Thursday, May 5, 2011

Upside Down Marble Countertops= I Saw Something New!

One of my favorite parts of running this blog is when I hear from our readers.  No matter where you are in the world, it's always fun to hear of your successes, whether it's your countertops or designing your homes. 
Horror stories aren't as much fun, but you can still send them to me.  :)

I recently received an email from Valorie who writes the great Visual Vamp blog.  She originally emailed me asking for advice on how to clean her countertops....the countertops in her kitchen that she had installed UPSIDE DOWN! 
I have literally never heard of this.  I've had people toy with the idea because they happen to like the rougher back side of a granite piece, but no one that I have ever worked with has dared try it. 

Valorie originally told me that the countertops were "Ubatuba marble", so I was a little confused.  I figured she had Ubatuba granite and so I was really curious how these countertops looked upside down.  After an email or two we figured out that she really has Empress Green marble (which is technically a serpentinite). 
Things started to make more sense to me after that.  I could see why she would like the back side of the Empress Green.  It's a softer finish than a granite and the color shows up more on the back sides of marble.  She said it looked a lot like a soapstone and I could imagine that.

Cut to a few more emails back and forth and Valorie agreed to let me show all of you her beautiful new kitchen countertops!
She had received these slabs of marble for free from a friend who is a kitchen and bath designer.  It's hard to beat free, but she didn't love the color of the finished side of the Empress Green. 
Valorie lives in The Irish Channel neighborhood in New Orleans and found a local fabricator to fabricate her countertops upside down.
Check it out, they are beautiful right?

She had them laminate the edges to 2 1/2" and she did a full height backsplash out of the marble as well. 
They look like soapstone or slate to me, especially because the coloring is more grey than green. 
Her fabricator suggested using a matte grout sealer so that it wouldn't change the color of the stone.  She said it darkened it up slightly but not much.
Here's the kitchen all finished up, I really love it.  I admit I was quite skeptical of how this was going to look before I she sent me the pictures.  I was so wrong, it looks great!

Valorie was also kind enough to answer a few questions I had about her kitchen remodel.
  • What's your favorite part of your kitchen?   The new counter top, and all the things my husband Alberto made for me.
  • Any regrets on anything you've done in the kitchen?   Not yet!
  • How do you like your stainless undermount sink?   I love it. The installer did a perfect job, so there aren't any issues that you read about in horror stories on the blogs.
  • If you could choose any surface for your countertops what would it be?   Well I love what I did, but if I were a rich girl I would choose soap stone, slate, or lime stone.
Valorie has more pictures and wrote about the evolution of her kitchen, you can read it here.

Thank you Valorie for opening my eyes and showing me something new!  Also, thank you for letting me feature your kitchen here on your blog.  Enjoy your new countertops!

All pictures property of Visual Vamp.


Kenny Perez said...

wow, that counter top is beautiful. I have never seen a granite counter top like that before.

Anonymous said...

Very cool. I thought it was going to more rough on the back, it looks quite smooth.
Some people are so creative!

Jen Smart said...

It looks like soapstone.

Tara said...

Oh I love this!
I'm running off now to check out her blog. I need to see more pics!

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful! Is it easy to clean the countertop or does it stain easily?

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