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Welcome to my blog. I hope to share information and ideas that you will find informative, valuable and entertaining. If you would like information on something specific ( or you just have a question) be sure to e-mail me at (, you can also visit my website at Otherwise, sit back and enjoy!!!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Arrgghh, Why is it so hard to do your own space?

OK, so I thought I would share a bit of insight into this whole design process stuff and give you a personal glimpse into what  goes on even in the head of a professional, when faced with personal design decisions.  Here goes, don't judge me too harshly.  I am finally getting granite counters in my kitchen.  After years of selecting them for clients, the time has come for me to enjoy the beauty and ambiance that only granite can provide. (This might have happened earlier, but college tuition seemed to take precedence). So with that decision made, it should have been a quick jump to selecting the product, Right?  WRONG!!!  First I had to select a new sink, (under mount of course).  This actually wasn't so hard.  After research, I decided on a composite black granite double bowl by Elkay (one of the leaders in granite sinks).  The faucet also by Elkay has a real commercial grade look to it.  So far so good!  Now on to the granite choice.  What muddied the waters a bit here is that I needed to save the existing backsplash.  I actually like my current backsplash (it has a timelessness to it), but that really made an impact on deciding what granite slab would go with it.  So off I trotted to collect samples from the tile and granite suppliers.
Many of them looked great in the store, but when I brought them home the lighting in my home gave them a whole different look. Are you all listening?
Lighting plays a HUGE factor in every selection.  Finally selected a granite piece from a 12 inch square, with a name that I can't remember.  Step 2, go to the slab supplier to pick out the actual slabs that I would use.  Now if you have never had the opportunity to do this, it is an amazing experience.  But there is a 95% chance that the small sample you have will look NOTHING and I repeat NOTHING like the actual slab.   Now I wasn't silly enough to think this was going to be a quick process without emotional turmoil so I did bring along a friend with me.  It's important to note a couple of things here, my friend Amy is also a professional designer ( we have over 30 years combined experience) so clearly I was in good hands should emotion take over where good sense should prevail.  Did I also mention that Amy and I have the exact opposite in tastes!
So armed with backsplash samples in hand, and designer friend in tow off we went. As expected, my original choice looked  absolutely awful in a huge slab. So the selection process started over from scratch.  Wandering the vast array of slabs can be a daunting task, but my eye finally caught a slab that had everything  I needed (and everything my backsplash needed also).  Should have been simple from here right?  Wrong again.  The slabs came in polished and matte finish.  Oh what to do!  By now my decision making skills were sorely lacking (after all I am emotionally involved in this decision) and I really liked them both.  Here's is where professional assistance is most valuable.  After all, I had already asked everyone else down there, and it seemed to be a 50/50 split.
Amy was able to bring some clarity to the situation by asking me questions about the overall look that I wanted and present and future color options.
As we were pondering my choices, another lady walked by with that "deer in the headlights" look.  We explained that we were designers and offered to shed some light on her dilemma.  OK, creative juices started flowing, within minutes I was able to help her select the perfect slab (one that went with her current backsplash) in addition we were even able to select the perfect paint color options that would pick up on the  subtle colors in the slab.
So really what's the point of this story,  a couple of things, number one, it's always harder to do your own space because we are all  influenced by our emotions and our objectivity becomes muddled.  Number two, there are a ton of nice choices out there and you can't have them all.  You need to develop an initial game plan and stick with it.  Design assistance is invaluable when it comes to these two points.  I am so grateful that  I had someone to keep me on track and remind me of all the points that I share with my clients.
By the way, I decided on the polished slab and it will be installed this week.  I can hardly wait.