laminate since my home and neighborhood are also not the granite houses. Love the sink. Again thank you so much.

  98. Nicely done and very attractive! I have a question, though. What is the green thing to the right of the sink? Also, just a head’s up. We put in granite counter tops three years ago and I love it! We found a company that uses a finish that’s good for fifteen years. I’ve never had to do anything to it other than just wipe it. So, don’t give up on granite.

    1. Thank you! The green thing next to the sink is a Boon drying rack. We used it to dry breast pump parts, bottles, etc. when my son was a baby. And now we use it to dry the cups he drinks out of.

  99. are you still happy with countertop configuration? i want to choose the same edge and no backsplash but am concerned that water will sneak in the caulk at the back of the counter and possibly run down around the edge of the front directly onto the cabinets. i thought maybe a line of silicone underneath counter edge may be a good drip line instead of rolling all the way to the cabinets tho….
    thanks for your awesome pics! i have the same chairs and might grab your sink!! Great minds think alike! haha God bless you and your family!

    1. Yep! So far we haven’t noticed any gaps in caulk where water could seep in. We’ve had some liquid run down the fronts of the cabinets, but it can’t damage our cabinets or cabinet doors because of the material they’re made out of. Yes, great minds! We love the giant sink. 🙂

  100. We’re going laminate in our kitchen remodel but have reservations and the “eww” about the etching on the countertop. Like stuff getting stuck. Have you had any issueswith that?

    You kitchen looks great!

  101. Where did you get the beautiful galvanized (?) metal 3-tier stand on the counter?

  102. susan yoder says:

    So refreshing to see someone with common sense about kitchens. I shiver every time I hear someone say they took perfectly good appliances or cabinets and counter tops out and replaced them. I hate seeing all that stuff going to landfills. What I like about England is that so many people keep their old appliances and sinks forever in their homes, looks so quaint. I also have Black appliances, except for my range, it has a black top and front but is bisque which I could not replace when I had to replace my fridge. I also have laminate counters and frankly am not that impressed with solid surface or quartz, soap stone maybe. I love the old laundry sinks in kitchens nowdays too–I think how practical for bathing babies and washing large pots and pans. Great blog!

    1. Thank you, Susan! I completely agree. Plus, laminate countertops require less environmental damage than solid surface countertops. When our old laminate countertops were removed, they were taken to our Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which is a store that sells used, but still functional, home items like sinks, countertops, door hardware, etc. So I’m hoping our old countertops found a new life in someone else’s fixer upper.

  103. Shelli Price says:

    I completely agree with your choice in laminate. My husband and I remodeled our kitchen a year ago and I am happy with our choice. It’s beautiful, looks like stone and was only about $750. This allowed us to get our bamboo flooring we just LOVE. And like you we live in a modest neighborhood that didn’t justify granite. Thanks for sharing!!

  104. Lana Hillard says:

    Very good post. Love your choices and confirmed my thoughts about the laminate, sink and faucet. Helps me a lot. Thanks for posting in understandable language. Hopefully my tiny kitchen will look as beautiful as yours one of these days.

  105. I too love your kitchen and do not like stainless steel. We are wanting to buy the same countertops. Where did you purchase them? Were they custom made?

  106. I belongs to kitchen designing field from many years. I have gone through all the links which you have mentioned in your blog. I must say all posts are well written. Thanks for sharing your knowledge Chelsea…

  107. Chelsea. Love your kitchen. I’m thinking about getting same counter tops. I noticed a pinkish brown undertone. Do you find this at all hard to see? It stands out to me. Do you find it hard to paint walls any color other than gray with the coloring in laminate?

    Thanks in advance

    1. Thanks, Kathy! There’s no pinkish, brown undertone in person. What you’re probably seeing is the light bouncing off of them and how my camera picked up that light. The walls are a mint green (SW Mint Condition).

      1. I’m sorry. I think I may not have explained myself well enough. LOL. I went to a store and saw a piece of this countertop and the brown in it kind of looked a little pinkish. I couldn’t tell if it was the lighting in store or if it really gave off that look. Your counters don’t look anything like what I saw. Yours look better. I thought I’d check in with you to see if you noticed anything like that. Does yours have any brown it it at all?

  108. Oh my gosh yes!!!! So great! Scary and expensive to get there but so worth it. I hate popcorn ceilings.

  109. Hey Chelsea,

    I just came across your site and love it! The pic of that gorgeous center-piece on your island is what drew me in– I love your fresh and colorful style.

    I just wanted to put out there, if we’re in the topic of switching it up in the kitchen, that I just got these awesome drawer dividers that helped me get rid of the junk drawers in my house! Would be happy to share the link, if you’d like.

    Keep on sharing!

  110. Your upgrades look beautiful! On the new laminate counter tops, did you have the choice of not having the integrated rolled backsplash? I was told about five years ago this was not something that could be done. I’m curious if you had to insist on having them custom built this way? Thanks for your reply.

  111. Thanks for sharing these beautiful designs!! I will bookmark these design and recommend them to my friend Olivia (as she is thinking of remodeling her kitchen). Though, I have installed Granite countertop with the help of professionals at “Legacy Marble and Granite” http://www.legacymarbleandgranite.com

  112. Hey! Can you tell me how the sink has held up? Some of the reviews I’ve read are not great as far as water draining and some say it’s very easily scratched.

  113. Hello,
    We create realistic virtual kitchen & bathroom visualizers that you can put on your website so that potential customers can see which countertop might look best in their kitchen or bath. We also have a countertop edge profile visualizer that may be helpful to your customers as well. Our prices are affordable for such a valuable tool. Have a look at the examples on our website at http://www.virtualhomebuilder.com. We can customize any visualizer with your your company logo, photo of choice, countertops, flooring, cabinet colors, etc. Feel free to call me if you have any questions at (440) 487-4546.

  114. Wow, all of the laminated countertops are looking awesome!! But nothing compares to the beauty of Granite countertops. Granite Countertop is both sophisticated and easy to use. I will share the idea of laminating kitchen countertops with my friend Anna ( as she is thinking of to remodel her kitchen). Though I have already installed granite countertop in my kitchen with the help of www.countertopshop.net I also suggest others to install the same. Thanks!!

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