Margaret's Nest - Lilac & Leopard

Lilac is my favorite color.

In case you hadn't realized by our logo color, my phone case, the only color I wear besides black, my nail color, etc. I love lilac. I knew from the moment I decided to take on a renovation that I wanted a lilac kitchen.

Original Plan

Lilac makes me so happy. When I thought about the kitchen I wanted it to be as cheerful and happy as possible because I figure if it's beautiful, I won't mind spending time in there. I have a shameful secret. Even though I'm part Italian, I am an absolutely horrid cook. Amazing baker. Dreadful cook. I have poisoned myself more times than I'd like to admit. Such is life.

Because I'm going for a pretty strong color statement, I wanted simple cabinets like a shaker style. I was also pretty sure I wanted a New Ravenna tile backsplash called Astronomy. I planned on doing a coordinating quartz to match the Astronomy tile and brass hardware to match the brass stars. For the floors, I'm going to continue the wood right into the kitchen. We'll do some under cabinet lighting and a single overhead semi flush mount I saved from my old place in Connecticut. So in my happy little head I had it all sorted out. Lol. What a dreamer.

New Ravenna Astronomy

I Need Help

Now let me backtrack a little and tell you about how I'm avoiding all the renovation mistakes a first timer is apt to make. Fortunately, I've found a very talented kitchen and bath designer, Kim McIntyre, Owner CasaLinda Design. Kim is based in Cos Cob, CT, but often works in Manhattan and understands what my co-op board needs, how to fill out permit paperwork correctly, the limitations of work hours, and all the other idiosyncrasies that come along with Manhattan renovations. Not to mention she's been in the biz for a long time and has completely amazing style. Kim is my not to secret weapon.


A couple weeks ago, Kim and I met at the Marble America Corp. showroom in New Rochelle, NY to review the kitchen cabinet samples that arrived as well as start picking out stone. During the meeting we discussed two different styles of Shaker cabinet and two colors. The colors were both Benjamin MooreDreamy Cloud (2117-70) or Winter Gray (2117-60).

The two styles were a classic shaker or an updated shaker which featured an additional detail. I opted for the updated shaker. I just felt like it looked a bit more interesting and could hold it's own with both the color and the stone I selected. The kitchen is a really strong look and it needed to be able to support all that. Below I went with both the style and color of the left sample.

Shaker Door and Updated Shaker Door

Stone Selection

This meeting is when I lost my mind over stone. I started walking around the showroom and somehow, I can only assume through divine intervention, I found a freaking LEOPARD QUARTZ. Of course they don't call it leopard, but I know they probably want to. It's called "salt flats" and absolutely looks like a gray leopard. Now this appeals to me for a number of reasons. One, leopard. Two, the design makes me feel like it'll cover my sins when I inevitably abuse my kitchen. Three, LEOPARD. The photo off the website doesn't do it justice.

salt flats quartz

You can imagine my surprise when I realized that the best choice for my kitchen was in fact the leopard backsplash and not the Astronomy tile I had originally selected. The leopard and the lilac just looked so natural together. We discussed the bathroom tiles too, but this post is only about the kitchen.

Shaker cabinet and Salt flats quartz together

Kitchen Round One Look

Ben Moore Winter Gray, updated shaker style, and leopard quartz stone counter top and backsplash.

Keep following for more updates! Next post will be about the bathroom tiles and how Kim figured out a way to still use some Astronomy tile! Oh and the next kitchen update will be about the coolest sink I've ever seen. This is exciting stuff.