Blog Envy – a counter top story.

OK. I’ve pretty well had it with my fellow bloggers.

Every day I read countless posts about your new wall paint and/or wallpaper removal. I hear of your agonizing deliberations over floor tile and curtain fabric.

Frankly I’ve had enough!

Well, really – I’m just a tad envious. I love looking at your blogs – liking them and commenting on some – well, OK – a lot of them. After all, you’re my main source for stolen design ideas. Being unable to work on my renovation for the past three months due to my ladder accident, I have lived vicariously through your triumphs and failures. But reading about your latest design ideas or seeing your beloved before & after photos – well, it leaves me feeling – well – a little inadequate.

What’s a guy to do? My posts are so far (except for one bathroom) little more than stud walls and plywood floors – holes made and cabinets without doors. I’ll get it done, but I wanna join the blogs with the pretty stuff.

So I’m pulling out the only pretty thing I’ve got so far for the kitchen – the counter tops.

This was a story in itself. I feel so sorry for my wife. She’s married to one obsessive dude. The quest for counter tops was a year + ordeal. I wanted something more in line with marble, but with a more durable surface like granite. I have this thing for natural counter tops, so that left the man-made stuff out of consideration. Looking around the web and every design site I could find I settled on a material called Quartzite (link below). Not to be confused with quartz counter materials, those are made from quartz stone and resins to make a really nice counter top. Great material – but as stated above, I have a thing for natural stone counters. I checked in our town, and with every fabricator (this was in 2011) no one ever heard of Quartzite (they all kept insisting I meant Quartz – the man made stuff). I knew a few road trips where in my future.

So the quest began – fortunately (or unfortunately from my wife’s perspective) we live at the very bottom of Indiana – across the Ohio River from western Kentucky. This location is perfect to get to the larger cities that might have some Quartzite. From home, Louisville is 2 hours away – Nashville 3 – St. Louis is three and a half. Chicago? Why just a quick 6 hours away!

Gas up the car – we’ve gotta look at some counters.

Needless to say it wasn’t pretty. We made trips to all of the above – multiple times to multiple stone warehouses. Some were clueless, some knew exactly what I was talking about! See honey? It really does exist! I swear I have the most relaxed wife. She just doesn’t care that much about looks. (Could this be why she married me?) Give her a stove that works and a roof that doesn’t leak – and she’s fine. Not many women like that – I bet. But we sure don’t argue over design ideas – and that’s a good thing.

Finally on our second trip to Chicago I found it! The quartzite mother load!

And in the rows upon rows of slabs I found this.

Do you come here often? I want you to come home with me. If I was in a bar – I’d be buying this hot slab drinks all night long.

counter-1Only one problem – she’s taken. As were her two friends – Married! – all reserved by the same big time Chicago designer. Got any more? Nope.

Crap.

So back home we went – well, we had to make a couple of stops at fancy fashion related stores for Francia. I guy’s gotta sacrifice, right?

A week later we got a call – the slabs I was lusting after were getting a divorce. Yep, they were breaking up with that big time designer because his clients were just unsure – and the hold date was up.

Do you want a slab? “I’ll take two” I said. Well, you need to come up in the next day and select the two you want and pay for them – or we will put them back in the bar (I added the last part). “Can’t we just pick them by the photos?” No.

So I told my wife that night that I just wanted to – you know casually take a trip the next day – you know, just to get away from work and spend a little time together.

“Where do you want to go?” she asked. Um, I don’t know…how about Chicago? I like that little Thai restaurant – we could go for a late lunch.

Six hours for lunch? I know, pretty lame – but she went with me anyways. Sometimes guys are so transparent.

So the end of the story we got the slab above and this one too.

counter-2It’s called Bellavita Quartzite

Bellavita QuartziteIt says so right there. You can get lots of Quartzites and learn what the heck it is from these guys.

MGSI Marble & Granite Supply of Illinois

The slabs are in town, sitting in our fabricators lot for the past year – and it looks like it will be there till 2014, but I’m determined to have them laying horizontal in my kitchen one day.

Don’t worry girls – I’m not a one night stand – I want a long term relationship.

Enjoy your week.

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38 thoughts on “Blog Envy – a counter top story.

    • Thanks, Old Friend! As you can tell I have a lot of time on my hands – judging by the word count. Thanks again to one of my favorite bloggers.

  1. So funny! I once drove from melb to sydney to pick up a marble coffee table. (10 hours drive) things we do for good design! Loved your post Curt! Here’s to a speedy recovery!!

    • You do know that your blog is one that I have been stealing design ideas from, don’t you? I feel much better getting that off my chest. Great design blog you have there. Thanks for the kind words and well wishes.

  2. Gorgeous but I need to stop looking at it or I’ll be driving all over the East Coast looking for some. Love how the waiting game paid off. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

    • Thanks Jo – Still have the problem of finishing the kitchen so I can get the cabinets in place. Waiting seems to be what I’m good at. Thanks for stopping in.

    • Thanks so much Lisa! I think they will look much better in the horizontal position. Time will tell – thanks for stopping by.

  3. Realllly enjoyed this post – very funny indeed! Our spouses are a lot alike… Thank God they let us make all of he design decisions without a fight! Keep up the great writing!

    • Thanks so much Allison. We are lucky, aren’t we? But it’s never perfect. Sometimes they can be non-compliant. I’ve yet to tell the story of driving my wife to Cincinnati to sit in a bath tub for the master bath. Thanks for the kind words.

  4. Curt, those are some sexy pieces of quartzite!! I know what quartzite is, because my mom was from Baraboo, WI, where they have famous red quartzite. Beautiful stuff. We lusted after soapstone counters, but they’re not in the budget, so it’ll be quartz for us! But that’s OK. Can’t wait to see your stone in your kitchen. I imagine you can’t wait, either!

    • Hi D’Arcy! Thanks! It took a lot to get those girls to come home with me. My 1st pick was soapstone too! Great minds think alike! I changed the whole kitchen design and got obsessed with Quartzite. Quartz is great stuff – I think you have great taste – and obviously much more sense than I possess.

  5. Haha, I feel the opposite! I’m envious of being able to rip walls down and REALLY renovate our new kitchen as opposed to doing things here and there to make it look pretty while we bounce back from the financial beating/stabbing we took from buying a house and getting out of a lease at the same time. πŸ™‚

    • Well, if I knew ahead of time I would gut this place and start over – it would have saved me multiple thousands and years of renovations – bit hey, it’s a hobby.

  6. This post had me in stitches, but the quartzite had me at hello! Yum! My countertop for the vanity in my bathroom is still undecided, how am I not to consider this awesome surface? Oh the blatant copycatting….! My husband is just the same, willing but usually not opinionated about anything past function. So I always say I am obsessing for two! Great post!

    • Thanks Kate! That stuff really is good looking! I am thinking about a white version for the master bath. It’s very durable, so maybe we can convince our spouses that it’s just function we’re after – looks have nothing to do with it. Thanks again for stopping in.

  7. I understand, I really do. The “heart-stopping, change your total kitchen design, then find a matching range in a discontinued color” kind of way. Yeah, I get it. I love you, Feathered Oyster Quartzite.

    And I will never regret it. Truly one of the best design moves I made with our house. Quartzite RULES!!!! (that’s me hi-fiving you from Chicago). Make sure you get your leftover remnants….window sills, small tables, oh the endless possibilities!!!

    Glad you’re back on the blog, missed you!!

    • Hi Janet! Yes, we should start our own “I Love Quartzite” club. We are the determined ones, aren’t we? I’ll make sure I get all the leftover pieces – thanks for that reminder. How are your counters doing? I still have a ways to go to get back to normal. Got to stand up a couple days ago, so when I finally get to walk, I don’t think I’ll sit down again – ever.

      • Hey, that’s great progress. Just take it easy, follow the doctor’s orders…and definitely try real hard not to over do it….that could lead to further or permanent injuries (I know you are being told this by everyone, but as someone who didn’t quite listen to this advice and then paid the price, I can say this with truth!).

        Beautiful stuff, really nice choice. Things are really going to look great. You’ll get there.

        The counters are doing well (they said to say hi!). No chips or scratches, though I am being very careful with hotpads and such. Using 409 or a vinegar/water solution to clean them. The hardest thing is keeping all the crap and papers that I like to pile up off all the pretty counter surfaces. πŸ™‚

        We’re now officially in a holding pattern for phase II. Short on $$, changing our minds….it’ll be a while before we start that up again. Heck, I’m still unpacking. Enjoy the weekend, stay strong.

      • Hi Janet! Good to know about the counters. I’m trying to be good – I’ve only hopped into the house a couple of times. The herringbone brick patio is going in and the new sidewalks are being framed for the pour – so it’s not a total stand-still at the house. Have a great weekend!

  8. Nice slab! Can’t wait to see it in the renovation…you know, our kitchen is a ways away so it will be good to follow yours first! Ha! Thanks for the comment on our floors…we soldier on! Love your blog and the house looks amazing!

    • Thanks Cathy. Your gonna follow what I do in my kitchen? Yikes! So much pressure! As slow as my renovation is going, it will be years before I get those counters where they need to be. Thanks for stopping by.

  9. OH how we loved counter-top shopping. Those slabs are gorgeous and the story of how they came to be yours makes it so much more so. We felt like we were in a stone museum when we went counter-top shopping — lots of oooohing and aaaahing and rushing over to touch (note that they all feel the same but you can’t help but want to touch).

    • I’m with you – my wife? Not so much. It seems we have a role reversal in our family – but I am doing all the construction and design work – so it’s probably better this way. No butting heads or arguments – kinda nice, actually. But I loved the counter-top search. πŸ™‚

  10. Hey Curt, I popped on over to your blog, I knew you had a tale on your counter tops and couldn’t remember what the material was, Ahh Quartzite! I am so going to visit these guys for ours.

    The (your) house is looking great!

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