Kitchen Renovation in Berkley, MI


Small Kitchen – Bold Design

Read this before your next kitchen makeover.

canyon-dawn-quartzite-5When a kitchen remodel is on your To Do list, you are probably spending time on Pinterest, or leafing through Kitchen and Home magazines.  You are compiling kitchen design photos and lists of the look you want, the function you need, and most of all everything you don’t love about your current or past kitchens.  Then the fun part starts, finding a contractor, visiting multiple showrooms, and trying to picture how everything will come together.

Recently, we had the pleasure of working on a total kitchen transformation with Dawn and Leeann Leeny Wright of Berkley, Michigan.

Selecting A Countertop Material

Dawn and Leeann were working with a contractor and when they came to Great Lakes Granite and Marble, they had already selected their cabinet material, color palette, and flooring.  Setting out, they thought they would end up with granite. This was based on the information they had about granite being heat resistant, non-porous, and able to stand up to the demands of a busy kitchen. Despite this, on a visit to another stone showroom they were drawn to a marble sample. In addition to being on the high end for pricing, they were concerned about marble standing up to the vision they had in mind for their kitchen.  Marble is known to be more porous and carries a higher risk of staining than granite. During a conversation with a family member about the project, Dawn was referred to Great Lakes Granite and Marble and decided to head there.

At Great Lakes, Dawn and her contractor were introduced to a knowledgeable and informative project manager who took the time to understand the goals they had for the kitchen transformation. They shared the fact that Dawn and Leeann are definite “foodies” and they wanted to be able to enjoy their kitchen space, prepare the foods and drinks they love, and have a kitchen that stood out even if the physical space was not large.  They wanted a large sink and a surface that was durable and could take heavy usage but be spectacular at the same time. Our project manager not only understood their vision, but as a “foodie” himself could relate and help make their vision a reality.

Canyon Dawn Quartzite CountertopDawn and her contractor shared that they envisioned a stone that was lighter in color, heaving in pattern, with a lot of character.  They wanted the stone to stand out and be a unique focal point in the kitchen.  Taking the time to understand this vision and balance that with function needed in this kitchen was a key to the success of the project.  Dawn shared with us that her visit to Great Lakes was very informative, the project manager discussed options that she wasn’t aware of previously. In addition to showing light-colored marble, granite, and quartz, they were also shown a new material, a white quartzite called “Canyon Dawn”.  Quartzite is a heat resistant, low-porous, chip and scratch resistant stone that is typically white to gray in color.

Leathered Surface

The properties of quartzite resonated with the needs that they had expressed. We also introduced them to an option with this stone, it could be antiqued, leathered, or brushed for a unique finish. This is a relatively new option in the world of stone and not all suppliers are able to offer this “honed” look.  This fit Dawn and Leeann’s goal of being high style, unique, yet still useable, and the stone with this finish would accentuate the rest of the materials already selected for the project. Dawn and her contractor knew this was a perfect fit, but one item was missing, Leeann.

The Final Decision

When Leeann was able to visit Great Lakes and meet with our project manager, she also immediately loved the stone selection and the leathered finish option.  She was floored by how beautiful it was, but the dedicated team at Great Lakes didn’t stop there. Our project manager still walked Leeann through the entire showroom to ensure this particular material was exactly what would complete the look Dawn and Leeann were striving for. Leeann shared with us that they love the leathered look, and used these words to describe the finished product….”it surpasses my expectations even more as time goes by.”

Vein Matched Seam

Canyon Dawn Quartzite Countertop CornerQuartzite, similar to granite, does have seams.  But with the hard work of the Great Lakes Granite and Marble team, they were able to put the seam right on a vein (pattern in the granite) to make it almost invisible.  Hint: it’s just to the right of the sink, tough to spot right?


From a cost standpoint, how did the quartzite compare to the granite they originally set out to select?  Recall how the marble they loved was on the high end for pricing in addition to carrying concerns of wear and tear?  The quartzite not only fit their needs from a look and durability standpoint, it fit right into their budget as well, even with the leathered finishing option.

Final Thoughts

When asked what else stood out to them about the project, aside from the beauty of their countertop and the overall finished product, Dawn and Leeann expressed their satisfaction with the installers.

“They were excellent, efficient, and quiet. We couldn’t be happier, we would recommend them anytime”.

They refer to the countertop as the jewel of the crown.

And wouldn’t you agree?  It all fits together flawlessly.

The other materials that were used in this kitchen transformation include:

  • A KitchenAid range and stove with a unique self-cleaning cycle using low temperatures and water
  • Ikea Cabinets they had a hand in designing the layout and function with the handy Ikea online design tool
  • Large undermount single bowl Kraus sink (sourced on Amazon) that was mechanically anchored for a beautiful look and durability


Great Lakes Granite and Marble does a number of kitchen remodels, so what makes this particular project unique? 

In addition to the instant click between the project manager and the client, the material with the unique leathered finish sets this project apart.  You don’t have to have a 90 square foot countertop space to make an impact and have a beautiful kitchen. This project was 27 square feet and you can see the beauty in every detail.