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Developing The Design Specification: Slab Countertops

Nashville, TN

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Nashville, TN

We have come to that point on the second Belle Meade project where most of the design specification is done, and we are ready to choose slabs for the countertops. Bittersweet- it is one of my favorite things to choose, winding through corridors made of stacked-slab, but also a bit nerve-racking because it is such a commitment.

Not only is it expensive (if you have taste like mine and my partner’s, its seems like it doesn’t matter if we try to stay in the “affordable row,” we both walk down the isles, stop and resolve on the same slab, and the salesperson says, “oh yes, that’s imported from Italy,” or “that one is brand new, so we don’t have pricing yet,” it also is such a statement. Once you choose slab, and it begins getting fabricated, it is extremely hard to go back.

We started by looking at two difference stone houses, A & G Marble and Discover Granite, and basically just getting a sense of what is available, what strikes us, what’s fitting. Right now, and for many years, Calcutta or Statuary Marble is by far the most popular marble you have seen time and time again in almost every application, whether traditional or modern:

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While it can be a bit boring to see it over and over, it is always well-received. Since this is a “spec” home in Belle Meade, we want to try to appeal to the buyer. We chose some slab options that are similar, but maybe with a twist so it’s not quite so trite: leathering the slab (so it has a rough, weathered feel), or choosing a variation with a different color. Here are some examples:

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It is best to start with the statement pieces of the home, like the kitchen island and fireplace, and build from there. I usually compliment the marble pieces in the kitchen and bathrooms with Ceasarstone, which is a man-made durable product that is more monochromatic and less sensitive that real marble. It allows a more low-maintenance alternative to stone, that won’t clash with natural variation of the stone. There are many colors to choose from to work with any of the feature marble pieces:

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Though probably a bit too modern for the Belle Meade project, we starting scouting for the more modern project coming up, here are some peeks of some of our favorite feature slabs. The pictures just don’t do them justice:

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We finalize selections for the project, by looking at the cabinet shop drawing and tile selection made for each room, and essential going room by room to make our final picks. Sometimes, the marble will drive the tile selection for the room, or paint color, so it’s important to find the slabs you want and put them on hold immediately-it’s not like ordering a light fixture online, no two slabs are alike!

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