My Thoughts On Our Marble Countertops

I have found that so many people have very strong opinions about having marble countertops.

A few days after we had our marble island counter installed an acquaintance was in our home and this was her response as she ran her hands over our marble…

“Oh, my!  You went with marble!  Are you going to regret that?”

Hmm

I won’t even go into the next five minutes of me defending the honor of my shamed marble.

This wasn’t my first experience with the opinions and gratefully I was better prepared this time to stand strong in my choice and to be proud of it.

Let me go back just a bit and explain how we came to getting the marble and what I think about it after living with it for 6 months (the good, bad and ugly).

This was our first big remodel of our home and I was so excited to add new character and design elements into our home.

Keep in mind that it had been 12 years since we had picked out flooring, tiles etc. while we were building our home and obviously there is always a budget. Dang budget…I hate you.

Kelly and I headed out to find the stone that would be the icing on top of our newly built island.

I was so excited!

I wanted to keep an open mind about what kind of stone we chose but I also knew I wanted the island to be a light color because I did not want it to become a dark hole in the center of the room.

We went to many different showrooms and even walked among the huge slabs that were outside (in 7 degree weather I might add).

All of the men working with us kept telling us how awful marble would be, completely ignored me and then proceeded to show me the most manly granite you can even imagine.

I think they thought I was building a manly cabin in the woods.

Each showroom left me more and more discouraged and everything I was being shown I truly hated.

I sank into the car seat as we headed home, turned to Kelly and said, “This isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be.” I think I probably sulked the rest of the ride home like the mature woman I am.

Kelly had made it clear from the beginning that he could care less what stone we got and this decision was up to me.

I forgot for a moment that I know what I liked and I just needed to stand up for it.

When we got home and I had sulked some more I gave one of my closest friends a call.

This girl is my artist in crime, travel companion, cocktail expert, best Halloween costume maker, designer extraordinaire and the funniest story teller.

I called her feeling defeated and I told her that I wanted marble for the island and every showroom was trying to talk me out of it.

The rest of the story is why I love her so much and I should have re-created it on video so you would all get a good laugh out of it.

“I hate when people know what they want and people try to talk them out of it!”

I want you to know that I have known Alexis for years and the following phone conversation was the most heated I had EVER heard her.

Alexis has one of the best homes of anyone I know because of her eclectic style and amazing design sense.

She told me that when they were remodeling her home that many of the installers of the tiles, counters etc. made her sign a waver because they didn’t agree with her choices (isn’t that a laugh) and they thought she would later regret what she wanted and they wanted it documented that they had warned her against it. Serious.

Of all of her choices she only regrets one and loves, loves, loves everything else she did.

Who cares what anyone else is saying…even the “experts”. Go with your gut and stand your ground.

When I got off the phone I thought I could take on the world…or at least the guys at the showrooms.

I have traveled to so many beautiful parts of the world and in so many of the hotels, restaurants and museums there is marble that has yellowed, dipped, stained and I find it all gorgeous!

I had originally hoped to find a vintage marble slab so all of the “beautifying” would already be added. No such luck for such a large slab.

As soon as I got off of the phone with Alexis I went immediately to Kelly and let him know that after Alexis’ pep talk we had some marble to pick out.

We then went to an amazing stone showroom with so much stone that we joked that it was God’s art gallery. Incredible stone that I had never seen in my life.

We picked out many different styles of marble and really made our final decision based upon price.

So, what do I think about it now that we have been living with it for 6 months?

We went with a honed carrara marble slab.

1. It is SOOOO beautiful. Truly gorgeous.   I love it so much and we have plans of adding it to the bathrooms when we update them.

2. It will not be perfect for more than 5 seconds…if it was even flawless when you got it.  I went into it half way relaxed and knowing that it would have marks of some sort immediately. Lucky for us our installers messed it up right away so that even relaxed us more.  Half of the things in our home are chipped or scratched because they are vintage.  I only want things in our home that we use and this ain’t no showroom. This is real life and I want to use what we buy.  It helped that I have lots of friends that have marble and they prepared me to just go with it…it is worth it.  We have flat marks, we have a few scratches etc. but I think it is still gorgeous. I really wish I could age it a hundred years and enjoy THAT beauty but I am sure with five of us in this house we will do our part.

3. It is easy to clean.  We only clean it with water.  We do need to look into a sealer that we can apply every once in awhile so if any of you have a great suggestion please speak up.

4. It is exactly the look we were going for.  No other stone would have done it for me.

5. We use it!  We make art on it, do homework, do devotions and enjoy the conversations that happen around it all of the time.  Jack has been known to take naps on it:-)

6. It softens the space so beautifully and will work with whatever direction we want to take the kitchen next.  The marble is a perfect neutral for any other color we want to paint the cabinets or walls.

7. Marble is timeless.  No matter what is in style or trending at the moment marble has been used in kitchens, bathrooms, floors, walls etc. for hundreds of years and they are holding up beautifully.

I am so glad I didn’t settle or compromise on a look I didn’t really like.  Every day when I come downstairs I have never regretted once getting the marble and the investment we made.

I think the moral of the story is to keep your opinions to yourself and let people enjoy their choices, don’t be talked out of what you really want and everyone needs an Alexis in their life!

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Comments

  1. Sheila B. commented:

    when we added onto our house in 2000 i chose a vivid paint called “topaz” for the family room/kitchen. The contractor argued and warned and predicted I would hate it in 6 mos (and said I would be on my own because he wouldn’t be back to repaint). After 14 years we still love it, but it is really time to repaint. So we’re going with eggplant. (I’m not calling the old contractor because I know what he’ll say.) Congrats on your new space (and getting what you want) — it is beautiful.

  2. Oh Jeanne I wish I had talked to you 2 years ago. We let the contractor talk me out of a few choices which would have really made the area ours.. pocket doors, french doors, and the flooring. Ok so he didn’t talk me out of the flooring choice but the flooring “specialist” did. NEVER, I repeat NEVER again! I am so glad you stood up for yourself and chose what you knew you would love!! Okay I do have a question about the marble.. do you use it for a prep surface? roll cookies or pie doughs out on it? It is so beautiful!

  3. Sherri Bredemeier commented:

    Love the marble! I can’t believe y’all have lived there 12 years!

  4. Looks absolutely gorgeous! Always go with your gut! what color are your cabinets? beautiful!

  5. Liane Townsend commented:

    When I was growing up my Mother choose marble too. Nothing is more beautiful to us and we never had negative issues. I wish I could afford it because that is what I would choose. So, I think you are a genius! xo Liane PS your house, you heart, no one is the boss of you! lol

  6. Alexis commented:

    I love you!!!!! Can’t wait to see it in person one day :)!

  7. Kim DuPree commented:

    I have been agonizing over counter choices as we plan our remodel. I want marble, and I’m so glad you are happy with your choice. Like you, I want the old, patina that comes with use. Thank you for this post!

  8. I just redid my kitchen and two porch floors . I wanted them all done in stone. Everyone told me a different reason not to get stone. Too uneven, too cold, too this, too that. My husband told me to go with what I wanted. I chose stone and I LOVE the look, and feel of my floors. We have 10 people in our home and this stone should outlast all of us. Go with what you want…you are the one who lives there and pays for the remodel.
    I love your look and find it very open and refreshing. Good choices.

  9. Cathy G. commented:

    It is truly gorgeous!!!! I am so glad you got what you wanted…….someday I’m getting it too!!!!!! 😉 I just love it!!!!!!

  10. Theresa commented:

    We recently built a house and I went through this many times…my red for was one of them. The painters tried to talk me into a “softer” red and I knew the one the were suggesting was the wrong hue for our siding. I’m so glad I went with my gut in the end! We also went with something in the marble family – Vermont Danby – and I loved the honed finish as well! I too, have become comfortable “living” with it and making it ours. :)

  11. I love your marble! It’s gorgeous. It brightens up the room considerably. I’m so glad you have a wonderful friend to shore up your confidence in what you really wanted.

  12. Marble is truly a beautiful stone – my query is how do you feel with your sink on the island? we are thinking of building and ALL the designs have the sink on the island which is something Im not used to at all?

  13. Ramona commented:

    Go with your heart! Go with your gut! You’ll never regret it! :)

  14. Yvonne commented:

    I have. the same marble on my island and LOVE it. I installed it 17 years ago and have never regretted my decision. Only regret is that I believed my contractor when he said it had to be pieces instead of one slab. I must mention that it has some chips on the edges so you have to be willing to accept that.

  15. Preach this word.
    I love it!!

  16. You’re so lucky to have a friend like Alexis and a supportive husband! Even when you know just what you want, it can be so intimidating to hear “specialists” or others who “know” better trying to talk you out of it. ( i know ALL about that!) So glad you went with your heart’s desire and that after 6 months it is still all you dreamed of. Your home is beautiful! Karen PS I am enjoying week one of you and Vincent immensely! Totally inspired and drawing and sketching like crazy!

  17. Ella commented:

    You have a beautiful kitchen! We just remodeled our kitchen and had the same experience, our contractor was very opinionated and tried to talk us out of a lot of things. This was our first major remodel and we didn’t know what we were doing. It was so tough having to defend what I wanted, which surprised me as I’m usually very vocal about what I want! Finally I had to say, “this is not your kitchen, and unless there is something majorly wrong I don’t want to hear about it!” That didn’t really work, he still continued to tell me his opinion, but I learned to just brush it off. We did have to change a few things but overall we are very happy with what WE chose, including Carrara marble countertops!

  18. Celeste Bell commented:

    Back in the 80’s, when everyone was enjoying mauve and country blue, I wanted a navy sofa. The salesman told me I’d tire of it and recommended a “nice light blue”. I spent about 2 hours in the store agonizing over the decision and decided to go with what I really wanted. I had that sofa and loveseat for more than 20 years and I only got rid of it because the style was dated and the upholstery was wearing out. BUT, I never got tired of color. In fact, more than once I have looked at my current sofa and thought “maybe I should reupholster that in navy blue”. Your post confirms that what you choose may not be everyone else’s choice, but that’s what makes it uniquely yours.

  19. I’m so out of the decorating loop that I didn’t know marble was discouraged. Hmm… but too bad someone didn’t talk me out of the textured laminate we put in 17 years ago, ha! It gets dirt down in the little tiny crevices of texture and not in a good aged way. Someday…we’ll switch them out. Maybe marble?!

  20. Tasha Roe commented:

    I’m so glad you reviewed them and LOVE them!! They are gorgeous and they are my first pick as well
    I’ve already heard people complain about my dream kitchen to me. I’m still getting them!!! You have inspired me!!

  21. marisastewart commented:

    Sulking is good!! I am glad you stuck to your guns and chose marble. And my motto is — if you can’t say something POSITIVE keep your opinion to yourself! Lordy but there are so many self- righteous people out there trying to be “helpful”. I simply love your counter — I could picture you making fantastic pie dough and ooooh I could see bread. Fantastic kitchen!!

  22. Gabrielle messina commented:

    I can completely relate. When we built our house eight years ago, I wanted marble for the kitchen and all the baths. I was talked out of the stone I loved…. Even brought up the waver! I love the stains, scratches and patina of marble that has withstood generations of families living their lives and marble that’s battled the elements. I love all of those imperfections and I let a stone “expert” talk me out of it. I was shown a few alternatives and decided on that one. It’s pretty, but it’s not marble. Every time I dwell on it too long, I still get mad and say “one day”….. We remodeled our powder room and I knew I wanted marble! I literally walked into the showroom and said “I want marble and I know you’re going to try and talk me out of it, but you won’t.” He politely showed me to the marble and I love it in the PR! I am so happy you went for your gut instinct and that you’re enjoying it!

  23. Do you know why you have the blog you do? The followers you do? the class offerings you do? the 6000+ members that you do?
    Originality. Sas. Creative Insight shared. A kind spirit. A lovely home. A cute family. A love of all things God. Your designs. Your taste. Your ART! Your generosity.
    ANNNNNNDDDDDD……

    YOUR ORIGINALITY.
    I love your blog, your designs – (i have bought many items) and your classes…and now your travels and the blog hop home tours!

    Just that you have the VERY COURAGE to CHANGE and be more…amazing stuff here, Jeanne.
    So…be Amazing Jeanne…keep doing YOU. You are very talently (my new word for this comment) good at it.
    :)

    P.s. My home is inspired by your home, but I choose for me in the end…just so you know I am not a nut-job groupie.
    just sayin.

    :)

  24. We have a very similar mindset of wanting to actually use the things we buy! It’s great that your embracing the scuffs and scratches that are bound to happen with marble, because it is absolutely still beautiful when weathered. Looks great Jeanne!

  25. Corrie commented:

    Hi Jeanne, We just bought a house with a kitchen that looks very similar to your old one, even the odd shaped, two-level island. You’ve inspired me to paint the cabinets and after showing Andy your pictures, he’s on board. Are your cabinets white or gray?

    • Corrie, we did a one to one mixture of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint of old world white and their bright white. I have a blog post coming this week with the step by steps we used. Would love to see photos of your new home.