This inspiration board, however, is slowly creeping into a reality for me, and as much fun as it is, it's overwhelmingly scary. There are so very many decisions to be made, all for a house that I won't get to see nor experience until it's almost finished. What if I don't like the flow of the kitchen and the placement of vital drawers and cabinets? What if I splurge too much in one area, and scrimp too much in another?
The first obstacle I figured I'd face was cost.... yes, we are talking about a house in Manitoba, and for the rest of the world it may seem like a relative bargain, but, it's not. It IS a bargain if you want to compare to housing prices in Vancouver proper. It is still a bargain if you compare to the burbs. But it's not as inexpensive as you may think it should be (we were definitely shocked at the very stable and competitive new home market in Winnipeg when we moved here). For an example, check out this listing, and this one, and this one. Beautiful homes, under a mil, definitely a great opportunity, but this isn't House Hunters where you can buy a 4000 sq ft colonial mansion for $300,000 in Texas.
Okay, back to counters. I figured that marble was going to be obscenely expensive which would automatically make it easier to consider my runner up, quartz. Off I went to the kitchen store to look at samples with a quartz product in mind (Hanstone Tranquility) that tries to replicate the look of marble (but not really) to find out that said quartz product was MORE money than the marble! How on earth? And not just a little bit more, but significantly more! My heart jumped with glee! My dreams of marble were going to come true!
I headed home with visions of sugar plums dancing on my marble countertops in my head. And then it happened. The dreaded Google. I spent the better part of an entire weekend with my eyes glued to my computer screen, reading every last review I could find. The general consensus is that people love their marble and are happy they chose it (although there were quite a few who very much regretted their decision). Despite all those glowing reviews of happy marble owners, they almost all came with a warning. If you expect your countertops to look nice and new for as long as you have them, don't get marble. If you are a messy cook, don't get marble. If your kitchen sees quite a bit of wine, blueberries, coffee, citrus, tomatoes, etc on a day to day basis, don't get marble. My heart sunk to the bottom of my being. All the joy I felt from discovering that it was actually a less expensive option than some quartz, was completely squashed.
Source unknown because of bad Pinterest link.. do you know where it's from?
I don't want to have to baby my countertops. I don't want to have to wipe up every last drop of water the splashes up from the sink when rinsing dishes. I don't want ot have to put everything on my counter on to a hot plate or a towel or something to protect them. I mostly fear our espresso machine that we use every day and is prone to splashing espresso drops around.... or the red wine glass I leave on the counter every night when I'm too tired to wash it. And then there are the blueberry and greens smoothies I make everyday. But, mainly, I don't want to have to follow hubby (and future kidlets) around with a cloth wiping up their messes. I don't want to freak out at a dinner party if someone spills something and doesn't clean it up. Our kitchen is the most used place in our home. We never eat out. We cook two separate dinners every night together. I bake. My in-laws make massive batches of spaghetti sauce and can it for us when they are in town.
Another factor to consider is that this home will not be a forever home, which means we need to consider resale value. I'm guessing a four bedroom home will most likely end up in the hands of a family (or growing family) one day, which makes marble a risky option. I might be able to baby them to death for my love of marble - but will the next buyer? Will they pass on our house because it's too high maintenance? If we were putting them in a sexy penthouse in a downtown loft that would likely attract singles and professionals without kids, it wouldn't concern me much - but a family home? I just don't know.
So here I am, a big stress case trying to make smart, practical decisions while feeding my desire for interior aestecthics. So what do you think? What would you do?
And P.S - I've moved on from Tranquility as an option as it looks to grainy in person for my liking. Runner up to marble is Frosty Carrina.