Sunday, July 27, 2014

This Is How A Countertop Disappear

The Kitchen Countertop Series - 3


Once Cottage and I had decided to go for a laminate countertop, my first idea was to find something that would imitate one of the two materials I loved: marble and wood. (You can read how the decision was made here if you missed that conversation.)

Une fois que Cottage et moi étions d'accord pour un plan de travail en stratifié, mon premier réflexe a été de chercher une imitation de ce que je voulais vraiment: du marbre ou du bois. (Vous pouvez lire comment la décision a été prise ici, si vous avez raté cette conversation.)


I had seen really nice fake marble and fake wood countertops on blogland. Now, I don't know if these faux countertops look only good on pictures or if my kitchen contractor didn't have the same quality, but I wasn't really satisfied with what he had to offer.

Faux marble, image found on Pinterest.

J'avais vu de superbes imitations de ces deux matériaux dans des cuisines présentées sur des blogs. Je ne sais pas si cela ne rend bien qu'en photo ou si mon cuisiniste avait des plans de travail d'une qualité inférieure, mais je n'ai pas été emballée par ce qu'il me proposait.

Amazing faux wood countertop on The North End Loft

Actually, I was thrilled with the pieces he showed me in his store, so I asked him to take them at the Cottage - officially to see how they would look in my light  - unofficially to get Cottage's advice.

Ou plutôt si, j'étais emballée dans son magasin, mais quand j'ai ramené les échantillons à Cottage pour les lui montrer, il a fallu se rendre à l'évidence. Le faux marbre et le faux bois étaient corrects, tant qu'on ne les mettait pas à côté de vrai marbre ou de vrai bois.

Both the marble and the wood laminates looked OK... until they were put close to the real thing. So either I chose one of them and it meant that I wouldn't be able to use marble or wood anymore in my kitchen or I had to find an other idea.

Du coup, j'étais condamnée à ne mettre ni marbre ni bois réels dans ma cuisine ou à trouver une autre idée.

Since I knew I was never going to be "in love" with my laminate countertop, I tought the best thing would be to make it "disappear", to have it as discreet as possible so that the eyes would be attracted by the cabinets and my decoration rather than by the countertop.

Soyons un peu honnête: je n'allais jamais être amoureuse folle d'un plan de travail en stratifié. Du coup, m'est venue l'idée de le faire "disparaître" dans le décor. 

I must have done it right, because you all have seen it in my kitchen reveal pictures and very few readers noticed it. Some might say it's a bad point, but it was what I was going for.

J'ai dû plutôt bien m'en tirer car vous l'avez tous vu dans les photos de ma cuisine, mais il est gentiment passé inaperçu, même auprès de mes lectrices les plus observatrices. D'autres se vexeraient, moi, c'est ce que je recherchais.

White countertop found on Pinterest.

Here's how I chose it. I looked only through the very light coloured laminate, while the kitchen contractor kept telling me "You need more contrast". The pure white ones where tempting, but since the cabinet aren't exactly pure white, I was a little worried how it would make them appear.


 A la boutique, je n'ai regardé que les plans de travail très clairs, pendant que le cuisiniste me répétait qu'il fallait absolument plus de contraste. Les blancs purs me tentaient, mais comme mes éléments ne sont pas d'un blanc laqué, j'ai eu peur que cela ne rende pas bien.


Then I found one that was almost white -  it was called "Arctic" - with little darker dots that would make it easy to hide the stains.

Puis, je suis tombée sur un d'un ton ultra clair - puisque nommé "Arctic" - avec des petites mouchetures très pratiques pour masquer les taches. 


"This one is really weird," said the contractor when I showed it to him, "it has a blue undertone".

"Celui-là est très bizarre," m'a dit le cuisiniste quand je lui l'ai montré, "il a des reflets bleus".


Blue? Really? I hadn't noticed, but I immediately thought it would blend with my wall colour and I ordered this one.

Bleu? Vraiment? Je n'avais pas remarqué, mais je me suis dit qu'il se fondrait peut-être dans le mur bleu-vert de ma cuisine et c'est celui-là que j'ai commandé.


I'm not going to lie, I was worried about that choice until the countertop actually arrived at 5 pm on  Friday. 

Je ne vais pas mentir, ce choix m'a inquiétée jusqu'à ce que le plan de travail arrive un vendredi à 5 h au Cottage.


But now, I'm perfectly happy with the way it doesn't make a statement in the kitchen and allows everything else to shine.

Mais je suis ravie de la façon dont ce plan de travail disparaît dans le décor général et laisse ainsi les éléments et ma décoration être les stars.


Now, I'm going to give you the two little tricks I used so that from afar, they don't scream "laminate"!

Je vais vous livrer mes deux astuces pour que le plan de travail ne crie pas "je suis du stratifié" dès que vous entrez dans la pièce.


First, I chose to have a straight edge (something called "Aegean edge in the US I think) rather than the traditionnal (at least in France) rounded edge than is just too 1980 for me.

D'abord, j'ai choisi un bord droit plutôt que le bord arrondi traditionnel des stratifiés.


Then I chose to have them made less thick than usual. In France, very thick laminate is all the rage right now. But real material countertop aren't that thick, so I had my laminate countertop done to match the size of marble ones... Thus if I ever want to change my countertops, my backsplash will be at the right height.

Enfin, j'ai fait faire le mien beaucoup moins épais que la plupart des stratifiés, surtout ceux à la dernière mode. Le mien a l'épaisseur qu'aurait du quartz ou du marbre. Comme ça, si jamais un jour j'ai les moyens de m'offrir du marbre, pas besoin de changer la crédence qui sera posée à la bonne hauteur.

Everything looks good on the countertop: even the cat or...

Cottage: "Hey! I'm glad you're happy with you countertop, but do you remember you promised me some wood tones in the kitchen?"

Me: "Sure! I remember, but that's a series for an other month, Cottage."

Cottage: "Bon, je suis content que tu sois satisfaite de ton plan de travail, mais ne m'avais-tu pas promis des notes de bois naturel dans cette cuisine?"

Moi: "Ne te fais pas de souci, Cottage, c'est juste une série pour un prochain mois."

A salad from my garden!

So, what do you think? And don't be shy, I know my choice isn't everyone else's.

Alors, qu'en pensez-vous? Je sais que mon choix ne serait pas celui de tout le monde.

A bientôt,

See you soon,




PS1: I'm back at the Cottage after spending four days relaxing at my parents'. Relaxing for me included discovering a charming village I'll show you soon on the post and setting my Mom's sewing machine on fire... More on than later!

Je suis de retour au Cottage après quelques jours de repos chez mes parents. Enfin, "repos" avec moi, cela veut dire arpenter un village que je vous montrerai bientôt et mettre le feu à la machine à coudre de ma maman... Bref, j'ai des choses à vous raconter.

PS2: I'm partying!

By Stephanie Lynn           Dwellings-the Heart of You Home         http://strangersandpilgrimsonearth.blogspot.fr/                        
Met Monday            http://linda-coastalcharm.blogspot.fr/          The Dedicated House          


COZY LITTLE HOUSE                                                           Button                   Lavender Garden Cottage 

 Ivy and Elephants         Louis Ritman Tea in the Garden                   Monthly Sunday's Best Part.ay.  1st Sunday of Every Month, 9:00 a.m.!






54 comments:

  1. I love your choice, Magali. I think it blends in perfectly, and you're right it allows the rest of your kitchen to be showcased. Great pick. xo Laura

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perfect choice. It's all about the other lovely things in your kitchen. The worktops just act as a backdrop....and so glad you didn't have rounded edges!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I truly think you made the perfect choice. It is very understated and just blends in seamlessly in your kitchen. Verry pretty! I love the kittie's bowls...so sweet. Happy to hear you had a relaxing and enjoyable stay with your parents. Have a lovely Sunday.

    Blessings, Vicky

    ReplyDelete
  4. Love the choice, and you are right, I would never have noticed! All I see is the beauty all around. You are so smart about the edges and thickness, it's such a lovely kitchen!
    Hugs,
    Patti

    ReplyDelete
  5. Bravo pour ton plan de travail qui met, effectivement en valeur le reste de ta déco... et encore, ce n'est pas terminé. J'adore le ravier pour poser les cuillères lorsqu'on touille une sauce, c'est tout de même plus "classe" que les affreux "repose cuillère" vendus dans le commerce ! Je vais te voler l'idée... et la salade de ton jardin, on en mangerait !

    ReplyDelete
  6. It works!!! Great idea. Your kitchen looks beautiful!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I too love this choice. It looks in perfect keeping with the kitchen, and I love the detail of the square corners! I'm making note of that in case I ever get a chance at another kitchen remodel! I also love laminate. I had it in my last kitchen against my will and was really impressed with it after I had lived with it for a while. I'm glad to know what you say about wood, because that was what I had wanted, but I am sloppy, clumsy, and disorganized cook and a lazy housekeeper, so it's good to know that it's probably just as well that I never got my wood in the kitchen! The laminate can take any amount of abuse, and still look fab, and it's so affordable! I think you made a brilliant choice as usual, so pleased for you and for Cottage!! Can't wait to hear about the sewing machine adventure!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Magali,
    You are a genius! I thought the hints you shared are something I will always keep in mind... I love your choice... Very smart.. and it looks beautiful!
    I so enjoy your conversations with the cottage...
    blessings,
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  9. It looks wonderful. It sounds like such a stressful decision sonce your contractor did not agree eith your choices. It would be hard to have him encouraging you to do something else. I am so happy for you that it all turned out how you envisioned. And Cottage is happy :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I think that this is a fantastic choice. Sometimes it is better that things just look like what they are rather than a faux version of something else. Now you have a lovely background for all the beautiful things you want to place in your kitchen. I am sure the Cottage is very happy with you pick. And the wood knobs look great.
    Traci

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not big on anything fake, so after considering those faux-something laminate, I decided if I was going for laminate, I should assume that choice.

      Delete
  11. Hi Magali, I think your choice looks beautiful! I like it much! And as for noticing it when you were conversing with Cottage...I did notice the countertop!! Oh, I thought this is it....but you never said....so I wasn't a little confused! GREAT choice! blessings~~~Roxie

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree with the above, though my first choice was wood. But wood would be drawing all the attention, and countertops look better in the background. Now you will enjoy your decoration pieces a lot more. Great thinking LOL and not at all expensive! Marcy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wood is also a problem when one of you cats eats on the countertop... It's still an option I like and think looks very "cottage".

      Delete
  13. I think you definitely made the right choice, but then since I love what you did how could I not ? I appreciate the tips you gave regarding the edge especially, since we are probably going to re-do our counters within the next 2 years and need to do them economically and attractively, your tips help a lot. "Agean" huh ? I'll be remembering that !

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think you made a great choice, Magali. When I saw your first kitchen reveal -- before you told us what the countertop material was -- I thought you had used some sort of stone. I really didn't think it was laminate until your post when you mentioned laminate. I'm fairly certain I will be using laminate in our new kitchen. However, which edge we use is a clear debate in our house. I like the aegean edge you used, but my husband is pretty set on a rolled edge. We'll see. The other thing that screams laminate is when people use the same laminate as a backsplash. I'm glad you didn't do that. xxx ~ Nancy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were only two edges possible in France (round or straight), but there are many more in the US. Check them all before you "commit to any edge"! I don't like laminate backsplash, but then it means the backsplash is still on the to-do list!

      Delete
  15. Good for you for sticking to your guns and not letting the contractors opinions, or anyone else's, get in your way!

    I think the countertop looks amazing! Understated and elegant! Perfect choice for you, the cottage, and your wallet!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My dear French friend,

    Your design skills are quite savvy and smart and it all looks so very fabulous and French country, as it SHOULD! LOVE it, and can't wait to see your newly discovered and charming village and the fiery effects of your mother's sewing machine!;))

    Poppy

    ReplyDelete
  17. Perfect choice. Well Done!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love your choice! And thank you for sharing your two tips ~ they make much sense :) I found you via Amaze Me Monday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the visit to my blog and joining in on our "The Art of Home-Making Mondays" link up! :) Have a wonderful week!

      Delete
  19. I think your kitchen is adorable! Kathy

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love it that you choose the light color. It looks perfect and subtle, not shouting. Lovely!

    ReplyDelete
  21. très bon choix, et le blanc apporte toujours beaucoup de lumière , ce qui est très appréciable surtout en hiver

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Je ne souhaite évidemment pas la fin de l'été, mais j'avoue que je suis curieuse de voir ce que cette cuisine va donner cet hiver.

      Delete
  22. I think it's lovely and you should be proud of both your aesthetic and your practicality. Your kitchen is really well planned and so cottage-perfect. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Your little cottage kitchen has come a long way! You have done a beautiful job with all your improvements, and I think the kitchen is lovely! I hate to admit it, but I didn't even notice, in previous posts, that the counter was laminate -- so good for you! The only thing I wonder about is if the wooden knobs are a bit distracting. Of course, seeing the kitchen in person would give me a better perspective of how all the elements work together. It would be nice to join you at tea time to see for myself!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rhonda! I'll explain the wooden knobs in a future series... They are easy to change if I ever decide to, so it all began because they were the cheapest one available!

      Delete
  24. PERFECT CHOICE!!!! I have yet to meet a contractor who has taste.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My contractor really doesn't like my choices, but well, I don't invite him often for tea!!!

      Delete
  25. It looks perfect, you made a very good choice! It almost has a retro feel which will blend nicely with your cafe curtains and vintage pieces. Perfection! Patty/NS

    ReplyDelete
  26. Excellent choice! Looks great in your kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you so much for taking time to visit Olivia... Your kind words warm my heart.
    blessings,
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  28. I think you made a very wise choice! I agree that the countertop should not be the focal point. Your kitchen is looking so charming!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I love the choice you made, also love your home...I'm your newest follower btw!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Great choice! I went artic as well, just in a different material. I hope all your house woes have gone away for a while. What a nasty surprise when you got home from vacation. :(

    ReplyDelete
  31. I was out of blogland for 10 days which made reading your Kitchen Counter Series perfect.

    Your counters look great. They are perfect for you and "cottage".

    ReplyDelete
  32. Excellent choice!! I agree, the counter tops should fade and not take attention. You have so many lovely things to take center stage.......

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think it's the perfect choice too, in fact when I was doing up the kitchen with my ex in his house I chose a similar laminate called 'cashmere white'. I wish I could actually put it into my current kitchen, instead of the fake wood laminate.
    I also think you made a great choice having the straight edge.
    I'm glad you've been having a break and taking it easy, although a fire doesn't sound very relaxing !!

    ReplyDelete
  34. As the owner of a kitchen with a rolled edge laminate counter top, I love the look of the straight. And you know what, it maybe wasn't the most exciting choice to go with laminate, but heck, if you've got other things you want to work on and spend your time on than cleaning your counter tops, then I'm glad you went with what made the most financial and laziness sense. :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Bravo Magali pour cette magnifique cuisine! De bons choix et des compromis entre tes désirs et ton budget qui sont très judicieux car ils n'enlèvent rien à la personnalité de ta maison. Emmanuelle

    ReplyDelete
  36. I can identify with you, it's so hard choosing. Looks very nice Magali, your kitchen is so charming and I love your coffee grinder lamp!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  37. Effectivement ton plan se fond dans le décor!

    ReplyDelete
  38. great choice i think it really works so well for the cottage

    ReplyDelete
  39. It is looking really good! Love the tea!
    Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  40. It's perfect! Glad you finally found the right one for your kitchen!

    ReplyDelete
  41. It looks really good, I think it's perfect with your other kitchen choices!

    ReplyDelete

It makes me so happy to read your comments! Let me know you stopped by!
J'adore lire vos commentaires. N'hésitez pas à vous joindre à cette discussion multi-lingue.