I used Ana's plan, but modified it to incorporate a tiled top. If you want to do the same, you simply align the upper shelf with the bottom of the 2x2 frame, fill it in with hardibacker cement board, and tile over that. My stone was thicker than the border used, so I made a narrow shim in order to accommodate and bring them all to the same level.
1) Minwax water-based wood conditioner,
2) Minwax water-based stain in American Walnut,
3) Dilution of Minwax water-based stain in Onyx & Cinnamon Toast (3-to-1 mix),
4) General Finishes Glaze in Van Dyke Brown, and
5) 4 coats of Bartley's Satin Poly.