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Moving Day!

The day is finally here! We’ve been waiting for this day since last July. But really I’ve been waiting for longer than that. For every rent check I’ve ever paid, for every deposit I’ve ever lost, for every wall I couldn’t hang a picture on. This is my reward. And without further ado….

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A beautiful day for moving! I know I’m biased but I think the front is breathtaking! The brick was completely different than I imagined but it’s perfect.

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Carrara Marble Stain Test

This post is for the naysayers. For all of the people that gasped and asked “Are you sure???” when I told them I was getting carrara marble countertops in my kitchen. This post is my resounding “YES I AM SURE”. Every home decor blogger has an obligatory carrara marble post. I’ve read many of them and here is the bottom line. Yes, carrara marble is difficult to care for. It is porous. You have to seal it at least once a year and even then, you will get stains and marks no matter what you do. BUT, it’s gorgeous and it’s a great countertop to work on, especially if you bake.

Many people say that if you are a perfectionist, don’t get this countertop. If you are happy with the imperfections that will develop over time (what is referred to as patina), then get it. I had my heart set on carrara from the beginning and nothing was going to change my mind. So I wanted to prepare myself for the future which is why I decided to perform this stain test with this sample that I got from a local fabricator.

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Finding Your Perfect Slab

There are few things in our new house that I am more excited about than our countertops. From the very inception of our new home, the vision was driven by picture perfect kitchens on pinterest which centered, of course, around a show-stopping countertop.

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I was originally disappointed by our builder’s selection of countertops but decided on classic carrara marble. Yes, I know that they can be fussy. And so, to balance that out, we decided to use a more durable dark granite around the cooktop because we know it will be impossible to keep that area clean. Again, our builder had a small selection and so we settled on something called Impala Black for our kitchen surround.

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Interior Design by blackmana – App Review

Have you ever wanted to make an EXACT, to scale, blueprint of your future house so that you can plan out furniture placement, decor, and paint colors? I have! Which is why I started looking for iPad apps that would help me do this very thing.

Interior Design by blackmana is $8.99 in the App Store. This is by no means trivial. I normally only download free apps, and I will only actually purchase apps if I happen to have an iTunes gift card. I just so happened to have such a gift card. Even so, I think this is well worth it if making a replica of your home is important to you. This app has close to no in-app purchases and everything from furniture to textures to materials are included.

Let’s talk about the different features of the app. There are three different views.

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Marble Paradise

Countertops are perhaps one of the most important things to me and my kitchen. Our house features a huge 60 sq ft island in the middle of the open plan kitchen and therefore it will be the centerpiece of our primary living space. My first visit to the design center produced mixed results in terms of countertops. The only option that they had that I was in any way happy with was carrara marble. But all I was given was a little 6”x8” swatch that really tells you nothing about a slab of natural stone. Leaving the design center with little confidence on the countertop options, I knew I would have to take things into my own hands.

After some internet searching I found a countertop fabricator in the Houston area that had a showroom and also happened to carry Blanco sinks. So I was able to accomplish two things at once. American Countertop Fabricators were extremely helpful and taught us a lot about what really goes into a kitchen countertop. One thing we learned, most edges, bullnose, beveled, waterfall, were free. This was something that our builder plans to charge us for. Haha, not anymore!

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