Solar, energy, efficiency and all things technical

There are so many things to think about with a new build and it’s very easy to get distracted by all the things that look pretty, but you really need to spend as much, or more, time on the practicality of how the house will run as well. After all, you can change paint colours and pendant lights down the track, but you want to make the right decisions about the big things that you will be living with for a long time. You also want your home to run efficiently and be as environmentally friendly as possible, which is a lot easier these days with the amount of information out there.

There are many things to consider when designing your home and the first obstacle most people face is the orientation of their block, which can make it difficult to meet the requirements to pass the Energy requirements. All new homes and extensions built in South Australia must meet the minimum energy efficiency requirements prescribed in the Building Code of Australia. The extent of energy efficiency measures required depend on the climate zone in which a house is located and here in SA we have 3 climate zones.

I didn’t know any of this! Luckily our builders Scott Salisbury Homes were completely across all the requirements and considerations and made sure we complied. But I’m presuming most people aren’t overly aware about these mandatory requirements, so I asked the fabulous Katrina Oliver, Design Manager at SSH, just what went into making sure we passed. And the list was long!

Some of the requirements and things to consider when building or extending your home, that will comply with thermal performance and occupancy, include:

–  Incorporating northern glazing to allow the winter sun to penetrate – as a general guide the total window area to wall area for each direction is:
North facing 60%
South facing 30%
East facing 15%
West facing 0-7%

– Measures to reduce heating and cooling loads, which can be in the form of shading to the western elevations of the home to prevent the hot summer sun from excessively heating the home.  Alternatively double glazing can act in preventing heat loss during the winter months, and heat gain during the summer months.  Curtains and blinds together with pelmets will help to keep heat inside the home as they prevent warm air from coming into contact with the cold glass.

– Thermal insulation in roofs, walls and floors. Insulation to the roof, and external walls help keep the warmth inside your home in winder, prevent heat from entering your home in summer, which assists in reducing the need for heating and cooling appliances which in turn assists in reducing your heating and cooling relating costs and greenhouse gas emissions of the home.  The concrete slab on ground also assists in creating a thermal mass in keeping the home warm in winter.

– Appropriate building sealing and draught proofing.

– There are a number of ways to ensure your home is energy efficient, and when your building or renovating your home (particularly in SA) an energy report must be obtained and submitted to your local authority to obtain your building approvals. The energy rating certificate, summary report, assessment of other energy provisions and any relevant documentation must also be submitted to the council or private certifier. You can do this via a software program or it can be prepared by a person with appropriate qualifications and expertise in energy efficient building design.

Are your eyes glazing over yet?!

Mine certainly are, which is why I am so glad Katrina handled all of that for us and just made it happen. But it is really important to know that these considerations need to be met, because if you’re like me you would be blissfully unaware. In fact, I didn’t even realise that when we were designing the house so many things were taken into consideration in order to met these requirements, including the following:

– Our block is west facing and the main bedroom faces west, so we have a bay window and need to pay attention to the curtains and blinds we install, so that  we can block out the heat on the hot summer days.

– The kitchen window is north facing, which will flood our kitchen and living areas with  natural light and provide warmth during the winter months.

– The rear of the home faces east so we will be able to enjoy the morning sunshine but on those hot summer days, during the late afternoons and early evenings we will be able to entertain in our back yard and be comfortably shaded by our home.

– Around on the southern side of our home are the minor bedrooms and wet areas which are not as important as the main living areas of the home in getting light.

Lots of people have asked us about the energy efficiency of the weatherboard and while it doesn’t perform as well as a standard brick veneer, which has more thermal mass,  it will be quicker for us to cool the home during the hot summer months.  Weatherboard homes are designed more for the Queensland climate, where they perform more effectively to cool the homes. So with Adelaide being a lot colder in winter on those really cold nights I may have to run the heating a little longer, but to assist in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions we have worked closely with Energy Australia to work out how we can lower our electricity costs.

Which brings me to solar.

Being ambassadors for Energy Australia of course we went to them for our heating, cooling and solar needs. The solar panels we installed are the LG Neon 2 Black solar panels with 4th generation Enphase Microinverters – which are the most advanced in their field. We have also been very lucky because the side of our house faces North, so you can’t even see the solar panels from the front or back of the house. I actually tried to take some photos to include in this post and you couldn’t see the panels in any of them!

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The panels are on the left side of the roof, totally hidden.

But even if you could see them these particular panels actually look good, with their black, discreet design, so they can easily integrate onto any roof. They are also award winning and LG tests its products with double the intensity specified in the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) standard. Finally they have an extended product warranty of 12 years.

Along with the solar panels we’re getting the latest Enphase Microinverters, which have a long list of things in their favour.

–    They’re safe and reliable – they are designed to deliver more power, but also with less need for maintenance and repairs. They are made to have minimal impact on your home with wiring and equipment installed out of sight and with a low voltage design that boosts safety.

–  High quality – Enphase uses a state-of-the-art testing facility to make sure their microinverters stand the test of time. They come with a 25 year warranty.

–  Expandable – easy to add and connect more panels in the future with the flexibility of microinverters.

– High system performance, even when panels are dirty or in partial shade – unlike other types of inverters, each microinverter connects to a single solar panel, so the rest of the system can keep running at its best, even if there is a shaded or dirty panel in the mix.

– Wi-Fi supported connectivity – monitor your energy generation and system health in real-time with MyEnlighten on your desktop or mobile. You can see how much money you’re saving day-to-day.

Again, these practical matters are not as exciting as furnishing your home and designing your new kitchen, however they are really important decisions. And if you’re like me and all this technical talk feels like another language then call Energy Australia and they will go through it all in a simple and easy way. They’ll talk you through how solar power works, recommend the right sized system for your home, arrange full installation and will be there to answer questions once your system is installed.

If you would like more info on solar check out the following info:

LG brochure: http://www.lg-solar.com/downloads/products/LG-NeON-2/LGE_DataSheet_LGxxxN1K-G4-EN-201506.pdf

Ok, that’s as technical as I’m going to get. But in the interest of making this an informative blog about building it can’t always be about the pretty things!

Having said that, there will be plenty more photos of pretty things coming up next. ;)

Amity x

Display home inspiration

I love a display home. Really, I love any kind of open inspection, but in display homes everything is new and done in the latest design styes so you can get lots of ideas. The standard of display homes seems to have really stepped up in the last few years too, as consumers have become more design savvy, thanks to shows like The Block.

So I was very excited to attend the launch of Scott Salisbury Homes’ latest display home Oaksbrook, in Adelaide’s St Clair. I’d already had a quick sneak peak before it was finished and really loved it, so I eagerly anticipated the end result. It is quite different for Scott Salisbury Homes, who are typically known for their modern style, with lots of clean lines. This home is much more traditional, with a slightly American influence, and absolutely my style! It has detailed cornices and skirtings, v-joint paneling in the exterior eaves and a warm and luxurious colour palette. It feels sophisticated but not too formal and I love it!

I also love the grey paint colour they’ve used on the internal walls and as it was the exact colour I was trying to find for one our rooms I will be pinching that! The whole idea of display homes is to inspire you, particularly with a custom builder like Scott Salisbury Homes. So while you can’t buy this exact plan you can take the things you like and create your own dream home.

The home is now open by appointment only and at some time in the future I believe it will be open to the general public. Here are some photos for those who can’t see it in person, they never do it justice though! You can also find some of their more modern display homes here. If you have a free weekend they are all open for drops in. If you’re like me and love an open inspection!

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Feeling inspired yet?! x

 

 

 

 

Lighting design (and the unexpected fun of powerpoint placement)

In all the selection consultations I’ve been having there was one in the diary I wasn’t that excited about, which was the one where I’d specify the power points locations at the Clipsal showroom. Now if kitchens and bathrooms are sexy, then power points are an unexciting necessity, right! But after spending a few hours at Clipsal I have to say how wrong I was, it was actually really interesting and fun.

When we did The Block everything was done on the fly, there just wasn’t the time for any pre-planning. So each time we’d move to the next room I would work out which lights I wanted to buy, then I’d get the electrician in and point out where everything should go. We would draw things on the wall in pencil as we went, that was the limit to our pre-planning. And to be honest, with everything I had to think about electrical wires and how they worked were the last thing on my mind, I just trusted the electrician to know what he was doing.

But after my meeting at Clipsal and seeing how meticulously it’s usually all planned I now have a new understanding and respect for the process. (Sorry and thank you Adam!)

In the consultation we started out with the floor plan of our house, which the consultant Marcus has already designated some standard points on.

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How the plan looked when we started…

But because I am all about pre-planning with this build (have I stressed that enough yet!) I had already done two things before I got there, which made Marcus extremely happy and the process go very smoothly. Firstly I have spent the last few months looking at lights and deciding what I wanted in each room. As pendant lights are very much on trend I knew I wanted lots of feature pendants, rather than just down lights, so before I got there I worked out what I wanted and where they would go.

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My phone has lots of photos like this on it…

Then I drew a rough guide of what furniture would go in each room and where it would be placed and from there I could work out where I wanted my power points for lamps, TV’s and computers. You see, in our current house there is a definite lack of power points and it drives me NUTS! I love the soft lighting lamps give and we tend to use lamps rather than ceiling lights, but there are spots I have a lamp for looks that aren’t even plugged in because there are no power points.

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This lamp looks pretty, but can’t be switched on. Some people may think that’s a little pointless, but not me!

So I knew with this house I wanted lots of power points and I wanted them to be in the right spots, so I worked that out before I got to our meeting. Then Marcus and I refined it, adding down lights where we needed extra lights, working out where would be the best spots were to have light switches, where we wanted data and phone points and how all of the wiring would interconnect. He used a computer system that seemed very easy to use and it all made for an interesting and informative session. I am such a building nerd now!

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How it looked when we finished. Looks complicated doesn’t it.

There were still some notes indicating that I would need to approve final placement, so when a pendant light goes in that has to be in exactly the right spot I can be there to oversee it, just like on The Block. But mostly it will all be organised before, so the poor electrician doesn’t have to put up with me moving the placement of down lights and patching them at the last minute because they weren’t quite right. (Again, sorry and thank you Adam!)

This is just an example of how different building in ‘real life’ is to The Block and how much you have to be organised when you’re making your decisions before the build. I was speaking to my sister in law who just renovated her house and she said ‘I wish I could do it all again now. I know so much more and have such a better idea of what I want that I’d do lots of things differently.’ I think a lot of people feel like that and I know there is no way I could do the build I am doing now if I hadn’t done The Block first. So I really hope this blog can act like a learning experience for those of you who are building or renovating, or planning to, because who wants to have to do it all again to get it right!

It’s a very busy time for the build at the moment, with most of the selections getting locked in and lots of meetings (and thought) to make sure everything is exactly how I want it. And then the pool hole is dug next week and the slab goes down the week after. How exciting!

Amity x

 

 

 

 

 

Bathroom selections (and being a girl who knows what she wants)

Finally, after months and months of looking at pictures of what I want in the house I’ve made it to the selections stage, where I can actually chose things. Hooray!

The process when you build with a company is very different to managing it yourself, which I’ve always done before. The team at Scott Salisbury Homes oversee everything and just direct me to the showrooms I need to make my selections in. When I arrive they already have my plans in front of them and know exactly what I need and what specs it has to meet. It is just so ORGANISED! I have already told our Design Manager Katrina that I want her to run every aspect of our lives, because I only wish it all ran this smoothly.

First up was the bathroom, laundry and kitchen selections, at the Routleys showroom in Unley. It’s a lovely showroom, it’s just been completely redone and is very on trend, with ‘scenes’ set up including pendant lights and tile ideas, so it’s great to get inspiration if you don’t know what look you want.

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But as you’re probably getting to know, I am definitely a girl who knows what she wants!

I went in there with my laptop and Pinterest page ready, so I could refer to the bathroom pictures I’d chosen when I wasn’t sure on something. I hadn’t worked the products I wanted, but I definitely had a look in mind. This is where I cannot stress enough how much preparation and research helps both you and the sales people helping you. When you’re looking at 50 taps it’s very hard to decide which you like more, so taking pictures of bathrooms you like helps give you a reference point.

So because I had done my homework I powered through the selection process and got it all done in 2 hours. I think I may have broken the showroom record! Not that I was rushing my decisions, not in the slightest, I just believe that your first instinct is usually the right one. Having done The Block within the last two years was also a huge help. Firstly because I wanted to use some of the products I had used in All Stars and secondly because I learned how to be decisive when I had to be.

Although funnily, when I told my mum that she told me I had always been like that and remembers us going to the florist to discuss my wedding flowers and me taking a heap of photos, explaining what I wanted and then leaving within 30 minutes, with the florist commenting that brides normally took four times that long! I don’t remember that, but I guess I have always been pretty strong in what I wanted. Unlike my lovely mum, who would go to every bathroom showroom in Adelaide, take every brochure, deliberate on every pro and con of the products and deliberate over her choices for weeks! I hear plenty of cases like that, like my friend who took 4 months to chose her kitchen splashback. I bet she ended up going back to her first choice too! We all have different shopping styles and there’s nothing wrong with spending lots of time on these decisions until you’re 100% satisfied with your choice. After all, you’re spending a lot of money and will be living with it for a long time, so you do want to be happy. But the more research you do first, the easier the process should be.

Finally, remember you don’t have to buy the most expensive items in the showroom to have a stylish end result. The first kitchen tap I chose was a mid range tap that I really liked the look of, but I then noticed a similar tap I also liked and asked for the price on that one. It was $1400 more!! There was no way I would get $1400 more wow factor if I went with that tap, so it was a no brainer to go with the cheaper one. There are some items where spending extra money will make more of an impact, but there are other areas where you get the same result for less. And you don’t keep the price tag on them!

(Having said that I did see a stunning bath that was $8000 and looked every cent of it. I didn’t get it, because my kids will be using that bath and I could never justify it – but damn it was a sexy bath!)

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The bath has the same contours as a woman’s body. Sexy.

It was a very fun process and a big thanks to the lovely Helen at Routleys for being so helpful. Next is floors and tiles. Floors I’m pretty set on but tiles I am less sure. So I don’t think I’ll be breaking any records there!

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What is your shopping style? Are you someone who knows what they want or do you like to take your time with your decisions? Let me know how you go about it…

 

 

 

Here’s our house!

It’s been months in the making, but we are so excited to finally reveal the plans for our brand new house – and here it is!!

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As  you know we bought a house a few months ago with the aim of renovating it. We fell in love with the block, street and location and knew that the house had the potential to be what we wanted, despite it not being our ‘dream house.’ The first thing we did after we bought it was to contact Scott Salisbury Homes, an award winning Adelaide building company that I have admired for years. Seriously, 8 years ago when we moved back to Adelaide I became obsessed with looking at houses built by Scott Salisbury Homes and dreaming about us doing our own. Despite the timing not being right then it has always been something I have hoped to do one day, so seeing as they also do award winning renovations they were the first on my list to speak to about our ideas for our own renovation.

From the start they were wonderful to deal with and I was so excited to meet with our designer Peter to discuss all the ideas I had for our perfect family home. As you can imagine after doing The Block we knew exactly what we wanted and I couldn’t believe I was finally getting to design something that we would actually get to keep and live in! (To be honest, I still can’t.)

Peter immediately understood what we were after and came straight back to us with a few designs, all which were great. But after he had shown us the renovation designs (which involved keeping the three front rooms and facade and building a big extension) we where then presented with one more option – a brand new custom design house. As Peter and the team explained they wouldn’t have even suggested it if we had been set on a renovation and in love with the original house, but as they knew it was the location and block that we’d bought it for, they thought it was worth considering.

Now everyone who has renovated knows that it’s an expensive process. But even I was shocked to realise that it was actually the same price (or even cheaper) to build a brand new custom designed house as it was to do the renovation we had in mind. With an end result that would be exactly what we wanted, without any of the issues old houses and renovations bring. It seems like a no brainer, right?! But it wasn’t at first, because despite the problems they bring I do love the character and charm of old houses. And as much as I admired the modern custom homes that Scott Salisbury are known for, that wasn’t what we were after.  I also didn’t want to build a new home that tried to look like an old stone home, so that ruled that style out.

But then they explained that we could design whatever we wanted, we didn’t have to stick to a modern house or a character replica, we just had to tell them what we wanted. Well now my brain was racing! What if we could build my favourite of all houses – a weatherboard? What if we could design a Hamptons meets Queenslander, meets Edwardian weatherboard, a style that is not at all commonplace in Adelaide and would be something special. Now I was excited!

For the next few weeks I obsessively looked on Pinterest, Houzz and Google, to inspire our design. I drove the streets of Adelaide and took photos of the houses I loved and tried to analyse what it was about them that appealed to me. Was it the slant of the roof, the paint colours, the bay windows, or a combination of all of three. I did drawings, I pinned pictures and then I went back to them with a completely detailed brief of what I wanted. I cannot stress how important this step is! When it comes to building or renovating in order to get what you want you have to know what that is and be able to clearly brief your designers and builders on it. So do your research beforehand. However, having said that if you have no idea what you want Scott Salisbury Homes (and I’m sure other custom builders like them) have both exterior and interior designers to help you every step of the way, even down to the colour of the carpet you choose, so you don’t have to be a Block contestant to design your own house!

Here are some of the ‘style guides’ I gave the designer for what we wanted…

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After I gave them all my ideas Peter and I had a long meeting where he presented his first draft design and we went through every detail to get it just right. He even showed me visuals through their visual design system, so I could see exactly how it would look rather than just imagining it, which was so helpful. I was very specific about what I wanted, but Peter told me sometimes people make 50 or more changes before getting to the final design and I promised I would not be one of those people! I guess doing The Block and having to make immediate decisions does equip you for trusting your gut and not procrastinating about things too much. Although, there were a few redesigns! Mostly on the size of the rooms though, the front facade pretty much stayed the same from the first design, because I loved it then and I love it now.

Here it is from the back..

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I actually squealed with excitement when I opened the email and saw that picture!

It might be just a drawing, but already I can feel the soul of it. I can see us sitting on the deck and watching the kids play in the pool, as the afternoon sun glistens on the white boards. I can picture how much light will fill the living area and how open and spacious that room will seem. I can see the kitchen full of people, as we throw yet another spontaneous get together. And I can imagine us watering the front garden and beaming with pride as people drive past and admire our dream home. It might be a brand new house, but we will fill it with character. We will reuse the stone from the original front facade (more of that in the next post!) so we retain some history and a connection to the old house. And I will choose the right fittings, fixtures and furnishings so it feels warm and textured.

I am beyond excited to start this process and with the original house being demolished within the month it will all get real very quickly. And we are thrilled to be working with Scott Salisbury Homes to bring our dreams to life. In fact, we have been so impressed that we have signed on as ambassadors for the company. We are very proud to be associated with a South Australian company that’s been around for 25 years and has such an esteemed reputation for both their builds and their service. So the journey officially starts now, we’re so pleased you could share it with us and will be posting about it here every step of the way. The highs and the lows! We want this blog to serve as a resource for those who are planning or dreaming about building and renovating, so you can be inspired by the things we get right and learn from the mistakes we make.

I will share our floor plan in a separate post this week, as there’s lot’s more to talk about there! Until then, I hope you like the design as much as we do and can’t wait to hear your thoughts.

Amity xx

Loving (and trying to decide on) cement tiles.

Even though we’re still working on the overall design of the house I am anxious to get to the next stage, so have started looking at the bathroom design. I went into Beaumont Tiles to have a look at what they have last week and I came away with lots of ideas. They weren’t a sponsor of The Block when we did our series, so we had to buy tiles from our own budget. The couples are lucky to have it covered now, as it was a big cost!

When we were choosing our tiles for the All Stars I shopped at Terra Nova Tiles in Bronte. They have the most stunning range of tiles and at the time the owner Chris was really insistent that I consider the cement tiles that had just arrived from overseas. He told me the judges would love them because all the designers were raving about them, and I had to agree they were both different and eye catching.

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The cement tile I loved from Terra Nova.

However I just wasn’t sure if they were too specific a look and whether they would appeal to a wide market, which was our aim with our overall house design. So as much as I loved them I decided not to go with them for our bathroom, instead choosing a more classic look. However when we had the opportunity to do a challenge bathroom I knew that tile had to be in it. So I used them on the floor and as predicted Neale Whitaker loved them and we won the challenge.

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Our winning challenge bathroom – yes there are boxes holding up the cabinet. We couldn’t mount it in the time we had and with the tiles only stuck to the wall. Everything was just placed where it was meant to be, not fixed. The magic of TV!

Despite winning we still didn’t go with them for our Block bathroom, but in hindsight I wish we had! Not just because we ended up losing bathroom week (I still think we were ROBBED!!) but because cement tiles have gone on to become super popular and are now both a designer and a timeless look.

So I would really love to use them in our new bathroom, but I still want to make sure I go with a style that isn’t too current so it won’t date and we won’t get bored of it. So here are the tiles I’m currently liking….

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I like the Milan Mist for the main (kids) bathroom, done in a Chevron pattern. Not sure whether I want it on the floor or walls?

 

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This is the Milan tile in the Charcoal, which is what Dee and Darren used in their main bathroom. I loved that look, but most certainly will not be copying it!

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I love the Marrakesh for our ensuite bathroom, it’s just a bit softer and more elegant. Still not sure on floor or walls though.

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The Winchester is a gorgeous pattern too. I am choosing to stay within soft grey tones and then will probably mix it with a white subway tile, so it still looks classic.

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Another nice pattern. It’s hard to choose! I love how this one looks like wallpaper.

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I wouldn’t choose this for this house but love how it has the effect of tessellated tiles.

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So what do you think – I’d love to hear your thoughts! You can find the whole Artisan range that Beaumont Tiles carries here. It’s great that this designer look is now available at a big retailer and not just in the little designer stores you find in Sydney and Melbourne. That’s especially coming from someone living in Adelaide who has to do a lot of online shopping to find what I want! The advantage of this tile is also that it’s already sealed, as opposed to a lot of the other cement ones which need to be sealed after installation.

As a funny side note, when I was checking out Terra Nova’s site I found our challenge bathroom tile, which is now called the Amity!! Too funny! Check out their site too if you’re looking for inspiration and if you’re building in Sydney I’d highly recommend speaking to Chris, he knows (and loves) his tiles!

Ok, give me feedback and help me decide!

xx

 

Marble benchtops. Definitely gorgeous, but worth the hassle?

As followers of my Pinterest page will attest to, I am fairly obsessed with Hamptons and Cape Cod style kitchens. I have been dreaming about designing my perfect kitchen for years and every time I see one I like I pin it on my board, so I have a reference for what I want when that day comes. I was looking at my pictures the other day and it was clear that they pretty much all looked the same – white shaker style cabinets, nickle pendants, subway tiles and marble bench tops. That is my idea of kitchen heaven.

However, now the time has come to design my real life dream kitchen I have to decide where the dream should meet the reality. You know, the reality where I have two kids under 8, a love of spaghetti bolognese and a husband who drinks red wine. In short, not an overly marble friendly reality.

I know I would love how it looks, but I’m just not sure if it’s worth the risk that we’d wreck it and then I’d be devastated and eternally frustrated by it. I have been repeatedly warned against it by friends and family, but then I look at those pictures and become seduced by it’s luxurious sophistication. I can’t help but think that now that I’m finally getting my dream kitchen, shouldn’t I go all the way and have the dream?!

Still, it’s a big decision and the last thing I want to do is regret it, so I’ve started to do some research. I Googled blogs and websites to see how other marble loving mothers (that sounds like a support group!) have fared with their decision. And along the way I’ve found some stunning blogs and kitchens, so make sure you check them out. One of my favourite blog finds is Georgica Pond, which is about the build of a stunning Cape Cod style home in Sydney’s Northern beaches. The writer, Mel, a mum of three, clearly had the same reservations as I did about her marble kitchen, but as she writes on her blog, she has never regretted it. She is very clear that it will stain and scratch, but states that it’s so beautiful it’s worth the imperfections it gains over time.

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Mel’s beautiful kitchen, from the Georgica Pond blog.

Mel’s post was helpful and informative, but her kitchen was so damn gorgeous I’m not sure if it inspired or deterred me! She does have marble tiles in the bathroom though and as stunning as it looks I wouldn’t go that far. I hate cleaning bathrooms as it is, so I definitely don’t need that added stress.

Another great site I found was Life in Grace, with her Living with Marble post. This stylish American mum was also warned against marble but decided to get it anyway. Again, she admits that marble has its drawbacks, but writes that she loves looking at her kitchen so much it’s worth it. Again, not helping!

Hilariously, this writer even suggested you check your Myer Briggs personality type to see whether you have the right personality to cope with marble. And, of course, as an ENFP I am one of the three types that supposedly can! However, even if I could deal with its fragility I’m pretty sure my kids and husband don’t have the same personality type. I can just imagine them dumping all their bags, keys and pens on the island bench and me constantly berating everyone for not taking care of it. I really don’t want to be one of those people, it’s so boring.

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This is exactly what I’m worried about…

We all know that engineered stone, like Cesearstone and Essa Stone can look gorgeous, but without being porous like marble, so that is a big advantage. And Cesearstone’s new product Calcutta Nuvo is undoubtably beautiful. It does look like marble, with only a faint vein rather than a strong one, which I don’t mind. The only draw back is that it’s as expensive as marble, so part of me feels like for that price you’re better to get the real thing. But then we’re back at square one!

I asked our Facebook followers what they thought and after 100 comments they were pretty much divided down the middle, probably with a slight lean against it. So really, after all this research I am right back where I started! At least I have a little bit of time to think about it though. And think about it…and think about it!

So what do you think, to marble or not to marble? I’d love to hear your opinion….

dream kitchen

My dream kitchen. Ah, happy place.