Saturday, November 29, 2008

Porn shops.


Waterworks showrom in Seattle.


If shelter mags are my porn, then going to marble showrooms and places like Waterworks is the equivalent of putting on a trench coat and shades and hitting up my favorite porn shops.

Because I get to travel a little bit, I do get to see great decor stores like ABC Carpet & Home, John Derian, and LA/SF home stores. But I never go shopping for bathroom hardware or countertops because I have never renovated anything. My idea of big home improvement so far has been, "Oh my god, this lamp is going to change my life."

So imagine the joy of checking out giant slabs of marble and even taking a sample home. Totally thrilling.

So while I love design, I don't really know much about the particulars. I think Joni from Cote de Texas was the first person who introduced me to not just marble but honed carerra marble. Honed? Carerra? I felt so ESL. I had no idea there was so much variety out there.



Carerra is so popular that it's almost unnerving to select it because, well, you don't want to have the kitchen of the moment. I fell hard for a Greek marble called Thassus. It's a very pure white with sort of glittering tiny bits in it. It nearly sparkles. I would select it in a moment if I didn't think it would be wiser to pick a counter with some striation (is this the word I am looking for?) in it to hide our sins (like acid stains and red wine accidents).


Thassus, again.




This tile, above, isn't too compelling here because I am not giving you any indication of scale, but they are slender little slivers of marble. I think a whole backsplash in this would look too busy, so I am scratching my head trying to figure out how you could use it, but I just loved it.




This not handsome photo was snapped merely to remind me to ask everyone what is the preferred edge for a counter? My better half liked this, and if it were in a Deco-y bathroom with Deco-y hardware, I think it would be mighty sexy. I am not sure how it would look in our kitchen. Thoughts?




Waterworks has the most amazing everything, including bath accessories and even laundry hampers (but, of course, none as amazing as THIS one...). I loved these crystal jars. At $40 and up, they seemed like a bargain compared to everything else there.




I was fond of this mini subway tile.




And we laughed about this, which I keep seeing shelter mags refer to as a "tub filler." What's the difference between a faucet and a tub filler? $3000. They would be better named "wallet emptiers," but whatever. We're not in the market for something so fussy-looking anyway. But it's all interesting to see. I think the best part of any home project is this: everything is possible when you're still in the dreaming/planning stage.

12 comments:

the quarter rat said...

The thin tiles can be used as coursing between rows of marble tiles. My favorite bathroom in all of my friends' houses has marble subway tile with horizontal courses of these little tiles every three feet or so. You could also make an interesting floor pattern with them as well.

I love the little basketweave tiles, too. Oh, if I didn't rent....

Jennifer said...

I have similar thin slate tiles in my family room surrounding my fireplace and they are the shiznit. Oh and I have the basketweave marble tiles in my bathroom in black and white. And yes, Waterworks is amazing. And trouble.

Anonymous said...

Maybe tub filler is to tub faucets, as pot fillers is to kitchen faucets.

Jennifer said...

mmm, basketweave is beautiful.

we used walker zanger cararra hex in our shower and 12 inch cararra tiles laid in subway pattern for our floor.

the hex was quite pricey but affordable for a smaller space

CSS said...

I love the mesh-backed basketweave pattern, I used it on my shower walls and love looking at it everyday. I got all my tiles at stonelocator.com and it was a good price.

The thin greenish tiles could also be laid to create an outline or design on the floor.

Jules said...

People have used that thin marble as a backsplash, and it looked AMAZING. Search the kitchen "After" photo section of Garden Web kitchen remodel forum. At least one person has used it.

Deborah Burton said...

I've had marble in my English Tudor bathroom in Portland. Looked great for awhile, but VERY hard to keep looking nice. Over time, just looked dingy, no matter what I did. D.

Jennifer said...

um, that basketweave tile is gorgeous.

(apparently all Jennifers like it?)

David said...

That basketweave would be pretty darn handsome for your kitchen floor. Sure, it'll age and wear a bit, but who wants a kitchen that's all shiny new forever.

AbbeyK said...

I suggest testing the carrera in this way: borrow or buy a largish piece of carerra tile. Spill some red wine on it. Let sit overnight.

Pretent this is your counter.
Notice that it is now stained, permanantly. Then predict that if it were the counter you would cry. You'd really cry hard. Imagine how your head would most likely explode if this happened during a party at your house or how neurotic you'd be at the party making sure no one dribbled lemon or wine on the counter. Who wants to live like that.

I love carerra, just not always in a kitchen for counters. (unless you never cook or are borderline OCD with cleanliness.

Marble is not really appropriate as it's so pourous, even when sealed. Why not consider something else?

Decorno said...

Hi Abbey, read on down... several posts ago I wrote about another blogger who "stress tested" marble.

Pretty much all of Europe uses marble in kitchens. Think of bistros and pastry & candy shops and beautiful old kitchens. Marble is gorgeous, meant to be used in the kitchen, and can be sealed.

Besides, who would leave a spill uncleaned overnight? No one. Mop up your mess and you won't have a problem with marble.

The Upstart said...

I saw some floor tile last weekend that I adored and snapped it up. It turned out to be Thassos basketweave with a ming green dot. I carried it around the store for a while and finally told the salesperson "tell me how much it is so I put it down."

40 square feet of the stuff was the same price as 110 square feet of the Carrera marble subway tile I'm putting on the walls. I momentarily considered going with cheap, ceramic subway to make my budget, but in the end, I put the Thassos down and went with Carrera basketweave.

Anyway, if you'd like to see a close up of the Thassos, here it is: http://flickr.com/photos/jeanninepc99/3116660041/