Little by little

Ah, the kitchen remodel. You dream about it for months, maybe years, and then it finally comes and get to a point where you wish you had never started. Or, at least that’s what happened to me! Of course then the guilt sets in- I should be so happy for this remodel, so thankful! Yet I’m stressed, tired and overwhelmed. There’s a new delay everyday and the end seems like it will never get here. Until you get your countertops in! Countertops are like the magical, you can get through this, you can push through the rest, pep talk that tired renovators need.

Especially when they’re the gorgeous honed marble you have dreamt of since you drooled over Martha Stewart’s kitchen when you were a little girl. We have list upon list of things to do- trim, painting touch ups, backsplash, more electrical work (seemingly unending in our old house), the trim under the upper cabinets need fixed because they were installed incorrectly and all the hardware and lighting need installed. But- I have a sink! 

I have a dishwasher! And countertops! And a range! This is progress and it feels good. I’ve already prettied up the countertops and the peninsula, knowing full well I’ll have to take everything off 10 times before we’re done, but I don’t care. I have pretty things in my kitchen again and it feels so good. I’m saving those pretty “afters” for later and I’ll also share my “befores” too, so you can see the full effect :-) 

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    OK Danielle, I have a question, how did you finally make the decision on marble? As I said above, marble is on the top of my wish list. I’ve heard about difficulty with upkeep, etching and so on…kinda scared me! Have you found out about the best way to make them easy care? Thanks in advance for any info you have 🙂

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      Hi Amy! So, first I should say I flat out wanted marble. And pretty much nothing was going to stop me 😉 I’m very single minded that way. On a more practical note, I did my research. The Kitchn (from Apartment Therapy) have a bounty of resources about marble. In the end, I found that a honed finish (meaning they take the high shine down to a slightly duller finish- it’s harder to tell in photos)was much more durable. It was also easier to seal. And sealing is important- my fabricator did a penetrative seal for 48 hours to help repel staining. But here’s the thing- no matter what finish you get, you will have some wear, or patina, with age and use. But who cares? When I travel in Europe they have floors, sidewalks, tables, bakery slabs, etc of marble. And they are flat out gorgeous! But they are etched and worn and all that. At the end of the day it’s a glorified rock, so I try not to get to crazy about little marks and such. I had granite before and I hated it. It was brown, spotty, I couldn’t see spills and I’d only see them if I set down a white towel or went to roll out cookie dough (gross!) and i didn’t like it aesthetically. Plus, my granite had etching and little divets and such so it’s not like it’s completely impermeable to wear. One more real life example- yesterday I sauted some zucchini for lunch and it splattered on the countertops. There were little grease splatters about 2 inche’s out from the stove. I wiped it off and they stayed all day. This morning I looked again and they were gone. The stone sort of magically absorbs and gets rid of most staining. It’s pretty cool that way. Oh and one important thing to note- I went to a fabricator who is a marble specialist. He told me he loves marble, thinks granite is overrated (not that it isn’t beautiful- just that there are other options!) and that its just a stone and to relax. If I get a really bad stain or chip he will come out and fix it for me. So I don’t worry. Instead my heart skips a beat every time I walk in the kitchen and smooth my hand over the cool surface. As gorgeous as it is in photos it’s more so in person.. Indescribable! I could give you more info but I don’t want to write a book. Haha. Check out the Kitchn. They have tons of articles!!

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    Oh and one more thing! If your budget allows it (mine did not) you could go with a statuary marble (Calacatta or Danby) which is more durable. Carrara is one of the less expensive options and more susceptible to etching/staining. I got a top tier Carrara so it’s a little more durable than a more gray spotty Carrara but not as much as a statuary.

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