Now that construction has actually started, we thought it might be time to get our ducks in a row and start nailing down some finishes.  On our contractor’s recommendation, we ventured out to Stone City in Humboldt Park after a deeelightful breakfast at WHISK (those salty caramel pancakes – omg!).Stone City | www.theartesianproject.wordpress.com

Upon entering the warehouse, I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  Marble! Granite! Quartzite! Galore!  It was so cool to see and touch these giant slabs o rock.  It was a very educational trip and Lizette, of Stone City, was an absolute gem to work with.

Here is what we learned.

If you want Calacutta Gold Marble look, consider:
1.  White Mystery Marble
2.  Eureka Danby Marble

Calacutta Gold is currently the most in-demand marble on the market for its obvious good looks and warm tones, so unfortunately, that also makes this Italian marble the most expensive.  We wanted to use this slab for our kitchen island – which is rather large at 4’x11′, so any type of savings would help.  With that in mind, we discovered Mystery White Marble, which also had the same characteristics as CG, but with a whiter base – and here’s the kicker – half the price tag. Mystery White is also sometimes called Misty White.  Eureka Marble (sometimes called Danby) has a more dramatic, darker veining, but also the same warm tones as Calacatta Gold, at also half the price.  We also learned that the largest slab we could get would be ten feet – so in order to achieve the seamless, one slab look we are going to resize our island to 10′.  These stones are also sourced in the US – Vermont to be specific.

Marble Slabs | www.theartesianproject.wordpress.com

Our kitchen finish design has a darker, contrasting counter on the perimeter.  I wanted something a little rougher to contrast with the smooth marble, so I was thinking a soapstone would do the trick.  Here is what we learned.

If you want the Soapstone look, consider:
1. Honed, Virginia Mist Granite

Soapstone is a very porous material, which means that it would quickly absorb stains into the stone itself and require a lot of maintenance.  I, personally, am a little of tired of the granite look, but the Honed version is so different.  It has a matte finish and really looks more like a soapstone or concrete.  Granite is also one of the most durable materials on the market – with a much smaller price tag than the soapstone.  With the Virginia Mist (also sometimes called Jet Black) we can achieve that same look with more durability and spending less.  Honed granite FTW!

Virginia Mist
(Honed, Virginia Mist Granite)

Here are some real kitchens found on Houzz using these materials for your perusing pleasure.

Mystery White Marble

Eureka Danby Marble

Honed, Virginia Mist Granite

So what have we really learned?  Don’t take some stones for granite.  Sorry, had to.

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