My jasmine is blooming,…

My jasmine is blooming, and the air by my desk is just drowning in scent. Every time it blooms, I think that what I really want is a jasmine tree in every room of my house. Of course, if I actually did that, we wouldn't be able to breathe. :-)

The plan for today is to go downtown to the Merchandise Mart design showrooms and talk to the Carlisle person about wood floors, buy some paint samples from the Farrar & Ball guy, and just generally look at tile / bath / lighting stuff some more. Then I'm going to meet Kevin at Soupcan to look at copper and zinc counters. Kevin and I are both still in love with this island countertop (and the paint color too), so now we need to find out what it'd cost. My mom seems sort of bewildered that we're not going with granite, and it's not that granite isn't beautiful, because it is, but there's just something about the patina on that zinc that's calling to us. Plus, as a nice bonus, period-appropriate!

5 thoughts on “My jasmine is blooming,…”

  1. This counter is beautiful.

    I confess that I have always been afraid of granite countertops. Don’t they release radon into the house, long-term?

  2. What’s the zinc like to work with? Does it clean up easily? Can you cut/roll/etc stuff directly on it?

    I really like our Corian countertops, especially how easy they are to clean; my previous kitchen had tile countertops, and they were pretty but a huge pain in the butt to work with. Corian isn’t period and pretty, so I’m not necessarily recommending it for your particular combination of goals, just encouraging you to keep in mind that while you will have to look at it every day, you’ll also have to use it, and I personally would definitely take less pretty for more usable.

  3. David, for info about radon and granite, see a New York Times article from a couple years ago.

    Oversimplified summary: most granite countertops are fine. A few may not be. You can get a countertop tested (or test it yourself) if you’re concerned.

    For details, read the whole article; I’m leaving out a lot.

  4. It is beautiful, but it seems like a dangerous choice for someone who actually cooks often. It seems like it might not wear well with heavy use unless you are really careful.

    I have to admit that I’m on the Corian side of things. Granite is also too fragile for me. I just remember how abusive my sibs and I were when we were children (not to mention the dumb mistakes I make now) and go straight to sturdy. I may be embarrassed by how practical I feel these days 🙂

  5. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Here’s a link to general info on zinc countertops:

    It’s a very different approach than the as-unchanging-as-possible approach. It’s really the opposite. Zinc (and copper) start marking up immediately; they’re considered ‘living’ surfaces. So they don’t stay shiny and perfect, but instead, quickly take on an aged patina that changes daily with use. I actually think that ends up with them being far easier to maintain than may surfaces — with my granite and stainless, I was constantly having to wipe them clean of fingerprints to preserve their appearance. With zinc / copper — fingerprints disappear into the general marked-up-ness.

    Some (many? most?) people hate that mutability, but I think we’d love it. We’re planning to order some sample sheets and just tape them down on the counters we have here, try living with them for a bit, see if we like them as much as we expect.

    If we do this (it’d be just for our island), we’re also probably going to DIY, since getting them made costs notably more than granite — we were just quoted $175 / sq. ft. Whereas you can make them yourself for closer to $10 / sq. ft. Long thread with details:

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