I came across this comment on my blog the other day, I had forgotten about it. This reader expressed what so many of my clients have told me over the years but she was just super entertaining in her distress. . .
How did I end up with this crazy granite choice that is glaring at me from the counter?! I'm crying at this expensive new member of the family. Ugh!! My vision was clean and simple: Cream shaker cabs, white/light grey granite and a very light grey ceramic subway tile backsplash. Well I got it all EXCEPT the crazy granite!
Looking at the upright slab at the yard, it read white and soft cream with splashes of of grey. So soothing. Now that it's lying on its ugly back, it looks like a big spotted lizard. Why did I not see these huge splotches? What was I thinking? I'm already thinking of big solid placemats on the peninsula to cover up some of the garishness. I feel childish but also guilty that I spent so much on this remodel and not absolutely lovin it. I desperately needed you at the slab yard that day.
Well, Since I need to live with this reptile, my question is should I stick with the light grey backsplash or step it down even more with cream to tame the beast down?
This common occurrence is the reason why I prefer quartz to granite.
The problem with shopping for granite is that it's displayed sideways and upright in the yard. Unless the granite is very common and overall the same instead of veiny and wildly patterned, you will never really know what it looks like until it's actually installed in your kitchen.
So don't even THINK about leaving the yard without a sample of the granite you're buying. If you can't get one, don't buy the granite. Period.
Having a sample will not give you a visual of how it will look installed but you'll at least have the correct colour sample when choosing backsplash and floor tile to coordinate.
My sister Lea is currently choosing finishes for a new townhouse she's moving into with her husband in June. Every time she wants to consider a change my first question is "Well, make sure you drop by the flooring store and pick up a sample of your hardwood, otherwise you won't know which stain colour to choose for your cabinets." Yes before you ask, I have pitched hard for white cabinets but her husband is wearing her down.
"You want me to meet you at the tile store to choose the floor tile for the bathroom? Bring the quartz sample".
Since she has never been in a position to choose everything new, it's a new concept for her to be requesting samples of the products and finishes she's buying. And many of my clients are the same.
Every colour choice you make for your new build or renovation, builds on the next colour choice. You cannot make them independently of each other.
By the way, the same phenomenon happens with area rugs that are hanging up in the carpet store. Until you get that puppy on the floor, where it will actually be placed–not on the wall–it will many times look much lighter hanging there in the store.
Everything you buy for your home should ALWAYS be placed EXACTLY where it will be installed. So that means your backsplash tile should be propped up vertically next to your countertop sample which is horizontal, the wall tile in your bathroom should be placed vertically against the wall on top of your floor tile which should be on the floor.
If you lay them all down together flat on the countertop or floor like they're going on a concept board, you can't accurately see the undertones of everything and if they are really going to work well together.
Small samples are VERY deceiving. Which is why, once you choose a hard surface in a PATTERN, your pattern quota is done, everything else must be a solid colour.
In fact, by the time I've told my clients exactly where to place their hard finishes, they mostly don't need my advice anymore on whether they all go together, they can see it for themselves.
So look, if you already have granite that you don't like in your kitchen, the only way to live with it is to change your mind about it being busy and consider that it's art instead.
No sense crying over what's already done. But believe me, I'll cry with you if you need me to! xo Maria
PS. Julia from Hooked on Houses (I love her blog) posted my kitchen, check it out here.
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