I know, I know, I can’t make up my mind on this one.  The worktops are the one thing in my kitchen that I’ve changed my mind about so many times, it’s almost bordering on ridiculous.  We actually started the kitchen renovation 1 1/2 years ago and it’s still not done – and part of that is because I’m so indecisive about worktop materials.

I started off 3 years ago now wanting stained butcherblock… and then hearing far too many horror stories about how difficult they are to maintain, I got very cold feet.  This was magnified by the fact that I ignored the horror stories about natural slate flooring and put them in anyway and now I regret the decision because guess what?  They are really hard to maintain.  So butcherblock was crossed off the list.

Then, I started to consider quartz.  And it seemed like a really good option because it would give us something that was virtually maintenance free.  So I did a shitload of research, I started getting samples and then… I dunno.  I decided as nice as they were, it wasn’t really my dream option – I couldn’t get the grain and movement of marble out of my head (something that Quartz just didn’t capture).

And spending that kind of money for something that WASN’T my dream option?  It just seemed silly.  I simply couldn’t find a quartz that truly looked like this… (GAH!)

Yes, that’s Christine Dovey of Bijou and Boheme‘s kitchen.  With ridiculous amounts of gorgeous marble everywhere.  And probably one of my favourite kitchens of all time.

Except that I can’t get marble.  If I thought that butcherblock was a bad option because of it’s high-maintenance, marble was never going to work.  I had to get it out of my head.

And then I kept seeing this stuff popping up all over US blogs…

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Looks nice, no?  Looks like Calcutta Marble, right?

Well, it’s actually Formica – the crappy laminate I wanted to get rid of in my own kitchen!  Except this stuff – well, it’s essentially a high-res picture of Calcutta Marble created into a laminate surface that actually wraps around the edge.  Fabulous!! Could I find it in this country?  Hell no!!  Couldn’t find anyone that carried it. Because, well, that would be too easy!

So I returned to my searching…

I actually started considering this too for a while…

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That would be Quartzite (not to be confused with Quartz, they are different materials).  Looks amazing, doesn’t it?  Really easy to maintain too. Yeah, after lots and lots of research, I also found out it’s incredibly difficult to find in the UK and absolutely CRAZY expensive (more than real Marble, more than Granite, more than Quartz).  Hmmm.  Maybe not, then.

I’m running out of options here.

Except that I’m not really… turns out they’ve just introduced the Formica option to the UK market!  Whoop whoop!  Seems it pays to be indecisive and virtually take forever to make decisions… It’s very hard wearing, virtually maintenance free and it’s CHEAP.  Like stupid cheap.  Like it’d cost us less than £300 for our worktops.

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My only issue with it?  I got a sample and it has a bit of a weird shiny patterned surface… why why why?? Normal marble wouldn’t have that, right?  But look how pretty it looks in the kitchen above!  I’m still torn – I was actually willing to spend a lot more on countertops (just not as much as Quartzite) but this seems to give me everything I want and it’s really completely UNDER my budget.

I should just go for it, no?  Isn’t it pretty?  Would it be a cop out to get laminate countertops when they look THIS good?  If this isn’t my forever home, isn’t it okay to get an option that gives me as close as possible the look I want right now (even if it does have a weird patterned shiny surface)?  Or should I be holding out for something that doesn’t even exist?  :-/

I did want to share one thing though that I DID manage to make a decision on… and that’s my cupboard hardware.

I haven’t yet installed them but they are shiny and brassy and have a bit of a Chinoiserie vibe, no?  Alas, the screws for the current handles aren’t in the same place as these so there will be a bit of filling and touching up that need to be done so stay tuned for their debut… ;)

In the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the worktops and help me just make a freaking decision already! ;)

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