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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

kitchen countertops

The stone countertops have been installed and are gorgeous!

Starting with the beautiful Venatino on the island! I love the movement in the piece, and it goes beautifully with the soapstone on the perimeter of the kitchen. In the end the carrara would have been lost in the room, so it's a perfect fit!

The soapstone. The stone was cut last Saturday, so I will wait till this Saturday before I start to oil it. The process, using mineral oil, is once a week for the first month; once a month for the first year; then yearly after that. A lot of people don't like the maintenance involved with soapstone, but I think it's a small price to pay for such a beautiful stone.

The soapstone will darken dramatically once it's oiled which will really change the look of the room.

This is the installer cutting notches out of our new kitchen fireplace hearth stone to make it fit flush to the fireplace. The living room and the dining room have their original (cracks and all!) soapstone; I was planning to use soapstone for the kitchen too. The day we went to template the stone our fabricator kindly offered us the rest of the Venatino slab for our kitchen hearth stone (I think he just felt sorry for us for spending so much money... ;) Dan and I both thought it would be too white and would look awful, but hey... it was free and if it didn't work we would have a nice little marble table top.

Well.... when we saw it in place we both thought it was perfect! It was much more gray than we had envisioned and really brought out the gray in the mortar of the brick wall. The part of the slab that it came from was totally different from the island, so it really doesn't match which is a good thing! We're still so shocked at how perfect it is. A happy unexpected surprise!

The master vanity top!

I used a coved edge to match the feel of the vintage piece. There is also a four-inch backsplash that will be attached when the vanity is installed .

Isn't the edge pretty?!! Also note the beadboard going on the walls.


  1. I have died and gone to heaven! You must be thrilled! Oh to have that kinda' detail! I love the edges of your vanity and the stone of course! Your marble - I'm weeping! Look at all your drawers and cupboards - one cupboard for each utensil! It's so much fun isn't it!...this stage....apart from the bills! Sigh! A-M xx

  2. Oh Joan - this is just all so wonderful !! It really is a pleasure to watch it all come together so perfectly. You are so talented to have this vision and so lucky to have the home that I know you will love for many, many years to come. And soon you will be able to make it PRETTY

  3. It's all coming together so beautifully Joan (oh & Dan too!). Yes, you're right about the soapstone maintenance, short term pain for long term gain. I just love the marble hearth - perfecto!
    Millie ^_^

  4. woooooooooo hooooooooooooooo!!!! it looks AMAZING. i love love love the marble... and the edging on the vanity top is just beautiful. running out to work, but had to send a jumping-up-and-down-excited-for-you comment. it looks so elegant, timelessly beautiful.

  5. Your choices, once again, are beautiful!

  6. Wow, I love everything you have done. I just found your blog so will have to go back through and read the whole process from the beginning. I can't wait to see more.

  7. It's all very lovely; I'm beside myself with jealousy! I'm just beginning a project that SEEMS big to me, but is small compared to yours. Your choices are all perfect; can't wait to see it all come together.


  8. Love the blog, just found it through lime & cocunut... will have to check the progress in the kitchen.
    lamaisonfou blog

  9. It is so fun to watch this transformation. The marble is so pretty, and it's a great choice, as is the soapstone. (I've been very lax about oiling the soapstone in our kitchen. Now, you've inspired me.)

    Can't wait to see what happens next!

  10. Do you remember the slab of Carrara Jeannette gave me about 25 years ago? It is
    18 X 36. It was for the house in Rob Roy. They didn't want it because it had a dark shadow running through it. About eight months ago I put it on the kitchen counter and love it. It looks much like your piece of marble. minus the dark shadow.

    Everything looks wonderful!!

  11. I LOVE the island marble and the soapstone on the other counters! I want to copy you! Everything is looking just beautiful. Keep having fun!!

  12. It is just beautiful!!!!!

  13. THUNK. That was me falling over...I'm overwhelmed with the gorgeousness of it all. It is all beautiful! Happy days, eh? :)

  14. Love your selection of different countertop materials. I did the same thing 10years ago and still absolutely love the way it looks. People comment all the time about how great it looks. Something different from every other kitchen around. I am soooo happy with my selection.

  15. I'm having a small fit! This must be one of the prettiest bathroom vanities I've seen. It's just beautiful. I can't wait to see the "after".

  16. You did a great job picking out your slabs, Joan.
    They look beautiful.
    I love your sink base. The Carrera looks gorgeous on the dark wood.


  17. I just came across your blog and have been looking through all the posts as your house is so beautiful, I'm enjoying the tour. When I read your story about your master bath vanity it sounded so much like my story in finding just the right antique for my guest bath. I searched for years until I finally found it. Unfortunately I never did find a gem like you did for the master so I had to settle on bought cabinets. I'll never get over that. LOL I would love to show you my vanity. If you'd like to see it, please feel free to e-mail me at and I'll send you some photo's. Thanks for sharing your beautiful home, love pup and great design with me. I'm a retired animal rescuer so I love reading all the animal posts. Hope to talk to you more. Patsy

  18. joan, I have a confession. I am here to look at your countertop (island top, I think) after seeing it in the background of today's post. It is so beautiful...

    I am so in love with calcutta gold marble for the top of an antique piece that will be our vanity in our new master bath. but ohhh the $$$. I can get a remnant of carrera for about 1,500 LESS than the calcutta but I just can't seem to make myself settle!

    a good friend once told me, 'when it comes to your home, don't skimp. you'll regret it if you do...' I think I'll listen to her and try not to cry when I write the check...

    love your island top.....



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