Danger: Woman shopping

Our story so far: When it came to shopping for counter tops in the old Methodist church we were turning into our home, we had one thing in mind: Remnants.

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Shopping the stacks of stone in the counter top shop’s back lot was a little like shopping in a high-end purse retailer—everything looked good. But choosing remnants for the bathrooms vanities was straightforward. I knew I wanted light and clean so I zeroed in on anything white. Because we chose to insert makeup nooks at a slightly lower elevation than the counters in both vanities, we didn’t require long remnants which were a rare commodity in the piles of odds and ends.

countertop upstairs bath
Biano Gioia, Italian for white joy

For the upstairs vanity—the repurposed dressers painted in light aqua and dark gray—I choose a white quartz with gray veining called Bianco Gioia.

countertop master bath
For the master bath vanity.

The master vanity had dark wood lowers and cream-colored upper cabinets, so I found two similar looking white quartz pieces sprinkled with brown called Soprano and Clarino.

countertop beverage bar
This picture shows Intermezzo against the main kitchen cabinets, which already have a dark granite counter top, but I was making sure Intermezzo would complement the scene.

The kitchen beverage bar was tricky. The cabinets were a different color than the main kitchen so we wanted something light-colored but also something on which we could prepare coffee, which is known to stain countertops. I really would have loved something with blue in it, but none were to be found. None of the suitably colored remnants I saw in the back lot of our countertop shop were big enough. We resigned ourselves to getting a half sheet of quartz, or at least acquiring a quote on one. So we shopped the sample rack inside and found a quartz called Intermezzo, a creamy cross between beige and gray with threads of black to create a crackle effect. (Intermezzo, musically, is a short connecting instrumental piece in an opera, so the quartz—between dark and light—was aptly named.) I borrowed the sample to compare it to the cabinets in our rental unit and determined it was It. When I returned it to the countertop shop, the upbeat salesman (who had seen our display kitchen when his firm disassembled the granite) confirmed our choice.

“That’s perfect!” he confirmed. And then what he said thrilled me: “And we have a couple of remnants of that.”

Apparently, I had overlooked them when I was shopping the back lot. He just knew his inventory better than I did.

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Tomorrow: We choose stone for the curb in the shower. Check it out here.

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