Design & Decor

Renovation: Orange Room Demo.

Technically I wasn’t actually planning to start this project now.  I really was planning to wait for a bit.  But then I stepped on a loose tile.  And this particular loose tile has been a thorn in my side lately, it’s so annoying step on.

Then it all happened so fast…

The hammer and pry bar were sitting right there…

And before I knew it, I had pulled up some tiles:




It was kind of like pulling a string on a sweater.  I had an “oh shit” moment of realization afterwards:  I’m really going to have to do this now.


The next day, after a quick tutorial from Mr. Heatherland, I was armed with an air hammer and on a mission to finally go after it. Starting with some of the ugliest ceramic tile I’ve ever seen.


And so the demo began.

Renovation: The Orange Room Preview.

In our house there’s a room we lovingly call “The Orange Room”. Why? Well, um… look at it:


Since we bought the house, we did not touch a single thing in the Orange Room. Oh, and believe me- I was tempted. We needed to stay focused and finish up the rest of the house before starting it. In the meantime the orange room became a workshop for us: we kept our tools there, cut tile in there, ate our food in there, but all the while it remained untouched.

As the months passed, I was dying to start it… Because now that the rest of the place was getting prettier, this room by comparison was becoming ugliest room in design history. Don’t believe me?

Exhibit A. Ready-made rustic fireplace

Exhibit B. Creepy tiny staircase with 4″ risers (that I tripped on daily)

Exhibit C. Stained glass sconces to compliment the orange walls


Along with a purple door, colonial trim, and gigantic bookshelves that took up the whole space, it’s a lot of ugly in just one room, and the workmanship was really shoddy. Needless to say, my mind was racing with all the possibilities, and every time I walked through it I noticed something new that needed to be fixed.

I just needed to wait until the rest of the place was done and we’re just about ready to start.


Renovation: Kitchen Counters.

What did we pick? The Granite:


Or The Marble?


Well… I think I’ll skip the details of the story when I chose the granite… Paid for the granite… Freaked out… Changed my mind… Drove back… Got the marble instead. Yes, I’m a hot mess. But in the end I really wanted the marble.

Lady Onyx Countertops



Lady Onyx is a mix of marble and onyx. Which means it is can be treated the same way marble can be, but the green and gray veins/rocks throughout it are quite translucent and reflective instead of opaque. In fact, if we wanted to “showcase” this feature we could back-light them.  But since my kitchen is not a nightclub, so no lights will be added under the island, so sorry. Even without the disco lights they are far more visually interesting than anything else I had seen.


You might be wondering if this is a practical choice for the kitchen. It’s a matter of opinion.  Compared to granite it’s softer, no hot pans can be set on it, and if a spill of red wine goes undetected then yes, it will stain. But when have I ever, in my life, been practical about anything? Especially when I comes to esthetics- heck, I’m wearing 4″ heels while typing this.  And at the end of the day- I like it better than granite.


So how will they hold up with an avid cook?

It will be my responsibility to keep them sealed on a bi-annual basis.

They will, inevitably, get a stain or two… Or thirty. I am actually okay with that (shocking, right?). I have been in the kitchens of cooks with well loved, heavily used marble countertops- and they have a beautiful, rustic patina.


But what if they get really, really ugly?

Lets say 10 years down the line I decide I’m no longer digging the “rustic patina” and I want them to be pristine again. I can get someone back in here to re-hone them, and that will restore them to exactly the way they are now.


I considered all those maintenance-related things, and I still arrived at the same choice to opt for the marble.  Every time I walk by them I run my hand over them and I know I made the right decision. I’m in love.


Next up is the backsplash… Just when I thought my tiling days were over, I will be elbows deep in glass tiles this time next week.

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