Thursday, February 16, 2012

Veins in the benchtop

I have recently learnted that one of the worst things about putting a new kitchen in a house is how long you're actually without a kitchen in the meantime. We're doing ours in two stages - one cooking side and later on we'll do the sink side, so at least I can wash the dishes, even though I don't have a cooker or anything. Still.

I thought I'd talk a little about the Benchtop Decision. I'm a bit of a researcher when it comes to decisions in life, at times a little of an overthinker. So when it came time to decide on a kitchen design, I researched. And researched. And researched.

Using Pinterest and old fashioned manilla folders, the group of galley kitchen images started to come together and tell a unified story. It was easy to see what colour kitchen I liked - all of them were white! There were a few other similarities, no handles, lots of drawers.

And then there was this. Over and over again.


Ansley Park Kitchen traditional kitchen
Calacutta Marble to be exact. When I first saw it, I didn't know what it was. But after reading some interesting articles and blog posts, I just wanted it. Want. Want. Want.

Of course we couldn't afford it. I suspect half of those beautiful kitchens have a hidden butler's pantry where all the messy work gets done, or are owned by people who perhaps don't cook.

But in my house, the risk of etching from red wine and salad dressing spills is really a bit of a foregone conclusion. I wanted to beleive the test results, I kept saying 'every horizontal surface in Italy is made of it and it's been around for hundreds of years and will still be beautiful for hundreds more. But the overwhelming advice on Australian kitchen sites is that marble is not suitable for a kitchen benchtop. And we couldn't afford it.

So the next benchtop choice was a manufactured stone product. Ceasarstone White Snow. Ceasarstone White Snow. Snow Ceasarstone. Everywhere I looked I saw Snow Ceasarstone. Or Osprey Ceasarstone. Nougat Ceasarstone. But I didn't like the speckles. I wanted grey veins in my benchtop.

I wanted marble. Couldn't afford marble, regardless of the practicality issues.

So I continued to look at options, and I found one. Smartstone Carerra. I was a bit anxious about the choice because I had only seen small samples of it which looked great, but some of the online images made the veining look kind of brown. And I didn't want brown veins, I wanted grey veins! I took the risk, and ordered it anyway.

Yesterday it was installed. The veining was far more subtle than I expected, but not in a disappointing way. In a kind of 'oh my' way. The honed finish is just so smooth and cold to the touch, it really does look like natural stone.

waterfall end

It's not marble, but man it looks like it!

waterfall mitred edge

benchtop in

Next up: splashback decisions... and then maybe we can get this half a kitchen firing up!

benchtop carrera smartstone

(the first few days of the 12WBT challenge have been fun! And I'm a full 2.6kg down on when I signed up. The food, whilst in honesty is not plentiful, is very delicious, and I don't hate exercise any more so the workouts have been fun too. So far, so good!)


Ingrid said...

A friend used the same product for her benchtop recently, and I think that it looks fabulous!

DrK said...

goddamn that looks AWESOME!! so glad the rish paid off. its starting to come together!and you know what my word verification is? 'dinner'. not funny blogger.

LynS said...

Oh my! Lovely. Even though it's white, it's lovely.

Rose Red said...

It looks fantastic! I love how it goes down the side of the cupboards too. Excellent research! (I am a very bad researcher, I must learn from you!).

I love a glass splashback - no grout! No idea how expensive it is though.

Zena said...

Gorgeous! Love the marble stuff. Its going to look amazing when its all done!

Ann said...

Looks great !

Anonymous said...

A lot of people prefer it over other bar sinks. In relation to maintenance and cleaning, you just will need basic and quick steps and you can in a position to maintain it properly.

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Sometimes Unwilling Guru said...

Wowo looking great!

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