Our Kitchen Island Continued... And a note on Honed Marble

Hope you had a great weekend!!  We got the teensiest bit of snow (not enough!!) and hung around home for the most part.  The guys worked on our island and I'm loving how it's coming out:

The reclaimed wood from Lorimer was applied horizontally across the drawer fronts.  It's almost totally flat when you look at it and the guys did an amazing job of keeping the wood flush on the sides of the drawers.

Here, Spiderman is investigating the newly applied tape "pulls" on the drawers:

(This means he can now get into the drawers himself which makes my life easier.   The kids can grab cups and get water from the spout on the outside of the fridge..  They can ask for a snack and I can say go ahead & get it.  Ahhh drawer pulls- who knew?!!)

Anyway, they still have three more sides to go, so we're only part way there, but I am so excited with the results so far!!  To read more abou the process, check out my last post here.
And finally, we have white honed marble on top of the island and I LOVE it.  It's super-easy to take care of  and looks and feels so good.  I really wish it didn't have such a bad rap.  (And I have two boys and a baby, we entertain a lot and we are faaaar from careful.) 
In general I find that people (who've never been exposed to it & are listening to the stone companies)  are so afraid of using it & I feel like they're really missing out on something special.  Yes, some things can stain it (red wine is the only thing I've noticed when it's sat out for hours on there) but the stains turn into pretty gray marks... I don't even notice them with the movement in the marble.  I'm actually dying to dirty this thing up a bit.  I've left so much stuff on it in the hopes of seeing what it would do and not much has happened though it's definitely gotten prettier as it's seen more use of the past couple of months. 
 Like what I love about most natural things, life changes it and makes an impression on it. 
I don't get why unchanging and perfection should equal beauty.  I feel the opposite.  (Except about my face haha!! j/k)

If you'd like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.


pve design said...

OH -Yes to drawers and to little people and big doing things for themselves. I think it is good to look ahead and to see our little one's as big people and the impressions we make upon them can be life altering.
Like the seasons, change brings about freshness.

Laura Lynn said...

I agree, there is much beauty in the "imperfect." Looking forward to seeing the finished product.

Heidi said...

Haha so true, Lauren! Although how awesome are those beautiful, self-assured women with great gray hair and some lines to show where all the smiles have been over the years.

I wish I had read your opinion about a year ago when we were renovating our kitchen. After lots and lots of advice against it, I skipped the marble route (although we did use quartz as an alternative - looks like Carrera's spunky, younger sister- and I love it). But what I've found in my first few years in the design industry is that nine times out of ten, the majority of people (family, laborers, the men who work at Home Depot) try talking me out of my "interesting" ideas as they are certainly not the norm. But when it's finished, the results are beautiful. Maybe you can relate to this as you age brass and do other things that I'm sure elicit quite the "gasp" from less inspired onlookers.

My question to you: how did you find such open-minded, innovative labors and artisan to help you execute your ideas? I'm still really struggling to built a team of "yes" labors which is critical with so many of the out-of-the-box ideas designers have.

Live Inspired,
Heidi Chamoun

P.S. As always, it goes without saying, the island is a beauty. As much as I love the current "pulls", I'm dying to see those apothecary pulls in action :)

A Delightful Design said...

What a gorgeous look to those drawers!
I am dying to see the finished look, even if I have to wait for the magazine spread.

Thank you for your advice about the marble. I'm always hesitant to recommend it to my clients out of fear that if it stains they will blame me. But I would love it in my own kitchen!


Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- The guys at Lorimer Workshop are super-talented - that looks like a job that requires a lot of skill and precise fitting.

I like your comments on the honed marble. Life creates patina, and that can be a good thing.


Nancy said...

Your honed wood is looking fantastic. I love the mix of materials in your kitchen! Besides being remarkably stylish it is so kid friendly..love that about you.
xo Nancy

An Urban Cottage said...

Thanks for the info on marble. I met someone who's had it for 20 years and she says the same thing. It's a little yellowed around the faucets and above the dishwasher but it looks better with those battle scars in my opinion.

Jade @ Flip Flops + Pearls Design said...

That island is going to be beautiful when its done! I totally regret not going with marble in my kitchen and listening to everyone's opinion. I am a designer...I should know better!!

Rie said...

We have carrara honed too and LOVE it! We haven't gotten stains either and we are soooo not careful. Once we had some pretty obvious glass ring etching, but I just buffed them out with a green scrubby sponge. There is a little staining under our coffee maker, but our coffee maker will never move so it doesn't matter.

Katie Waddell said...

Absolutely LOVE the island!!

Peggy and Fritz said...

I don't care what ANYONE says - I will have white carrera marble on my counters when i have my dream kitchen. Hasn't anyone been to Italy where marble sits on counters for hundreds of years...I love how it ages and no one is going to be talking me out of it. Way to go can't wait to see the finished product. What a journey and so beautiful. Great job.

vignette design said...

Loving your new island. And white marble. I have Calacatta Oro throughout my kitchen. No, it's not perfect like granite, there are dull spots and stains, but that's good! The older it gets, the more it shows its age, just like my face too!

BaileyWife said...

We just bought new countertops for our bathroom vanity...I was obsessed with getting honed black granite, the salesman advised my husband against it...UGH!!! We do like our choice of Quartz, but I will always yearn for what I REALLY wanted! ~Kim

Loretta Fontaine (APPLESandRUBIES) said...

Lauren- Forgive me, I was thinking of this post all morning and have to add another comment!

I think a lot of using materials that patina well (a nice way to say chips, cracks, stains well...) is the the juxtaposition against other materials. Against that beautifully aged Lorimer wood your marble top will always look amazing - if you used sleek glossy cabinetry on the island the marble top might look completely different.

We had an old tub in one of our rental properties and the ceramic tile around it emphasized all the dings and stains in a bad way, so I did a new marble tile surround and against that natural stone, the same old tub has a new lease on life.


Lisa Harrison said...

http://www.themarionhousebook.com/ have a look you will love this.

Lisa, London

PS So so so so looking forward to seeing the house published!

Jess said...

THANK YOU for this vote of confidence in marble! I'm a few weeks away from picking a countertop for my own kitchen update and have been agonizing over the "to marble or not to marble" decision. Your post really brings home the elements of marble that I adore and has given me some confidence in following my gut!

AnneHH said...

Oh, such a gorgeous island!!!! I, too, can't wait to see it with those amazing pulls that Dave found online. What a great addition he is to your team!!
I TOTALLY second your love of a honed marble counter. Mine are Calacatta and I feel like lying on them and hugging them because I love them so much. We have had them for 1 1/2 years and they have been so not an issue and I hate doing dishes so stuff sits on them for a while.
Congratulations on all of your progress on the house. Your choices are inspiring and inspired!!
]xo, Anne

Velvet and Linen said...

Love your island!
That wood has so much character.

Yes, hone away!
I had honed carerra marble in my last house.
It looked great even 10 years after installation.
We are doing honed calcutta this time.


Diane Haynie said...

Why are kids so darned cute in footie jammies?

Anonymous said...

That looks so lovely!! Such a different element in that space - great unique factor!

Windlost said...

Love the kitchen progress and the adventures of Spiderman. You have such a vision..I love that you are doing these interesting ideas and not going for a conventional look. Your house will be so YOU and I cannot wait for the photographers to get over there!!!


xo Terri

Maureen@CheekyinBlue said...

Love the look of this! Glad to hear it works well in the kitchen, we have it in the bathrooms, but I was worried about all that it would be exposed to in the kitchen. I love the light and bright of marble!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

I agree with you about honed marble... it can look more beautiful with the patina of a well lived life.

Laurie Jones said...

I'm so with you I've never got the bad rap for honed marble I've had it in my bathrooms and kitchens and have never had a problem with it, I've always lived in an old house though until recently and maybe I just like a bit of imperfection. I just think it's a beautiful material flaws and all but I'm also the type of mom who designs her house with things I love regardless of the fact that I have kids, that's my other pet peeve, people who comment about stains on marble and oh I could never have that I have children. (:

KR said...

We have honed carrara marble kitchen counters and love them. After 2+ years (living with 4 little boys and hosting many parties), they still look fabulous with NO stains! There were a couple of times where they appeared to be stained so I used Oxiclean to remove the stains and it worked. For those perfectionists out there who are considering marble, I will let you know that there are etch marks everywhere and even some small chips. We think it adds to the charm of the kitchen, but some may disagree. We are planning on moving this year and there is no doubt that we will be using honed marble in our next kitchen too.

Kim L. said...

Wow, love the island! I couldn't even tell they were drawers at first! Stunning!

Kristen said...

WOW this is seriously stunning! LOVE LOVE LOVE. So glad I found her your blog today on Sadie and Stella, now following :)

Stacey {steward of design} said...

Love, love your island so far!

griffin design source said...

I am a huge fan of marble and limestone! I have wrestled for years with contractors about the durability of natural stone vs. synthetic. I am a purist and I swear by the real thing. I'm a purist. I even wrote an article for cultivate.com on the merits of natural stone. Please share this with your clients!!

Emily Russo said...

I am wandering over from reading Lauren's imperfect materials quote on Loretta Fontaine's blog and am so happy I did! What a great blog and the kitchen island looks so amazing and the little boy is darling.

I am following your blog!

Carrie, The Modern Housewife said...

Hey Lauren. We just had a barn wood island made with honed marble countertop. Love it too. But have a question for you. How did you seal the wood/plan to clean it? Ours has these little spots on it. Not sure if it's from water, or some cleaning solution or what. I'm wondering if I should put more sealant on it. Or wax? Or some other thing??? I Love the rustic look, but don't want it to "age" poorly (yes, it's already old. Not sure what's going on with it.) I'd love any thoughts!