Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tea With Cottage

The Kitchen Countertop Series - 2

So, as I told you in my previous post, I was a little lost (very lost, to say the truth) about my countertops in the new kitchen. I kept changing my mind every single day, driving everyone round me crazy.

Comme je vous l'ai écrit dans mon précédent article, j'ai été un peu perdue (plus exactement, très perdue) pour le choix du plan de travail de ma nouvelle cuisine. Je changeais d'avis tous les jours, rendant tout le monde fou.

So to calm my nerves, I decided to have tea with Cottage.

Alors, comme d'habitude, j'ai tenté de trouver du réconfort auprès de Cottage.

Cottage: What's on your mind, Petite Blonde?

Me: Well, I really don't know what to choose for your countertop.

Cottage: Qu'est-ce qui te préoccupe, Petite Blonde?

Moi: Je ne sais vraiment pas quoi choisir comme plan de travail.

Cottage: What do you think would look best on me?

Me: Well, marble, obviously! It's natural and I love the look of white marble on white cabinets.

Cottage: Then, marble it is...

Cottage: Qu'est-ce qui m'irait bien?

Moi: Du marbre, sans aucun doute. C'est une pierre naturelle et j'adore le rendu du marbre blanc sur les éléments blancs.

Cottage: Eh bien, c'est parti pour du marbre!

Me: But, I'm afraid I might regret having to take care of so much marble, it's delicate, you know.

Cottage (sigh): Then, what's your second best choice!

Me: Quartz. They make so beautiful white and whitish patterns in quartz and it's easy to clean.

Cottage: That sounds perfect to me!

Moi: Mais, j'ai un peu peur de l'entretien qu'une telle surface en marbre représente. C'est une pierre fragile, tu sais.

Cottage (soupire): Qu'est-ce que tu aimes bien d'autre?

Moi: Le quartz. C'est facile d'entretien et il y a une telle variété de coloris que je trouverai forcément mon bonheur.

Cottage: Impeccable! 

Me: But it's too expensive for us.

Cottage: Is there an other look you like that isn't as expensive?

Me: I love wood countertops.

Cottage: Oh, you had me at wood! It'll look so Cottage-y.

Me: But, you know how lazy I am when it comes to cleaning. I'll never be able to care for wood countertops.

Moi: Mais, c'est trop cher pour nous.

Cottage: Il n'y a rien d'autre qui te plaise?

Moi: J'aime bien les plans de travail en bois, comme j'avais avant: ça fait très cottage.

Cottage: J'adore le bois, c'est parti!

Moi: Mais c'est un peu difficile d'entretien et tu sais combien je suis flemmarde quand il s'agit de ménage.

Cottage: Too bad... Any other option?

Me: Well, there's laminate. But if I go that way, I'll lose all my followers. My readers are probably expecting me to choose between quartz and marble, something "French country".

Cottage: And you're basing my remodel on your followers??? Girls, these days... What would you choose if it was only you and me?

Me: Well, I don't want to be rude or aything, because you know how much I love you, Cottage, but you're old and there are still a lot of things to take care of.

Cottage: Like?

Me: There's your bathroom window that won't open anymore since last August, the bedroom window that is weirdly located so that I can't admire my garden from it... Also, the fact that there is zero insulation under the roof makes the upstairs room very cold in the winter... And even if I look like the snow queen, the cold does bother me a little... And don't let me begin with your roof situation...

Cottage: Stop! Ok, I get it...

Cottage: Dommage... Une autre proposition?

Moi: Il y a le stratifié.. Mais si je choisis ça, je vais perdre tous mes lecteurs. Ils s'attendent à ce que je fasse un choix chic, digne des autres blogs.

Cottage: Et tu bases ma rénovation sur tes lecteurs??? Non, mais, les jeunes de nos jours... Sérieusement, que ferais-tu si tu ne pensais qu'à toi et moi?

Moi: Eh bien, je ne veux pas être impolie et tu sais combien je t'aime Cottage, mais tu n'es plus tout jeune et il y a encore beaucoup de dépenses à venir.

Cottage: Quoi?

Moi: Tu sais que ta fenêtre de salle-de-bain n'ouvre plus depuis août dernier, la fenêtre de la chambre a été mal conçue et elle est trop haute pour moi. Et puis, tu n'as aucune isolation sous ton toit et l'hiver, il fait bien frisquet à l'étage... Je n'ose pas te parler de l'état de tes ardoises...

Cottage: C'est bon, stop! J'ai compris.

Me: Don't be offended.... I just meant , if it was only you and I, I'll go with the cheapest option, because it makes sense to keep some money for other projects.

Cottage: Then, this is what you need to do. Be sensible, readers will forgive you since you have such good reasons. Now that the decision is made we can rest a little.

Me: Are you kidding me? Do you have any idea how many patterns exist for laminate?

Cottage: And here we go again... Will it ever end?

Moi: Ne sois pas vexé... Je voulais juste t'expliquer que si je ne considère que toi et moi, je choisis l'option la moins chère pour garder un peu d'argent pour le reste.

Cottage: C'est donc ça qu'il faut faire. Sois raisonnable, tes lecteurs te pardonneront puisque tu as de bonnes intentions. Et voilà, maintenant que la décision est prise, nous allons pouvoir nous reposer un peu.

Moi: Tu rigoles? As-tu une idée du nombre de coloris différents existants en stratifié ?

Cottage: Et c'est reparti... Cela ne s'arrêtera donc jamais ?

See you soon for the last part of this series!

A bientôt pour la dernière partie de cette série!

PS1: The little tea I took pictures of might look rather lady-like, so let me just show you what I was wearing that day...

Pour ceux qui, voyant les photos de mon petit thé, me prendraient pour une vraie lady, voilà à quoi ressemblait mon jeans ce jour-là...

Who can tell what I've doing at the Cottage lately?

Qui devine ce que je fais au Cottage en ce moment?

PS2: I've noticed in the comments to my last post that many of you are remodeling or about to remodel their kitchens, so feel free to give any advice to other readers in your comments! 

PS3: I'm bringing my dainty teacup and shameful jeans to some parties...

31 Days to Slash Your Budget Painlessly          Lavender Garden Cottage                 


  1. I had a feeling that was going to be you (and Cottage's) choice! It is a smart choice and I can only guess that there are a zillon wonderful laminate options to choose from. I look forward to seeing what you decided on. So fun. xx

  2. I did laminate on my counters, but I would love wood ones. We are planning to move so I didn't care.I do love my kitchen remodel though because it is unique and I saved a lot of money :)

  3. I think you made a very wise decision, and I love your blue transferware. No one will be looking t your countertops anyway when they see that :)

  4. Laminate looks much better when it has a molded edge to it, so be sure to go for that look and you'll have a counter that looks much nicer & more expensive than laminate!

    1. like this for instance http://surplus-warehouse.com/info/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Primary-180fx_3459_SoapstoneSequoia_2.jpg

  5. Le stratifié est un bon choix avec une telle déclinaison de modèles!

  6. I agree with your decision Magali, especially as there are other projects that have to be attended to. Your kitchen looks absolutely beautiful, the colours are gorgeous and I can imagine you are relieved a choice is made and now you can move on to other things in your cottage. Well done, I know from our experience how stressful 'choosing' is. I am very glad you dismissed wood counter tops, we had solid Blackwood timber bench tops in our last house and it was the worst decision, they looked beautiful but marked so easily. We chose caesarstone bench tops for this smaller cottage and are happy with them, but I wish I chose the lighter colour!

  7. Oh my! I do love your conversations with the Cottage! I am anxiously awaiting the final episode. I've been wearing nothing but old rags that are stained with paint for weeks now! I am so ready to finish remodeling! Getting closer! Have fun laminate shopping.

    Blessings, Vicky

  8. There's nothing to forgive Magali, how could we stop coming here over a little thing like laminate (especially if one has it as well), at times one has to be practical.
    Cottage has a very wise head on his old shoulders and paint splattered jeans are all the rage !

  9. Lose me as a follower over a design decision, Magali? Jamais! Anyway, I've had nothing but laminate counter tops my entire adult life and so far I have not died from them. I expect our new cottage will have laminate, as I think I mentioned to you after your last post. Laminates have come a long way, we put a laminate in our last home that everyone thought was granite. Forgive me for being snarky, but if someone refuses to read my blog because I have laminate counter tops I think we probably couldn't really be friends and it's better for them to move on. T'aime mon ami.

    1. A reader told me she still couldn't see that my counters are laminate from the pictures... So I think Cottage was right not to worry about it! Thank you for your kind words.

  10. I think you cottage will feel just fine with laminate, it's not like the old stuff was. Since I have a cottage, and have laminate I sure won't be questioning you and cottages decision. I think you made the best one. I agreed with the molded edge on the laminate, it really does make a difference and I love the look, we used wood and it adds to the charm. I enjoyed yours and cottages conversation!

  11. We would not stop reading your posts if you put laminate counter tops in. It has come a long way and is very pretty. Love your conversations with Cottage. I agree with what Nancy said pooh on them.
    Have fun remodeling... just think it's all yours yea yea.

  12. Laminate has come a long way and looks pretty good! We just installed our butcher block counters the other day (new kitchen at the cottage). It wasn't my first choice but hubby loves and wanted them. They were very reasonable but yes, I have to be careful. I think you are making the right choice.....it's GOOD to reason it out! Your tea with cottage was darling~~~Roxie

  13. Laminate is fine, and there are so (too) many choices on the market now. No one looks at counter tops, they look at what is on them, like your lovely china etc.
    Very nice tile floor by the way.

  14. I love the look of your countertops and from your pictures, I am still not sure what they are but everything looks so clean and bright. I think I better go and clean my kitchen now :(

  15. It is interesting to see how much pressure we feel from what is in style -- even those of us who like to pooh-pooh being in style….
    Fixing up a cottage is a terrible drain on resources, no matter what you repurpose or recycle. In the end we have to pick what's best for us, our budgets, and what we choose to really splurge on vs. what we can live with that is cheaper.
    Cottage is very sensible!

    1. Isn't it amazing how "blog pressure" can affect us? But I'm glad Cottage is here to help ;)

  16. It Will look pretty either way, and function rules over form anyday when it comes to kitchens. To get all the info on countertops, there are super-treatments to wood so they are water and stain resistent. Hardwax-oils, really will do the trick. Osmo is one producer.

  17. I love your kitchen. I think marble is too expensive, but so beautiful and also elegant.

    1. Marble is indeed beautiful and elegant... Maybe some day if I'm rich!

  18. Nothing wrong with being practical....nothing wrong with laminate (formica?). Marble is lovely. Quartz is lovely. So what? Whatever you choose will be downright lovely. Money does not buy taste....

    1. I think you just wrote what should be Cottage's motto: "money does not buy taste". Perfect!

  19. Il y a en effet de très jolis stratifiés. Mais dis moi, Cottage a de la conversation, tu ne dois pas t'ennuyer avec lui.
    Alors j'attendrai donc la suite.
    Bises & bonne soirée. Babette

  20. Aha....see...I get a little behind on my reading and I get to catch up on 2 posts at once and not have to wait! But wait! There appears to be a part 3 coming yet!

    I had fully planned on putting in laminate countertops in my house, but when I found out how much they were going to cost (I wanted the fancy edges), it was almost as much as granite! You put it whatever you choose. We will ALL still love you. :)


  21. Your too funny, and cute Magali! Cottage has some good points since all your options will look great, but if cost is a factor, there are some really great looking laminates out there already. Corian ceasarstone is very nice too, and I wish I put that on my island as well instead of marble, but it is priced like marble too. Good luck!

  22. Laminate is a great choice. I love marble patterned formica with the aegean edge. Check out Lesli from "my old country house", her formica countertop is stunning!

    1. Thank you Carolyn for your ideas and for taking the time to write a comment. Reveal of my countertops in the next post!

  23. I think laminate is a great choice and I bet they have some that look just like marble. I feel like I am stuck with the granite our house had when we bought it. There is never going to be anything "wrong" with it, after all it is a rock but I know myself and I will get tired of it.
    Can't wait to see the final selection.

    1. There are some amazing marble imitation all over blogland... But the ones I was showed by my kitchen designer were just ugly...

  24. Good choice. There is such a variety of laminates and the cost is so much cheaper.

  25. Chère Petite Blonde, tu m'as faite éclater de rire. Le dialogue Cottage/Petite Blonde est savoureux.
    C'est bien vrai que c'est compliqué d'essayer d'associer belles idées/matériaux et ouverture du porte-monnaie .....
    En fait le rapport cup of tea et jean délavé et peint est de la même substance ....
    A bientôt pour la suite, j'ai hâte !!!!!!
    Nicole(tte) : nicolette@sfr.fr

  26. Whatever you choose will be PERFECT! Laminate has come a looooonnng way since its inception. If you're worried about what your readers will say (silly girl), just tell everyone it's marble. No one will know the difference! lol

  27. Laminate. That's it. I can't follow you anymore! ;) Just kidding. Good for you for picking something affordable that you are happy with. You are the one that has to live with it after all. Who cares what anyone else thinks. There are laminates out there that everyone would swear were granite or marble or quartz or anything else. Can't wait to see which one you pick. Cottage must be thrilled!

  28. Woo-hoo! I am normal after all...conversations with houses and furniture are all too familiar.
    Oh, Magali, go for whatever you can afford and love to live with, and at the top of my list would be...S I M P L I C I T Y. I'm sure you'll make a laminate look perfect, but since you're still debating, and since you mentioned you prefer low maintenance, have you considered concrete? I know it sounds modern, but it can be very rustic. There are economical eco-friendly alternatives, where they use recycled materials to make it. Thought I'd mention.
    Always a pleasure stopping by.

  29. I do think that you have to take cost and the 'feeling' of your home into consideration! Some things may be 'trendy' and desirable, but you have to be realistic and go with what you can afford. No sense in having expensive counters and not be able to finish any other project because of it! We had to make those decisions and chose slate tile for our counter, as we live in the forest and have a rustic home. I think where you live really does influence your choices. I have a few pairs of paint splattered jeans...I am looking forward to seeing your choice! I know it will be perfect. xo Karen

  30. Interested to see what you choose. I also have laminate tops, not my first choice (it's what the contractor was installing - we got to choose the colour). Like you, the budget did not allow us to change at the time but it is most practical and still looks good I think. A good compromise!


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