R had prescreened several tile shops as well as a granite warehouse, and she had scheduled three stops for us. I'm not sure if she and I just have incredibly similar tastes or she has some special hypnosis skills, but the tile I selected (Lunada Bay Sumi-e glass tile in the Hida pattern) was one she had sent me a link to a few weeks prior. I had liked it when I saw the link, but it wasn't particularly memorable or stand out as a winner until I saw it in person. It feels modern since it's glass, but the color variation and texture give it a warm, organic feel. All things being equal I prefer really modern/contemporary finishes, but since this is a family home, I want to avoid things looking too perfect and untouchable. The Sumi-e tile fits the bill nicely.
I also found my granite (hopefully!) while in Portland. We had planned to look at granite slabs just for ideas since I'll be selecting my slabs in Houston, but within five minutes of looking we found a really nice granite that has lots of movement and complemented the truffle-color cabinets and tile perfectly. It's called Mombasa, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can find it here. After doing a quick online search, I found a dealer in Dallas that carries it; I'm taking that as a promising sign.
In other kitchen news (though not very exciting), I ordered my kitchen sink - the Kindred Estate Series Undermount Double Bowl Sink (UC2233/10RK/E). It's actually the same sink I used on 24th, but the 33" version instead of the 36" one (I have a smaller cabinet base underneath the sink in this house). I didn’t really look at other options because I knew I was looking for a sink similar to the one I had before, and R said that it was a fine brand to go with.
Some pics from this weekend: