Sorry, I left you hanging the other day.
If you have read this post, please click the link below to get to part 2.
Otherwise, please keep reading.
Today, I went marble shopping for the second time. The first time was four weeks ago.
My contractor, Robert, put me in touch with Carol, the owner of Frangioso Marble in Braintree, MA.
Braintree is a suburb of Boston and part of a large area known as “Greater Boston,” for those who don’t know.
Before coming to her lovely showroom for the first time, I said I wanted a white marble with subtle veining, nothing too crazy.
The marble in this DeVOL kitchen is what I don’t want, although I adore it in this kitchen. IT is the star of the show, not the cabinetry or anything else. However, in my tiny kitchen, it would be too much.
I want something closer to this gorgeous white marble: the Calacatta in Jeannette Witson’s “gateway drug” (her words) giga-gorgeous kitchen.
By the way, a gentle reminder that the word is Calacatta, not Calcutta. Calcutta is a city in India, now called Kolkata.
Calacatta marble comes from Calcata (to add to the confusion), a town near Rome. Carrara is in northern Italy. More confusion. Sometimes, these marbles look nearly identical
But, Laurel, why are you doing marble in your kitchen? Surely, you know it’s going to get wrecked in no time.
Uh-huh… Sooooo??? ;] We’ve been through this before, so maybe you missed that post?
Please brace yourselves, as this might shock a few of you, but I want it to get wrecked. This is virgin marble, recently plucked out of the ground and millions of years in the making. However, my place is 143 years old. Those pristine white marble counters have a lot of catching up to do.
Please don’t “but laurel me.” What is it? ;]
Well, the quartz countertops look just like marble, and you won’t be sorry later when they look horrible.
Sorry, I saw hundreds of ’em today in a vain search for the elusive white marble. I could spot, in every case, the quartz from the real thing.
How? They are too perfect. The veins are in just the right place, so you get two even cuts out of your 60-square-foot slab.
Look, at the risk of sounding like a raging snob; I have to say that I can’t bear the thought of spending nearly the same amount of money for a countertop that has a photo just beneath the surface of what it’s trying to look like.
I know 50% of you have it. That’s fine. When I was 34, and we were house hunting for the first time, I saw a crappy home in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and got all excited over formica that looked like granite. What did I know? Youth IS wasted on the young.
But, there’s more. Back in 2017, before the pandemic, before I had even an inkling I would be moving to Boston 3.5 years later, Cale and I spent a beautiful day at the New York Botanical Garden, and then we went to Arthur Avenue for lunch and a bit of shopping.
For those who don’t know what Arthur Ave is, it’s a street (duh) in the Bronx, NY, that is more like Italy than Italy.
I mean, you step into another world, into another decade, long before most of us were born. Anyway, at one of the more Italy than Italy markets, we decided to get some olives. Since I bought lunch and the tickets to the garden, Cale said he’d spring for the olives.
But, Cale also wanted some cheese, and while he was busy deciding what he wanted, I couldn’t help but notice that the white marble countertop was the most beautiful old, honed Carrara marble I had ever seen.
I ran my hand across it. How can anything be so hard, soft, cool, yet warm?
As Cale was paying, all I could do was sigh… If only… knowing full well I could only dream about having such a thing.
And yet, here we are. The dream I dared not to dream came true.
Do you see my reasoning now?
Do you understand why I so badly want to take this tiny window of opportunity and have the exquisite, smooth-as-a-baby’s-bum marble of my dreams?
But, where the hell is this elusive creature?
Four weeks ago, Carol took me back to their warehouse and fabrication shop.
There she had, for me, a piece of Carrara marble. (in front)
Without so much as a blink, I blurted out, “Not what I’m looking for.” Way too gray and too many veins, too uniform.
We went to two more showrooms that had absolutely nothing in the way of white marble.
Is it all gone?
Carol gave me a sheet with two dozen sources within an hour of Boston. However, she said a street in Norwood has several of these places.
I got online and looked them all up.
What? 40 large for a slab of marble? Geeeezzz, I only want one slab, not the entire quarry!
Yet, this source looked the most promising as they have quite a large inventory of beautiful white marble for my countertops.
Today, we hit three places that carry stones of all kinds, fake and real.
The first place, MSI made us wear a hard hat.
Yes, I’m getting new glasses soon.
Too fuzzy and grainy, but nice colors.
That was all they had in the way of white marble.
Then, we went to Marble & Granite in Westwood, MA. That’s the place I wanted to go to.
A gentleman by the name of Matt helped us.
Finally, I felt we were getting much closer, but nothing we saw was quite right.
Calacatta Macaubas – Better, but I’m not into the varicose vein look. By the way, there are dozens of marbles with Calacatta in the name.
Olympian Danby and Carrara white marble.
The one on the right is another Carrara. That one is too gray, I said.
Matt said, “Yeah, that’s how they’ve been coming out of the quarry recently.”
Has anyone else been told that?
The one on the left is Olympian White Danby. There were a couple of them with very lovely colors. The white is beautiful and warm. Alas, it’s too granular.
Now, there was a beautiful Calacatta right behind me, where we were standing, with lovely uniform veining and not too many veins. The colors were lovely. It was perfect, except for one thing.
It is only two centimeters, and I need 3 centimeters.
I asked Matt, “Do you have something like this one but in 3 cm?”
Suddenly, as if someone had just flipped a switch in his head, he said, “Hang on. We do; I just need to find where it is…”
As he went trotting off, I began to feel hopeful. That is, unless I love it and it’s $40.000!
Soon, he was back with the helpers and a little truck carrying a large slab of white marble.
They gently set it down right in front of me.
To be continued…
WAIT, Laurel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can’t leave us hanging; just tell us if you liked it or not.
Sorry, I have to get ready for bed now. ;] Remember? I’ve made a promise to myself, and I intend to keep it!
In the meantime, please enjoy this post all about marble countertops.
Part 2 Begins Here
It’s Sunday morning. :]
Okay, here’s what happened when they set the marble slab down in front of me. Actually, it was a second before they set it down.
I knew instantly that this was my slab! It was love at first sight– the classic white marble of my dreams!
But then, I was told it was Calacatta.
Oh, crap, you mean the one I can’t afford? Carol said it wouldn’t be too bad, and she’d get me a quote ASAP.
That came late Friday afternoon. The price included the slab, templating, fabrication, installation, and sales tax. Thank God I only need one slab!
The stone is Calacatta Caldia and is known for its milky white color with mostly light gray veining.
Well, can we see it?
Yes, of course!
I’m so happy we found him. I guess I’ll call him Cal. ;]
By the way, I loved all of your comments. I didn’t realize so many of you had honed white marble!
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