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Why I love the beautiful marble countertops in our vintage kitchen

Back when I was dreaming up the ideas for giving this cottage kitchen a makeover... 
I dreamed of pretty chandeliers,
polished dark hardwood floors

and creamy white
elegant marble countertops.

Yes, I know we bought an old rundown cottage.
It was vandalized.
It had broken windows.
No ceilings, and a whole lot of old grungy junk inside.
It didn't say 'elegant' or even 'livable'
It was definitely not grand-
and the amount of work just at first glance was not for the faint of heart.
But I saw something that I couldn't look away from when I stepped foot inside.
And we decided on our limited to the 3 properties on the market in our budget range
 in a very expensive California market-
that this little old 1940's forgotten cottage was THE one.

We started with cleaning. And sealing.
And yes, there was a bat in the house in the first couple of weeks-
 I will share more about that soon.
But the first room we started on renovating was the kitchen.
From bringing it up to usable when we first moved in

To giving it a little bit of style with taking the broken cupboard doors off
and adding the island

To adding those chandeliers and wood floors.

And just a couple of years ago
 we brought in those marble countertops.

And when we took out our tough as nails granite counters out
and replaced them with marble- 
I blogged about how my husband decided to cook with red sauce and olive oil...
(yikes, right?)
and I answered several readers questions here

And I even shared about that time when all my big kids were home and I was so excited 
and I made them protein and berry pancakes... and in the middle of the laughter filled morning-
I forgot about the bag of frozen blackberries on the counters... and 
it happened.

I even blogged about how one simple 

And 2 years later...
just what is the state of the kitchen and
that white marble?

Is it yellow and purple and red from staining?
Is it nothing but one big huge etch?
More importantly,
is it a choice I would make again after living with it for 2 years?

It is that time of year when renovations are in full swing and so many questions popping up here again so I am answering a few  of your most asked questions about marble counters-
with 2 years of living, cooking and enjoying them
 under my belt.

#1. Why Why Why did you choose marble? 
I have heard it is terrible for kitchens with staining & etching. 

Truth is, I like what I like and what I like is what I go with.
 I am difficult at best in my husbands words. 
I love marble and natural stone. 
The veining, the character, the old world charm.
And honestly, I could not imagine anything other than that going in my kitchen.
I knew that marble was not going to be as simple upkeep as other options- but 
 I drooled and loved those counters every. single. time I saw them.
Which is kind of like the '3 love it' rule.
If you love, love, love it... do it.

When we went to look at the slabs at Arizona Tile, we were shown several varieties of similar appearing countertop materials.
White granite, quartz, quartzite, and various types of marbles. 
And they were all beautiful options- I don't think you can go wrong 
but every different type of slab of marble won over the other materials for us. 
There was just a wonderful old vintage charm
and authentic appearance and feeling to it. 

Aside from the fact that marble is a love, love, love-
I knew that it was a perfect material for our vintage home.
Something that felt rich in history and character while adding another layer of beauty.
And think about it... 
in Europe they have enjoyed natural marble for years and years and enjoyed and appreciated how that marble has aged.
So embracing that natural stone aging look is part of the love affair.

#2. How has it held up? 
Any stains?

To be honest with you- it has held up beautifully. 
We have not had a problem with stains
and in the blog post about the blackberries- I thought for sure we would have a huge stain.
I panicked. I googled what to do while I was not so quietly freaking out and considered soaking the area with bleach.
But you know what?

 There is absolutely nothing where that bag of frozen berries was at all.
It came right off. No issues.
But I would tell you that I sealed the counters twice immediately upon them being put in- 
and pretty sure that is a big must as marble is a porous stone.

#3. What about etching?

Yes, as I said in a previous post- there is etching in places
and I think that is almost inevitable with natural marble.
And I am totally OK with it.
We went with honed counters at the recommendation of my friends at Arizona Tile 
and they were exactly right.
The smooth texture filled finish is absolutely gorgeous and very old world feeling.
 And the bonus with a honed finish is that you don't really see any etching
 unless you get down at eye level and look for them.
Which, since most of the time in the kitchen you are looking down at the counters- it
shouldn't really even be something you notice.
That said- if etching bothers you- you might want to look to a different material.

#4. What type of marble did you choose?

We went with a Danby marble. 
Danby marble is actually an American marble-from Vermont.
It is known for being far better about stains and etching and being far more 
durable as far as marbles go. 
It is also very similar in appearance to a Calacutta marble being white with large grey veining
which is the look I absolutely loved!
I didn't love the gray carrara marbles or the ones sprinkled with too much brown or too much gold so this one was pretty much perfect.
It is more expensive than some grades of marble and other countertop options
but if you are looking for natural marble with less stress-
it might be the one for you.

#5. Would you choose marble for your kitchen again? Or go with something with less maintenance requirements? 

In a second- absolutely would choose marble again.
Like I said, there are several options for marble look stones that are stunning and would be beautiful in a kitchen as well- but for me- marble was the one.
I know I need to seal it more often. Wipe it down more often.
Keep an eye on a splash of red sauce or wine-
more than you might with a white granite for example-
but natural marble is the choice I would make again in a second.

#6. Why do you love marble counters so much- even with the upkeep? 

I love the warmth that marble brings.
It is full of charm and character in how it looks and how it feels in a room.
I have since put it in 2 bathrooms and who knows what I might marble next.
I am a crazy marble lady at this point. haha.
 I just love the look and feel like it brings a sense of history
 and has such a wonderful presence.
And having that marble slab in our kitchen is as beautiful as I imagined it would be 
when we first thought about it.

And you know that red sauce making, red wine loving Italian husband of mine
absolutely loves it too.

Which brings me to our next kitchen project... 
that might involve marble. 
And gold. 

See you soon for a fun post sharing a little bit about moi tomorrow
and the next installment of the Styled for Print series on Wednesday.

Hope your weekend was wonderful!

*I partnered with Arizona Tile- but this post is not sponsored.


  1. Thank you for this! I have wanted marble for my kitchen for over 25 years. When it's finally renovated one day, it will be my choice still. So glad to read about your experience with it and that you'd do it again. Lovely choices you've made.

  2. We have marble countertops in our heavily used kitchen...for 15 years. We chose red Caunes marble, because we live just a few miles from the Caunes-Minervois quarry in the south of France. We are VERY careful, and well-meaning guests have done things like cut lemons, spilled vinegar, etc. which have left traces. But we don't expect or want perfection. And the marble itself is so beautiful that any flaws are honestly difficult for anybody but us (who know it so well) to see.

  3. Alot of hard work to make your kitchen french country and it's gorgeous. My eyes are always drawn to the beautiful flowers and of course your old hutch, so perhaps a bit of paint and marble?
    Honestly there is a book here, the story of your house, a pumpkin turned into a beautiful and welcoming carriage, ok, a home:).
    Kathleen in Az

  4. i adore your counter tops. it's so very good of you to provide feedback after 2 years of use, ty ~ so helpful!

  5. So glad to hear your update after 2yrs. of use. When I get to have my special kitchen marble is my choice ,thank you

  6. i just figured out how to get my post to publish:)

  7. The counter tops are beautiful and I am envious!!!

  8. I went with a high grade of quartz that looks exactly like marble for my kitchen. I had the fears! I did go with marble in my bathrooms. Your kitchen looks lovely!

  9. Yay for being brave!! I am like you and no other material would do for our 5'x7' island. I went with honed as well. The number of naysayers and "you'll be sorry" was ridiculous. I said exactly the same thing about marble being used in Europe for centuries. Well, the big 4 years in at the farmhouse and the island top is fab!! Some etching but whadya gonna do? No staining and trust me there have been plenty of parties!! Love your IG and blog��