Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hard (but fun) Decision #2

Since posting Exterior Color Agony on Tuesday, I realized that the word "agony" is very dramatic. Agony is not something I experience often (ever?), and I definitely don't want to seem like I'm complaining about this renovation at all. It's something we entered into very willingly and still have no regrets, 70% of the time (smily face emoticon here).

The other difficult, yet still fun, decision is the countertop decision. When I first posted about our kitchen daydreaming last October, some of you suggested a white/grey countertop in quartz or marble. I had not considered carrara marble, but since then I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! I've read posts like this and wondered if I could live with such a soft stone. I've visited three countertop/stone shops and all three salespeople gave me the same speech, something along the lines of we really try to discourage people from choosing marble for a kitchen. Despite their warnings, I brought home a 12x12 sample of honed carrara marble and told Nate I wanted to sleep on it. It's SO soft and lovely. I was pretty set on it, telling myself that the character of etching and staining would make it feel loved and lived in.

So we got a quote for honed carrara marble and the estimator at Madison Block and Stone said ideally we would drive to Waukesha or Milwaukee to pick out a slab. I drove to Waukesha on May 21st, the first gorgeous summer-like day in a while. Unfortunately the marble they had was too short and it wasn't love at first sight. The weather that day is important to mention because I didn't want to drive further from home to look at the other wholesaler, so I still haven't seen what they have in person. Here is the Venintino marble slab that is too short:

Just kind of dull, right?
That same day in Waukesha, I saw a granite called viscount white. I've never had a thing for granite, but when I went to these warehouses and saw the huge slabs and listened to how they're "harvested" it really helped me gain an appreciation for natural stone, so I entertained the thought of granite as another natural stone option. I was surprised by how much I liked this viscount white granite.

p.s. it's not actually pink, that is a reflection of the store sign
The benefit of choosing granite over marble is that granite is much harder, so it will stain, scratch and etch less. But marble seems much more timeless than granite. They are priced similarly, within $120 of each other.

You might be wondering, why not quartz? Because Quartz, which is manmade and much less porous, is more pricey, especially for the white/light ones. We do hope to find some beautiful quartz remnants to use in the bathrooms and laundry room, because when you use a remnant, you pay the same whether it's super cheap granite or expensive quartz. This is fun and not fun. Fun because you could get lucky and find an unclaimed remnant the day it arrived in the remnant yard as a scrap from someone's larger project, and not fun because it makes me feel like I should stop by the remnant yard daily to score a sweet remnant.

To help you picture things, here is Nate's latest drawing of the kitchen, from two different angles:

The wood really will be wood, so you can see the the approximate size of the countertop we need. I don't love the super dark part of the viscount white granite slab, but we could easily avoid that by the way we cut the "L" shape and the square cut from the whole slab.

More kitchen news! The cabinet colors have been decided. Thanks to a blog post at The Inspired Room, I knew what color they used (below) and went with it. The lower cabinets and refrigerator surround will be this charcoal grey and the upper cabinets will be a cool white, called ice cube.

Not only do we have the cabinet colors picked out, we also purchased our stove and refrigerator last night! I'm really happy that after looking at many different brands for weeks we were able to make a crunch-time decision (because of a sale ending at midnight last night) that we both woke up excited about:

Kitchen Aid Range

Maytag Refrigerator
On Friday night and Saturday we'll celebrate a huge hotel renovation my dad just completed in Brookfield, so we'll drive  to Milwaukee after that to check out the other wholesaler's marble slab in person. Here is the picture I've seen. It's polished, but can be honed, which is what we would choose if we went with marble.

These are such fun decisions! Really, there is no agony at all. It's all fun and I already know I'm going to miss the research and decision making once it's I did each time I decided on a dress for a high school dance and my wedding dress.

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