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Friday, June 5, 2009

Counter Points?

What to do when I've promised to give you a weekly update on something, namely that good old Happy Headache (a.k.a the untimely-given-this-recession-gut-renovation of our new place) and (because the construction gods have pressed that big bad pause button) I have no update to give? Hmmm.

I know. Cook up a delicious dilemma. Make it spicy, dramatic and dire... 

One day we will have a new kitchen. In my dreams, it is ethereal and light and lovely. In this kitchen, we will gather as a happy family and trade stories about our days, about aced spelling tests and job promotions and fabulous book reviews. We will laugh deeply and celebrate the magic of good food and good wine. And it will not be a formal kitchen, but the casual hub of our home, the heart of it all. There will be no rules. And if there are, we will break them. We will sit atop glistening white countertops and swing socked feet while snacking and sipping and savoring life.

Dreams are divine because they don't require decisions and details. But real life does. Of what material will these magical glistening countertops be made? Well, it seems we have a bevy of choices:

1. Granite
2. Engineered Stone
3. Solid Surface
4. Ceramic Tile
5. Laminates 
6. Butcher Block
7. Stainless Steel
8. Soapstone
9. Marble 
10. Concrete

Now, I've always dreamed of smooth white marble. It's romantic. Old school. Illustrious. And per my research? Expensive. Porous. Easily stained. Easily scratched. Utterly impractical.

What to do, friends? You all have kitchens. Don't pretend you don't. Tell me what works. Tell me what doesn't. If you're so inclined, tell me you just looooove white marble and I should forget about price and porosity and prudence and practicality. 

I'm in a devilishly desperate bind here and I need your counter points! 


  1. No marble! My inherited marble countertops are trashed.

  2. I have a 1940s kitchen that still has its original green and yellow ceramic tile. It's lovely and vintage-y and has lasted >60 years. Cons: it's not the easiest surface to wipe clean, given all the little grooves from grout lines.

  3. I desperately wanted white carrera marble counters and white painted cabinets when I renovated our kitchen 7 years ago. I was talked out of this (though did this combo in my daughter's bathroom). I love to cook and with 2 kids of my own, not to mention the scores of playdaydate children, nannies etc who go in and out my apt, I think I made the right call. I ended up with antique white cabinets and an unusual cream/terracotta-ish granite countertop that still looks fabulous. I still love, love that combo and will have it someday, in some house, but it is nice not to have to worry about stains. If you do it, just go in knowing that you are signing on to that.
    I will say that 7 years ago, engineered stone and concrete were not really done, so the only way I could do white on white, besides marble, was either tile or corian, neither of which appealed. Have your architect take you to the A&D building on 58th Street, they will have the latest and greatest in this department.

  4. I love Corian, and when we gutted our kitchen, I put in Corian. I have white cabinets and I wanted a white and blue kitchen, so I put in cobalt blue Corian. Now I wish I had put in a more neutral, lighter marbleish Corian -- but I don't regret my Corian at all. I love it.

    I also love my white subway tile backsplash, and highly recommend it. Also apron sinks. And soapstone is awesome, but it is dark and it takes maintenance.


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