My island slab - Blue Louise/Van Gogh!

drbeanie2000January 26, 2012

I am so excited to have put down the deposit on this scrumptious quartzite today!!! Our island will only take a fraction of it so we'll have to figure out where exactly on the slab we will want. Also, considering ditching the prep sink on the island, just because this slab is so gorgeous.



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Wow, that is amazing. And aptly named! Hopefully you'll hang a great Van Gogh print in your kitchen to compliment!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:05PM
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didn't I see someone use a piece like that for a b/s?

its almost a mural

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:10PM
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I'm new here; just starting my kitchen reno and have been looking at all sorts of counter surfaces and THAT is one beautiful slab!! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:15PM
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Absolutely beautiful

I think just leaning it up against the wall to look at would make me happy.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:19PM
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OMG, glad I didn't see that before we built our house, I would have had to have it and I would bet it was not within our budget! ;)

Seriously, that's some beautiful stuff!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:21PM
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Starry Night! Beautiful.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:22PM
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It is probably my favorite stone! Congrats!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Stunning. I look forward to seeing it in your kitchen!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 10:47PM
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That is gorgeous! I look forward to pictures of your kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:00PM
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I love that stone. I was sorely tempted to get it when I was building my kitchen but it just didn't match my cabinets.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:10PM
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Love that slab! What a beautiful piece of stone. Congrats on picking, good luck deciding where to cut it. Maybe you should make your island bigger so you don't have to cut so much of it?! Just kidding ;)

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:15PM
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absolutely breathtaking..agreed with above poster, my most favorite stone also.

picked cabs out first, so didn't match but prob out of our budget.

enjoy it everyday, it is truly a work of art and so aptly named!!!!

congratulations on a fabulous choice!!!!

someone did use it as a backsplash, but i can't remember either, hopefully someone will. it was stunning!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:17PM
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Was it this one?

Here is a link that might be useful: backsplash

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:30PM
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Here are some other threads/pictures I found from other GW'ers


It is because I have been reading this forum for so long before choosing anything, that I didn't have to match this stone to pre-existing choices for cabinets or anything else. We'll keep our wood floors, but I was waiting to see if I could get a slab of Van Gogh/Blue Louise that my husband and I loved first. Everything else will pretty much be designed around this.

I would LOVE to do a massive backsplash like that, to look at vertically. Yum! But it would probably look pretty silly, since our "perimeter" countertops will be a dark color...unless, I have them cut out a rectangle of the same slab to put over the range top and "frame" that with something else... not sure how that would work.

Here is a link that might be useful: Earlier thread

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:39PM
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That is a serious piece of nature's art! Congrats!

Oh, and FWIW, I'm now working with a prep sink for the first time. As much as I love my own counters, I wouldn't give up the function of my prep sink for anything. Makes kitchen life so much easier!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 12:08AM
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breezygirl - yes, after living for so long without one and thinking "what on earth would anyone do with a prep sink," I have now been fantasizing about how great it will be to have one. Maybe my KD can come up with a way to move it elsewhere.

KristiR - We had a hard time finding one with vivid colors like these. We had seen several slabs that were splotchier, had no blue at all as far as we could tell, or were pretty but in a pastel kind of way. We were told that the quarry in Brazil had closed down 1-3 years ago (the story However, while thinking the One True Slab would never come along, we did see lots of fun ideas on other colors. Blue Aurora, Normal Blue Fire (I think), Blue Wave, Botanic Green, Cactus, Dunas or Dunes, Azul do Mar, Blue Wave, Persa Blue, Fusion Blue, and Azul Macauba were some of them.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 3:43AM
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I would seriously think of changing my perimeter counters to anything I had to so I could use this glorious piece of stone as a b/s. Problem is... I can't think of anything that would go with it except itself! It's totally stunning... beautiful!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:48AM
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okay, now that I have finished fainting. I must say
congratualtions on your beautiful find.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:06AM
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Wow, that is Beautiful! What a marvelous work of art! Enjoy it!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:42AM
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WOW! I see using a fun cool prep sink with this slab.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:45AM
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Personally, I like the upper half best followed by the lower left. The lower right is less spectacular. What other counter material will you use in the rest of your kitchen? I could see this paired with wood....

How big is your island? If it only uses a "fraction" of the slab it may not be big enough for prep and a sink. If you can't move the prep sink elsewhere, I'd ditch it. It is one more item to clean, it would take away from prep space and you would lose some of this beautiful stone.
It would also save money in the sink itself, faucet, cutout and installation, so you could then afford the piece for behind your range. If you frame it with the tile you use for your bs or with the matching wood (or painted wood) as your cabs, it would be fabulous! I'd want to use as much of this as I could manage. I'd even consider skipping a bs and only using this stone behind the range (properly framed). It is a work of art and will be a showstopper. Any tile would be a bit player and there is the risk being too much.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:09AM
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that is absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait to see how it incorporates into your final kitchen.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:23AM
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I don't know your layout so its hard to say if you have a big enough expanse of wall space to show it off. But if you do, I would almost prioritize using this as a b/s instead of an island top, because you will see it more (not for everyone, but if you love it id assume you want to see it!)

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:38AM
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Oh that is just gorgeous! You have to buy the whole slab, right? (I think this changes from one yard or fabricator to the next.) If you do, I hope you find a way to use every square inch! Even if you have to store leftover pieces of the slab in your garage for awhile. Think how beautiful that would be in a bathroom, as a backsplash as others have mentioned, or as a fireplace surround. (FWIW, we reused our old island counter as a fireplace surround and powder room vanity top. I won't post pics because the granite pales in comparison to your gorgeous slab!)

If you want some help with mockups, I'd be glad to try a few for you. I'd just need to know the dimensions of your island and the dimensions of the slab in your picture.

Congrats on finding a beauty!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:47AM
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You can always have a positive reveal on the sink with the cutout from the sink resting on that lip with a handhole to be able to put it elsewhere when you need access to the sink. Similar to a custom cutting board that rests on the sink reveal. On a small thicker gauge sink, it wouldn't be too heavy to do that with. And you'd still get the effect of an uninterrupted stone.

Or, you could pick a sink that worked in shape with the "waves" in the granite and do it in a complimentary cast iron color like Kohler's Cobalt Blue. It would look like a lake in the river of the granite. (Waterfall faucet anyone?)

I would personally use it as a backsplash for the whole kitchen rather than use a "small" piece on the island. It would be more effective vertically than horizontally. At a minimum, I'd do the "frame" bit behind the entire cooktop, from counter to ceiling, with a glass chimney hood over it to not obscure it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:58AM
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CONGRATULATIONS DRBEANIE2000! Your slab screams, "Can't wait to come home!" just like ours did! I share your excitement as we actually designed our entire kitchen around our slab. IMPORTANT-Be sure to tell your fabricator you want to approve your template BEFORE they cut into it if they allow that. Our fabricator came to template and allowed us to preview the final layout of the puzzle before they cut into it. He advised us on which 'veins' should not be sliced thru and which should go in areas of 'low activity'. This was a concern for me. They came and mapped out exactly the places where I should NOT put my monster-mixer when doing dough. They were able to do the entire kitchen layout without seams. We are paying our fabricator an extra monthly 'storage' fee (even though they never asked) for our remnants. Trying to match this up would be impossible. He's taking GOOD care of us so we should do the same. Do your best to use up as much of it as you can. Even scraps can be made into useful things. Our fabricator gave us a list of 'furnishings' he can make out of the remnants. Most recently, he did our bathroom vanity with a leftover piece. I couldn't bear to let him cut a sink hole in it so we got a clear, 'sits-on-the-top' sink (vessel) so I can see the colors right thru the glass. Too cool! We did lower the height of the cabinet to accommodate that, but it was worth it. Love it more each day! My favorite sections include those with the most colors and the sparkley flecks that catch the light! Something else you may find useful. When we got the lightbulbs, we chose multiple temperatures of light (yellow, white, blue, violet) to bring out as many colors in the stone as possible. The white translucent pendant shades look multicolored as a result and it blends nicely without detracting attention from the stone's beauty. CONGRATULATIONS, AGAIN on your timeless beauty!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Drool, drool... I am definitely clipping this post so that I can live vicariously through you. Looking forward to seeing pictures of it in its new home!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 2:29PM
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What a GORGEOUS slab! Blue Louise was on my list, but the two slabs we found had terrible rust :-( And we needed four slabs.

I wouldn't disrupt it with a prep sink, although I did like the "wave" sink above. We were going to get a prep sink--I had never had one--but decided to keep our island whole. I don't miss it. We could have put one in the bar, but decided we didn't really need it there, either. I have a really big single-bowl sink that works well and is near the island.

I'm happy to have only ONE sink where people leave dishes!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:36PM
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Can you make the island bigger? Ok, I'm sure you thought of that!

If you can use it as a bs that would be awesome.

Congrats! I'm sure that one made your heart sing!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:59PM
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My all time favorite granite. First saw it when we were shopping for our granite 3 years ago. It truly is a piece of art. Not in the budget then, but perhaps in another lifetime.

Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 7:41PM
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Welcome to the blue quartzite club drbeanie.

We have Azul do Mar and love it. It is nice to have such a durable easy-to-clean surface for our kitchen. We have a prep sink in the island and wouldn't want to do with that for our multicook kitchen.

How big is your island? If that is the place where you will do most of your prep, perhaps you could do a smaller one like 13" x 18" to leave more of the quartzite intact.

Here is ours:

We used our remnants on the fireplace surround in the family room.

We still have a piece that we might use for the powder room vanity if we change that out.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:01PM
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Va-va-voom! Love it.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 8:02PM
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jalsy6 and MichelleDT - Van Gogh paintings are more dark and cobalt-y than this - actually, when I saw it, I thought âÂÂHey that looks like Jupiter!âÂÂ

KD agreed and now calls it âÂÂJupiter,â adding yet another name to the Blue Louise/Louise Blue/Luisa Blue/Van Gogh/Van Goug/other names I canâÂÂt remember yet.

remodelfla and dianalo - I donâÂÂt know what our perimeter counters will be. I thought something subdued that would hide crumbs a bit - " DH likes Ebony Pearl silestone, I like Brown Antique (especially one that is closer to black). But we havenâÂÂt picked out cabinets yet either.

dianalo - we are thinking of doing just that, no backsplash really and just this stone behind the range, âÂÂproperly framedâ as you put it.

mtnrdredux - our range is a 48â Capital Culinarian and a hood coming down from fairly short ceilings, so there would be a wide, somewhat short expanse.

chicagoans - I donâÂÂt THINK we have the buy the whole slab. On the other hand, I think we might end up doing so. It is approx. 100â x 57â and our island is 66â x 40âÂÂ. I will try to post some scans of our KDâÂÂs initial sketches, but we are slowly phasing in our move to our rental property, and the scanner wasnâÂÂt the highest priority!

cienza - thanks for the congrats! Sounds like you had a really great fabricator. IâÂÂm not sure I know what you mean about multiple temperatures of light. Did you do one bulb in one, the next in another, the next in yet another? Trying to picture it.

beekeeperâÂÂs wife - wish we could make the island bigger!

cloud_swift - thanks for the quartzite welcome! I drooled over your kitchen on the FKB. WeâÂÂd need more slabs than we can get for the rest of our kitchen, but your lovely backsplash, perimeter counter tops, and island look great!

Everyone - we might just ditch the prep sink, and maybe with the enormous Blanco Silgranit II Super Single sink we may get for our main sink, it will be almost like 2 sinks!

Thanks everyone for the responses!!!

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   January 28, 2012 at 1:05AM
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Beautiful!! We are also looking at Blue Louise for the island. We are on Long Island.. where did you find it?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 11:18PM
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dang. blue is one of my least favorite colors. I don't even like have 'favorite' with 'blue'.

but, i do like it in nature - and that's nature!

I'd love to just have a pic of it - even if only an 8 x10 to hang up and look at!

if it were my option, I'd have it as a BS - so I could see it from all over the room - and even walking into the room.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 2:37AM
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That is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 12:03PM
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This stone is stunning. If it were in my kitchen, I'd be staring at it all day. I wouldn't get any cooking done.

It'll be a beautiful focal point in your kitchen. Congratulations and enjoy!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 4:23PM
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Love your slab!! We just purchased one as well for the island. So excited!
The perimeter counter tops will be Antique Brown Leather.

Here is a picture of our slab..

Here is a link that might be useful: our island

    Bookmark   March 28, 2012 at 10:53PM
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My neighbor has Louie Blue in her kitchen! It's very striking :)

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 1:04AM
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Fabulous piece!! Why not do both the backsplash and the island? Green designs has some excellent suggestions. If you do decide on a prep sink check out Oceana makes the only glass kitchen sink - and they make several spectacular blues. They might work very well for you. What are you using on the perimeter counters?

    Bookmark   March 29, 2012 at 2:20AM
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Bon22 - congratulations! Love all that aqua/turquoise in yours.

avidchef - We are going to do both the backsplash and the island from our one slab. We decided not to do the prep sink. We've never had one, so I'm hoping we won't be too sorry!

Update - We're now doing natural cherry cabinets and will have wood floors. DH and I are thinking "brushed" (or leathered or antiqued - they say they are the same thing...) Cambrian Black, which has cool coppery flecks in it. We don't want to compete with the Van Gogh but we don't want a single monotone color either.

This "slab camera" picture shows the real colors better - but not so much better that we don't gasp in awe and grin like idiots whenever we see it in person!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 12:13AM
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drbeanie2000 - if I didn't mention before.. your Van Gogh is beautiful!!! It looks like a large piece as well. We only needed a small piece (which wasn't easy to come by).
Cannot wait to see yours installed! (we should have ours done in 4weeks.. woohoo

    Bookmark   March 30, 2012 at 9:55PM
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drbeanie2000... did you install your Van Gogh???

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:28PM
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Can't wait to see pictures of it installed!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 9:59PM
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No, it isn't installed yet. We just began demo 3 weeks ago and are working on the whole house, so this project will take a while. What will be the kitchen is at the moment only a foundation, and framing begins this week.

Will definitely keep you all posted, though!


    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:04PM
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good luck!!

we are starting demo thursday (kitchen only), and hoping to have slab installed the end of May!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:34PM
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That closeup posted on Jan. 28: Are you kidding me?!!! Like desertsteph, I'm not a fan of blue, but I would frame that and hang it on my wall. I would also have it as a backsplash, or an altar, or something.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:15PM
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Ah - if I am reading this crappy screen right, that Jan. 28 image is a picture of the planet Jupiter.

But yes, we are having an island AND using the leftover piece as a backsplash for the range top so that we can look at it even when not working at the island.

Good for you, Bon22!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 11:25PM
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Dr. B, so that was the real Jupiter! Because I thought, c'mon, that belongs in an art gallery or on an altar, not under a BLT.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 1:03AM
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drbeanie.. we are going with Antique brown leather on the perimeter countertops. I will have to take a look at the Cambrian Black (for comparison).
We had wanted black countertops but Hubby really liked the look of the Antique Brown (outside we actually thought we were looking at a black piece), go figure.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 9:10AM
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