66 Comments

  1. Chad's Crooked House
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:12 am

    I think making your base cabinets entirely out of marble could be the best thing ever. In a completely impractical way, of course. But having cabinet doors that you have to crank open sounds too annoying even for imagination land.

    I guess this means the vestibule wainscot marble isn’t gonna work?

    Reply

  2. Martin L Del Prince
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:14 am

    Victoria,

    Some day you should come to Louisville, KY and visit Joe Ley Antiques. You will loose your F’in mind in there!

    http://www.joeley.com/

    Reply

    • Jessica Suhr
      June 18, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

      Yes, I second the Joe Ley vote! It is a heavenly place and there are deals to be found and a basement full of old hardware and so many other goodies.

      Reply

      • Christina in Cleveland
        June 18, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

        Holy Mother of Pearl those prices!!! I’m WAY too cheap! lol
        Once upon a time I lived in Portland, Oregon… Hippo Hardware was a little known resource. Loved that place. I hope to visit again sometime soon. Give UPS something to do in shipping cool finds back to Cleveland. 🙂

        Reply

        • Claire
          June 20, 2014 @ 9:09 pm

          Oh Christina how times have changed! I live in the Portland, OR area and just about fainted at the prices at Hippo Hardware. Not the bargain mecca that it once was. I guess they felt they needed to be in competition with Rejuvenation Lights (now owned by Pottery Barn) who also used to be a wonderful affordable place to rummage through. Alas, no more! : (

          We do however have a great Craigslist here but I have not seen the level of amazement that Victoria has in the Philadelphia area! More than slightly bitter and jealous.

          Reply

  3. cindy Espinoza
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:23 am

    i also loose myself in the bottomless pit of CL …where i live and in different cities. i sit and think of cities where i know people and then search there. if i find something perfect ..MAYBE i could aske them to get it for me…ha! i complain to my husband that i have no time to get things done, but yet, i waste the time i have on CL. UGH! good luck with your search..you WILL find what you are looking for…it always shows up eventually

    Reply

  4. Laurie
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    Oh my god, you really HAVE found the ultimate fancy. The church. I am impressed VEB.

    I do understand the procrastination pit. I am days away from having company come stay at my house and one of the guest rooms is in piles in the living room until I get off the couch and install 7 small pieces of baseboard. But I can’t seem to do it because I’ve been sucked into a TrueBlood binge and all I can do is hate myself and cheer on the vampires.

    It’s an ugly hate cycle.

    Reply

  5. tammigirl
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:25 am

    I got nothing.

    But Paul may be wrong – maybe everything is supposed to be interesting. Why not?

    Reply

  6. Connie in Hartwood
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:26 am

    Paul is right, you know. Everything doesn’t have to be interesting in itself. It’s the play of plain and fancy, light and dark, etc., that creates interest.

    Our Craigslist doesn’t have nearly the sort of cool stuff that you have up there.

    Reply

  7. maggie b
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:28 am

    I’m still in the “How can I make it awesome on a shoestring” mode. I’m placing my diswasher in the center and adding an 18″ wide cabinet on one side and a 24″ cabinet on the other. They are already finished on 3 sides. The back will be a bit of finished thin cabinet plywood, maybe some corner molding and the whole bit painted. It will be functional and hopefully attractive. The top is still up for grabs. Marble is heavy and it can chip if you accidentally hit it with a pot. Glass glasses can break it set down too hard on it. As cost is also a factor I’ll probably go with a tile top. I can use the grout that is waterproof to prevent it from going West. If I use the really large size tiles I can cut down on the amount of grout and edges etc. But the top is still something I’m thinking about.
    Corian is great and the new quartzite is fab. We’ll see

    Reply

    • Janet
      June 18, 2014 @ 1:09 pm

      Friends poured a beautiful (and super cheap) colored concrete kitchen countertop. They even buffed it up to shine and used fancy trim upside down in the pouring form to make a beautiful edge.

      Reply

    • Yvonne
      June 18, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

      You’re MANY steps ahead of me. We have to re-configure the whole kitchen in order to install my “new” dishwasher, which is sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, still in it’s factory box, bought in April, 2010! I eventually had to add two boards to the top of the box, and cover it with a tablecloth, and this has become our semi-temporary 😉 island!

      Reply

  8. maggie b
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:29 am

    then again I’ve seen some great tops made of metal too. I wonder if I need to worry about poisoning myself if I use metal?

    Reply

  9. Teresa
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:29 am

    Marble is porous, so even if you could block the thought from your mind that it’s from a public restroom, you might not be able to block out the scent… And yes, I do know of a lady who spent the money to reclaim marble which made her kitchen smell like pee! 0.O

    Reply

    • Mila
      June 18, 2014 @ 1:30 pm

      Oh my! :-O This is awful! What did she do?

      Reply

    • Pj
      June 18, 2014 @ 4:21 pm

      You’re right—it wouldn’t be a good idea to recycle any porous material from a restroom or other questionable source as a kitchen counter.

      Reply

    • Yvonne
      June 18, 2014 @ 10:48 pm

      Have to wholeheartedly agree! Our downstairs bathroom has a 1 inch tile and grout floor, which saw many small boys in its early years, when the original owner/builder had the house. I have used EVERYTHING I can think of, even muriatic acid, to try to eliminate the odor. The smell is especially strong on rainy days. Saving up for new flooring, at which time I will be able to chip up the old tile, seal the concrete with something, and put in a new, odor free floor. Actually, I might do the first part this winter, and do the tile whenever. In the meantime, I constantly spray the room, plus, have bowls of potpourri, which I change often, and containers of fragrance beads sitting around! Don’t use that bathroom wall marble unless someone has invented a way to seal away the smell…after a thorough sanitizing, of course!

      Reply

  10. Melissa
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:32 am

    Victoria,

    How about this GFT?? It would look great with your other GFTs. Tried to getmy Paul to look, but no go.
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=518629651528649&set=a.167661983292086.40342.156857487705869&type=1&fref=nf

    Reply

    • Corinne
      June 18, 2014 @ 3:50 pm

      That is beautiful and amazing.

      Reply

    • Yvonne
      June 18, 2014 @ 10:52 pm

      WOW! I wish I had the ceiling height needed to house this, even if I didn’t actually have the alter!!!

      Reply

    • the misfit
      June 19, 2014 @ 12:05 pm

      The objections to the “pee-stained” marble make no sense to me. First of all, I don’t think public restroom stall walls get peed ON a lot. But let’s assume that they do. Y’all know where marble comes from, right? Ditto slate, granite, and soapstone – among others, naturally. We’re heading into “do you think bears poop in these woods?” territory here. (Hint: they do.) While we’re on the subject, do you know where your herbs and vegetables grow? Let’s not even get started on mushrooms and truffles. And none of those things can even be bleached!

      It’s all going to be OK. Just don’t use peed-on grout in your food prep.

      Reply

  11. Cynthia
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    If these were my countertops, when Paul and I got in an argument I could say things like – bring me the flaming cannonballs. The ones with chains.

    You are amazing. Crazy, but Amazing.

    Reply

  12. Kevin Carney
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    Properly recycled (by which I mean steam cleaned) marble walls that were once in a public bathroom would be fine for you to prepare food on.

    Consider that with a finite amount of water on planet Earth, the odds of some of the water you drink having once been the waste by product of some other human (or non human) is really really high. But…. it’s been properly recycled, so no worries.

    Reply

    • judy
      June 18, 2014 @ 12:47 pm

      The Pee of Lions, Tigers, and Bears! Oh My! How come I’m not more brave? Oh, right…. it would also include a plethora of Chickens. Drat!

      Reply

  13. Patricia Hall
    June 18, 2014 @ 11:09 am

    Sigh. I hate to say this, but Paul is right. Not everything needs to be interesting. Imagine Mad Men only cast with clones of John Hamm … how would Don Draper stand out? Okay, I see I lost you with John Hamm clones … actually I’m busy imagining that right now too. Later.

    Reply

  14. judy
    June 18, 2014 @ 11:26 am

    To be trite but true- life is in the journey and not the destination so- as you have said-a perfectly adequate kitchen is all we actually need-that is of course ignoring the human need for beauty-so anyhoo- enjoy this kitchen quest- the longer it takes the more fun postings we will enjoy and when you don’t post we can imagine you in trench coat , magnifying glass in hand-trolling through dangerous locations, enormous quantities of cash in hand(Are you nuts Girl?) finding the marvels of your TA DA -KITCHEN! Meanwhile we can enjoy the delicious suspense of what the reveal will be. I am getting the biggest kick out of your dedicated efforts. May the Gods of GFT thingy’s bless your efforts and do take your time-let “remodel in haste-repent at leisure” be your motto.

    Reply

  15. Laurel @ HomeinDisarray
    June 18, 2014 @ 11:37 am

    Ok, so my dad’s marble “pastry” slab came from the marble bathroom stall dividers from an old courthouse. His whole family has slabs from this bathroom, and they use them every year to hand dip the most incredible chocolates you’ve ever experienced. Bathroom marble is not weird to me at all.

    Reply

  16. Karan
    June 18, 2014 @ 11:40 am

    Watching the ideas for your kitchen to unfold is an absolute hoot. Please keep up the crazy to keep me entertained. But, I get some of it, too. When we moved into our 1969 home 2 years ago, I wanted to gut the kitchen and open it up to the den. Lighten, brighten, streamline, uncluttered look would have been wonderful. As it is, kept the decent cabinets (all wood), repainted the brass unusual handles (Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze), Formica top in puke green is now becoming “granitized” with acrylic paint. My next big project is to finish the rest of the kitchen counters so they look like a wonderful slab of granite there by saving me $3000 +/- in the process. The good part about this is the old appliances are falling apart and I’m able to replace them one by one (thank you, Home Depot with your 0%,18 months deals). So I can’t have my kit/den look like Southern Living but I’m liking the way it’s going and I can be happy with that. Still would rather gut/redo those 2 rooms but not now and maybe never in this lifetime! Life is still good.

    Reply

  17. Garden, Home and Party
    June 18, 2014 @ 11:43 am

    I live with a procrastinator…there’s no cure.
    On to more important things…I love the super thick marble and the potential for making cupboard doors with old windows is more than interesting, it’s genius. Maybe you don’t want too much “interest” in one room, but I think your idea is brilliant.
    Good luck with the project.
    xo,
    Karen

    Reply

  18. Lydia
    June 18, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    Yanno, faux marbling was all the rage with the Victorians. Yah, I know. Just another project. But think of the hours you could spend researching the perfect paint technique while you wait for the perfect marble to manifest.

    Reply

  19. Christine
    June 18, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

    Our kitchen cabinets came out of the emergency room at a local hospital they were tearing down…it’s a GREAT conversations starter…not sure about the bathroom marble in the kitchen though; that is kind of gross

    Reply

  20. Lauren Z
    June 18, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Oh, Victoria. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m pretty sure we’re twins that were separated at birth. Except you got the genes for tall and dark and lovely, and I got the genes for short and fair and flat feet. Anywho, I would love nothing more than to put a whole altar into my garage (so we would NEVER run out of marble, duh) but I also am married to a total pragmatist who favors “being able to move his commuter bicycle in and out” and “not crushing the overhead gears of the garage door opener” over having the world’s largest store of consecrated rock. Sheesh. So boring, amiright? As it is, my garage is full of less heavy (but no less bulky) half finished art projects/home improvement projects, so I suppose he might have a point about the whole “space” thing. Which is why I’ve brought the mid-century modern chair up into our living room to re-upholster . And now we have no room in the living room. Ironic, since there is a half finished chair, y’know, for sitting and making space, RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of it. Well, carry on with your bad-ass marble collecting self. I, for one, fully support you preparing your dinner on top of the ghosts of a million public pissers and under the watchful eyes of the heavenly father.

    Reply

  21. lizaanne
    June 18, 2014 @ 1:05 pm

    My heart breaks in a million pieces to see that altar piece in a scrap yard. The small hole in the top is for a relic of a Saint. At the very least, it is good to see that someone removed the altar stone before scrapping the marble.

    The beautiful high altar needs a home as well. I do know of a group of priests who rescue altars. If you be so kind as to email me the listings for these items, I might be able to find them homes. Proper homes.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 19, 2014 @ 10:43 am

      For what it’s worth, it really isn’t a scrap yard… some decorator will buy that for her client’s high-end project and it will get a new home. (Although not too sure the church would approve, but they are the ones who had the salvage place dismantle it in the first place…) There aren’t listings for the items, it’s a huge warehouse where you go and gawk.

      Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      June 19, 2014 @ 10:45 am

      I just realized you were talking about the cl listing, (duh). I searched for it, but it’s not coming up. Hard to believe someone bought it, so if he reposts, I’ll let you know.

      Reply

  22. Kathie
    June 18, 2014 @ 1:07 pm

    Hi Victoria 🙂 I say GET that church altar because it (the marble) looks wickedly beautiful and very nicely white 🙂

    Reply

  23. Danielle
    June 18, 2014 @ 1:26 pm

    Now I can’t get “Dig It Up” out of my head. For your procrastinating pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLsCR2RMBak

    Reply

  24. Corinne
    June 18, 2014 @ 2:29 pm

    I would rather look at pintrest ideas about cleaning your house than doing that exact thing. One day my husband caught me reading the blog “hooked on houses” and said to me, Can’t you get hooked on our house? I also hoard books on procrastination which I prefer to doing what needs to be done. Rock on Victoria!

    Reply

    • Corinne C.
      June 18, 2014 @ 3:56 pm

      Funny because I looked at your comment and said, “Did I write that? Guess not, I don’t have a husband.” But everything else could be me. Including a shelf full of books on how to simplify your life. A little unclear on the concept, perhaps…

      Reply

  25. Kate
    June 18, 2014 @ 2:33 pm

    Those steel casement windows, perfect for the cabinets or what? I read an article in Old Home Journal a few years ago about these “historic” windows and how millions of historic windows like these are being tossed in favor of “new, energy efficient” windows. However, the new windows are no more energy efficient than the historic window. The issue of historic window loss is so great that there is a foundation that actually tries to locate, preserve and install in historic homes. This article showed how this man restores the steel framed windows, etc. Including a circa 1920″ s house where they removed the “new” windows and replaced them with the historic steel casement windows. The change was breath takingly beautiful. You don’t want a kitchen that screams today while the rest of your home says yesteryear – stay strong it will come together for you. Kate

    Reply

  26. SmallerPlaces
    June 18, 2014 @ 2:45 pm

    How sad that the local salvage yards are over-priced! Especially when one obligingly coughed up actual used church bits. Given the popularity of announcing “my [room X] is my SANCTUARY” in shelter magazines and HGTV shows, it’d be enticingly meta to have genuine, authorized church sanctuary parts installed.

    not everything needs to be interesting

    True, in the sense that plumbing should not be interesting. Electrical strongly benefits from not being interesting. Roof joists? Dull and predictable FTW!

    Cabinet doors, on the other hand, do need to be interesting. It’s not like you’re asking to have them roll up like garage doors in response to a remote control or open from the top in wings like a DeLorean. The steel-framed windows would probably be too heavy for cabinet hinges, as well as oddly sized… but a legitimate desire to not have the cabinetry collapse is not sufficient to indict the entire concept of “interesting.”

    Reply

  27. jennifer Noaker
    June 18, 2014 @ 3:12 pm

    My parents kitchen island was the local St.Mary’s Catholic church’s alter. It isn’t marble, but it has the carved wood and 24 kt gold edging. It’s pretty amazing!

    Reply

  28. Pamz
    June 18, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

    I cringed when I read “Public bathroom walls”. But then again, you do put a bit of style into nearly everything you find on craigslist. Looks like a great find for the kitchen.

    Reply

  29. Corinne C.
    June 18, 2014 @ 4:00 pm

    If you could tell which gender of bathroom the walls came out of it would help. When we remodeled the ones in our church it was only the metal stalls in the men’s that had rusted.
    Speaking of which, you could always ask a priest to come and bless your house. Not quite the cachet of a massive marble altar but easier to transport.

    Reply

  30. The Lady
    June 18, 2014 @ 4:26 pm

    You’re kooky but sweet. Also we all have bad days and you just have to somehow pull yourself out of the pit. Not sure how, but this too will pass I always tell myself.

    Reply

  31. Linda Nelson
    June 18, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

    Hello Victoria,

    I enjoyed your post. Funny thing, I have a slab of carrara marble that I’m trying to get rid of. I’ve tried to sell it on Craigslist, with no luck. Would you like it? To get you started on collecting your slabs? To get you started on your Victoria Elizabeth marble collection drive, perhaps. Would you be open to the possibility of doing an item swap of some sorts? You would, however, have to drive out to Long Island, NY, aka The Hamptons. The piece that I have would be perfect for a vanity countertop or a small kitchen island. It is roughly 30″x42″x1″ thick. Let me know.

    Reply

  32. Katherine
    June 18, 2014 @ 7:51 pm

    Victoria, I know Paul is an eminently sensible man (with the patience of Job to boot), but he is wrong wrong wrong about those casement windows. They would make AMAZING cabinet doors! If they weren’t so damn far away, I’d drive down and get them myself.

    Reply

  33. Susan
    June 18, 2014 @ 8:53 pm

    In case you didn’t know, the little niche in the altar is for relics! A little marble pocket formerly filled with dead bones is SO much better than peed-on marble!

    Reply

  34. Cynthia
    June 18, 2014 @ 9:20 pm

    Just think about how very light you’re going to feel when the weight of this thing you’re dreading is lifted. Just having it done, no matter the outcome, will have you feeling light as a feather. At least it does for me, and I hope it does for you!!!

    Reply

  35. Jennifer @ Also Known As...the Wife
    June 18, 2014 @ 9:23 pm

    There’s a stone and marble store (?)/ fenced in yard with marble slabs everywhere in Clementon on Erial-Clementon Road. I feel like their inventory hasn’t changed in the six years I’ve been driving down that road so maybe their supply/demand ratios will work in your favor.

    Reply

  36. Karen V
    June 18, 2014 @ 9:41 pm

    How big a piece do you need for the island? I may be able to help….email me.

    Reply

  37. Alice
    June 18, 2014 @ 10:20 pm

    BEWARE!!! found a 24×48 inch marble with a sink already undermounted on it for $100. I then took it to the marble man to have it cut to fit my bathroom vanity. (Found out it was high quality) They polished the sink and the marble and it was beautiful but it cost over $250. I didn’t save but I did get a free sink. Marble is pricey! And porus, and soft! I love the look, however. For what you have in your kitchen just buy new. The fabricator will cost so much to cut and polish and you won’t save much if any. If anything ask a marble guy what it would cost to reuse your marble finds before you buy them. Have fun, I love your blog.

    Reply

  38. Parnassus
    June 19, 2014 @ 3:02 am

    “I dreamt I dwelt in marble stalls…..”

    Reply

  39. Tina
    June 19, 2014 @ 9:22 am

    Don’t forget Lancaster’s Craigslist. It’s 20-30 minutes from Exton, so not far at all! 🙂

    Reply

  40. Rachel P.
    June 19, 2014 @ 10:20 am

    Just caught up on all the posts I had missed recently (way too many, but the good part about that is I could plow through loads of blog posts without stopping!). I laughed and laughed and then laughed a little bit more, which is exactly what I needed this week. I’ve missed the adventures of Victoria and Paul as they navigate Philly’s kingdom of GFTs together, and when I saw my blog subscription pop up saying “DIY mining my own marble”, that’s when I knew I had to get it together and catch up. Having met the bed troll and watched all the videos you’ve done recently, I feel infinitely more fulfilled and motivated to take on more exciting projects I most likely will never finish. Yay VEB blog!

    Reply

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