Carrara Gioia Quartz: Marble Alternative

Carrara Gioia Quartz

Carrara Gioia Quartz

Today I thought I could offer a few more details on my Quartz countertops, as they have become one of my most FAQ on the kitchen remodel! I totally understand why; trying to decide on countertops is a stressful experience.

Perhaps sharing our own decision making process will help alleviate your concerns or give you some new ideas, now or down the road!

Carrara Gioia Quartz Daltile - Kitchen Remodel

Early on in our design process, we considered all the possibilities for our countertops. Everything from wood (which we used in our English Tudor) to marble to quartz to concrete to a mix of materials.

Because our kitchen is bright and VERY sunny at certain times of the day, we ruled out wood since we worried it would potentially fade or crack as well as feel too dark for our space. Concrete was out once we decided on concrete looking floors. We also decided against a mix of materials. Because it’s such a small kitchen, we felt like a streamlined look of consistent counters would look the best.

Carrara Gioia Marble White Quartz

I happen to LOVE marble countertops. I had them in a bathroom in one of our homes and thought they were so beautiful! But it is true what they say, they are sensitive.

We had a little friend visiting our house one time and he set a red popsicle on our counters. We never forgot that visit because forevermore our counter had an etched and pink stain to help us remember it! Honestly, those marks never bothered me. I think marble is beautiful as it ages. But not everyone has the same tolerance, so it’s really a personal decision.

White Quartz - Carrara Gioia Daltile Quartz - Marble Alternative

Even this time we considered marble countertops again, but my husband let me know he really wanted quartz. He has stained our marble baking slabs by setting beets on them, so I understand his concern. :) He loves to cook but he really didn’t want to feel like he had to be cautious about beets or foods that could etch when cooking.

I like to limit our household stress levels, ha, so we agreed to stick with quartz. We had quartz counters in our last home’s kitchen and they were pretty awesome, so I really didn’t have any reservations. It is a super strong composite stone material and can be so lovely, too.

Marble Alternative Quartz

The quartz we had in our old house was Caesarstone Organic White. We had tried to avoid any obvious swirly pattern on our counters in that house because our hickory wood floors already had a lot of “movement” and a rustic vibe to them. We didn’t feel our counters should compete, so anything with a marble look felt wrong.

But this house, I was excited to look for a marble alternative. Our floors are a porcelain tile that looks like concrete, so I was excited about the contrast between the look of the counters and the concrete.

Marble Alternative - Quartz

It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped to find a quartz we liked. Every quartz pattern we saw felt wrong. Either I felt like someone drew all over the slab with a pencil, or the coloring wasn’t right for our home. We also wanted a more “grayed” look, nothing too shiny, not too stark and not too yellow. We also wanted a subtle random pattern. Picky much? :)

The other piece of the puzzle was that we needed a 2cm quartz in order to fit under our windows. The best way to get the counters to fit and have a seamless look was to have a thinner countertop (rather than needing to cut down cabinets to a less than standard height).

For years I had preferred the look of thicker marble countertops, so I wasn’t too sure I was going to be happy with thinner. But after lots of research, I decided that I was actually going to love the look of the 2cm in our home! YAY!

Marble Quartz

But I still couldn’t find a marble-looking quartz that I liked. We just about gave up when our contractor suggested we try Carrara Gioia Quartz at Daltile. I had no idea that Daltile had quartz, but we ran over to their warehouse to take a look. Not only did we love it, but the 2cm was going to be in stock so we didn’t have to wait and could select our favorite slabs.

I dreamed of my countertops not only fitting seamlessly under the window, but also of a long expanse of uninterrupted counter space all the way around the corner of the kitchen.

It is not a big kitchen, but I think the seamless look of uninterrupted counters help the space to feel larger and be so much more functional.

White Quartz Counters with Farmhouse Sink

We’ve lived with our new Quartz counters for five months now and still love them! They are super easy to clean and take care of, too (we use Thieves cleaner on them for those who are curious)!

Are you looking for new countertops?

Have you tried quartz?

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Create a Home You Love: A Pep Talk

I‘ve long been fascinated by the process of finding one’s style in a home. We all might set up our home a little differently, and certainly every home and situation is unique. I’ve often said there isn’t a one-sized fits all formula to creating a home and I still believe that is true. Creating a truly authentic home is a unique learning process! But I think most of us can relate to the emotions and general twists and turns found in every home-creating journey.

Decorating challenges? Stuck? In a rut?

Do you ever feel stalled or like you’ve lost your way when it comes to bringing your style to your home? I have! Because I’ve lived in quite a few homes, I’ve begun to see patterns in how I approach the design of our home. Knowing that ups, downs and stalls and puzzles to solve are a predictable and productive part of the end result gives me the confidence and patience to persevere.

Each room and home brings it’s own twist to the experience, so we don’t always know exactly how things will come together even if we start out on the right track. Sometimes unexpected turns can be part of the fun, of course, but feeling stuck can be frustrating.

My husband was at a work meeting the other day where everyone in attendance had to make a list of their strengths and weaknesses. But rather than call them “weaknesses” they called them “growth opportunities.” We laughed about it when he got home, but isn’t a positive outlook a more productive way to look at any challenge or turn of events?

I remember times in the past where I saw a change of direction or even a small course correction as a sign of a discouraging design failure on my part. Now I try to see change or experimentation that leads to a more desirable or authentic result as a victory! Resigning yourself to indefinitely live with a look you don’t love, feeling stuck with something you bought that doesn’t reflect or serve your family, or giving up on any type of creative alternatives? That would be a fail.

Experimentation, changing your mind about what you want and taking on new design challenges along the way are a part of creative expression. Each new layer you add or any alteration you make in your surroundings can help shape the home you live in into an authentic reflection of who you are today.

And for creative homebodies, don’t we feel most at home when we sense that personal connection to our space? If that describes you, it makes sense that you’d be a little restless sometimes. We all feel the need to rearrange the furniture now and then to reflect our current state of mind. I get you. :) You can always put the furniture back tomorrow, but you might as well enjoy trying something new today.

I know sometimes we find ourselves in seasons that truly stink and there’s not much we can do in our homes but just get through it. Give yourself grace in that circumstance, friend! If you want to do a little something (and sometimes we need to just make ourselves do a little something if we can)…a quick tidy of a nightstand, a dusting of a tabletop, or even a few handpicked flowers in a vase can bring a small but much needed morale boost. <3

But if you are just in a regular ol’ design slump, feeling stuck, aren’t sure where to begin, or are at a standstill with your home, pick yourself up and try to get back in the game! Even if you don’t feel it right away, a small change or step can eventually make all the difference. Before you know it, you’ll be loving where you live (or rekindling those old feelings!).

What are your current “growth challenges” when it comes to your home? Let’s chat. :)

You can find lots of my simple and affordable tips in my two newest books Simple Decorating and Make Room for What You Love. I hope they will encourage and inspire you to create a home you love! You can find all of my books here and through the arrows below.

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