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.

marble2 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments

    • Amity says

      Thanks Mel! I adore your site, lots of inspiration from your beautiful home. Can’t wait to see your country house! X

  1. merewyn janson says

    I guess I’m not that into kitchens. I love looking at other peoples on tv and websites. But in reality with REAL life people who dump stuff everywhere…life is too short to be constantly whingeing at people to maintain a certain look…..
    each to their own.

  2. Angela says

    What about sustainability? Is it friendlier to the earth to mine the stone for our luxurious desires or to produce the fake stuff? I’d look into that as well. We want beautiful homes for our families but earth is our first home and decisions that preserve it are important too.

    • Amity says

      Good point Angela, I’m not sure which would be more sustainable, I guess both would have pros and cons. But I will look into that for sure.

  3. says

    Hi Amity – we have just finished building our Hamptons style house in Melbourne. I went for caeserstone benchtops but a beautiful marble splash back – adore my kitchen and at least with three boys I don’t have to stress

    • Amity says

      Hi Louise, congrats on your house being finished. Hamptons style, I love! I’m sure you did the right thing with three boys, although having said that my daughter is way messier than my son so it’s her I’m worried about ruining the marble! :)

  4. Sarah says

    I’ve always thought I would have marble Benchtops in my dream home, (which is years away) but I look forward to seeing which way you decide. Hhhmmmmm interesting. Watch this space!

  5. Renata says

    I always wanted marble in my dream hamptons kitchen but when we renovated this year my husband talked me out of it and I’m so glad he did. Every time I bang a pot or spill beetroot juice or red wine I think thank god it’s not marble. And this happens very frequently, so I can only imagine the state of my benches if I had of chosen marbel! Not pretty!

    • Amity says

      Hi Sian, yes I have (since I wrote that post) and that’s the front runner at the moment! It’s a very close match. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Jo says

    Using the Myer Briggs personality indicator to help decide about a bench top – who would have thought?
    I am an ENTJ, so you may be interested in hearing the opposite, thinking and judging ponderings…
    From your other posts, you seem to be a very practical person Amity, take the pool for example…
    That brings us to the bench tops – I have the same decision to make regarding the marble. Being an accountant, the thought of paying the same money for marble as caesarstone didn’t sit well, but when I thought about it, really, it isn’t the same product. It may look the same, but you are paying for the piece of mind of not living with lemon juice stains (which make the stone look dirty)… I went the Calacutta nuvo from caesarstone for my main three meter long bench top – for all the other bench tops, I chose the cost effective option of caesarstone organic white – it has hints of grey so compliments the marble look beautifully and is more practical for all of the other bench tops in the house such as the bathrooms and laundry. My husband and two sons (perhaps my baby daughter too) are now safe from mum’s wrath!! Check out the white verandah blog – very helpful!!

  7. Susy says

    I am in exactly the same quandary. We have moved into a 1930s Art Deco-ish apartment, and a marble benchtop would be the perfect look. Anticipating the difficulties of maintaining marble, i looked to the engineered stones – something that looks like marble but without the worry. But none really look like the real thing. The lighter ones, like Smartstone Athena, do not have the dramatic long veins while the Caesarstone versions tend to have too much white and not enough grey for my liking – i can see i will be constantly wiping that bench. What i really want is a dramatic black marble effect, but I am not that taken with any of the versions I have seen. The Caesarstone Vanilla Noir is the closest to the real thing, but again does not have the long white veins of real marble, and a number of companies have discontinued their dark varieties. The best black marble look was actually a Duropal laminate, but we cannot go down that path because we have a curved bench edge. I am starting to think perhaps real black marble may not have the disadvantages of the light types – stains may not be evident. Any insights on black marble?

    • Amity says

      Hi Susy, sorry for the late reply. I ended up going with Caeasarstone Stataturio Nuvo and I love it. I have never heard of black marble? It sounds amazing tho!

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