• Wendy Wrzos

Counter proposals

Like everyone else, I am often distracted by the new and the shiny! Trends are a part of our life. We get bored, and before we know it someone reinvents an old classic; we are always happy to embrace the newness, and pretend that it really is different than before (for example, why am I wearing Jeans combined with Leggings that are now, frighteningly, called Jeggings?).

The latest trends in home design are similar to the ones in fashion. If we aren’t careful, we become victims of an overused, and short-lived, media darling.

With home accessories costing more than fashion accessories, it is foolish to go straight to the obvious choice. To me, Granite is the expensive “Jeggings” of home design. Granite has been the star of the show for the last few years. Sometimes, I hate to say it out loud, but people have bought it for the prestige. Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand the appeal, but let’s not be so blinded by the press that we overlook all of the other available options.

Natural Stone has been around since the beginning of time, originally in very posh houses, that often had gilded picture frames and tassels on their curtains. Now that it has become more mainstream, it is the number one choice for homeowners. I understand why, but please don’t limit your ideas. Counter tops are a big fashion element of your kitchen, plus, they need to work hard for you every day, efficiently. They are an investment.

Some things to consider: What type of surface do you need? Are you like me, do you need somewhere that you can put a heavy pan down without thinking about it, or are you more careful when you cook? Do you want your kitchen to look bigger, smaller, old fashioned, modern? Do you want a dark or light color? A busy pattern, a glossy surface? How much maintenance are you willing to put into it? Would it bother you if the color/surface changed with age? What is your budget?

Next, you need to see and feel what you are considering. Go to some of the larger hardware stores or kitchen showrooms. Ask questions. Get samples if you can. Visit a granite showroom and ask what they charge for direct installation. Look at their less popular, more unusual stones. Alternatively, think about combining a less expensive counter with a unique edging. Man-made counters are far more durable and appealing to the eye than they used to be. My mom has a laminate counter top that is edged in a beautiful, native wood. I honestly didn’t know it was laminate until she told me, because of the clever design combination. If you want something unusual, that is not typically used in a kitchen, check out the reviews online. Don’t just believe what you imagine to be true in your head.

Thoughts: Poured concrete, Soapstone, Marble, Granite, Wood, Silestone (a Quartz composite) Stainless Steel, Corian, Laminate, Formica, WilsonArt stone and laminate, Glass, Tile and Slate.

It’s worth the time and effort that you take into making this decision. A counter top should be a timeless and beautiful addition to your home; something that you enjoy working with every single day. Don’t get caught up in a trend, or, like Jeggings (cringe) you’ll lose your originality and be bored with it in a few weeks.

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to: http://www.thebluegiraffe.com/

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