Over the years I’ve fallen madly, madly in love with Carrara marble–it’s so classic, timeless, and beautiful. I’d seen the gorgeous marble counters that my stone fabricator, Conrad Stonecutter, had done for kitchens, libraries, laundry rooms, and other spaces in Street of Dreams houses. I had specified it for clients’ bathroom counters, floors and walls. I wanted it in my kitchen! After talking at length with Charlie Conrad about the care and feeding of Carrara, I finally decided against using it for my countertops because I cook every day, my counters get lots of wear and tear, and I knew I’d hate myself in about a month. Instead, I chose a granite called “Mysore Black” from OTM for the countertops, because its highly textured, leathered matte finish gives the kitchen an old world feeling.
Mitch and Joe, from Conrad Stonecutter, did a masterful job of setting the sink (a Blanco metalic gray Silgranit super single bowl undermount) and installing the countertops. What you can’t get from these photos is the amount of grunting that happens while these massively heavy, unwieldy slabs are brought into position. Since there wasn’t a slab big enough to create the large “L” that spans the window and range walls, Charlie Conrad had quizzed me prior to fabrication about where, exactly, I wanted the seam. He gave me three choices: diagonally, from the right-hand corner to the inside corner of the “L”, where the cabinets come together; straight, from the window to the front edge of the counter, parallel to the edge of the sink; or centered on the sink. I chose the latter, since I thought it would be the least obvious.
Because I had worked with Conrad Stonecutter in the past, I knew what to expect: fine craftsmanship. What I did NOT realize was that they had a good working relationship with my new (to me) tile setters: Campbell’s Tile Concepts (see previous post on FLOORS), which meant that Conrad fabricated items that would be installed by Campbell’s (thresholds from a slab of Cararra). Conversely, during our preliminary meetings Chris Campbell made the suggestion that we use a slab of Cararra, fabricated by Conrad Stonecutter, behind the new Viking gas range in order to avoid grout lines. The tile setters would tile up to the slab behind the range, making it a feature, since it projects forward about a quarter of an inch.
Once the countertops were in place, my general contractor, Jay Grimstad, of Winter Hill Construction Inc., could install the appliances, and the tile setters could come back and install the full height tile backsplash. The last piece was having Tim from the cabinet company, Kitchens and More, come back to install the panels on the new dishwasher and refrigerator, so we have the look of seamless cabinetry. He also laid down painted quarter round throughout the kitchen to connect the base molding to the marble floor. And we’re DONE!!